1. Alright, this is a bit of a cheap post with only one real point, but alas there is a point in there only being one point. I’ve come across a few blog articles discussing how not to approach a person with a disability.
The problem is that the points are always subjective. There is no ultimate list that everyone of every disability will agree on. For example, I was reading about one blogger’s dislike of the crouch thing people often do with those in wheelchairs, crouching low so as to talk face-to-face with the person, saying that this is a patronising pose to take. I quite like the crouch, especially if the standing person is particularly tall and we’re in a loud environment. It saves the neck, the ears and the voice. If someone did it just to tickle me under the chin and go ’Coochi-Goo’, then they could fuck off.
I would write ’Be patronising’ but you never know, someone out there might have a fetish over being treated like a 2-year-old. I wish I had that fetish, although it would make for awkward meetings, feeling like I’m in a strip-club when in reality someone’s gran is tickling my chin.
How can you piss anyone with a visible disability off, then?
Ignore any objections they have to your behaviour, and keep doing it anyway ’for their own good’. That sums it up, I think. If you’re asked not to crouch, crouch or remain in the crouch position. If they outright reject your assistance, assist. Do this and, congrats, you’re pissing the person off.
If you’re really concerned about not pissing a person with a disability off, you’ll probably be fine. You look rational enough especially in that fine top hat, so don’t worry about it. For the post’s sake here are 4 more tips on angering a disabled person:
2. Poke them in the eye.
3. Steal their money.
4. Extract all blood from their body.
5. Start over again.
So here’s my one piece of advice for anyone thinking of approaching someone with a visible disability: just do it. Seriously, this shouldn’t be an event that demands a warm-up routine and a list of directions. Just do it, without doing anything stupid. Those who do the really stupid stuff probably don’t read blogs or anything else, but think along the lines of lifting strangers off the ground without their permission and patting heads without a smidgen of irony.
You might approach someone who can’t talk, or there’s a chance you’ll approach someone who might have trouble conversing with you due to a physical or intellectual disability. So what? It’s likely they’d still appreciate being treated like a human adult.