The prevailing attitude is that such individuals are incapable of participating in or contributing to society and that they must rely on welfare or charitable organizations.
Previously, people with mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy resided at home and were cared for by their families.
As Executive Director for Focus on Ability of Persons with disability in Malawi MC Donald Nyirenda says, people with disabilities can do anything that a normal person can do.
Nyirenda said this during the first ever focus on ability short film festival in Malawi. The Executive Director said looking at the challenges persons with disabilities face in society, his organisation came into being as a tool for mindset change.
“We are promoting ability of persons with disability exposing their talents and skills,” said Nyirenda adding that when society appreciates and accepts a person with disability the society has no choice.
The guest of honor at the annual festival Acting Director of Rehabilitation Services at MACOHA Montfort Mwalija commended Focus on Ability Society for the initiative of exposing talents and skills of persons with disabilities. He said it is one way of changing of the mindset in society.
Tawina (in red) recieving dummy cheque from Mwalija
At the ceremony, Tawina Maluwa won 2017 Focus on Ability best short filmmaker. Her film titled Like Any Other Teacher depicts ability of persons with disabilities.
In recent years, terminologies that were there to describe people with disabilities have been changing along with changes in society’s attitudes.