Things You Should Stop Saying And Doing To Disabled People

Hi friends. Let’s be real. Even if you have the best of intentions, it’s possible to get it wrong when trying to help someone with a disability. So… Here are a few “don’ts” to help you navigate through a world consisting of differently-abled people.

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Don’t disqualify my beauty.

People think that if you have a disability, you shouldn’t associate yourself with anything to do with beauty. I honestly think that in many people’s perception, disability means “ugly” or “unattractive”. Of course, it’s ridiculous. Who said being disabled disqualifies you from being beautiful? Whether a disability is visible or invisible, people with disabilities can be fabulously attractive on so many levels.

Don’t call me ‘brave’.

If you know me well enough, you know that I hate when people marvel at me, saying I must be “brave” or “inspiring” – just because I am out shopping on my own. “You must be so brave.” I find this phrase very patronizing. Don’t say this to me unless I have wrestled a tiger or a crocodile, or done something extraordinary – like fly to the moon and back. I really don’t see how I can be inspiring by getting on with life.

Don’t assume that all disabled people look the same.

I wish people would stop thinking that the world is made up of purely able-bodied individuals, and that the tiny minority who are disabled are easily recognizable. Broaden what you believe in. We don’t all look the same – just as able-bodied people don’t.

Don’t use baby-talk.

When I was younger, it was irritating when people talked to me as if I was a child or I wasn’t able to hear them. Or what about my friend who wears hearing aids. People suddenly think they need to revert to loud, slow baby-talk for my hearing-impaired friend to understand them. It’s okay. We really understand and hear you well at your regular volume and adult speech pattern!

I hope this blog helps you to understand some of the many “don’ts” that differently-abled people would prefer you just avoided.

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