Disabled People

Dear Editor,
In the previous issue, you argued that disabled people have no reason to complain. You claimed that they enjoy the same rights as the other normal citizens. You may be right at some point. But, the situation of the disabled is still far from being perfect. My name is Alice and here is my story.
1. When I left university, most people weren’t bothered by the fact that disabled people often couldn’t find jobs. Anti-discrimination laws relating to disability were only introduced in 1996. But I managed to find employment as a computer programmer and worked my way up. After 10 years, I did an MBA- a business qualification but then I couldn’t get work because of the economic depression in the early 1990s. I got so frustrated at being beaten up by people who were less qualified than me. One company turned me down, saying their building wasn’t suitable for someone in a wheelchair. But when the person they appointed didn’t work out, they came back to me. I was short of money and in an urgent need for work but I didn’t take the job. The building hadn’t changed, so what suddenly made it suitable?
2. Eventually, I set up a small business with my sister, a legal adviser who also used a wheelchair. I had four good years before moving back into the commercial sector. Then, I saw the Railtrack job advertised, went for it and here I am. My role at Railtrack is to improve the train service so that it would be easier for disabled people to use trains. As a wheelchair user, I understand how it feels to be abandoned on the platform.
3. Nowadays, employers are less likely to discriminate unthinkingly. However, discrimination still exists although it is difficult to pinpoint because no one wants to be prejudiced. They wouldn’t turn your application down in a frank way. They prefer to point out potential problems, saying such things as “Where are you going to park?” and “We have heavy doors or high stairs here.”
4. I don’t think there’s anything special about me, but I hope I’m making life easier for disabled people. The future will be brighter for all of us as anti-discrimination laws are being implemented and public places have become more accessible for disabled people. I’m confident the description “normal” will one day be broadened to include us as equals in society.

With best regards
Alice Maynard
(adapted from Women’s Own 2002)

I. COMPREHENSION:

(15 points) Read the letter and answer the questions.

A. Which one of these three questions is Alice answering in the text? Tick the correct option. (1 point)

1. How has your handicap affected your career?
2. How did you become a handicapped person?
3. What advice would you give to disabled people?

B. Reorder these statements according to the sequence of events in the text.
Write the suitable number from 1 to 6 in front of each statement. (3 points)

1. Alice started a family business.
2. Alice left university.
3. Alice found a job with Railtrack.
4. Alice was denied a job because she was handicapped.
5. Alice got a second degree.
6. Alice was offered a job but she turned it down.

C. Are these statements true or false? Justify. (4 points)

1. Alice is a proud person.
………………………………………………………………………………………………..
2. Alice is the only handicapped person in her family.
……………………………………………………………………………………………..…
3. Alice thinks the handicapped are nowadays treated as normal people.
……………………………………………………………………………………………..…
4. Alice is optimistic about the future of the disabled.
……………………………………………………………………………………………..…

D. Complete this summary with reference to paragraph one. (3 points)

In spite of her handicap, Alice was able to …………………………..But during the 1990s depression, a company claimed that they could not employ Alice because ……………………………………………..However, the real reason was …….………………

E. Find in the text words or phrases meaning nearly the same as: (2 points)

1. got a higher position at work (paragraph 1) = …………………………….…………
2. established, created (paragraph 2) = …………………………………………………..
3. to find or define exactly (paragraph 3) = …………………..………………..…………
4. sure; convinced (paragraph 4) = ……………………………………………….………

F. What do the underlined words in the text refer to? (2 points)

1. they (paragraph 1) = ……………………………………………………..………………
2. it (paragraph 2) = ……………………………………………………………………….
3. they (paragraph 3) = …………………………………………………………………….
4. us (paragraph 4) = ……………………………………………………..………………..

II- LANGUAGE (10 points)

A. Replace the wrong words in this paragraph with correct alternatives. (2 pts)

Women certainly play important roles in society. However, they are still deny ……..many of their rights, especially in developed…………… countries. So, more legal………………. have to be made so that women can improvement……………………. their status.

B. Complete the following paragraph with words from the list below. (3 points)
(ineffective – measures – provide – effect – century – sewers)

The last………………………., Brazil saw a population boom in its cities, making it more difficult to ………………………. basic necessities like drinkable water and ………………………. in poor areas. Environmentalists complain that the government’s reactions were slow and ………………… But officials ask if it makes sense to discuss antipollution ………………….and the greenhouse ………………………. when families go without food and medicine.

C. Give the correct form of the verbs between brackets. (3 points)

1. Stricter antipollution methods have to (implement) ……………………..
2. You’re late again! You should (take) …………………. a taxi.
3. Salah (set up) …………… his own business long before he actually retired.

D. Fill in the blanks with words or phrases from the list. (2 points)
For instance – as – More than that – However

There is no harm in using humour at work and school. …………………., it should be used with moderation …………………… excess in the use of humour may have negative results. ………………., it may bring about negligence or underachievement …………………, excessive use of humour can reduce the level of seriousness within the work environment.

III- WRITING (15 points)

Write a descriptive paragraph about a person who has managed to succeed in his/her
studies despite his/her handicap.

 

 

 

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