disability: how I suggest approaching talking about it with people

how to talk about your disability

This is the internationally recognized symbol photo via wikipedia

Talking about your disability can be a challenge at times. I was talking to a friend the other day and she was asked about how to handle it when people ask those awkward invasive questions. You know the ones about your disability? I thought I would share my personal approach keeping in mind that not everyone may be comfortable approaching it the way I do, but I thought it was worth sharing anyway. I look at people asking questions as my personal opportunity to help tell others about disability. They are sometimes invasive questions, but the way I see it, it is an  educational opportunity

why strangers ask about disability

I believe strangers ask questions to gain information. Wouldn’t you prefer to be the one talking about your disability? Rather than letting the person draw assumptions about you and your disability? I know I would. That is why I am pretty much an open book. I have run into awkward situations, where curious children turn to their parents and ask about why I am in a wheelchair. The classic answer from the parent annoys me as it is usually  “It was probably an accident.” They also sometimes scold their child for being curious.  I understand it can be embarrassing for them, but I would rather provide the accurate information about my own situation. I wouldn’t want a child to think that every young person in a wheelchair is an accident victim because the reality is not that. If there ever is a question that I am not comfortable in answering, I politely say I don’t feel comfortable answering that.

What approach do you take when people ask about your disability? Are you comfortable with this or do you avoid answering the questions of strangers? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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About lifeofthedifferentlyabled

Laura Forde founded her blog through my eyes: my life with cerebral palsy in December 2009 out of a great need she had, realizing that there was a vast gap in firsthand accounts of what life was like living with Cerebral Palsy: she knew then that the only way to see this reflected online was to create the change herself and thus this blog was born Laura was born four months premature, weighing a mere one pound three ounces and given ten percent odds for survival. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. After graduating from college, she continued writing and doing what she loves to do most; speaking to groups about her life experiences and sharing what she has learned from her journey. Her blog lifeofthedifferentlyabled was created after discovering that the online community lacked the voice of people in her situation. In its first year, the site saw over 20,000 hits from all over the world. Her readers are from all walks of life; some with disabilities, parents of children, professionals, and others who seek to gain a better understanding of the world of the differently abled. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook
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