Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Appropriate public behaviour towards adults:
Or how not to be an asshole to disabled people. If like many people you for some reason believe disabled people aren't worthy of being treated like you would another adult? This is a primer for not being a wankstain to folks.
1. If you wouldn't grab the body of abled adult? Don't grab our wheelchairs or bodies.
You'd think this wouldn't be exactly rocket science, but apparently it is. I don't care how fucking helpful you think you're being, you were taught not to grab at preschool. Ask before you touch. Especially since you can potentially seriously hurt us.
2. Don't use us as examples of "inspiration" or to explain things to other people.
Granted folks have sometimes apologised after doing this, but it's still fucking annoying, We are not your object lesson. You want to teach your kid/someone about our disability? Don't use me or anyone else as a non-consenting teaching aid. Ask first.
3. Don't demand details of why we're disabled as if you have a right to them.
Do we demand to know all about your sex life? No, so why would you think the intimate details of our lives are yours for the demanding? Corollary: Don't ask how we have sex either, it's none of your bees wax.
4. Don't run up to us and start babbling about how you saw a program with "someone who is disabled just like you" the other night.
We probably didn't see the program and even if we did, why the fuck would we want to discuss it with a random stranger who apparently thinks that our disabilities are an appropriate ice breaker topic? You probably wouldn't run up to a person of color/a woman and start talking about how you saw a person of color/a woman on TV last night because you recognise that they're people and that it's an inappropriate thing to do, so don't fucking do it to us.
5. Don't run over and start trying to set us up with some random relative/friend/whoever of yours simply being they're also disabled.
What you're essentially saying is "Nobody else but another disabled person would be interested in you", wow, talk about fucking insulting. Again, this is ignoring that we're people and yes, plenty of people find us attractive.
6. Don't talk over us/act like we don't exist.
A disabled person speaks to you or interacts with you? Don't ignore us and talk to our carer or even random nearby strangers. I assure you that the gentleman I do not even know doesn't want my bankcard either, hand it back to me like you've handed it back to the other twenty people you served before me.
7. We're not children, do not fucking baby talk us.
Seriously, no I don't have a boo boo, how would you like a punch punch up the nose nose?
8. Don't act like we're objects.
Seriously, don't do shit like sticking your foot under our wheelchair while reaching over us and then get mad when we move and run over your foot. Or just wheeling us out of the way as if we're a cart.
9. If we're in a wheelchair? Don't assume we can't feel our legs.
Wheelchair =/= paraplegic, okay. Lots of people with lots of conditions use one and no, that does not mean it's cute when your kid 'tests' it by kicking us in the legs. It's even less cute when you do it because you think we won't feel you ram us.
10. If it seems hilarious to you? It's probably not funny.
Seriously, we get the same fucking jokes day in and day out delivered with shit eating grins as if they're comedy gold. No, unbelievably, you're not the first and only to tell wheelchair user "not to speed". No, you're not the first and only one to call a cane user "hop along Cassidy".
In short, if you wouldn't fucking do it to someone who doesn't appear disabled? Don't do it to those who are disabled.