Disabled and Living in a Disabled World


Regardless of policies set by the government, pushed by the NGOs, we still see an absence of political will in championing the rights of disabled people in South East Asia. Without hesitation, I will readily admit there’s conformity of advocacy approaches, similarities of awareness strategies, but no visible, and sustainable results.
The institutions responsible for the advocacy of disability rights severely lack the capacity to generate sustainable, positive, proactive behavioral change amongst society, which is deeply troubling, as society is in the position to influence much-needed developments. Let’s use employment as an issue. A growing number of corporations have offered jobs for disabled people. The problem is how a disabled woman would go to and fro the office/home without a disabled-friendly transportation, proper roads, signage, and safety.
With the frequent road rages by “normal” drivers, even I would be frightened to be on the road, cruising in safety and security, an almost impossible task for a disabled man, courtesy of an uncaring society. If civil society and government, not to mention the road authorities, are unable to expedite the funds, resources and plans to make the road system friendly, how could disabled people find employment much less maintain their jobs?
Rather than send another mission to space or seek new worlds for future generation to live, civilization should stimulate the minds of people to be caring, supportive and sustaining the dream of a disabled person  the right to live in a world free of stigma, prejudice and discrimination, allowing a human being to be treated fairly and accordingly to be productive members of humanity.


An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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