Compassion around disability

I find it difficult to watch documentaries that talk about disabilities, not because I’m afraid to watch, but because I feel bad for those who were also born with a disability. I know what they feel, because I feel it too.

I think more of us need to be tolerant around those of us who have a disability. We’re the same, we may present slightly differently, walk and talk differently, but we feel pain in the same way everyone else does. That makes us the same.

It is important for everyone with a disability to feel comfortable with themselves and around other people, therefore what others say and how they say it matters. Not everyone will know how to act around disabled people. They may often find it difficult to make eye contact with them: they may also not know what to say, or how to say it.

It is also important for someone without a disability to know what someone with a disability needs. For example, always ask before giving assistance, not all people with a disability want or need it. Also, avoid showing pity or being patronising.

People genuinely aren’t always comfortable with disability, there can sometimes be a slight awkwardness. I believe that’s because disability isn’t talked about like it should be. When I was growing up disability wasn’t discussed, and the subject was considered taboo.

Yes, society is doing slightly better, but people with a disability are still considered broken. Disability needs to be understood, understanding is something that needs to be encouraged, so that everyone knows how to behave and interact around someone with a disability.

Society still isn’t great at inclusion, but disability has always been here. It needs to be inclusive. Disability is now being championed more by people, including members of the British Royal Family, but for inclusion to work fully and across the board, disability needs to be considered and seen as normal.

2 Feb, 2018

4 thoughts on “Compassion around disability

  1. Incredible, how people with disabilities navigate their way through a barrage of insults without getting completely livid.

    But I think people actually see themselves in people with disabilities, afraid to look in the mirror and have the mirror return the stare.

    It’s simply about respecting our differences, from one human being to another, compassionately.

    1. Thanks Tim. You’re response sums up the blog completely and yes, you’re absolutely correct.

      I think we’re all afraid to look in the mirror and accept we’re flawed. We’d also rather pass the buck, than admit we’re less than perfect.

      ‘It’s simply about respecting our differences, from one human being to another compassionately.’ Absolutely. The world needs more of it.

  2. Generally speaking, society as a whole thinks disability is becoming more normalized. But, often times you see portrayals of various aspects of disability discussed or played out by someone without a disability.

    It’s essential to include people with a disability when discussing and advocating for disability inclusion/awareness etc. there’s still such a long ways to go.

    1. Thanks LeAnna. Yes, it’s as though we’re invisible. We’re there, but there is little direct inclusion. It’s also as though people are afraid to talk to us, for fear of upsetting or putting a foot wrong.

      Disability does need to be normalised as do other forms of discrimination. As you rightly say there is still ‘a long way to go.’

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