Author Topic: Disability Etiquette  (Read 12234 times)

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Hawkwatcher

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Disability Etiquette
« on: March 09, 2009, 09:44:47 AM »
As a recently and probably temporarily disabled person, I have been fortunate enough to encounter generally polite behavior.  However, there have been exceptions so please feel free to add.  Feel free to consider any disability.

1.  Do not park in handicapped parking unless you have a disability.  Not only is this rude but also illegal. If you are sitting in a chair or bench reserved for disabled people, please allow the disabled person to sit down.

2.  Consider the physical limitations of the person in question.  If you see a person is using a wheelchair, scooter, walker, or cane please realize that the will not be able to walk up stairs (yes, this has been an issue for me).  You should also consider that the person may not be able to keep up with you if you walk really fast so please slow down.

3.  Not all disabilities are visible.  Unless you are a doctor and this is your patient, you are not qualified to determine whether or not that person is disabled.

4. If you are working with or socializing with a disabled person and his/her spouse/companion, please do not treat the disabled person like he or she is invisible. 

Feel free to add or edit.

snowball's chance

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2009, 09:53:44 AM »
5.) It's nice to offer assistance to a person with physical limitations (in a wheelchair, scooter, or walks with a cane) (i.e. opening a door, getting something off of a shelf, etc), but respect his or her decision if s/he declines your help.  My grandma walks with a cane and can get defensive about extra help that is given to her without her ok.

camlan

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2009, 09:55:17 AM »
6. Treat a wheelchair as part of the person sitting in it. Do not touch it without permission. Do not grab it and move it without permission from the person sitting in it.

7. The preferred terminology is "wheelchair user" or "person who uses a wheelchair." Remember that however a wheelchair might strike you, for the person in the wheelchair, the chair gives them mobility and the ability to move without assistance; in other words, the freedom that a non-disabled person has in moving around their environment. Hence, the general dislike of "wheelchair bound" amongst wheelchair users. They would be more "bound" to one place without the chair.

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Miss Vertigo

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2009, 10:10:44 AM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.

9. Remember that the person *has* a condition, but *is* not their condition. So, rather than saying something like 'John is epileptic', 'John has epilepsy' would be preferred.

NsWife

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2009, 10:25:03 AM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.

9. Remember that the person *has* a condition, but *is* not their condition. So, rather than saying something like 'John is epileptic', 'John has epilepsy' would be preferred.

In most of the US 'retarded' is offensive.  "Developmentally delayed/challenged" are the suggested terms.
While 'handicapped' and 'disabled' are not offensive to many here, the term preferred is 'alternately-abled'

Millionaire Maria

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2009, 02:11:46 PM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.


To expand on that: It is not appropriate to use the word "retarded" to describe something that you think is stupid or unfair. It is considered an insult to members of the developmentally delayed community.
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ginlyn32

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2009, 02:12:21 PM »
10) Just because you use a wheelchair/scooter/cane/crutches does not mean you will automatically get to go in front of the line.

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sparksals

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2009, 03:22:52 PM »
10) Just because you use a wheelchair/scooter/cane/crutches does not mean you will automatically get to go in front of the line.

ginlyn

It would be nice if people offered.  Able bodied people can stand much longer than someone with a cane/crutches etc. 

11) If you see someone with a disability in the bathroom lineup, please offer to let them go ahead when the handicap stall opens.  The diabled person only has one stall they can use, able bodied people have all the rest. 

Last week dh and I were at a wine expo.  I needed to go to the bathroom and there was a long lineup.  I got in line and the lady in front of me turned and smiled.   Just as it was her turn, it was the handicap stall that opened up. She ran to use it.   I let 4 people ahead of me because the only stall I could use was the handicap stall.

Now, she could have been disabled since not all disabilities are visible, but I highly doubt it. 

petal

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2009, 10:14:34 PM »
12)  never look at a disabled person with pity

13) please dont compare your divorce /being broke/being tired  etc etc     with what a
      disabled person goes thru


merryns

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 10:36:44 PM »
14. Guide dogs and service dogs are working when they have their harnesses on. Don't pet them or do anything else to distract them.
15. Guide dogs and service dogs are allowed to go where dogs are not normally allowed. (Laws may vary.) Respect this and don't complain about them being there, or try to use this to justify taking your regular dog to the same places.
16. A physical disability, including deafness, does not mean the person also has a cognitive or intellectual disability. Don't talk to people with disabilities as if they are stupid.


wendelenn

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 10:39:16 PM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.

9. Remember that the person *has* a condition, but *is* not their condition. So, rather than saying something like 'John is epileptic', 'John has epilepsy' would be preferred.

In most of the US 'retarded' is offensive.  "Developmentally delayed/challenged" are the suggested terms.
While 'handicapped' and 'disabled' are not offensive to many here, the term preferred is 'alternately-abled'

I have worked with people with disabilities for 20 years and I have NEVER heard this.  It strikes me as weird, cutesy and contorted.  "People with disabilities" is fine, or "person who is blind, person who is deaf, person who is paraplegic," and so forth.  PERSON FIRST language is always the best.
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

NsWife

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 10:45:34 PM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.

9. Remember that the person *has* a condition, but *is* not their condition. So, rather than saying something like 'John is epileptic', 'John has epilepsy' would be preferred.

