I find it difficult to watch documentaries that involve disability, not because I’m afraid to watch, but because I feel bad for those who like me were born disabled. I know what they feel because I feel it too.
There is still a stigma around disability. I think more of us need to be compassionate around disability. We’re no different from anyone else. Yes, we may present slightly differently, walk and talk differently, but we bleed and feel pain in the same way everyone else does. That makes us the same.
It’s important for anyone with a disability to feel comfortable, therefore what we say and how we say it matters. It’s important for us to know what someone with a disability needs. Always ask before giving assistance, not all people with a disability want or need it.
Avoid showing pity or being patronising. Do we get that right? Not everyone knows how to be around disabled people. They may often find it difficult to make eye contact with them. They don’t always know what to say, or how to say it.
People genuinely aren’t always comfortable with disability. They don’t know how to be, there’s a slight awkwardness. But maybe that’s it. Disability isn’t talked about like it should be. When I was growing up disability wasn’t discussed, and it was considered taboo.
Yes, society is doing slightly better, but people with a disability are still considered broken. Understanding of disability is something that needs to be encouraged across the board so that everyone knows how to behave and interact.
Society still isn’t great at inclusion, but disability has always been here. It’s being championed more by people, including members of the British Royal Family, but for inclusion to work, I still feel disability needs to be considered normal.