Saturday, May 8, 2010

Minnesota Public Radio commentary by Haddayr Copley-Woods: Etiquette when interacting with the disabled.

We'd like to give a shout-out to Haddayr Copley-Woods, a fellow blogger, wheelchair user, and frequent commenter on this blog. She recently did a piece for Minnesota Public Radio about the "Dos and Don'ts when interacting with the disabled." Not only do we agree with everything she said, but we laughed a lot, and think you should read it too, then search her name on the MPR website and read some of her other commentaries. A few of our favorites are below:

"DON'T 'Help' without asking. If someone in a wheelchair has rolled up to a door, they probably have some sort of a plan. Leaping over us and flinging the door into our shins is not a noble gesture. And NEVER just grab the back of someone's wheelchair or a blind person's arm and start 'helping.' Imagine how startling it would be if random strangers started shoving you around.

DO Acknowledge us without staring. This means letting us place our own coffee orders and noticing when we are trying to get around you in crowds.

DO Give up your seat on the bus or train for disabled people if you were sitting in the accessible seats.

DON'T Look around beaming, expecting praise for this selfless humanitarian gesture. You did not just save ten children from a landslide."

Haddayr also has her own blog, which touches on current events, links to interesting stories, gives updates on her writing progress, and sometimes previews disability pieces before they are submitted elsewhere. Go check her out!

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