Wanting to educate yourself about people with disabilities is the first step to making the world an inclusive place. If you are able-bodied or know someone who is that wants to learn more about the disabled community and how to be respectful and inclusive of others, that’s great. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming in the beginning, especially when disabilities are diverse. Maybe you or someone you know is wrestling with the following questions:
How do I respectfully refer to someone who has a disability? What is okay to ask? Am I making assumptions about someone who has a disability?
Fortunately, we have a starting point. The following are some resources written by our own brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models that can help in answering those questions.
Identity First vs Person First
What is the right way to refer to someone who has a disability? Isabella Bullock explores some common terms used in the past, as well as the difference between identity first and person first when referring to someone with a disability. She also gives examples of each type of language use. Isabella concludes that when it comes to someone with a disability, the best thing you can do is ask the individual if they prefer identity first or person first, as it’s a matter of preference. Preferences can vary from individual to individual and what’s right for one person might be wrong for another. Because people and disabilities alike are so diverse, what one person with a disability says cannot set a precedent for all people with disabilities.
Assumptions, Misconceptions and Stereotypes
Want to avoid awkward moments, or worse, potentially offending someone? Jesse Cuellar tackles some topics such as what happens when able-bodied individuals encounter and interact with wheelchair users, as well as what is okay and what isn’t okay to ask them. When it comes to , how to talk to someone or how to treat someone, it’s important to be courteous, regardless of their abilities.
Josh McDermott also reflects on how people see him and what he wishes able-bodied people would know. He touches upon some misconceptions people have about him physically and intellectually. He also talks about his life and activities he does frequently that surprise people who meet him. Want to gain insight into the daily life of someone living with a disability? Check out Josh’s article.
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