Disability Culture In South Africa

Disability Culture In South Africa

Disability culture is the perfect topic as the 24th of September was heritage day. We as a society need to learn to accept each and every South Africans differences and celebrate those differences. This will only happen if we can accept our authenticity. Each person has their own talents and limitations. We need to share these with all South Africans and lift each other up. We are a nation that has overcome so much amicably and yet we struggle to do so for people with disabilities.

As humans we tend to focus more on the person and not the disability or vice versa. When we interact with people who have a disability it is important to ask them what they would prefer. Their disability doesn’t define who they are as a person and it is only one part of their unique identity.

Understanding disability culture will change the future of people with disabilities. The possibilities of changes, include:

  • Changes in the way disability and difference is understood
  • Changes in the identity of disabled people within society
  • Changes in the way the community supports and thinks about people with disabilities

Disability is universal

Disabilities know no societal, race or cultural boundaries. Anyone can become disabled suddenly through:

  • Birth
  • Accidents
  • Illnesses
  • War
  • Poverty
  • Aging

Many will experience temporary disability at some point in their lives. Most disabled people live in developing countries, in rural areas. As much as 25 percent of the population in these developing countries are impaired and seen as a normal condition of humanity.

We need to include all people whether they are frail, limited or impaired and remove the negative identity that exists.

For more information about training that we offer, please contact Elsie Botha on 011 763 3366 or elsie@action4.org.za and Stephen Bergers on 011 763 2429 or stephen@action4.org.za