People with disabilities are often treated as objects of charity and pity. The charity model is an older and outdated model of disability.
What it looks like: People in your community assume you will always need help and pity you. You are considered a burden requiring charitable resources for support.
People with disabilities do not have a real equal right to participate if they are deemed individually responsible to overcome the barriers and historical ways of doing things that exclude them.
For example, the right of a wheelchair user to enter a building is an empty right if the building only has stairs. The right of a person who is deaf to attend a good university is meaningless if they do not have access to the content of the classes through a sign language interpreter.
Inclusion is not the same as simply “not excluding.” Inclusion is proactive. Inclusion is intentional. It takes some initial investment to ensure that people with disabilities are being reached and participating fully in your organizations and programs.
Whether you want to find personal services, get your equipment repaired, or try adaptive sports, find what you need in your host community.
People with disabilities are powerful leaders influencing national policies, advocating for changes, organizing regional alliances and increasing their participation in mainstream development projects that directly impact their lives. Engage disabled leaders in your efforts.
Do you have a disability and wonder what it would be like to study, volunteer, or intern in another country? Let us help you reach your goal to participate in a meaningful overseas experience.