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Disability Ettiquette: How To Relate With People With Disabilities
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Disability Ettiquette: How To Relate With People With Disabilities

Disability etiquette does not only apply to people with disabilities alone but each and every human on earth. People need to recognize and respect bodily autonomy and personal privacy for it is the fundamental of disability etiquette. Don’t touch or handle people with disabilities without permission. Secondly, don't ask people with disabilities intrusive questions just because you want them to feel accepted or become friends with them. Make sure you treat people with disabilities well, respect them and relate with them the same way you would relate with any person.

If a person with disabilities is not having hearing or speech impairment, speak to the person directly not to a third party, their mom, dad, friend, or “caregiver.” Don’t avoid looking at or interacting with people with disabilities. When you do so, you make them feel included and recognized as human but then don't stare are them with pity written over your face. It is cool to crack jokes when spending time with a person with disabilities but doesn't crack tasteless jokes about their disabilities. There are different disabilities, special needs, and preferences so it is important you listen and understand each and every person with a disability. Don’t behave as if you know better than people with disabilities, what they need or what is best for them.

People with disabilities are human and also have the mind of their own, don't impose your beliefs on them. Allow them expresses themselves, make sure you always get and respect their feedback too. Although we do things differently, this etiquette can help in addressing the social interaction problems people with disabilities often face.

We need to support disability rights advocates, many people with disabilities have an accessible platform and a public voice, and the disability community is getting more included and recognized as one of the most important communities across the globe. But, there have been a lot of unvarnished ableism from trolls, as well as overzealous argument and shaming from people who believe they have the answer to whatever disability-related problem is being discussed. The internet frees people with disabilities to express their true thoughts and feelings, but it also gives trolls the chance to spew hate across the internet and it is important for people with and without disabilities to oppose trolls and promote disability rights and etiquette.

Many people with disabilities have learned and to some extent taught themselves a model of living with disabilities that include being resolutely cheerful, always willing to answer questions, and dedicated to fighting hate speech and bias with adequate information.

Nowadays, people with disabilities are getting unsolicited medical, emotional, or practical advice because some people think they cannot think and research on their own. Don't talk when you are not asked to talk.

Religious leaders need to stop their random healing prayers for people with disabilities, a religious leader can say a healing prayer to those who approach them for such, they must stop their talks about how God would heal any person with disability one day if only the person has faith and total belief in God.

While unsolicited prayers, medical, physical advice can probably be categorized as well-meaning, they cross multiple personal boundaries. If we don’t accept these facts, then we are obviously not doing life, or disability, correctly. Many of us who live with disabilities all day, every day, many of us for decades, somehow haven’t ever taken the time to think of new or innovative ways to live a more independent life and that must change.

People should know that it is not a crime to ask questions from a person with a disability when it’s relevant. Observance of disability etiquette is not a license to stop listening or responding to people with disabilities.

Let a person with disabilities flow the way they want to, I mean, leave them to think about or talk about their own disability in any way they think it's cool and doesn't give them medical, emotional, or practical advice when they are not asking for such.

If a person with disabilities gets offended with your utterance or action, just say you’re sorry and move on. Live and let live.

Image credit: Photo by Author

Leave a Comment

  1. Darule
    Many people actually lack disability etiquette.
    Log in to reply.

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