|Title||From stigma to empowerment – A journey to reframe disability.|
|Publication Type||Book Chapter|
|Book Title||Inclusive Learning and Educational Equity|
|Publisher||Springer International Publishing|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Keywords||Accessibility, Disability, Education, Empowerment, NTDs, Social prejudice, Stigma|
Much has been written about the way society misinterprets impairment and how important it is to promote a new discussion framework on this issue. However, what should happen when people with disabilities don’t believe in their own capabilities? Working with the blind and their relationship with visual images, I have faced situations in which visually impaired individuals were so influenced by misleading ideas about their impairment that those stigmatized viewpoints became entrenched in their own experiences. By discussing some experiences I have had in my research and describing the scenarios of social mobilization and accessibility rights in Brazil and in the United States, I argue how social barriers and the lack of information can reinforce the stigma on people with disabilities. This historical and cultural context of prejudice can lead to a low self-perception and contribute to the loss of opportunities and important social interactions. I claim that education and the articulation of the organization and social movements are key to strengthening the identity construction of these impaired individuals and promote a more inclusive society.