On Thursday March 5th, I attended an assembly where Nelly Bassily, the Director of the Youth Initiatives and International Relations at the Disabled Women’s Network, had the chance to share personal and societal issues dealing with the views people have on women with disabilities. Firstly, she discussed how, when thinking of disability, you may automatically imagine someone who cannot walk properly or someone who uses a wheelchair to help transport themselves. Many of us focus on the physical aspect of disability and completely disregard that you can have mental disabilities which is something that we should be more aware of.
As a woman who deals with depression herself, Nelly understands what disability is like on a personal level and can relate to many who deal with the same thing. She also expressed how people with a disability are often seen as “different” and are categorized as people who need extra attention or need to be treated with more care, which is absolutely wrong. Having a disability does not mean you have to feel bad for that individual or treat them differently because they are just like everyone else and should be treated as equally as the rest.
As for myself, I learnt a lot about the difference between what people describe disability as and what it really is. I have also mistaken having a disability to someone who is in a wheelchair and after this assembly, my views have drastically changed and I have a better understanding of the whole topic. My friends and I admit that we viewed someone with a disability as different which is sad to say, but as of now, our understanding of it has enhanced and we are better informed of things that we were not fully conscious of before.
As a whole, Nelly’s presentation was very eye opening and made me realize that we should all be treated the same way and have equal amount of respect towards each other whether someone has a disability or not. Having a disability does not mean you are held back from doing certain things nor does it mean you should be felt bad for all the time. I would have liked the presenter to go more in depth about these issues and to know more about the stereotypes when it comes to someone with a disability but I did enjoy the assembly and would attend another one like this.