In most of the US 'retarded' is offensive.  "Developmentally delayed/challenged" are the suggested terms.
While 'handicapped' and 'disabled' are not offensive to many here, the term preferred is 'alternately-abled'

I have worked with people with disabilities for 20 years and I have NEVER heard this.  It strikes me as weird, cutesy and contorted.  "People with disabilities" is fine, or "person who is blind, person who is deaf, person who is paraplegic," and so forth.  PERSON FIRST language is always the best.

You may be right.....it seemed weird to me too but, as part of my (fundraising) consulting for a service group they insisted that I use that term when referring to their clients ::)

wendelenn

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 11:02:07 PM »
On the subject of terminology:

8. Consider terminology according to where you are in the world. For example, while 'handicapped' and 'retarded' are are terms still commonly used in the US, they are considered out-dated and, in some cases, offensive, in the UK.

9. Remember that the person *has* a condition, but *is* not their condition. So, rather than saying something like 'John is epileptic', 'John has epilepsy' would be preferred.

In most of the US 'retarded' is offensive.  "Developmentally delayed/challenged" are the suggested terms.
While 'handicapped' and 'disabled' are not offensive to many here, the term preferred is 'alternately-abled'

I have worked with people with disabilities for 20 years and I have NEVER heard this.  It strikes me as weird, cutesy and contorted.  "People with disabilities" is fine, or "person who is blind, person who is deaf, person who is paraplegic," and so forth.  PERSON FIRST language is always the best.

You may be right.....it seemed weird to me too but, as part of my (fundraising) consulting for a service group they insisted that I use that term when referring to their clients ::)

Yeah, some organizations like to use those kind of coined terms, I guess. Annoys me LOL. I thought you were speaking in general; sorry if I came off snarky.
"I don't mean to be rude", he began, in a tone that threatened rudeness in every syllable.

"--yet sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely.  "Best to say nothing at all."

magician5

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 11:50:09 PM »
"Alternately-abled?" Cheesh! Sorry, but I gotta add that to my slap-upside-the-head list. As a walker-dependent stroke survivor, my favorite fantasy is wheeling up to someone loudly saying "I am not handicapped! I am handi-capable!" and slapping them up aside the head for being PC jerks. Gotta add "That man isn't disabled, he's alternately abled" to my list. I can't think of a single alternate strength that comes with the package - I won't be running again, or walking without an aid, or walking at all (with or without an aid) on open ground or rough pavement. I won't be sitting in anything but a rigid chair (sofas? floor? Only if there are 2 or 3 really big guys to help me stand, so forget that). I won't be getting into restaurant booths, or onto escalators or buses, I ... oh, heck, face it, I'm disabled.

I suppose it's a matter of personal preference on the part of the "alternately abled" person, but sometimes being too PC about it can also dehumanize or objectify the person. My long-ago first love was blind from birth, and had little patience with being "handled with [verbal] kid gloves". She and the dog would go anywhere and do anything (picture her and her guide dog at a nude beach ... nuff said?) and her whole office (legal transcribers for a Federal agency, all of them blind) often merrily referred to themselves as a "bunch of blinks". But she did have the occasional problem with someone who just couldn't 'get' that guide dogs can go anywhere - she carried a copy of the law permitting it with her at all times, and also carried an arsenal of choice language for those who still didn't believe her.

There are a blessed few times when a handicap can suddenly turn from 'disability' to advantage: I hardly ever go back to a restaurant without being shown to 'my favorite table' (I do like being remembered, and believe me I tip accordingly). Just yesterday I was slogging through Home Depot using their grocery-style cart in place of the walker (much easier on my back, but I still can't hide the limpy right leg). I sent my son to get the items he wanted to find, and I was looking all over (CRUD MONKEYS! all over) the lumber department looking for a wooden stair rail - son comes back with his multiple finds and he doesn't see any rails either. I asked him to go ask someone - 5 minutes later he comes back and says "it's on Aisle 21". Of course the employee wouldn't come and show him. Nope, not on Aisle 21. Or 22 or 20 (for the third time). I said "I'll go ask." He said "what are you going to do that I couldn't do?" I said "play the handicapped card. Just hang back behind me, but stay close, watch and learn." First person I asked fell all over himself leading me ... well, not straight to it (turned out he didn't know either but darn it he was gonna try) and we made another full circuit of the store, and finally he found another employee who did know. My strapping 21-year-old son tagging along 5 feet behind me? Might as well have been invisible. I didn't have to blink my eyes and ask for special help because I'm so bleedin' special, but people are often extra-gracious when the same folks had been surly or oblivious moments before. Of course I'm grateful and I let them know it.

Sidebar: the same kind Home Depot employee asked me if I wouldn't be happier in a motorized courtesy cart. I had to tell him that, when I was first stricken, I tried them - 90% of the time, I went to all the trouble to get a cart, get a key, and install myself, and ... dead battery. Gave that up.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2009, 11:57:35 PM by magician5 »
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beingkj

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Re: Disability Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2009, 01:02:29 AM »
15 (I think)

When parking against the curb, take care not to block curb-cuts and ramps. Especially in high-traffic areas like shopping centres and hotels.

(this one stuck with me from a long ago thread. I'd never thought about it before then)
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