It is estimated that there are 11 millions of disabled people in Indonesia. The problem is that they still face discrimination related to their rights.
Danang Arif Darmawan, S.Sos., M.Si., lecturer in Social Development and Prosperity (PSdK) in Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, assesed that the role of the state was still lacking in terms of guarantee and protection for disabled people.
“The state has to be present all the time, guaranteeing the rights of the disabled," he said when contacted on Thursday (3/12). For example, in terms of economy, the government has not taken side with the disabled people. Until now, the government has only defined poverty from the economic perspective whereas households with a disable person has the potential to become impoverished as they have higher expenses to spend than those that not.
“Poverty should not be defined from the economic perspective only, but also the social aspect," said the social observer.
In terms of education, the government has to provide access to the disabled to have basic, inclusive education and continuing.
“Funding cannot be equalised to that in regular schools, other aspects such as supporting education and health should also be guaranteed."
Danang highlighted the need to raise awareness among people of disabled people as these people are equal with others but they have different requirements.
Parents' Lack of Acceptance
Disabled people have the same rights as others, including of education. Unfortunately, not all disabled children can access education well. One of the reasons is the lack of parents' acceptance.
Separately, Drs. Aisah Indati, M.S., lecturer in Faculty of Psychology UGM, said currently not a few parents cannot yet accept the fact that they have children with different needs. Many are ashamed, even hide their children from others.
“Parents' acceptance is very low, they are ashamed and tend to hide the fact," she said. This causes the condition to get worse as the children eventualy receive less attention.
In her opinion, the parents have important roles in dealing with these children for them to grow well. Awareness is required for parents to willingly accept the condition and later give them their support.
“The role of parents very much affects the development of disabled children," said the lecturer who teaches the Psychology of Children with Special Needs.
Indati said these children have the same rights with other children, but they need different treatment.
Competence enhancement for mentors, teachers or inclusive schools is also needed to increase their knowledge and insight in treating children with special needs.