The term stigmatisation is often used when a person or object is pushed into a particular pigeonhole. It very often refers to one-sided characteristics attributed to someone, which can lead to prejudice, as in the case of people with (physical) disabilities. In some cases, stigmatisation can even lead to discrimination.
THE ORIGIN OF STIGMATISATION
Where does stigma actually come from? Stigmatisation has actually existed as long as humans have existed. It is a kind of protective mechanism to avoid uncertainty and choose safety. For example, when faced with a person with a (physical) disability, people always try to ignore it a bit. They do this because they don't want it themselves or don't want to be confronted with it.
The effect of stigmatisation on individuals facing it cannot be underestimated. It can lead to discrimination, but even to self-stigmatisation. In that case, the persons with the disability are victims of their own stigmatisation and this can have serious consequences for the mental well-being of that person.
OLYMPICS FOR HEROES
There are a lot of initiatives to combat stigma, e.g. among people with (physical) disabilities. A well-known example is the Paralympic Games. The same as the Olympics, but for people who have already been through something. Their aim is to break the stigma by showing what these athletes can do. During these Games, it is not about the disability but about the sport. Also, the Invictus Games, a sporting event for military personnel and veterans who have been wounded, is an example. A lot of well-known people, including Prince Harry, put themselves behind these initiatives.
CAN WE MOVE TOWARDS A WORLD WITHOUT STIGMA?
The success of the Paralympics shows that stigma can indeed be broken. 2 key issues in this are: educating and discussing. Only by making the subject discussable in society and giving people information can something be done about it. By changing a view, the stigma can be broken.
MY ADD ON ALSO JUMPS INTO THE BREACH AGAINST STIGMATISATION
By developing innovative products that are not only practical but also beautiful, My Add On tries to do its bit in the fight against stigmatisation. My Add On's vision is to strive for an accessible society for everyone without stigmatisation. This is also immediately reflected in the mission statement "to empower and include". The realisation of this vision and mission is done by making trendy tools in an inclusive way. In this way, we try to help break the stigma. My Add On is therefore full for inclusion and against stigmatisation.