Monday, February 11, 2013
Simple Things Made Hard
I work for a non-profit organization that assists service providers with the integration of job seekers with disabilities into the workplace. We are a resource of disability employment related issues. We share information and make connections. We work at promoting awareness and education toward the Abilities of one of our largest minorities; people with disabilities.
Two words that I find mentioned quite often in this line of work are Equal Opportunity and Inclusion.
Equal opportunity is a stipulation that all people should be treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers or prejudices or preferences, except when particular “distinctions can be explicitly justified.”
Inclusion is a practice in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds like origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation and identity and any other, are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed; engaging each individual and making people feel valued.
Together it could be simply put, ‘Fairness for All’
When you get right down to it, neither of these things come with a cost. For someone to offer Equal Opportunities or Inclusion it is all a state of mind; a willingness to do the right thing. And almost everyone will freely agree they offer those things. But do they? Do Equal Opportunity and Inclusion really exist?
Of course they do. Being someone who has a learning disability that stems from a brain injury, who openly talks about it, and has friends and a good job, someone who is given opportunity, I can say that those things definitely exist. But being someone who has been through a lot, has seen a lot, and continues to see a lot, I can also verify to you that those two simple things are not so easy to find.
I am not really sure why this seems to the case, but it is. Is it because of a fear of the unknown? Is it because most will easily settle for believing a misconception or myth as opposed to digging a little for the truth? Or are the majority of people using these words really that uncaring? Saying they believe in something when they really don’t.
I tend to think it is that people just don’t really understand and that there is no real Acceptance. Another one of those simple things made much more difficult than it need be.
Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
That negative or uncomfortable situation is usually because there is little to no effort put forth to try and understand.
What it comes down to is this, our biggest challenges, dilemmas, frustrations and problems are not really the problems. The problem is our attitudes toward these things; these situations. Attitudinal barriers cause us, as humans, the biggest headaches and most difficult challenges, and sadly, they are the simplest to remedy.