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Common Barriers for Kids With Disabilities in 2023

August 26, 2023

August 26, 2023

There are many common barriers for kids with disabilities, even today, in 2023. There have been many advocates and social support initiatives over the past few years by organizations like Berry Family Services, found at this website: Yet, there is still a long way to go. From accessibility problems to discrimination, here are a few common problems.

An african american girl in a wheelchair takes a selfie with her dad, showcasing family love and inclusivity amid challenges faced by disabled kids.

Lack of Wider Representation

Representation in the media appears to be somewhat picky. Although there is better representation for minorities like Black people, LGBTQ+, and women than there used to be in mainstream media, there is still far to go. All groups should be represented and media must be diverse. There is also the issue of representation of people who have a disability, especially children. In the modern media, including movies, children with disabilities are still yet to be represented.

Barriers for kids with disabilities Still Includes Accessibility

Accessibility has come a long way, and there are numerous designs and technologies to help kids with disabilities of all conditions and ages. Yet even though 2023 is the year of advanced technology, accessibility in public places, parks, and even schools is still somewhat lacking. For example, many public institutions have yet to install elevators, handrails, and ramps for wheelchair access. Also, some Uber drivers still illegally refuse to accept rides from people with service dogs.

No Support in School

A lack of specialized support in school is a constant barrier for children with disabilities. And this is having a major impact on learning for them. For example, UNICEF reports that only 42% of girls and 51% of boys with disabilities complete their studies successfully. And this is not for lack of enthusiasm for learning on their part, but largely because of inadequate support by schools. Unsurprisingly, children with disabilities from lower-income backgrounds are affected the most by this.

Bullying and Social Issues

Caused mainly by a lack of understanding, there is a high rate of bullying and social stigma toward children with disabilities, and shockingly, not all of it comes from other kids. Children from diverse backgrounds can also be more susceptible to bullying, and there are still stigmas like those mentioned here:

  • Disabled or autistic children are unable to care for themselves or make decisions.
  • There is no way a child with disabilities can learn at a “normal” school level.
  • Major adjustments will need to be made to accommodate people with disabilities.
  • Kids with one type of disability also have others that need to be addressed.
  • Those with learning disabilities are like the age at which they learn.

Some stigmas are around relatively benign conditions. For example, there are still people out there who believe epilepsy is contagious and won’t socialize with someone with the condition. Harmful stereotypes are also a driving force behind some of the worst disability stigmas.

No Digital Technology Support

We live in a digitally connected world. Even so, children with a disabilities are feeling more isolated than ever. Our reliance on technology has entered every facet of society, such as making friends, accessing civic services, and education. However accessing these can be challenging for someone with disabilities. Think what it’s like for a child not to be able to play video games with their friends. Advancements are being made, like Sony’s PS5 Access Controller being fit for disabilities.

Discrimination Barriers for Kids With Disabilities

Discrimination comes in many forms for many different people. Black families, women, and kids with disabilities, especially. There have been many efforts to raise awareness about discrimination over the past few years with movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter. But can you recall one for kids with disabilities that made headline news and changed how they are included? UNICEF reports that 10% of the 240 million (2.4 million) kids with disabilities globally are denied their rights.

“UNICEF reports that 10% of the 240 million (2.4 million) kids with disabilities globally are denied their rights.”

No Preparation for Independent Living

Of course, kids grow up, and this includes children with a disability. Transitioning into adulthood can be challenging for any child, yet the challenges are infinitely harder for people with disabilities. Take being hearing impaired as an example; this could be an automatic denial from getting a job interview, as employers don’t want to deal with it.

Being underrepresented and accessibility issues are common barriers for kids with disabilities even in 2023. Despite the added bullying and stigmas thrown in, there is hope for this demographic that is also often left unprepared for life as an adult, unless family steps in to help.

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