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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