An interview with Jang Hye-yeong, who now runs the project “Grown-up” impressed me a lot. The recent conflict over the construction of a special needs school in Gangseo-gu told me that people with disabilities tend to live in a world that is largely made for the able-bodied. Not to mention we are the ones who make them feel isolated from people who do not have disabilities. What came to my mind so far is that it is our common response to fear or to ridicule people who appear to be different from us. People with special needs, however, have the same rights as everybody else and want dignity and respect from every individual.
The “Grown-up” project got me thinking about courage. The courage to talk about differences. I believe in the power of her works, and that it will affect society in a good way, including her sister Hye-jeong. It is a must for Korean society to have a way for everyone to mingle with social minorities. Her courage will influence people to stop focusing too much on the disabilities others have and start focusing on the kind of person he or she is. I hope I can live in a society where people are open and patient with the differences of others.
Dept. of Central Asia Studies ‘17
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