What Not To Say

Hello dear readers,I hope all of you are doing well and staying safe during this uncertain time. Please stay home when you can and take necessary safety measures when you go out,

Today I want to talk about something that is very important to me and that is things that people say in relationship to disability that bother me. These people are usually well meaning and aren’t trying to upset anyone and I get that. However you mean them, please do not say these things to me or around me and others with disabilities.

Retard/retarded: This one really gets my blood boiling. This word is not an acceptable replacement for when you find yourself, someone else, or something dumb. It is highly offensive and you never know who around you will take offense to it. So JUST DON’T USE IT! Don’t say it, don’t write it, don’t post memes or gifs on social media, just don’t.

Differently abled: This is just confusing to me. Why do only disabled people get referred to as differently abled? The way I see it we all have different abilities, so really anyone could be called differently abled. So, just use disabled.

Cripple: It is not the 19th century, I am not Tiny Tim and we are not in a Charles Dickens novel. Do not call me crippled.

Handicap: Praise the Lord, Hallelujah! They are taking this word off disabled parking signs and placards. I don’t even really understand how this got related to disabilities. It’s a golf term and I am not a golf game. I don’t even like golf, it’s stupid (a word you can use in place of retard).

“I was in a wheelchair once, I know exactly how you feel” Oh really, you were in a wheelchair for a few weeks/months so you know what my everyday life has been for 36 years? Yeah, I don’t think so.

“It must be so nice to get to stay home and not have to work and the government gives you money” Nope! You would be wrong about that. Most disabled people I know want to work and be productive members of society. As for the government giving me money? I get less than 800 dollars a MONTH. I can get a job, but if I make over 1100 dollars a month, yes I lose my monthly benefits which is ok, but I also lose Medicaid, which is the only insurance that covers all my medical expenses. And honestly, staying at home is fun for about a week, maybe two, but then I start climbing the walls. So, think before you speak

“I’ll pray that God heals you” I have a big problem with this one and not because I have a problem with people praying for me. I am a Christian and very much believe in the power of prayer. But I also believe that God doesn’t make mistakes and I feel that when you want to pray for my healing, it implies that God made a mistake when He made me and that mistake needs to be corrected. God never promised that we wouldn’t have trials and obstacles in this life. In fact he says the opposite, John 16:33 NIV “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” If you are going to pray for me, pray for my patience and perserverance until people start listening to the disabled community and implementing the physical and governmental changes we need to put us on a level playing field with everyone else.

“I don’t even see you as disabled/see your wheelchair” Ok, I have covered this in a previous post, so I will just say this is insulting because again, this implies to us that you see our disability as something bad and so let’s just ignore it. Don’t do that.

I feel I have yammered on long enough, so in closing, I hope you find this helpful and please leave me any comments/questions. Stay safe and have a great weekend!

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