Monday, 6 June 2016

How the Able-Bodied Can Be More Respectful (As Told By People with Disabilities)

Too many able-bodied people are still rather uneducated about how to go about interacting with people with disabilities. A lot of us can be tactless, rude, invasive, overly sensitive or just plain annoying; I personally believe that everybody who interacts with people (all people) on the regular should try to just be nice. You never know how your words and actions could affect somebody (and I think it’s a cop-out to expect people to just deal with your own bad behaviour).

In an effort to educate myself, I looked for answers on the internet. In an attempt to not talk over anybody, I have not re-reported my findings. Instead, I have compiled comments, tweets and other social media posts of people with disabilities. I know that part of being a good ally is listening rather than silencing, even if you have the best intentions.

I hope we can all be mindful of the following:

  1. Don’t force yourself into someone’s space; ask if they need assistance

  1. Keep from giving unsolicited advice.

  1. Don’t be condescending

  1. Don’t project your own feelings onto people with disabilities

  1. Never dismiss experiences or feelings. Listen.

Everybody and every body is entitled to respect.
How else can abled-bodied people be more mindful?

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