~ breaking boundaries ~

How the Able-Bodied Can Be More Respectful (As Told By People with Disabilities)


Too many able-bodied people are still rather uneducated about how to go about interacting with people with disabilities. A lot of us can be tactless, rude, invasive, overly sensitive or just plain annoying; I personally believe that everybody who interacts with people (all people) on the regular should try to just be nice. You never know how your words and actions could affect somebody (and I think it’s a cop-out to expect people to just deal with your own bad behaviour).

In an effort to educate myself, I looked for answers on the internet. In an attempt to not talk over anybody, I have not re-reported my findings. Instead, I have compiled comments, tweets and other social media posts of people with disabilities. I know that part of being a good ally is listening rather than silencing, even if you have the best intentions.

I hope we can all be mindful of the following:

  1. Don’t force yourself into someone’s space; ask if they need assistance

Just got #ablesplained – when ablebodied ppl assume we can’t possibly know what is going on/are worried we escaped a carer. @everydayableism

— Dr Rich Boden FLS (@BodenLab) May 13, 2016

  1. Keep from giving unsolicited advice.

  1. Don’t be condescending

Disability stops me from doing some things I’d really love to do. But it doesn’t stop me from having a life worth living. #MeBeforeAbleism

— RealSocialSkills (@rsocialskills) May 29, 2016

@w00shie @EverydayAbleism things to say well done about: my degree, my amazing lipstick. things not to say well done about: me being outside

— Caroline Marie (@lookingforcm) May 15, 2016

  1. Don’t project your own feelings onto people with disabilities

#MeBeforeAbleism because I am NOT your sob story, NOT your inspiration, and certainly NOT here to benefit the lives of able-bodied people.

— Ophelia Brown (@bandaidknees) May 24, 2016

  1. Never dismiss experiences or feelings. Listen.

There’s like this facade of bravery that PwDs put up, which is *expected of us. #disability #AbleismExists

— Katie (@SciPhiKat) May 9, 2016

We are strong, & never cry [in front of u] bc it makes YOU feel bad. #disability #AbleismExists

— Katie (@SciPhiKat) May 9, 2016

Everybody and every body is entitled to respect.
How else can abled-bodied people be more mindful?

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