Can the playing field really be made level for special needs persons?

Greetings!  I’m Christian Robicheau, assistant editor at and it’s the last weekend of August.
I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable August and hopefully September will be as delightful.
Today, I am pleased to introduce an editorial by our president Donna J. Jodhan.
Here now is Donna.
I wish you a great weekend.

Can the playing field really be made level for special needs persons?
In my humble opinion, the playing field for special needs persons has never been level and many argue that the playing field is becoming more and more slanted and undaunting for special needs persons.  True it is that we have seen several positive changes within the past two decades.  Technology is allowing and enabling more and more special needs persons to keep abreast of information through the Internet.  There are some corporations and governments that are making efforts to include special needs persons in their labor forces.  However, there’s still much to be done.
After two decades, statistics still show that the unemployment rate among
blind and visually impaired persons are above 80% and that about 70% of special needs persons live below the poverty line.  There are still barriers to employment, to housing, and to services.  Special needs persons still face financial barriers, but most of all they continue to be challenged by attitude.
The United Nations has been making noises about strongly encouraging its members to be kinder and gentler towards their special needs populations.  Each year in early December they set aside a day to remember the disabled but unfortunately it’s not enough.  Many leading world governments are still not doing enough to help special needs persons.  The United States recently celebrated the 17th anniversary of the ADA legislation and for all of its good intentions many advocates are still very much dissatisfied with the results.  In Canada, many refer to the government as mean spirited as there is still no legislation in place in that country that would force companies and agencies to treat special needs persons with equality.  In Britain and Europe as a whole, there seems to be some concerted effort towards improving the lives of special needs persons but the same can’t be said for the rest of the world.
We need to see governments take more affirmative action.  Governments need to start setting the example and they also need to start taking more responsibility.  For as long as special needs persons pay taxes, then they are entitled to equality and entitled to receive equal accessibility to information be it through websites, by phone, or anything else.  If governments take the lead then it’s almost an assurity that companies will follow along with the rest of the mainstream population.
Finally, we need to see governments take a firm stand towards those so-called agencies that continue to fill their pockets with donations from well-meaning members of the public, instead of using these donations to better the lives of those who they say they’re helping.  Too many agencies continue to get away with not providing adequate services to special needs persons. 
Have a great September.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan wishing you a terrific day and weekend.
To reach me, please send an email to and I would be delighted to send you an electronic copy of our latest newsletter.
Here is a complete list of where you can view Donna’s blogs and editorials.
Donna Jodhan!  Advocating accessibility for all 
a weekly feature on important answers to consumers concerns
Weekly blogs for language professionals and accessibility consultants
A monthly editorial on issues on diversity

About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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