Write 25 Common Sense Things People Should Know – Disability Edition.

This is just my opinion so please be respectful. Feel free to ask any questions or get me to clarify things.

  1. If your hoist is in the charging dock, it won’t work. Pull it away a little to use it. To charge it, push it back in the dock and wait until the light turns green, then it is charging.
  2. If you use a catheter, change it every 3 to five days so you don’t smell of urine. On the days I don’t have a bath, I use a body lotion and body spray.
  3. Again another catheter tip, if you suffer from bypassing quite often you should change your catheter every 5 weeks as aposed to the recommended 12 weeks. This ultimately stops the build up of sediment which ultimately blocks your catheter tube causing you to bypass.
  4. Puppy toileting pads are more absorbent than regular human incontence pads and whilst I went through a phase of bypassing I put two under my mattress sheet and one on top for easy clean up. They are often cheaper too if you don’t get them with your catheter prescription.
  5. Not every disability is visible.
  6. If you have a step in your building to get to a restaurant/shop floor then you shouldn’t say that your building is accessible. To help improve your facilities invite a group of people with various disabilities and put their suggestions into practice. Eg. Basic sign language skills, Braille, low lighting, plenty of space to move around, lower tables, rails etc.
  7. Some people struggle with chronic fatigue/pain and struggle to get out and about, ask if it’s easier to go to them, pick up some shopping etc.
  8. Never assume that a person with a disability needs help, no matter how well intentioned your offer of help may be if, you automatically do something for them without asking if they need help some people may find that you are encroaching on their independence.
  9. Disabled people can be gay and have sex lives (and probably more interesting positions too but, hey! What would I know? I’m still a virgin)
  10. Disabled People can have families
  11. Disabled people can have degrees and be successful business people if they so wish.
  12. Even though it is rude to stare at anyone including disabled people, depending on the person and the situation in question like, meeting a curious child, we’d rather be asked honest questions than the child by hushed up and ushered away. There’s a difference between innocent curiosity than inappropriate questions with malicious intent.
  13. Disabled people don’t like to be defined by their diagnosis or inciting incident.
  14. Disabled people don’t intend on becoming figures just to invoke sympathy, they do it because they have a genuine ambition to be in that field regardless of their medical condition.
  15. Disabled people can have a faith without it being used as a motive for sympathy, it helps some get through difficult challenges and provides a sense of community.
  16. Please don’t imagine that having a disability is anything like you see on those medical dramas, it’s not all doom and gloom and miraculous cures either. What some of the disabled community would like is a better accurate representation of their condition on screen. Personally for me if I find that seeing my condition on screen makes me feel less alone. Whilst a lot of medical TV shows have medical professionals on hand for consultations, sometimes it would be more prudent if the TV shows allowed disabled persons with that particular condition on set or in character production to offer the input to create a more dynamic picture of life with that condition.
  17. Our mobility aids are part of our personal space and shouldn’t be handled or in some cases with wheelchairs, manhandled without our permission.
  18. Again with film TV and books we would prefer our mobility, learning difficulties, visual or hearing impairment’s to br used as a troupe or just to tick diversity boxes. We deserve to have in-depth character progression just like any able bodied character. Your characters disability and whatever limitations they may have, should not be their entire personality.
  19. Bending down to talk to someone in a wheelchair or if they happen to have a learning disability, in a slow and loud voice is very condescending. Meet the person first before assuming any cognitive abilities. (In other words: Read the room)
  20. Adaptive cutlery and crockery should be available in restaurants.
  21. Tourette’s and anxiety should be seen as a ‘quirky personality thing’ to be made light of like you often see on social media for likes. I have to say not everybody is like this but, I was dismayed to see this as a trend on Tiktok in the last few months where people were trivialising fidgets so much so that they aren’t being viewed as a helpful resource for those with anxiety, depression and sensory issues, they are just seen as ‘noisy. toys’. These conditions are not always as ‘easy to live with’ as they seem in videos. Whilst I don’t support bashing or calling people out for ‘faking’ because you don’t know what they are fighting behind closed doors. I applaud those raising awareness of the conditions to educate others and opening a dialogue about mental health.
  22. When it comes to sexual advances, no means no and that choice should not be ignored or disregarded because they have a disability.
  23. You’re not always born with a disability, there are situations where they can happen later in life, so a person of any age can have a disability, it’s not always young children or the elderly.
  24. You shouldn’t ask to try on somebody’s. Prothetic‘s, glasses for people specifically with dyslexia or for the visually impaired and hearing aids. They aren’t a dress up accessory.
  25. Just because we are sometimes labelled vulnerable by medical professionals and the government doesn’t mean we are. We shouldn’t be shamed because we have sex, alcohol or drugs. Our medical issues doesn’t have anything to do with our personal preferences. We should be given the same respect of any able bodied person.

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