In order to realise the rights of persons with disabilities in Jordan, in the education system and beyond, Asia founded the “I am Human Society for Rights of People with Disabilities” with four other people in 2008. The organisation is the first of its kind in the country – and already has more than 4,500 members from all over Jordan.
It educates people about the rights of persons with disabilities and raises awareness of the issue through campaigns, projects and numerous initiatives. “Most people don’t know that there are laws to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. I want to change that,” Asia says with a confident smile.
The organisation also works in educational institutions. Workshops are held with students at the Faculty of Education at the University of Jordan. The topic: obstacles faced by persons with disabilities and ways to overcome them. The aim is to finally make the education system fairer and more inclusive.
Above all, Asia wants to drastically improve the lives of people like her. The I am Human Society takes a holistic approach that includes persons with disabilities, their whole family and the wider community. “Family is incredibly important. I was lucky. My parents accepted me for who I am. And they have imposed this attitude on our whole family. ” Asia laughs heartily. “That has strengthened me a lot inside.”
Persons with disabilities and their families receive free education and training from the organisation, which supports them in all relevant social and financial issues. What rights do I have as a person with disabilities? Who will support me if my child has a disability? The mobile outreach teams, made up of volunteers from all over Jordan, are already active in almost all parts of the country and also reach people in remote places.
However, there are still people who fundamentally reject persons with disabilities, people who ask why someone in a wheelchair is at a party or why a child with a visual impairment is in the same class as other children. Nevertheless: “Many things are already better today,” Asia says.
“For example, I can move around more easily with my wheelchair. Sometimes there are ramps, and more and more people accept me as I am.” These constant changes give Asia the strength to continue advocating for equal rights for persons with disabilities every day.