Tiffiny Carlson, a quadriplegic from Minneapolis, wrote an article recently for the Huffington Post giving advice to people interacting with someone who suffers from a disability.
The article, titled How To Talk To A Person With Disabilities Without Sounding Like An A-Hole, lists ten tips to someone interacting with a disabled person:
Avoid the ‘you’re so inspirational remarks: “People with disabilities as a whole don’t like being referred to as “inspirational,” especially when they do a basic task like I dunno, go and buy some milk,” Carlson said.
Whatever you do, don’t talk louder: “The presence of a mobility aid does not mean we’re can’t hear or are stupid. You’re speaking louder is,” said Carlson.
Ask before helping: “We know when to ask for help. Just wait for us to speak up.”
Don’t lean on our wheelchairs: “From our perspective, it’s one of the most de-humanizing things you can do. You would never do it to someone who is standing, but to us, it’s ok?”
Introduce yourself when speaking with the visually impaired
Stay calm –- it’s only a wheelchair: “We are just another ho-hum human, but sitting in a chair on wheels. We’re really not as different as you may think.”
Refer to us as person first: “It’s about looking at the human beneath whatever condition we may have.”
Save the patronizing for someone else.
Talk to us, not whoever is with us.
When in doubt, refer to the “Golden Rule”
To read Carlson’s article, you can click here. People suffering from disabilities that limit their mobility, and hearing or vision may eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you have questions about applying for disability benefits or are unsure if you qualify, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys
Troutman Touts: There is an estimated 3.3 million wheelchair users in the United States.