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Empathy, Ignorance & Discrimination

I have experienced my fair share of discrimination in my lifetime, and I don't expect it to abate any time soon. Discrimination is driven by fear and borne of ignorance, and although it is a simple enough concept to fit into a single sentence, it is not such an easy problem to solve.

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Is disability the last taboo?

As I wander through the world trying to make it that little bit better, I am forever perplexed by how awkward so many people are around us disabled types. Sure, I don't expect people to have a detailed understanding of the machinations of living with the wide range and complexity of impairments that fall under the rather big banner of disability, but I would hope that there would be a little more compassion, tolerance and sensitivity when it comes to interacting with us.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The reality of Disability

I am amazed at just how resilient us human beings are, but I certainly don't want that resilience to make us desensitised when things are clearly wrong. The other day we set off to say goodbye to our son as he ascended the stairs of the bus to sleepover camp for the very first time. When we arrived at the drop off location, we were asked to wait with our son's luggage until the bus arrived. As this is a Jewish summer camp, it is ruled by a very different time algorithm called JMT, Jewish Mean Time, so the bus was invariably late: the kids hurried off to hang out, leaving the parents standing around watching their luggage. Typical.

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Will the good guys ever win in the war for human rights?

The thing that used to trouble me greatly was the eternal hypothetical question "Will the good guys ever win?". I would spend countless hours trying to make sense of what I thought was a great injustice. It perplexed me as to why there were some folk in the world who just seemed to breeze through life, all body parts in full working order, achieving their goals with relative ease and having a pretty smooth ride on the big life train overall. And these folk, who appear to not have a care in the world, concern themselves with incredible amounts of minutiae that makes them very whiney and they manage to cause themselves all sorts of unnecessary stress over rubbish that truly matters not. This is more commonly known as a storm in a teacup.

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Intolerance, prejudice and discrimination with a humanitarian label

During the holiday season we managed to finally get together and catch up with friends and family, whom my workaholism had prevented us from seeing for far too long. We have a rather eclectic circle, they are a veritable United Nations. And within this circle is a wide and varied range of views, beliefs, values and opinions: I can assure you that it is never boring.

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Bullying and social inclusion: zero tolerance is the only way

When you are the parent of a school aged child, you have access to a wealth of insights, not only about how young minds are shaped and how so many influences and factors are at play, but also how important the things that those working in education do or don’t do are in the grand scheme of things.

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Social inclusion is a two-way street

I have been doing a little one woman social experiment of late, as I am fascinated by the human condition and particularly what makes people behave the way they do. Having moved from the mainstream into the disabled stream, the one thing that I have found very difficult to comprehend is why so many people respond to me chipping up with my white cane with fear.

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Prejudice, bigotry, discrimination? It may be 2010, but love is still the answer

I suspect that I may never really be able to succeed in expressing my gratitude to the people in my life who have enabled me to get to where I am, to maintain my hopefulness and to have the strength and resolve to know that this human rights advocacy mission that I am compelled to pursue is going to far exceed my lifetime.

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Legislation, schmegislation - don’t tell them, teach them

Don’t get me wrong, I am more than delighted that so many countries around the world have laws in place protecting human rights and promoting the equal treatment of such a wide variety of minority groups, but despite all of this legislation and the requirements for people and organisations to comply with them, we still seem to be falling considerably short in reality.

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Grab life by both hands, hold tight and enjoy the journey!

My friend, Shezan, is a pretty awesome guy. He read Economics at Cambridge, but instead of following the herd and getting a job in the City, he decided to go into teaching, and not at some leafy suburban school, but at a tough inner city school in London, and he absolutely loves it. But Shezan also has Glaucoma and he ended up spending a year off work, having a series of unsuccessful operations, which threw his world into complete disarray.

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