Dancing on our Disabilites Radio Interviews
Bullying is common place in the workplace
Bullying anywhere at any time is totally unacceptable. We tend to think of bullying as something experienced early on in life somewhere between K and 12th grade. We call for intervention from teachers, parents, and bystanders, which can be either children or adults. The sad thing about it is that bullying is so pervasive that it really affects people from all walks of life and all ages. Entire lives have been affected by bullying and public shaming. Unfortunately, individuals who feel the need to intimidate others because they are in a position of power are selective and sneaky about how and when they exert their negative verbal assaults. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to prove that you are a victim of bullying, which further exacerbates the victim’s reluctance to come forward and acknowledge what they are experiencing.
Bullying is often intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal slights, dismissive conduct, and demeaning comments.
As a disability advocate, I find it repugnant that people with special needs are frequently bullied. It can happen just about anywhere. However, schools and the workplace are often the perfect settings. It can be carried out in such a subtle manner that when it first happens, the victim is so taken aback, that they do not react in a manner which disarms the bully. Each time it occurs it becomes more difficult to address, and this will only empower the bully. It is a vicious cycle. Verbal abuse and bullying of any kind results in deep psychological scars, and the victim will suffer long-term effects. What we do know is that it is based on societal attitudes regarding inequality. All minorities can become targets, whether it occurs because of a disability, gender, or religious and ethnic differences. It takes many forms and can be subtle or openly vicious. Often people with disabilities receive more their other minorities because they are not likely to complain about abuse.
We all know and are aware that these bullying atrocities occur all the time. So what can we do as a society to help prevent it from happening? As civilized people, we must support those that have been subjected to cruel bullying?
Vigilance is the key. Reporting to proper authorities is essential. We have the power to stop these practices before they become commonplace. The Internet with all its glory and wonder has become an easy place for people inclined to inflict violate other people’s dignity. It has been used as an anonymous way to inflict harm on others.
This is a practice that has become a problem in schools and the workplace. If you witness something that does not seem right, it is your responsibility to question the action and reported if it is an abuse of power.
What to look out for:
- Discrimination within the health community, education, housing, employment, or government subsidies.
- Predatory or sexual crimes
- Unethical or predatory practices
- Workplace or professional bullying
- Verbal and humiliating abuse of individuals
- Caregiver’s neglect and abuse
Dancing on our Disabilities Radio has an outstanding disability advocate visiting today to discuss the prevention and awareness of bullying, which targets people with disabilities. Cathy Alice Koyanagi our guest has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in childcare administration. She is an accomplished professional who has a lot to be proud of. Cathy is the Palm Tran Service Board Chairperson. She is the first disabled person to chair this county board. Her primary role is to facilitate the meetings. In addition, she oversees the two Palm Tran sub-committees including Paratransit for the disabled.
Cathy was born in Hawai, and at the age of 13 her family relocated to Michigan. As a married woman with two adopted daughters, she saw first-hand the bullying and intimidation her daughters experienced. Later, Cathy became ill with cancer and lost her sight. It was during this time that she first witnessed the bullying that people with disabilities experience. Although she under went the radiation, which killed the tumors, it came with a high price. Shortly after the treatment, Cathy was diagnosed with radiation glaucoma, which eventually led to the complete blindness in her left eye and limited vision in the right.
Contact: Cathy Alice Koyanagi, BSW, and MS
Adjustment to Vision Loss Counselor, Motivational Speaker, Trainer, Humorist