Human rights are innately known by all walks of life, they are universal. Feeding an orphan is a responsibility, not an extra credit assignment. Picking up an elderly man's dropped keys at the grocery store is a responsibility, not an excessive chore. Holding the door for a mom pushing her daughter in a wheelchair (even if she's far behind) is a responsibility, not a tremendous mission. It seems that most people get this part of serving others.
But there's a flipside of people's perception to those with impairments, disabilities, and/or handicaps that many people continue to hold true. Having had endless experiences with various people of different cultures, mentalities, illnesses, delays, and of different ages over the past 10 years, I know that one thing is certain. Every human regardless of their strengths and weaknesses deserves and desires to have their dignity nurtured. No matter how young, how old, how sick, how healthy. We all want it, we all need it, and we all deserve it. But the ugly truth is apparent when people are referred to as their diagnosis, when the handicapped parking spot is taken "for just a couple of minutes", when people are looked and judged according to their weaknesses rather than viewed through their strengths. No human is complete, and yet no person is incomplete.
Islam, not just a religion, has but a system prescribed by God, has instilled universal rights, and continues to spell them out for anyone and everyone, Muslim or not. So much so, that Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him) taught humanity that "No one is a true believer until you wish for your brother what you would wish for yourself." (authentic saying: Bukhari & Muslim). This means that all the amenities that are out there for people has to be out there for all people regardless of what "issues or tests are laid out to be dealt with by individual beings.
God created everything and everyone in perfection. A boy born blind born was a child born with a Plan. A girl born deaf was a child born with a Plan. A girl born with cerebral palsy was a child born with a Plan. People can either feel sympathy in their hearts that in essence does not lead to encouraging these people with hardships simplicity. Or they can feel empathy, which fosters motivating and creative means in giving others a chance to succeed. Realizing their weaknesses and incapacities in a view of optimism, and opportunity will enable people to appreciate what they take for granted, and it will provide a means of support for those with impairments, disabilities, or handicaps an opportunity to flourish into their potential. Accommodating others should not be a thing we do whenever we can, it has to be a thing we always do blindly! Glory belongs to God. SubhanAllah.
Islamic rulings demand the wealthy to give wealth, the educated to educate, the truly pious people to really care enough to make a difference and comprehend that no two people are alike. So just because a child has specific weaknesses that most children don't, and just because by a country or state does not enforce specific schools or institutions to provide with special needs”; it should be emphasized that all Islamic schools should be “equipped” by strong faith in worship, and “required” by Allah to serve all Muslim and even non-Muslim children in the community regardless of their challenges. This becomes even truer if the setting is one of Islamic nature.
Rights that have the most direct impact on educating any child or adult include but are not limited to are: Equality; Social welfare; Basic necessities of life; Individualized Education Own Dignity & Respect Have Opportunity; Benefit of the doubt.
In regards to educating our kids, IDEA 97, a U.S law states that special education is a set of services to support the needs of children with disabilities to succeed in general education classrooms. So, it is no longer acceptable for private schools in nature who fear God, and hope for His Support to discriminate against children who were created with by God's Plan in perfection. Especially since, it is not these laws that should govern compassion. It is the Law of God, in Quran that must.
We did not earn our knowledge, our money, our home, or our health. We do not decide to have children, nor do we know where we live tomorrow. Everything that we see, hear, touch, feel, taste, and live by are not our own, they are tools that God has given us to reach Him and strive with to stay on the Straight Path of faith. Therefore, it is not right that people look down upon others, it is not right that some feel proud to have earned something…anything, and it is not our hard efforts that make something happen or work.
We as a people, Muslim or not have to continue seeking means to reach God, and if it means accommodating others to do so, to give others a chance, then surely the reward will be with God. It’s not extra credit, its not out of the way, it’s not something we should pat ourselves for. It’s a responsibility that God will ask each of on. What did you do to help another soul? What did you do to show your mercy on someone else? What did you do with the means that were lent to you to fight for the rights of others? What did you do?? Every deed counts. Sometimes the ones you don’t consider are the most important ones to complete.
So please remember the next time you see anyone with a need, do not define them by that: He or she is a person with an issue, not an issue that happens to be a person. A disabled lady is a lady with a disability. An amputee is a man with an amputated leg. That is the least we can do, and in result we will see the person first for who she or he is, and not the disability they own.