Friday, August 26, 2011

There are disabled people everywhere

I watch the news about Libya and Egypt and Syria and worry. No you haven't come to the wrong blog. I see the disruption and worry about the people with disabilities living there. What happens to someone with a learning disability caught up in these events? Do people with physical and mental disabilities get through situations like this? What personal stories are unfolding, unnoticed by the news when people get separated from their families?

I assume it's informal family carers who carry the burden where there is a limited welfare state - maybe I'm wrong. The horrors of Rumanian disabled children under an earlier regime are well documented. Is it like that and ignored because it 'is old news' or are they isolated individuals, in separate families, left to cope as best they can, invisible among the political upheavals. 'Simple' things like power cuts, water supply problems etc. can be life threatening for people already on the edge - put violence and disruption on top and people who can't, or don't understand how to, run away, are likely to be some of the early casualties.

I know it's war and bad things happen but that doesn't make it any better. I don't have answers and I feel I should put something positive in rather than just bemoan the situation. I can only hope people like Medcin sans Frontiers and similar organizations are picking up some of the pieces and give them money to help - I don't even know if they're in war zones.

When you next see the news, think also of the disabled and the people that care for them, caught up in it. And if you can see a way to help, do so (and spread the word).

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