Points to Consider for our Disabled Students

Dear Gazi University Students,

Rather than having pity on or externalizing individuals with disabilities, we can develop a different and more constructive attitude. First, we have to understand them. And to understand them, we have to learn a few things about them…

Disability : The situation where a part of the body or an organ cannot perform its function sufficiently.

Depending on the disability, one may not be able hear, see, learn or walk as most people can. When these limitations start to limit the social life of the individual, then the individual is no more just a disabled but he/she is also a handicapped. Handicap is the limitation the individual faces in fulfilling the requirements of social life.

Special Education : It is defined as the education conducted by specifically trained personnel to meet the education needs of students that need such special education, by using specially developed education programs and methods in environments fit for their disabilities and characteristics.

Objective : In line with the general objectives and principles of National Education, the objective of special education is to raise up individuals that need such special education so as to make sure they become productive and happy citizens that can fulfill their roles in the society, have good interpersonal relations, can work in coordination with others and adapt themselves into their environment. Also, the objective is to develop their basic life skills, and prepare them for life by teaching them different fields of professions and jobs.

So, what should we do?

Beyond an ethical responsibility, it is an obligatory duty to provide disabled individuals with a good life. Everyone has to do something as much as he/she can do in an attempt to facilitate the life of the disabled. First of all, the emotional worlds of the disabled, damaged due to wrong attitudes must be repaired. Feeling sorry for disabled persons is human, but we must not reflect or manifest that we feel sorry for them.

Some people tend to turn back and start staring when they see a disabled person. This is a very sad situation for the disabled person. If we get interested in their disabilities, then their attention focuses constantly on their disabilities, thus leading them to consume their life force. Rather than getting interested in their disabilities or incapacities, if we get interested in what they can succeed, they will also see that they are indispensable members of the society and thus they will take a more active role in social life.

We, Gazi University Disabled Advisory Unit, try our best in order to meet the needs of our disabled students. Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. For this we need your help. Below is a list of suggestions that you might consider doing in the University:

  • You can form voluntary reader groups for your visually impaired friends.

  • While one of your disabled friends is doing something, help him/her verbally and not physically. This would ensure your disabled friend become more independent.

  • You can share notes with your disabled classmates who because of their hearing or visual impairments, cannot take notes during the courses.

  • You can help your friend in the courses that your friend has difficulty in understanding (graphs, figures, …)

  • You can help your physically disabled friends having difficulty in climbing up or coming down the stairs.

  • You can inform the employee in charge about your disabled friend who has lined up in refectory. (The employee will help hold his/her tray for the students who cannot carry it on his/her own.)

Keep in mind that these suggestions can be multiplied depending on the sensitivity you would demonstrate. No disabled person expects privilege. Yet, attention and an easier life is what each disabled person deserves.