An all-access pass allows people to go behind the scenes, go into hallways and corridors and offices that they would normally be banned from and even speak to people they would normally not meet. This term is usually used in the context of granting privileges, but it is a right that has been denied to many people who have special needs. Those who are physically challenged, have sensory impairments and are intellectually challenged or suffer from emotional and social disabilities have to fight to be able to participate in every aspect of society that is open to the normative, ‘whole’ body. Here is why it is important that the society change in order to accommodate these individuals.
A certain percentage of the population in any country will be born with certain impairments or develop same over the years. The usual solution in developing countries is that they will remove themselves from society, depending on others to survive. Even in the ‘developed’ countries there are plenty of people who cannot live the life they were supposed to because they are suffering from depression, OCD etc. Think about it. This is several thousand, maybe millions, of people who are not contributing to the GDP in any way. Imagine the economic impact it would have if every one of these individuals were allowed to participate in the economic process by providing access? If an all terrain wheelchair was available to everyone unable to walk, they could explore the outdoors, manoeuvre stairs and generally participate like everyone else.
Since not everyone has access to Australian mobility equipment, many special needs individuals tend to limit their socializing to a few close family members and friends. Unless a social disorder like agoraphobia is genuinely hampering them, no individual should be forced to remain closeted because the social world around them cannot adapt. Becoming more open-minded and patient will help them make meaningful social and emotional connections which will ultimately help them grow as individuals. Think of the children who are deprived a bond with their grandparents or uncles and aunts or even parents because one of the former finds it difficult to interact. Once they do however, it can change worlds.
People who are differently abled are conspicuously absent from popular media and the arts, mainly because in a dog eat dog world of marketing, it is not always easy for them to compete with those who already have an unfair advantage. However, that is not to say that these individuals are not creative. One of the most famous creators in the world, Walt Disney, was dyslexic. It prevented him from learning how to read and write properly. However, no one can deny the cultural impact he has had on the world. Similarly, the more opportunities are created for children in school, through all-access programmes and mentorships, the more magic we shall see in the world.