By Ignite, Evanston
July is Disability Pride Month, a time for people with disabilities to celebrate who they are. It is also a time for others to learn how to become better neighbors, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances with people with disabilities whom they know or meet. To celebrate Disability Pride Month and to spread disability awareness to others in the community, Search Inc’s Ignite Evanston participants – experts in disability because they have disabilities – created their own list of 10 tips on how to treat them respectfully. Of course, this list is a great guide to use to treat anyone with a disability respectfully!
1. Respect my choices and give me control of my life where I can have it.
2. Ask before helping. Sometimes I like to challenge myself. If I struggle, it doesn’t mean you need to step in.
3. Speak directly to me. I know more about myself than anyone else!
4. Get to know me and don’t be afraid to talk to me about my disability. I will let you know if I don’t want to answer something.
5. Be flexible. Just because I communicate differently doesn’t mean I don’t understand you and you can’t understand me.
6. Don’t take advantage of me. My money, my property, and my body belong to me and me alone.
7. Don’t talk down to me. I am an adult. You can speak to me like one.
8. Sometimes I have bad days just like you. It doesn’t change who I am, and it isn’t always the best representation of who I am.
9. Pause. Sometimes I need to think before I can respond or act. My mind might take a second to process questions or new information.
10. Don’t feel bad for me. I don’t feel bad. I love who I am.
Do you want to learn more about disability awareness? The jjslist.com Disability Awareness Players are vaccinated and ready to present Disability Awareness Trainings in person or virtually! Click here to schedule a DAT at your business, school, library, or organization.