Discrimination

Many of us have felt the discrimination based on our speech: from something small like a frown to material things like not getting the deserved promotion and other opportunities. Do we have a Disability Act like in America/ other countries? Even if it is there, can one really take its help to get her /his grievance addressed? We don’t have clear cut answers. TISA as a very young association needs help from a legal expert (Lahar Appiah- are you reading?). But we certainly feel that we need to do something about it. Otherwise our world and our experiences will never change. For example, in a case of an IT professional, who is denied an “on site” assignment because of stammering- a very basic response could be, writing a letter to the supervisor / director explaining: 1. Discrimination on the basis of communication abilities (and not technical skills) is not fare. Is a violation of human rights. We are demanding only “reasonable accommodation” as is the case in other disabilities. Nothing more. 2. True nature of stammering has been grossly misunderstood. We may have difficulty talking in a large group, but may have little or no problem explaining a technical issue to a client on a one to one basis. Stammering is NOT a static fixed disorder. Many PWS have become very good communicators, when provided a supportive and enabling environment.. Lastly, we, like others, should never stop working on our communication skills. And smiling.

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