man in wheelchair in front of a staircase
10 Jun

Common Barriers for Individuals with Disabilities in Public


Discrimination, stigma, and stereotyping are just some of the challenges that disabled people face every single day. Beyond this viewpoint problem that society has, individuals with disabilities often struggle with a built environment that excludes them from everyday activities. So, don't you think it's high time that we change our lens on disability?

To transform into an all-inclusive society, we need to address the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities. The change will come only when we work hand in hand with the disabled community to break down these hurdles.

Attitudinal Barriers

Attitudinal barriers arise from the way people recognize and interact with individuals with disabilities. It is no secret that society treats disabled people with pity and fear. Most barriers in this category stem from a lack of knowledge and understanding regarding people with disability.

A few examples of attitudinal barriers are the following:

  1. Prejudice, discrimination, stigma: this embodies how society views disabled people. More often, people tend to pity the condition of individuals with a disability and consider they are doing a favor by offering them help.
  2. Stereotyping: it is a common assumption among individuals that disabled people are “less than” or some other belief.

This specific barrier is the most underlying issue. People might be unaware of how they can make a disabled person feel uncomfortable. That's what makes it essential for us to learn the unconscious efforts to disregard these stereotypes.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers cite the public environment that remains inaccessible due to the way they are crafted. A few examples of physical barriers include buildings featuring no wheelchair access, narrow sidewalks, inadequate lighting, and small door knobs. Although a lot of changes to improve accessibility are already being made, there's a lot more left to do.

In recent years, communities have increased pressure to make public spaces more accessible for disabled individuals.

Systematic barriers

Systematic barriers are typically the policies, practices, or laws drafted by organizations or governments that discriminate against the rights of disabled people.

These barriers often stop disabled people from carrying on with their day-to-day activities. While many public areas are already adding ramps and detectable warning dome tiles, there’s still more work to be done. Individuals with disabilities also face subtle discrimination when seeking employment, and not all companies can provide appropriate accommodations.

Communication Barriers

Communication is essential in every activity we do. We need to communicate effectively to work and build relationships. However, disabled people might be denied access to such simple requirements due to certain communication barriers.

Just because an individual does not communicate the way you do does not mean you should leave them out of a conversation. One way we can break down these barriers is by adopting braille or electronic menu versions at restaurants.

Barriers deny access to rights for individuals with disabilities, preventing equal representation. Thus, we must break these barriers so that disabled people can engage with life as they desire in the built environment and society.

For StrongGo, a more accessible world is a better world, and we’re proud to provide TekWay High-Performance ADA Systems to universities, city centers, mass transit stations, and new builds. Contact us today to find out more information by emailing csd@stronggo.com.

Sources
https://www.enableme.ke/en/topics/4-common-barriers-for-persons-with-disabilities-6757
https://epicassist.org/the-biggest-barrier-for-people-with-disability
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/disabilityandhealth/disability-barriers.html