Interviewer: Student’s name
Interviewee: Anna S., 16 years, a person with the physical disability
INTERVIEWER: Hello, Anna! Thanks for devoting your time to talk to me. How was your day at school?
ANNA: Hi! You are welcome, it is my pleasure. The day was pretty usual. I had math and literature classes, and I had an art circle after classes.
INTERVIEWER: Anna, please, tell me about your family. Who do you live with?
ANNA: I live with my parents, grandmother and my brother Ben.
INTERVIEWER: As far as I understand, you study in high school. What do you like most and least about being in school?
ANNA: At school, I made many friends who support me now. I like spending time there; I like going to the library and reading something interesting. I like our teachers. They are devoted to what they do, and that inspires me to study harder and to know more than I do now. However, many people at school do not understand me. Some of my classmates either ignore me or treat me indulgently. Sometimes it might get frustrating.
INTERVIEWER: Let us talk about those who support you then. When you get together with your friends, what do you like to do?
ANNA: We like many things. My best friend Monica and I are going to the art circle. There, we learn to draw paintings or make pottery from clay. I like to do something with my hands, I like various crafts. I also like going for a walk with my friends. When there is nice weather outside, nothing can keep me from going to the park to take a fresh breath. Besides, we like reading books and sharing our impressions of them.
INTERVIEWER: I suppose, you are a very energetic person. Still, what do you do on nasty days? Do you watch TV?
ANNA: Of course I do. I like talent shows the most. They carry their message to the audience that everybody is special and that the greatest treasures are sometimes hidden from the world.
INTERVIEWER: If you had the time and money, where would you like to travel, and why?
ANNA: I would like to go to Bali because I like nature there. I saw a National Geographic series about it, and it impressed me so much that I decided to go there one day.
INTERVIEWER: If you could change one thing about how people view your disability, what would it be?
ANNA: I would like people not to perceive me as helpless. Of course, I cannot walk and run and sometimes I have accessibility problems when I am going somewhere; sometimes steps are too high, and some places may lack the entrance for people like me. In those cases, I usually ask people in the street for help. However, I live my life to the fullest; I can still study and do many exciting things. My parents believe in me, and I hope to become a great person in the future.
INTERVIEWER: Thank you, Anna! It was great talking to you! Goodbye and good luck in everything you do!
This interview showed me how wrong I was. I often perceived disabled people as unhappy because of their status. However, these people are no different from others. They study, they socialize, they have dreams, and they go for them. All they need is to be treated as equals with no pity and indulgence. In addition, I realized how lucky I am to be healthy. I cannot imagine my life in the wheelchair but now I know that it is not the end of the world.