Disability is a human rights issue. Disabled people are part of the diversity of anySociety and hold the same rights as others.
Disability is thus not just a health problem. It is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers. These barriers and attitudes can only change if we understand the ways in which people with disabilities are denied their rights, then attitudes and practices can change, and barriers can fall.
Generally, the analysis carried out shows that, the life of persons with disabilities in Cameroon is marked by acts of discrimination, prejudice and inequality. The results indicate that persons with disabilities face difficulties ranging from discriminatory attitudes, abuse and violence.
“Sometimes, when I go shopping, if I don’t pay attention someone will do me wrong. So I always ask if I can touch what I buy to be sure of what I am buying…”
“… There is a man whom I gave money to help me buy certain things for my daily needs. For example, what sells for 200 francs, he told me sells for 500. He didn’t reimburse me because the money was finished..“
The mobility impaired persons reported that drivers of public service vehicles deliberately ignore them and treat them with contempt as evidenced in the statement below:
“…I tried to board a cab, when the driver noticed that I will cause delay, he drove away suddenly…”
Basic needs of belonging and brotherly love are hard to fulfil because the community considers persons with disabilities as inferior beings. People feel ashamed to walk or be seen in the company of, or be friends with persons with disabilities as revealed below:
“I attended a funeral three years ago and was sitting nearby someone, the person asked me to sit away from him…”
The following action was a wonderful turning point in the protection of the rights of the disabled as well as the integration of the disabled into the Cameroonian society.
The transformation of Cardinal Paul Emile LEGER National Rehabilitation Centre for Persons With Disabilities (CNRPH) in to a Public Administrative Establishment by Decree N°2009/096 of March 15, 2009, complex of holistic care of all types of disabilities that will become a real pole of excellence in Cameroon and in the sub-region in terms of rehabilitation.
Societal attitudes represent a barometer of socio-cultural values and influence how people choose to act and respond to others.
In the particular context of disability, negative attitudes have led to stereotyping, labeling and discrimination. These views play an important role in facilitating, or hampering, the enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities.
The sources for statistics in this section are: Ann Elwan, Poverty and Disability; a background paper for the World Development Report, World Bank (1999) and the DFID Issues paper ‘Disability, Poverty and Development’ (2000)
Tiffany J. et Al. “Prototypes as an indirect measure of attitude toward disability groups.” Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin. Vol. 48, No
02. P.89, January 2005.