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Jakarta Post

Opportunity is key to integrating the disabled

  • Mabel Parengkuan

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Jakarta   /   Thu, October 11, 2018   /  09:02 am
Opportunity is key to integrating the disabled Helpful hands: Asian Para Games volunteers assist a spectator in a wheelchair to enter a shuttle bus after watching track and field events at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Monday. As many as 8,000 volunteers have been deployed as helping hands to make sure everyone attending the multisport event gets proper assistance. (The Jakarta Post/Seto Wardhana)

The 2018 Asian Para Games, which opened last Saturday, testifies to how far we have come in our treatment of people with disabilities. It further shows how competitive sports can bring nations together to face common challenges.

The disabled have long had their own champions, such as Helen Keller and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who have proven that disabilities are not something to impede, but challenges to overcome. 

There is perhaps a sense of irony, though, that it took World War II to drive home the message that those losing an arm or a leg are not necessarily ready for the scrap heap just yet, but still have much to offer the world. 

Indeed, on the opening day of the London Olympics in 1948, a parallel event took place on the grounds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, United Kingdom, in which 16 injured servicemen and women competed in an...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.