When I first sat down to watch Sophie Morgan present her findings on how disabled people are treated in Ghana, I knew I was in for a hard watch. I’ve long been aware of the dying rooms in China, the fact that if I was born in many other countries I would have ended up as medical waste, and that as much as it sucks having a disability anywhere in the world, it’s far better to live in the west and have a physical condition than many other places. We live under a comfortable delusion that persons with disabilities and taken care of in the world, and the fact is very often they aren’t. Babies that aren’t ‘perfect’ in society’s eyes are very often left by the side of the road to die and so forth. The truth is, very often it isn’t about what’s best for the disabled person, or what’s best for the culture, it’s about what’s convenient.
So I knew all that. What I wasn’t ready for was what a dynamite investigative reporter Sophie Morgan was going to prove herself to be. Man alive, does she ask the tough questions FEARLESSLY. Going up to “healers” and asking them flat out how they justify killing innocent and sick children, placing herself in front of disabled people who have been chained to a post an demanding explanation as to why these people are tortured by their abled bodied peers (all of whom think she should be subject to such abuse as well), asking government officials how they can turn a blind eye to this sort of behaviour. She’s everything a journalist ought to be.
Sophie Morgan needs to be doing more reporting about the myriad of human right issues which surround the issue of disability. It is when we are able to understand that disability rights are, at their core, not about issues of making things easy but about basic human rights that we might get some traction about disability.