Today, for the international day of persons with disabilities, 3 December, here are seven things we want you to remember:
- We are disabled, not idiots.
- We’re not less able, we’re like you.
- Ask before you act.
- Talk to us.
- Don’t talk to us like we are children.
- We don’t pray everyday for a miracle, and we’re not depressed because we are disabled.
- We have a disability. So what? It isn’t the end of the world.
Just because we can’t walk, see, hear you, sleep properly and so on, it doesn’t mean that we don’t notice when you look at us… sometimes like we are some kind of animals on display. We hear the whispers, we feel when people stop talking just because we are in the same room. We don’t like it.
There are things we can’t do like you, but there are things that we can do and you usually can’t.
For example, my best friend, who is sighted, can’t read a book that’s 900 pages in a day, but I can. My eyes don’t get tired because I don’t use them. I listen. That’s all I do to finish a book. Maybe you will not call it reading because I don’t use my eyes, but reading for me is listening to the book, and for my boyfriend is reading it in braille or listening too.
Don’t touch our guide dogs without permission, don’t push the ones in wheelchairs before asking if they need help, don’t scream at deaf people in the hope that they will hear you, and don’t grab a blind person’s hand to get him or her to feel your face. It’s not okay. If we want help, we will ask. If we want to know how you look, we’ll take your hand or ask if we can touch you, but usually we don’t want to touch your face.
If you see disabled people in restaurants or any other public places with their parents, friends or caregivers, Please, please don’t talk to them, talk to the disabled person.
We are able to say what we like or dislike, and we feel very bad when you talk to our friend like we’re not there.
Teenagers, young adults and adults with disabilities aren’t babies anymore. Talk to them like with any other person of their age.
This one is probably hard to understand but no, Most of us don’t do this. We like who we are. I don’t want to be sighted. I wouldn’t be who I am without my disability, And you know what?
I Am Proud To be blind, my boyfriend feels the same, and other disabled friends share our sentiment.
I want to live my life. That’s all. If someday I’ll get the chance to be sighted… I will need to think seriously if I want that opportunity.
Maybe I will do it for my parents, to see them happy, but that’s all.
We are normal, and we would appreciate if you remember this when you talk to us. If someone’s blind, it doesn’t mean that you can’t mention pictures. If someone’s deaf, it doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about music. My cousin and his friends are deaf, but they listen to music. They feel the vibrations. They live. All of us live.
So please, don’t be afraid to befriend a disabled person. We like to talk and have fun, we love to try new things. All of us are like you. We have dreams, hopes, goals and we want to be accepted, not only tolerated.
Not all people are like this
If you never did this, That’s good! Not all people act like this, but some do. We don’t want to make you feel bad or idiot, but this sadly happens to most of us, and if we don’t talk about it, no one will.
If you did something like what we described here, We don’t blame you. We understand that you wanted to help. Now you know what you should or shouldn’t do, and anyway, this applies to most of us, Not all of us.
Maybe there are people who are against what i wrote here. I can’t talk for all disabled people, but I can talk for the ones I know.
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