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A Broken System

The constitution promises education for everyone, it doesn’t discriminate on the basis of physical or mental disability, yet the education facilities available for the disabled are very compromised. Compromised in every sense of the word – from policy to infrastructure. Even elite private universities like LUMS do not have the necessary infrastructural adjustments required by disabled students. Yes, there are ramps but they are very small in number and inconvenient locations. Usually, teachers aren’t trained to be sensitive to their needs, and comments like, “are you blind” and “are you deaf” are commonly used by teachers, further alienating disabled students from everyone else. Our institutes play an integral role in making education for these children an ongoing conflict and a source of extreme discomfort. They do not work towards empowering them or making accommodations; instead, they further push them away from it.

Moreover, they instill an idea of ‘normalcy’ confined to the able-bodied and derogatory to disabled kids. Who gets to decide that an able-bodied student is normal? Who gets to decide that the ‘conventional normal’ is the best form to be born in, the ones who are different should not be instantly labeled as ‘not normal.’ We must look at them as different. Our schools should be teaching this, but they are busy creating hindrances. While making things almost unbearable for them, it also further deepens the divide between students instead of instilling harmony and sensitivity. In this manner, education becomes an inconvenience. Instead of helping disabled students progress in life, it acts as a means of lowering their self-worth and frustration. Our education system is practically broken when it comes to disabled students. It’s high time that state institutions and schools realize the extent of this problem, and steps must be taken to facilitate and encourage these students.

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the post raises some very valid points! the stereotypes associated with disability take away the opportunities of basic and good quality education from the students. and the lack of interest from the state to make efforts to ensure disabled bodies are also able to access education is unacceptable. this work is not for NGOs, it is the state's responsibility. what is even alarming is that many big institutions of Pakistan are also not doing much about it, it is argued that the buildings were built decades ago and therefore necessary infrastructure to assist disables students is not in place does also not make sense, disabled students have been here since ever, its actually the blind eyes that ate turned towards…

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A very insightful post! I think an important factor to consider is the (very problematic) idea that only able-bodied persons can live life fully, while the "bechare" disabled persons must be dependent on others and hence not capable of having (or achieving) aspirations. In many cases, this is an implicit bias, leading to not considering accessibility in most contexts, like when building educational institutes--because disabled persons are not expected to exist in this space. The only space they are expected to be in is either at home, with an able-bodied caregiver, or perhaps at a hospital. Erasure of disability in everyday life means normalization of able-bodied people, and no provisions whatsoever for anyone not able-bodied

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A very thoughtful post! I also think that individuals like instructors and others in authority when catering to a person with a certain disability, mostly have this attitude that they are doing a favour and now the students should be thankful. I would like to quote myself as an example. I took this semester on campus while being pregnant and although it is not a disability, but I did have special needs. While all of my instructors were extra caring and accommodating, I heard people tell me how at other colleges if a girl would be pregnant, teachers would be extra rude to her as if it is her mistake or God forbid a disability. The girls would literally have…

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The post indeed provides with great insights to look upon how inappropriate our educational system stands when it comes to cater people with disabilities. In one of my blogs, I wrote about students with mental disabilites and how they are not catered in our educational system. While researching about this issue, I came across multiple anecdotes where people told media how they were made fun of their disabilities (socio-cultural context) and how educational system also hinders behind. To compare the case of pysically disabled with mentally disabled students, we observe that student with mental disabilities suffer more , in pakistan, as there's lack of basic awareness in our citizens regarding mental illnesses which further leads to no cure of such…

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An insightful post! I find it fascinating how what I once thought was a leap in terms of inclusivity can be deemed just a starting point - highlighting how deplorable the conditions are. During my freshmen year, what I found interesting was how the pavements and the buildings were adjusted for wheelchairs. I remember I thought it was a big deal because in over a decade of studying in various institutions, I had never had a building accommodate wheelchairs. I agree that these are starting points and we have a long road ahead, but I disagree with the conventional approach of vying for development and progress through a brutal discrediting of the beginning point. Though ramps and bending sidewalks are…

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