Many of us have never had the fear of having our eyes masked by darkness, or the fear of having our ears muffled by silence. We live in blissful ignorance of the difficulties faced by disabled people around us – even though on average, 15 out of 100 people in the world experience some form of disability.
The theme of this short video is stated right in the beginning:
“All for Muharrem, to have one day without barriers.”
It was just another ordinary day for Muharrem as he headed out of his home with his sister, Ozlem. Due to his impaired hearing, we can see how he engaged in a conversation with his sister through signing to each other. However, he received his first jolt of surprise when a stranger walked by and said hello – with sign language. His confusion was clear as day as he slowly turned to his sister with a look of “what just happened?” while taking backward glances as said stranger continued with his stroll casually.
As Muharrem’s day progressed, he came across a shopper at the grocery store, a cashier at a bagel shop, a taxi driver who all had one thing in common when they met.
They gave him a warm smile and greeted him with sign language as if it was nothing special.
As the video progressed, Muharrem’s expressions gradually shifted from one of confusion to wonder, and when it was finally revealed that it was a surprise prepared solely for him, he broke down in tears of joy together with the crowd around him.
Indeed, there are barriers between disabled and able-bodied persons. There are mountains we have to climb and seas we have to cross in order to completely understand each other. It may be a language we have to learn or a tool to improve accessibility we have to design or operate, yet it all boils down whether if we are willing to make an effort to ensure everyone can live every day without barriers.
And I believe, with all my heart, that it is something we can achieve one day.