A lot of countries offer livelihood programs for people with disabilities, hence they could live independently with minor support. However, based on the report posted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 80% to 90% of people with disabilities and of qualified working age, are still unemployed. You might arrive at the question: “How does a person with a disability live independently?”
Independent Living Defined
First of all, let us discuss what independent living means for people with disabilities. Independent living for people with disabilities is the determination to live on their own and work with self-care, self-determination, and achieve their goals without the expense of seeking full assistance from others. They demand to gain mutual respect and equal opportunities that the government provides for everybody. This includes the same benefits for medical, education, and employment. They demand equal choices and equal treatment, which most of the time are far from anybody’s attention.
However, living independently does not mean that people with disabilities would not seek assistance from others. They might still ask for your help but not with their disability. It could be something else like how to get to a certain place. They just wanted to be treated the way other people are normally treated. They also have feelings and thoughts and what they want is to go to the same schools where others go to and have the chance to choose what they want to do with their lives. People with disabilities, also wanted to spend their lives with their families and friends and gain the same knowledge and learn to do the same chores.
Types of Disability
There are a lot of types of disability. Vision impairment, hearing impairment, mental impairment, physical disability, etc. Most of them could still be qualified to work but some of them would really need some special assistance. Even though people with disabilities could live independently, there are agencies or non-government organizations that could provide assistance for them, such as dementia and memory care, independent living care, and all other assistance that could support their lifestyle.
Living Independently Despite the Disability
There are some who have had their disabilities since they were born, but there are some who acquired their disability through accidents. You have to know that they are in the process of accepting their disability and some of them are still having a hard time coping with the situation. However, through family and friends, they could obtain the love and support they need to help them adjust to the situation. From there, they learn to live and become secure on their own.
People with disabilities who live independently would definitely want their personal space. Like other people, they do not want you asking too many questions about their condition and do not talk about their condition to other people. Consider it like somebody is talking behind you and you are the topic, isn’t that irritating? Other people with disabilities have some devices they need to use, and they would definitely be upset if you touch their personal medical equipment. Just a reminder, medical equipment is somehow complicated to operate and if you do not know how to use it, do not touch it.
How to Treat Independent People with Disability
Most people with disabilities are fine with how they are doing. Never assume that a person with a disability will always ask for help to complete a task. Remember that they wanted to be treated equally, and they wanted to become independent on everything they could accomplish. Sometimes, they might consider you as a blessing with things that are really impossible to do but always treat them as equals. They are the experts of their own condition and like any other people, they would ask for help if they needed to.
Usually, people with disabilities would create their own homes to be as conducive to their needs, as possible. If you are invited to their house, make sure you do not rearrange the furniture, as they have designed them to meet their needs. They also prepared their medical equipment, in case they need one to provide them support, wherever they go.
Most of them are empowered and could live independently on their own. They have made themselves aware of their situation, and they exactly know what to do to achieve mobility. Some of them could even hire somebody to take them wherever they want to go. Always remember that they have already established a support system that they helped them achieve to live independently, and that includes family and friends that provide support in case they need it.