“Like most people, it took me a long time to discover that what matters more in writing is not so much what we want to say but what the readers want to know.” –Jose Carillo
And so, I write this blog. Not because I already know what a nationally awarded writer is talking about, but because I want to understand what he means. This blog will also let me hit two birds with one stone, so to speak: I’ll get to do what I still can do and continue my advocacy for persons with disabilities (PWDs).
I am a PWD myself. I had a brain operation last March 7, 1998 because of arteriovenous malformation. My balance and coordination got afflicted, my hearing got impaired, and my physical appearance got disfigured.
I was just able to get through those (for the next 10 years, at least). I was still able to go back to school and finished Journalism. I was actually already working for a local newspaper in the United Arab Emirates when what had happened before recurred. It had compromised my ability to walk alone completely, and everything else that I’ve been rebuilding.
There are many other PWDs like me out there. (Before I had set out on my advocacy in April 2012, there were already 942,098 PWDs in the Philippines alone.) We comprised 15% of the world’s total population, the “world’s largest minority.”
So far, though, some countries—either with large or small economies—have only come as far as conducting surveys to find out how we can benefit from wireless technology, planning how to support us as well as our families, and ruling for our right to work and vote. These, aside from putting up trust funds and award ceremonies for us.
But we need more. We need more than the Lesser Antilles pursuing partnerships to educate non-PWDs. We need more than the Pakistan instituting colleges admitting PWDs in Islamabad. We need more than the British High Commission and the British Council launching a job portal in the aforementioned country.
We need more than Canada supporting us, especially its youth in Yarmouth, Shelburne and Clare. We need more than Hong Kong letting PWDs sell their crafted products. We need more than the United Arab Emirates encouraging nurseries to let children with special needs enroll in its facilities.
PWDs are labeled as such to remind everyone that the former are apart from their condition. Calling a person disabled denotes disability to the whole being of that person. It is entirely different from describing him or her as someone with a disability only.