How disability is perceived in the Asian community and why views need to change – Disability Horizons

Disability in the Asian community is still very much a taboo subject. Plus, being female adds even more challenges. When a disabled child is born, many Asian families assume that the individual will not be able to live a fulfilled and independent life due to a disability or health condition.

They think that being disabled is a life sentence, which means the person will be unhappy for the rest of their life, unable to get an education, find suitable work, live independently, get married or start a family. Having a disabled child can be seen as a curse and parents are blamed as a result.

In this article, our writer Zubee Kibria is going to challenge these perceptions to help the Asian community understand that having a disability should not be seen as negative, but to support and treat disabled people equally to non-disabled people.

Barriers faced in the Asian community if you are disabled

The majority of people within the Asian community look at disability as something to hide, be ashamed of or to get rid of through finding a possible cure. The Asian community’s wrong interpretations of disability often lead to misconceptions and discrimination against disabled people.

Some parents go to the extent of giving their child up for adoption because they can’t cope with the thought of raising a disabled child.

If you’re Asian and female with a disability, it is twice as hard to get out and about because some parents can be very overprotective, like mine.

This includes not letting their child go out on their own, use public transport or move out of the family home and buy a place, usually because they worry that something bad might happen.

Some parents feel it’s necessary to have a non-disabled friend or family member to look after them, which takes away the person’s independence.

I have been through this myself, and I totally understand it from a parent’s perspective. But it can be very frustrating as an adult because I want to be able to experience and do things for myself.

In these situations, my disability is highlighted and I start to question myself – why me? If I am too reliant now, what’s going to happen in the future? That’s a scary thought.

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