Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Discrimination, a difficult situation for the visually impaired

As the world celebrates White Cane Safety Day today, many visually-impaired people in our society feel they are still discriminated against by the general public.

Jyoti Naidu, 25, of Kennedy Avenue, Nadi, said members of the public should have a positive attitude towards people with disabilities.

Ms Naidu said despite awareness on the treatment of persons with disabilities, she was still experiencing discrimination.

Ms Naidu said when she calls her friends to go to town with her, they always give excuses and stay away.

"With the excuses I know that people do not want to come with me," she said.

"Once I went to the market to buy vegetables and asked the market vendor for the price. I was given a very rude response that if I was visually impaired why I did I come alone," said Ms Naidu.
Ms, Naidu, who is staying with her sister, said self-confidence and support from her sister has kept her going in life.

She said the major support in a visually-impaired person's life is the white cane, which they use to walk.

Another visually impaired student Ruci Senikula, 21, of the University of the South Pacific shared similar sentiments.

Ms Senikula said at the beginning when she joined USP, she used to face discrimination but now her friends at university were very understanding and she had no difficulties.


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