6 ways to be kinder to the disability community.
How do you show respect to a person with a disability?
Since childhood, our mother instilled in us that we should never make fun of anyone with a disability or any form of illness. It's something that she's super sensitive about. She would always say, "no one knows what will happen to them in life."
I greatly admire members of the disability community. They’re one of my biggest sources of inspiration.
If you watch series like Born Different and Shake My Beauty on Facebook, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. When you watch these programs you don’t see their disabilities you see their superpower.
Today, I’d like to share with you 6 ways through which you can be kinder and more respectful to members of the disability community.
1. Don’t mimic their disability.
I see this happening quite often on social media, just to rack up views and shares. It’s offensive to imitate a person's disability. It's also offensive to pretend that you have a disability when you don't. Unless it's for educational purposes.
Remember, there are persons living with various disabilities and the challenges that come with them. They have feelings like everyone else and want to be treated fairly. It's insensitive to mimic them.
2. Do not limit their abilities.
Don’t assume that they are limited by their disabilities. A person with a disability can function in many ways an able-bodied person can. Unless they ask for your help or there's impending danger.
Don’t take it upon yourself that they need you to do something. Allow them to do their thing. Certain disabilities do have their limitations but it doesn’t mean that the individual isn’t able to perform normal day-to-day activities by themselves.
3. Don't question their disabilities.
A person with a disability may or may not want to speak openly about their disability. It’s rude to make assumptions, long stares, or ask why they are in the condition that they are in.
They don’t need to explain themselves to anyone and no they are not cursed as many people would insinuate. If you know you know but if you don’t know, then put your curiosity aside. Respect their privacy.
4. Do not occupy their facilities.♿♿
Remember some disabilities don’t allow persons to use facilities that are designed for the general public. That's why certain areas are designed specifically for them. Don’t be selfish, and occupy these areas that you know are reserved for persons with disabilities. For example ramps, bathrooms, parking spaces, etc.
5. Treat them like normal people.
Let them be themselves. The last thing you'd want to do to a person with a disability is limit them to their disability. From what I've seen. They don't like to be pitied. They don't like to be excluded and they don't want anyone belittling them because of their disabilities.
6. Don't use labels
Be respectful when you're communicating or referring to someone from the disability community. Don't use labels! Especially not the 'R-word. Address them by their name. If you don't know their name, try to find out.
Members of the disability community are vibrant and impactful like anyone else. Don't use their disabilities to limit their abilities.
There are members of the disability community in parliament, modeling, just about everywhere.
It's okay to be different and a disability isn't always physical. So, be kind to everyone that you meet and never think that you are better than others.
What's your take. Comment below.
Related: How can I be kinder to others?