3 Agonizing assumptions people make about people with disabilities

assumptions about disability

This is the internationally recognized symbol for accessibility (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think it’s a unique problem that people with disabilities face, and frankly a problem that you will deny, but the reality is it is a real issue.

I know I am going to make some blanket statements here, but they need to be made.

  1. You assume because you know one person with the same disability as another that it impacts them the same way
  2. You assume without being aware your even doing it that that there is a cognitive component to the person’s disability and either talk to a full grown adult like there a child
  3. perhaps worse talk about the person with a disability as though they aren’t there when they are physically present and instead talk to the people they are with e.g. what would she like to drink instead of asking me directly

The day I figure out why people think that this is an acceptable way to interact with people with disabilities – is the day I will be a millionaire. Regardless of why it occurs it is one of the main barriers for persons with disabilities and the major reason we have access barriers in my opinion.

The solution to the problem is a simple one if you ask me. First start by trying to place yourself in the shoes of the person with a disability would you like to be treated in the manner I outlined above? Probably not

Recognize that a mobility or speech disability doesn’t always mean there are issues of cognition. In many cases of people with cerebral palsy who have speech issues it is directly related to the muscles in their face and tongue that is causing the speech difficulty and not there cognition – my point simply is nonverbal doesn’t equal not intelligent!

What assumptions have I missed that people make about people with disabilities? tell me in the comments below

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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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