Raising awareness is something very important to me as I want people to learn about disabilities. I am involved in many organizations such as Platfform and the RNIB to start my journey in raising awareness.
From my perspective, when it comes to raising awareness in education and in any other situation, I would listen to other people’s opinions and answer any questions they had about disabilities. I’ll answer them as honestly as I can. I just want people to know that us blind people are no different from them. We are just normal and it just takes us longer to do certain tasks.
I think before teachers teach people about disabilities and in general, they should learn about them themselves as well as encourage students to do the same. It would also be great if they brought in someone who has a disability themselves to talk about their experience.
For example, I went to a couple of schools and I spoke to children about being blind. I talked about braille and let the children use my cane. They were very engaged and asked a lot of questions. Children are a lot more intelligent and understanding than we may think.
Within the lessons that talk about disabilities, I think there should be discussions about the many barriers in education and with life after education as for me it is quite difficult for me to find jobs and go through education. There is just a lack of jobs for people like me and we should teach people how that can be combated and turned it around.
Not only should we have lessons that are within the classroom about disabilities but for other aspects of school life. For example, learning to include people in sports activities and learning how to guide a blind person probably.
As well as going into schools that cater to people with disabilities so that students and the public are aware of the disability and how scary it can be sometimes. I think this will allow people to be less judgemental as they have experiences a day in the life of a disabled person.
Lastly, I think getting some interest from the media would be great. For example, a camera could follow you around and show the things that can be quite challenging for people with disabilities and hopefully the public will understand a lot more.
Overall, there are many ways that the education system can help with raising awareness for those who are disabled. I think it is important for people to understand we are just like them but we may need extra help every now and then.