Everyone should get a fair chance

 


We stare at them with sympathy and mockery; always treating them differently. All disabled people need is to be treated fairly.

We watched as they pounded the ball in her face on purpose, then turned and high-fived and laughed. The Little Snake River Valley junior varsity volleyball team was targeting my teammate. The girl on my team stood there trying her best to pass the ball up; she was one of our weakest players yet she also had a disability. The way LSRV was hitting at her was entirely unsportsman-like; they’d pound it at her and then mock her. Our coach eventually subbed her out of the game because she was getting hurt physically and mentally. All she wanted was a fair chance to play a game that she loved.

Disabled people face numerous obstacles and challenges every day of their lives. They range from not being able to walk to slower thinking skills. Not only that, they suffer with discrimination and are some of the poorest people on the earth. It is extremely difficult for them to get a job and when they do they get a much lower income than the average person. Not only are they poor financially, but also live poor lives in terms of abilities and needing assistance. According to an article by Voice of America, more than 10 percent of our world’s population is disabled. That is not a huge portion yet we hardly do anything to allow them the same opportunities that we get everyday. For them it is a continuous fight to be a part of something.


We need to allow those who have disabilities a fair shot at whatever they want to be a part of. That does not mean we have to favor them and give them an easier route than the rest of us; but we do need to let them try. We play volleyball against Rock River and there is a girl on their junior varsity team who is disabled. Every time before the match even starts our coach tells us to not hit or serve to that girl. I strongly disagree with this; she is here to play so why can’t we play the game as if it were any other game? By not allowing her the chance to try and pass up a serve or a hit we are taking away her opportunity to be a part of something. Yes, she may be dressed out and on the court, but that is not the same as the great feeling of getting to touch the ball during the game.

Even if we give disabled people the same opportunities we get, we do need to take into account that most of them do have special needs. Most of them may need some kind of support or special equipment, take medications, do special exercises, or even get extra help at school. This is a huge obstacle for them and it does separate them from the average person. But the average person gets hurt and has to wear a brace, the average person gets sick and has to take medications, the average person even falls behind and has to get extra help in school. The average person may not experience this everyday but we need to look at disabled people as if nothing is wrong with them; we should act like it’s nothing that they will get better. Who knows, eventually they could get better.

I have a younger brother who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and everyday I see him progressing. When he was first diagnosed with it some people thought he wouldn’t be able to walk without a walker. Yet he used a walker for a while and now he is walking like any other second-grader would. He only progressed because his family and community believed he would and they didn’t let him take the easy route. When he is older and decides he wants to play a sport or be a part of something, I hope people give him a fair chance. I don’t want people to hand things to him or target him just because he is weak and cannot do everything that we can do. I want him to be treated fairly, not equally. Not everyone has equal skills or abilities, but everyone deserves a fair shot.

It is crucial that we give people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in things such as sports, clubs, and any other thing they are interested in. Allowing them to participate is not only beneficial for disabled people, but for average people as well. Doing sports and other activities allows disabled people to learn different skills, raise self-confidence, make new friends, and possibly even increase their ability and help them progress and fight through their restraints. It not only helps them but it also helps those who are not disabled. By working and playing with a disabled person you are more likely to gain better interaction and leadership skills; it can also teach you patience and how essential it is to give them a chance.

Disabled people want to be treated fairly; they need the same opportunities as average people. When they don’t get them they are less likely to progress and succeed later on in life. We need to stop mocking them and giving them the easy way out; they are people just like everyone else. So let’s treat them like they are normal people, fairly.

 

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