Here Are 17 Inspiring Stories By YKA Writers With Disability

Around a billion people live with some disability across the world, which roughly makes it 15% of the total population of the world. Each year, December 3rd is observed as International Day of Persons with Disabilities or World Disability Day. The day is meant to create awareness on the rights of persons with disabilities in all spheres of life.

Every year, the day has a different theme to encourage society to strive towards removing attitudinal and structural barriers for people with disability, while focusing on that particular yearly goal. The 2019 theme for International Day of People with Disability is “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.”

According to the UN, 2019’s theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pledges to ‘leave no one behind’ and recognizes disability as a cross-cutting issue.

So how can individuals get involved in breaking down the barriers for people with disability and make our society more accessible for them? As we strive together to work towards this goal, here are some inspirational stories from some YKA users with disability who understood the power of writing and wrote these impactful stories on the platform to promote awareness on disability rights:

1. Mental Health Warriors: When ‘Disability’ Is a Life Sentence

“When you’re a person living with a disability, you not only deal with the limitations of your own body and limitations of the infrastructure, but you also deal with the limitations of other people’s attitude. It impacts you in ways that you don’t realise immediately”  writes Sweta Mantrii.

Read the full story here.

2. Years After Passage Of Disability Act, Digital Accessibility In India Still A Distant Dream

“Despite the growing progress in technology and India’s home-grown initiatives like Digital India and Make in India—we yet have a long way to go to provide an inclusive space for People with Disabilities”, writes Nipun Malhotra

Read the full story here.

3. Disability Is No Reason To Not Be Treated As Equals by Shorya Sood

“I have cerebral palsy, and I am physically challenged. Due to the transferable nature of my father’s job, I had to change schools on a frequent basis and changing school every time became a tedious task for me, as even today most of the schools deny admission to persons with disabilities”, writes Shorya Sood

Read the full story here.

4. Inspiration Porn Is A Reality, And It Needs To Stop!  Srishti Pandey

“Inspiration porn can be defined as the portrayal of disabled people as inspirational, merely or on the basis of their disability. Just like people watch porn to feel good, similarly some people look at the disabled and objectify them to feel good about the fact that they are not in the place of the disabled”, writes Srishti Pandey

Read the full story here.

5. As A Woman With Cerebral Palsy I Reclaimed My Desire For Love Through Writing

YKA user Vinanyan Khurana

“Initially, I never wanted to tell him about my feelings. Then, thinking progressively, I gathered courage and expressed my love for him. Demurely he told me that he respected my feelings, but couldn’t love me the way I did. I was shattered, but glad to know that we would be friends forever. It was my first brush with love as well as rejection”, writes Vinayana Khurana.

Read the full story here.

6. A Letter To Indian Society: Why The Definition Of Accessibility Needs To Evolve

“Inclusivity is just not limited to infrastructural accessibility, but includes acceptance, by society, as an equal part of it. Our definition of accessibility is sometimes lifting up the person in a wheelchair to climb up whatever levels are required. Not only that is disrespectful but it is nothing close to accessibility”, writes Gauri Gupta.

Read the full story here.

7. The Venus Flytrap: How I Survived An Abusive Marriage As A Woman With Disabilities by Payal Kapoor

“When things continued to get worse, I realised that it would be very difficult for me to stay. But I was perpetually frightened and insecure — did I have the courage to be on my own?”, writes Payal Kapoor.

Read the full story here.

8. ‘Wheelchair Pe Hokar Aise Kapde?’ And 4 Things I Am Asked As A Woman With Disability

Disability rights activist Pratishtha Deveshwar

“The society does not expect me to smile, wear nice clothes and take selfies. It rather expects me to sit in a wheelchair with a grim expression and a dull face. My actions confused, irritated and angered them. Over the span of six years of my disability, I have learnt a few things about the perception of people regarding a girl on a wheelchair”, writes Activist Pratishtha Deveshwar.

Read the full story here.

9. How Surviving Polio Has Impacted My Personality

“Polio, which caused the asymmetrical freezing of my muscles, not only shaped my body, but also moulded my personality. A virus—something that itself exists on the border between being alive and dead—had the power to write the manuscript of my life.”, writes Abha Khetarpal.

Read the full story here.

10. What It Takes To Understand The Intimate Core Of My Disabled Self

Leading disability rights activist Anita Ghai

“While the disability experience records the pain and anguish of disabled lives, families and their disabled children both learn to resist the stigma of disability. My family was affected by the polio story, and the theme song was a ‘quest’ for a ‘cure.’ All through my life, I have negotiated with shamans, gurus, ojhas, tantric priests, and faith healers, as well as miracle cures — all to ensure that I could become a part of ‘normative’ hegemony”, writes leading disability activist Anita Ghai.

Read the full story here.

11. A Life Worth Living: My Story Of Coming To Terms With My Disability

“I sat looking outside the window with an oxygen mask, my body scarred, pain and chaos all around me; coping with a surgery that would eventually lead to starting a new life. A doctor walks in and tells me that I had lost the ability to walk, but I must not stop living”, writes Mrinalini Mallick.

Read the full story here.

12. How I Turned My Speech Disability Into My Greatest Strength

“A tendency to stammer while talking, whether during general or specific circumstances, can happen to anyone, and the symptoms may be mild or very severe, and the exact psychological causes may never be known and neither may the disability ever be cured. And it doesn’t need to be—there are strategies and therapeutic coping mechanisms to deal with it, like any other medical condition. Instead what we need is more awareness and greater empathy from society at large”, writes Archita Mittra.

Read the full story here.

13. Entering The Field Of Disabled Warriors: A Look At Accessible Video Games

“Advancement in gaming technology has revolutionised coordination, controls and graphics, making the gaming experience almost lifelike for the viewers. However, progress has been slow in the sphere of disabled-friendly gaming, which is picking up with international actors taking the lead”, writes Nipun Malhotra.

Read the full story here.

14. I Was Laughed At For My Disability, Until I Became An International UN Volunteer

YKA user Rupmani Chhetri

“As the first deaf Indian woman volunteering with the UN, the opportunity I was given in Ukraine had a life-changing impact on me. I worked towards spreading awareness about disability rights. I traveled across Europe, and exchanged experiences between India and Ukraine; between the East and the West”, writes Rupmani Chhetri.

Read full story here.


15. Stammering And Discrimination: The Nuances Behind Invisible Disabilities

“In certain circumstances, a stammer needs to be addressed as a disability that requires as much attention as visible disabilities do”, writes Alolika Dutta.

Read the full story here.

16. 5 Visually Impaired Comedians Who Are Shattering Disability Myths

“The sorry, stereotypical image of the blind man who pities himself and hates the sighted world is not what you will see if you ever happen to be at the shows of one of these comedians. Their ability to view the humour in situations makes for great stories that audiences can crack up to.”

Read the full story here.

17. Why Sexual Rights Are Human Rights For People With Disabilities

“Radha was lucky that she had access to someone who could give her non-judgmental and accurate information related to sexuality, rather than dismissing her concerns. Unfortunately, for most of the millions of people in India with disabilities, this is far from reality.”

Read the full story here.

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