Yesterday I was in a meeting at work talking about 508 compliance. During the talk I was struggling to think of what the current politically correct term for physically disabled as I was pretty confident it was not 'gimp' or 'crip'. In my research for the new politically correct term, I came across this ridiculous article:
Here is what they list as 'disabled 'etiquette:
1. Do not lean on someone’s wheelchair – remember, “Wheelchairs are an extension of personal space.”
Funny, so disabled guys don't mind a stripper on their lap but touching their wheelchair is off limits?
2. Do not help someone (for example, help maneuver a wheelchair) until you have first asked; do not just assume he or she needs your help.
Disabled etiquette calls for people to receive permission to help? Should we not be happy that someone wants to help?
3. “Don’t patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head. Reserve this sign of affection for children.”
So it's not ok to rub a disabled person but it's ok to be a pedophile? In my example for #1, disabled guys never minded being rubbed at a strip club.
4. If you are speaking to someone in a wheelchair for a considerable amount of time, get down on his or her eye level – this will help both of you avoid a sore neck later.
Able bodied people should drop to their knees for us? One word - "Giggity!"
5. If someone using a wheelchair asks you for directions, think ahead of any obstacles that may present themselves (weather, distance, hills, curbs, etc).
Maybe we should ask that the person providing directions lay a trail of breadcrumbs for the disabled person to follow... Really? Should we not be happy that they are providing directions? It's hard for non-disabled people to recognize the obstacles until they have spent a decent amount of time around a disabled person.
6. “Treat adults as adults. Call a person by his or her first name only when you extend this familiarity to everyone present.”
What? I don't even understand this one. When my friends introduce me to others as an idiot it's well deserved. I work hard at it.
7. Did you know that some individuals having a mobility-related disability use their arms to balance themselves? Keep this in mind when considering physical contact.
If your not sure...see if they are wearing shoes on their hands first.
8. Don’t set your personal belongings on the desktop attached to someone’s wheelchair.
If you have a desktop attached to your chair and don't demonstrate your upset when someone places items on you...your not a disabled person...your a book shelf.
9. “Keep the ramps and wheelchair-accessible doors to your building unlocked and unblocked.”
Is this etiquette or something that should just be done?
10. When possible, place things within the reach of the individual having the mobility-related disability.
Finnally, one etiquette statement I can appreciate. It took years for my wife to remember to leave the remote in my reach. I can't help to think this was done on purpose to avoid watching sports.
I'm not saying society is perfect in their attitudes toward people with disabilities. However, I don't believe we need our own etiquette category any more than any other minority.
Life is short. We can spend our time being upset that their are ignorant people out their or we can invest the time in appreciating all the great people out there that see us as no different.
This is an unfair and awesome world...Embrace it.
Until next time...