Disability and our social responsibilities

The International Day of People with Disability will be observed on December 03, 2013. The day is an international observance promoted by the United Nations since 1992. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. The day takes place annually and focuses on a different issue each year.

Person with disability are the part of our society. Over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, live with some form of disability. Persons with disabilities, “the world’s largest minority”, often face barriers to participation in all aspects of society. Barriers can take a variety of forms, including those relating to the physical environment or to information and communications technology (ICT), or those resulting from legislation or policy, or from societal attitudes or discrimination. The result is that persons with disabilities do not have equal access to society or services, including education, employment, health care, transportation, political participation or justice. So, every year 3rd December observed this Day as “International Day of Person with Disabilities” to raise awareness among people. This day is celebrated nationally and internationally. This year the main theme of this day –“Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all”

disabilityWhat is Disability?

Impairment means any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function. Disability means any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. For example: When a man has fractured his right elbow joint then he has difficulty to perform his daily activities like eating, dressing, grooming etc.

Causes of Disability

There are different causes of disability. These are:

  • Inherited (genetically transmitted);
  • Congenital, meaning caused by a mother’s infection or other disease during pregnancy, embryonic or fetal developmental irregularities, or by injury during or soon after birth;
  • Acquired, such as conditions caused by illness or injury; or
  • Sometimes unknown cause

 Disability and our society

In our country disable people are facing different problem in every sphere of life. Some people think disable people are curse of our life. In our country some of family member don’t’ show other that they have a family member who is disable. They isolated him/her from society. But at present this situation is changing. Now government encourages rehabilitation of people with disabilities through rural social services program of Ministry of Social Welfare and NGOs have most successfully implemented pilot projects for rehabilitation of people with disabilities in several areas in Bangladesh. Now a disable people get free therapeutic treatment (Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy) from there. The disability issue is now highlighted in every sector. A good number of studies, reports, posters, Journals, periodical, flip charts, books, manuals, and films have been developed for effective awareness development program.


Access to education of children with disabilities is extremely limited. An un-equal educational system, a rigid and unfriendly school curriculum, ignorance and lack of awareness of parents, compounded with the inadequate knowledge of teachers and the unfriendly school environment are obstacles to promoting the education of children with disabilities in Bangladesh. Under the government system of Bangladesh, the education of persons with disabilities is under the Ministry of Social Welfare not under the Ministry of Education. This has created a big barrier to persons with disabilities to be included into mainstream education. It is estimated that only about 5 per cent of children with disabilities are enrolled in existing educational institutions.

Recently, the government has been promoting inclusive education for children with mild disabilities.

SIVUS Institute, The Society for the Welfare of Autistic Children (SWAC), Autism Welfare Foundation (AWF), SEID Trust, Scholars Special School, School for gifted children, Beautiful mind, WDASHI, PROSHIPS, PROSHISHES, CDD, CRP, CSID, DRRA are also providing services to persons with intellectual disability, autistic children and multiple handicapped for their potential development in individual and social inclusion with establishment of rights, justice and dignity.

Bangladesh Army has initiated and started activities for the education and training of the persons with intellectual disabilities, Autistic and Multiple disabilities. They run a institute name ‘‘PROYASH” for the wellbeing of persons and children with special needs. Its primary objective is to educate and train children and youths with special needs.


The government had declared about two decades back a 10 per cent employment quota for persons with disabilities and orphans. But this quota has never been properly implemented due to the lack of sensitivity of employers about the potentialities of persons with disabilities, contradictory employment policies, loopholes in the system, and a lack of proper monitoring system. A few years back, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh declared a 1 per cent employment quota for persons with disabilities in all cadre service (government) jobs.

How to prevent Disability

  • Provide sufficient nutrient food to child and mother
  • Regular medical checkup before and during pregnancy
  • Awareness raising toward people
  • Provide vaccination in appropriate time
  • If the Childs development is delay then immediately consult with doctor
  • Increase facilities of disable people

Disability will always remain in Bangladeshi society, with the entire social stigma attached to it. But in the backdrop of all the problems involved, the silver lining is that the government is showing an increasing interest on persons with disabilities, and a keen interest to work hand-in-hand with the non- governmental sector. But to make real progress in this field in a developing country like Bangladesh, an all-out effort from all quarters is mandatory. The persons with disabilities themselves, their organizations, other organizations working in this field, and all the advocacy platforms need to increase their awareness campaigns for the prevention of disability and for the recognition of the rights and privileges of persons with disabilities as equal citizens of this country.

Rabeya Ferdous, Occupational Therapist, Proyash,

Email: rabeya1988@gmail.com