Build a Social Inclusion through Interaction

 “When we met a person with-disability, we had a lot of fear that we might say or do something impolite. We felt confused and did not know how to behave. But, after gathering with people with disabilities, I find that indeed we have to make a lot of interactions to know who they are and what they need.” In a fine afternoon, Turistyo (30), a member of Tepus Working Group, shared his insight after joining training for trainer of CCA-DRR. Turistyo hoped that he could have more discussion with people with disabilities and create a project together.


The two-days-training held in Gunungkidul, Pekalongan, and Magelang District focused on preparing the participants to become an Inclusive Climate Change Adaptation facilitator. The participants consisted of Village Working Groups and Disabled People’s Organizations. Besides supporting the participants with Climate Change Adaptation understanding, the training also managed to build an inclusive perspective and disability right awareness among the participants. The diverse activities were arranged to engage both persons with disabilities and without disabilities, for instance, games, interview simulation, and forum group discussion. Riska Melani (23) member of Tepus Working Group also had a memorable experience during the training after trying to communicate with a deaf person even though she has absolutely no ability to speak sign language. That experience makes it less awkward to be able to communicate with other people with disabilities. Atin Prihatin (27), the member of Songbanyu Working Group, stated that the training changed his perspective about people with disability. This event allowed him to be close to people with disabilities and feel what they feel. This empathy gave him the motivation to support people with disability and help them to grow.


The interaction between people with disabilities and without disability has raised their perspective about each other. The representation of Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) showed that people with disability are capable and have equal right. “I used to pity people with disabilities, therefore usually gave them money. Through this event, I learnt that it is inappropriate. Now, I see them based on their capability and I should support them so that they could be more independent”, said Eko Sutomas (60), the public figure from Sriwedari Village.


Besides gave new perspective for non-disabled people, the diverse social interaction also encouraged local people with disabilities to rise. They could meet the live model of independent disabled people from DPO and motivated by them. “As a person with visual impairment, I feel appreciated to join this training. I never participated in any social activity before. However, through this interaction, I feel the hope that I should be more independent and active”, recounted Ngatemi (37), a person with-disability from Giripurno Village.


Moreover, the interaction led local people to initiate and plan a social inclusion strategy at the village level. The Village Working Groups have arranged the plan to involve people with disability in social activity. “In the future, we would encourage people with disabilities to participate in village development, give more attention to people with disability, and prioritize them during the disaster,” said Muis Abdillah (35), the Secretary of Pecakaran Village.

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