7 Things Disabled People Would like You to Stop Saying and Doing
These days when the entire world seems to be raising awareness on a multitude of topics, it feels like everyone seems to be actively misplacing the issue of disabled people and the right ways to communicate with them. Often unintentionally offended by their interlocutors, disabled people find themselves feeling rejected, hurt, attacked, disrespected. To mend this, let’s all learn how to talk to the disabled and behave around them, shall we? Today, AC Medtran is addressing a few things you should stop saying and doing to disabled people.
Don’t Use Baby-Talk
The fact someone’s got a physical or mental disability, or has hearing aids doesn’t make them incapable of engaging in conversations or processing information or. On autopilot, some people either lower their voices when they talk to the disabled or start using baby-talk, thinking this will help the conversation run smooth. However, what it does is offend the person you are talking to.
Remember this: If your disabled interlocutors can’t understand you clearly or hear what you are saying, they’ll ask for you to speak up — no need to do it yourself.
Don’t Call Them “Brave”
The fact someone’s went on with their life after being diagnosed with a visible or invisible disability shouldn’t be considered “inspiring” or “brave”; it’s merely one’s strength and determination to get on with their everyday activities to their best possibilities. Most disabled people find that pinning them too many encouraging attributes is condescending and unnecessary. Instead of defining them through their disability, try to see them for who they are in their lives and professions. Disabled people can still be successful, gorgeous, fit, etc.
Don’t Help Without Asking
While the impulse to help another is beautiful, sometimes you have to pause before you act. Don’t assume someone needs help before you ask, and just because they are disabled. Most disabled confess that people bringing them their food already cut up, trying to help them cross the street faster, etc. is insensitive and makes them feel embarrassed and frustrated. What you can do is ask if they need help; if they say “yes,” do help out. If not, keep going.
Want to help? If there’s someone close to you using a wheelchair, you can do them a favor and get information on Wheelchair Friendly Chicago.
Don’t Be Biased
Being uneducated on any matter is the first step to finding yourself and your interlocutor in an embarrassing, misleading, and hurtful context. When you meet a disabled person, don’t assume their disability defines them.
A very present but usually unconscious bias towards disability leads to disabled people feeling rejected and incompetent – whether in a chill social context such as a gathering or a date, or sitting a job interview, and similar. Disabled people are not too different; they just live outside of the “regular” box. Understanding that everyone’s box is an individual construct instead of avoiding it altogether or being biased against it by default will bring much good – to everyone.
Don’t Ask What Their Disabilities Are
Whether someone’s disability is a visible or an invisible one, you should restrain yourself from asking what’s their disability. It’s unnecessary and intrusive. If you need to know what someone’s access needs are, ask it. Don’t get into any other details. After all, you wouldn’t ask a non-disabled person anything about their medical history, would you?
Don’t Be Too Enthusiastic/Supportive/Sympathetic
People tend not to be quite sure how to act around disabled people, so they usually go overboard. Normal reactions replace way too positive attitudes, usually out of the idea that you’ve got the responsibility to cheer and support your disabled friend. This is patronizing and rude and has no grounds in any relationship. Treat your disabled friends like equals; react as if you’d react in a situation with your non-disabled friends.
Don’t Assume All Disabled People Look the Same
If you can’t immediately detect someone’s disability, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. The common portrayals of various disabilities (i.e., blind people walking around wielding a cane with their black sunglasses on or walking around with a dog), are not all there is to how disabilities look. As long as everyone stays trapped in a limited mindset, there’ll be too many people with a disability stuck at the periphery of society. The picture in your head is not the only one valid – not all disabled people look the same just as not all non-disabled people don’t.
The more aware everyone is of how things are, the better will the world live together. Let’s all start learning about each other!
Read more: How Accessible Are Major Chicago Airports?
Where Can I Get a Wheelchair near Me?
If you or someone close to you needs medical transportation services near me, AC Medtran is here to help. AC Medtran is a medical transportation company that has been providing Medicaid to the disabled for over a decade. Choose AC Med and you can opt for doctors visits, airport transportation for individuals with special needs, elderly transportation, trained services for patients with special needs, elderly transportation, various social outings, and more.
Whether you need wheelchair transportation, dialysis transportation, adult day services transportation, or any other type of non emergency medical transportation Illinois, AC is there. Give us a call at 630.568.3850 or contact us through the contact form on the website.