Inclusiveness is the hallmark of a healthy society. Putting aside the redundant stereotypes and allowing people to embrace their real selves with dignity is the first step towards this destination. People with disabilities are a community that suffers the brunt of society’s judgmental gaze.
Do you want to know how not to be offensive to someone with a disability?
• Stop objectifying them
People with disabilities are not your object of entertainment. Don’t label them as victims and stop with your patronizing words. While it is important to be respectful, your gazes of shock and incredulous admiration could make a person with a disability uncomfortable. Look at them as you will at any other human being because that’s what they are striving for.
• Ask before assisting
Just because a person has some kind of functional impairment, doesn’t mean they are looking for sympathy. Many feel proud of accomplishing personal tasks on their own. So, ask before trying to help them or wait for the person to ask. Because even if what you are doing is coming from a good place, it could make the other person uncomfortable.
• Make Eye Contact
While interacting with a person with a disability, make eye contact. If they have someone to take care of them, don’t avoid the disabled person and talk to the carer only. Doing so is taking away their power as an individual. Like anyone else, people with disabilities also like to be treated with respect.
It is not just actions, but language is also changing to be more accommodating and inclusive. Terms like handicapped and abnormal are considered offensive in this day and age. If you are keen on attempting to be a decent human being, make sure to address disabled people with the right terms.
Aastha Community services is a registered NDIS provider committed to making a positive difference in the lives of the disabled community of Australia through NDIS. Reach out to us to know more about our NDIS Support services In Western Australia