Death by Society.

“This is my chance to leave them behind.”

According to recent research, this thought crosses the mind of many people in Southeast Asia during natural disasters. reports:

 “People with disabilities are four times more likely to die during a natural disaster than people without disabilities.”

Oftentimes, people with disabilities are seen as sources of shame for a family. Families seen them as the consequence for sins in a past life or of the mother during pregnancy. This oftentimes leads to the discrimination of the entire family and caretakers see a natural disaster as the perfect opportunity to rid themselves of their burden.

Even if a person with a disability is able to make it to a relief center on their own, there is no guarantee to safety. reports:

“People with disabilities are many times even turned away from shelters and refugees camps due to a perception that they need “complex medical” services.”

Basically, if a typhoon hits, people with disabilities are on their own. Societal reform could save the lives of so many. Citizens of these countries need a change in mentality to give people with the disabilities a chance for survival. Mass distribution of information about the causes of since-birth disabilities, inclusive policy change at refugee centers, and simply larger compassion for those with disabilities could lead to great strides towards safety for this community.

One Response to “Death by Society.”

  1. Jeff Dusek says:

    Very compelling topic, and an extremely important discussion to have. It seems that change needs to start at the level of the individual family unit, although that can be extremely difficult when there are such strong societal pressures. I wonder where you think technology can help here? Is it solely through disseminating information, or maybe technology can lesson the “burden” on family members?

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