Ignorance and Thoughtlessness still result in Discrimination against Cerebral Palsy Victims
Rajiv Rajan recently made headlines for cerebral palsy discrimination when he was asked to disembark from an Air Sahara plane. Because he was wheelchair-bound and suffered from some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy, which can include lack of muscle control and movement, seizures, spasms, visual and hearing problems, and hyperactivity, they believed that it was a risk to have him on board, and requested he produce either a certificate showing he was fit to fly or another individual to accompany him. Since he had neither, he missed his flight to New Delhi, where he had business to conduct.
When Air Sahara refused to let him on board, he tried with another airline, SpiceJet, and was refused again. To add insult to injury, Air Sahara called the police, and even when police vouched for him, airline officials still refused to welcome Mr. Rajan aboard.
For Most, Cerebral Palsy Discrimination a Daily Occurrence
Most victims of cerebral palsy discrimination, however, never make the news. Ask anyone who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy about getting a job, and you’ll hear story after story of cerebral palsy employment discrimination. Even walking down the street, many people mistake the seizures and spasms for drunkenness. There have been cases where a display of the hyperactivity that accompanies cerebral palsy has resulted in some thinking that they are high on drugs.
Education, Putting Aside Assumptions, Key to the Solution
Organizations such as United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and Scope attempt to educate the public to decrease this type of discrimination. Only when people are educated about the possible symptoms a person with cerebral palsy and similar diseases might show will discrimination begin to diminish.