How Disability Is Perceived in Different Parts of the World

If you are living with a disability, then you have probably come across a ton of challenges. This is often the case when you are globetrotting the world because the perception of disabilities varies depending on where you are.

Contrary to popular belief, the grass is not always greener in the Western world, as there might be instances when you cross paths with unusual experiences.

This opinion-based piece is borne out of various experiences, and it is worth mentioning that these experiences may differ from those of many other disabled people. After all, everyone has their story to tell based on their fair share of experiences.

These experiences with disability can be traced back to the few countries that were visited. The diversity that cuts across these countries is what made each of these experiences stand out from the rest.

New Zealand 

In New Zealand, there is a clamor for inclusion for all. It goes without saying that the agitation for disability rights has continued to rent the air. New Zealand is one of those countries where one cannot help but notice that mobility needs are not an afterthought.

This North Island country is one of a kind because it caters to every individual’s needs, even in the most unexpected places like the South Island.

Be that as it may, there’s still room for improvement, and it is a certainty that New Zealand will get it right. The bottom line is New Zealand is testament to the fact that disability is not inability.


If I could read your mind, I am certain that you are probably thinking that Cambodia is one of the worst places for people living with disabilities, and rightly so. There is not much to talk about as far as quality accessibility is concerned. You might be lucky if you get to stay in a 5-star hotel, but I doubt there are any that offer these amenities.

However, the people of Cambodia are generally receptive towards disabled people – even though the country’s infrastructure speaks otherwise. On the other hand, one can hardly talk ill of the Cambodian citizens, because they are known for their expression of love and compassion.


Japan is a typical example of how everyone should perceive disability. In Japan there is a general positive attitude towards disability. What is more, you will often get the feeling that you’re not out of place because no one is staring at you.

In Japan, it is impossible to come across a building that lacks amenities for disabled people. The subway is not any different either. All said and done; Japan is a haven for disability because anyone is more than willing to lend you a helping hand.


The USA ranks up there in terms of accessibility, and it is always willing to go out of its way to cater for the needs of people living with disability. On this front, the USA leads the pack. The world’s largest economy has gone to the extent of putting up a fully accessible water park.

But the US is not immune to some untoward experiences. A case in point, according to a particular person’s experience was when they had to find their way up the stairs using hands and knees, because at the time, the elevator was broken. To make matters worse, no one was willing to come to their aid.

Things would probably have been different if this situation played itself out in Europe.

So far, these are just some of a couple of personal experiences in the countries listed above, but they do not cut across the board.