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.
As this stuff is on my radar, I certainly detect it as if I had some kind of a comic book superhero style sixth sense, but it is all around me. Sure, overt discrimination only exists in sociopaths and fundamentalists, but now that it is not socially acceptable to discriminate, it has become subtle, but it has not gone away. It makes me wonder if all of this legislation is akin to sticking a plaster on a wound. It is human nature to fear what you don’t understand and imposing rules on people without providing them with the tools they need to adhere to them just isn’t going to work.
But, hey, I am not about to start going around knocking on people’s doors trying spread the love now, am I? And although I do try to do as much myth debunking about visual impairment and disability that I can through being out there and being who I am, by the time I have chipped up and changed the perception of an adult, it is almost too late. We’ve got to get in there early, really early. And I am not saying that it is just down to learning this stuff in school. Although formal education plays an important part and can certainly support the legislation and vice versa, it also needs to be taught at home, in communities and anywhere that young minds are being shaped.
I know that things have moved on since disabled people were shoved in institutions and deemed as defective. The society we live in is definitely changing for the better and I can only hope that in 50 years time someone will find this blog post and laugh at how silly people were in the stone ages.