5 No-No's When Dealing with the Disabled

Photographer: Dan BO #unsplash

Photographer: Dan BO #unsplash

Although this post isn’t meant to be particularly humorous, it may draw a smile.

1)   All disabled folks are not alike.
Disability is a strange and limiting concept, attempting to describe something quite complex. Disabled may conjure up some visions of hunchback villains in fairy tales but a disability can be either temporary or permanent, can be physical, psychological, or intellectual, and can affect men or women, young or old. Disability can strike any one of us, at any point in our lives.

2) All disabled folks don’t know each other.
Just because your nephew Joe is in a wheelchair does not mean I know him! I am often humored by the assumption that I must know them because I have a disability as well.

3) Just because the disabled may have a physical issue does not mean there is an intellectual disability as well.
Having one disability does not automatically mean there is an additional disability. For instance, low vision does not mean my hearing is gone, too! Don’t shout at me because I’m blind, I can hear you.

4)  Some disabilities are hidden.
I may look fine and have good days, but I may be hurting and struggling to make it through the day. It is perfectly natural for me to put on a smile and get on with life.

 5) If you see someone struggling, that doesn’t particularly mean that they want (or need) your help.
Don’t assume we want help, just ask. It is not rude to ask if we want help, however it is rude to assume we do. Relax, we don’t bite… hard.