In an age of technology, information is shared in an instant. Being ignorant or just not knowing isn't an excuse anymore — we have access to everything at our fingertips. With the surge of social media and an increased moral conscience, we have all witnessed these tools being used to fuel worldwide social movements.
So many great things have come out of this cultural shift — the spike in awareness of women and gender rights, environmental sustainability, and humongous initiatives such as the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements.
There has been a focus on education and equality, which is great, but one key issue is missing from this conversation.
Disability rights are often overlooked when it comes to "trendy issues."
No one wants to talk about it and it is never in the headlines or in the forefront of the conversation. This could be due to the nature of this issue making people uncomfortable, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed. 15 percent of the entire world has some sort of disability, which frankly is a lot of people. That said, it isn't nearly enough compared to how many women or people of color are in the world, so that may be another reason why it isn't talked about.
However, this brings up the point—even though the disability community is a small community, it doesn't mean it should be ignored. Just because you gave us the Americans With Disability Act doesn't mean everything's just okay now. Though the ADA marked a huge win for the disability community, it is only a piece of paper. Job discrimination, access denial, social tensions, and negative stereotypes still plague most disabled people to this day. Unfortunately, it is still widely perceived that disabled people are less capable than normal people and are viewed as less than human.
With this trend of being hyper-aware and educated, can we all take a moment and educate ourselves about the world of people with disabilities?
Can you imagine going to a job interview, being triple as qualified than all the other candidates, but not getting the job because you are disabled? What about walking into a store with your service dog and being asked to leave because dogs aren't allowed on the premises? Or what about the strain and exhaustion that is felt every day to prove yourself to the world and show them you are worthy? It is not easy and people need to start to push it to the forefront.