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Rules for dealing with cripples

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posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 10:17 AM
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I originally wrote this on my blog, but thought it needed a wider audience. I've had to edit it a bit to fit in to the T&C of this site. I figure most of you will encounter a disabled person or 3 in your lives, this could be beneficial.
quick note on the word cripple. It may seem offensive, but it's not. You can find numerous disability blogs and podcasts by disabled people using the word normally. If you're offended, I'm sorry. Here we go!

In my 28 years of crippledness I’ve dealt with lots of people who all react differently to me, and probably a lot of other cripples they see. It can be quite frustrating, so I’m going to go over a few basics that you should follow when dealing with a cripple. Consider it cripple etiquette 101.

Don’t just stare at us

Seriously, I hate that. No matter how long you stare at me I’m not going to do a trick. And if you think you’re being sly about it and I don’t notice…I do. It’s rude and it’s insulting.

I’m not deaf or dumb

You don’t need to talk in a slow loud voice for me to understand you. This is worse than staring, IMO. Why do you automatically assume that my lack of limbs equates to a lack of normal intelligence? When this happens I assume I am smarter than you and will take advantage of that fact.

Don’t pat me on the head

Seriously. I’m not your dog or your kid

Don’t tell me “It’s great to see you out, buddy!”

Trust me, the feelings not mutual

Yes, I can have sex

I like it too!

Ladies, stop telling me I’m a ‘great guy’

I’m really not. But beyond that I know that this is code for “You will never see me naked”. Take a walk on the wild side. I’m just as capable of being an emotionally unavailable jerk boyfriend as that jackass you were talking to earlier.

Don’t tell me I’m an inspiration

It’s patronizing.

Don’t ask if I need help, and don’t just help uninvited either

I’m stubbornly independent. I hate needing help. Even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I do need help, wait ’till I ask.

If I’m out with my attendant, ignore her and talk to me

She’s there to hold my junk while I pee, not answer questions about me. She should be seen and not heard. Just pretend she’s not there. That’s what I do

If you’re my waiter/waitress and I’m out with people, don’t ask them what I want

Here’s a novel idea…ASK ME! It’s beyond insulting when you assume I can’t be trusted to decide what I want to eat.

I hear what you say about me

This goes back to me not being deaf. I was at a party once with a friend and a bunch of people I didn’t know. These two dudes sitting just a few feet away were whispering loudly about how messed up I was…I CAN HEAR YOU!


There’s a lot more, I’ll add to this list as I think of more.


So there you have it.

[edit on 3/7/2009 by NoArmsJames]




posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 10:45 AM
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While some of your points are valid. I will stare at you if I feel like it. Do understand though Im not staring at you because your crippled, I just like freaking people out.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 10:49 AM
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Ok, but I reserve the right to stare right back. It could be fun, like a staring contest. Whoever blinks first buys the first round.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 10:52 AM
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HAHA, well you maintain quite a good sense of humor about it all, at least I hope that was what I was picking up.

We all deal with idiocy, and I suppose you probably deal with it much more regularly. Sorry to hear that, but there are people out there who are more educated than that. I'd like to think that is the majority, but I find that this is probably not the case.

It pisses me off just to hear what you have to deal with, so I can't imagine actually being involved in it.. ARRRGH



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


Thanks, but don't let it bother you too much. Just take pride in the fact that you are much smarter than most.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by NoArmsJames
 


Your move! *stare*



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by NoArmsJames
 


While we stare I shall tell you a story! In elementary I was best friends with a girl in a wheel chair. Her name was Sarah, she was blond and the sweetest person you would ever meet! I would push her chair and help her do all the things she wanted to do, I even rode with her in the "short bus" on field trips and the like.
The other kids were very intolerant of her. That is the way of children, be mean to what you dont understand. I actually got into a few fights with other kids over them being horribly mean to her.
Now after elementary school we split ways and went to different schools. I didnt hear from her for along time (before text messages and cell phones were the norm.) When I was 19 she was all but forgotten and a memory to me. Then I wen to the movies and lo and behold she was there! I walked upto her and asked if her name was Sarah and she said yes. We've been great friends ever since, we meet up every few months to hangout and talk about our lives.

=) I know all to well your cripple rules my friend, I just wanted to convey that.

*still staring*



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Tentickles=) I know all to well your cripple rules my friend, I just wanted to convey that.

*still staring*


Oh man you blinked when you smiled. Bummer! I liked your story about your friend. How do you communicate with the octopus tentacle protruding from your mouth?



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by NoArmsJames


If I’m out with my attendant, ignore her and talk to me

She’s there to hold my junk while I pee, not answer questions about me. She should be seen and not heard. Just pretend she’s not there. That’s what I do

If you’re my waiter/waitress and I’m out with people, don’t ask them what I want

Here’s a novel idea…ASK ME! It’s beyond insulting when you assume I can’t be trusted to decide what I want to eat.



My god haha, nice list, well said!

I think these 2 are probably the most insulting! :shk:



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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They are pretty annoying!



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 11:58 AM
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reply to post by NoArmsJames
 


I find it's funnier to take the mick even more.
It freaks out the bystanders.

My ex's(one of them) sister was wheelchair bound.

I used to carry her on my back upstairs to clubs etc,before the days of political correctness and byelaw changes/wheelchair ramps etc.

Was funny telling people she was already legless,and wasn't going to let her drive in that condition.

(Yeah she did have a car too)

Of course these days of pro-discrimination you can't say anything without it being misconstrued as a hate crime.Sheesh!!

Let me be the first to say "Welcome to ATS" ...
with a warm handshake...





posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:00 PM
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reply to post by NoArmsJames
 


Thank you for this rant. My father was in a wheelchair for the last six months of his life because of the crippling effects of cancer (it had spread to his bones). I was surprised how many houses do not have any ramps (we had always lived in a one story ranch house with no stairs), and that made it difficult for him to visit with other members of the family. We all treated him with the respect we always gave him, because he was a man of dignity and would never allow us to treat him condescendingly.

We are all equally human, even if our bodies do not always work.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008
We are all equally human, even if our bodies do not always work.


Exactly..
I mean, even your avatar seems to be happy with one leg and a bit of a stump.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by AGENT_T

Let me be the first to say "Welcome to ATS" ...
with a warm handshake...


ZING! When I was younger my mother was with one of her less enlightened friends and I said "look mom, no hands". The friend was horrified, my mother was laughing and I realized making people uncomfortable was fun!



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 


Thank you, it's very true.

Your dad was very lucky in a way. Many people end up being isolated after becoming disabled because the people they thought loved them couldn't handle it.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by NoArmsJames
and I said "look mom, no hands". The friend was horrified, my mother was laughing and I realized making people uncomfortable was fun!



Had to tell you i kept laughing at that one at work.
Exactly the kind of thing my friend would say too.

Had another friend with one arm who plays the bass guitar
"Mono" was his nickname.

(finger tap on the fretboard in case anyone was wondering.)

I used to wind him up and shout for any songs by Mark King.





posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 07:56 PM
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At least you didn't yell the tired and cliche "Freebird!"



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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Don’t ask if I need help, and don’t just help uninvited either

I’m stubbornly independent. I hate needing help. Even if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I do need help, wait ’till I ask.


Sorry, but I help everyone...I'm an equal opportunity helper... If you'd prefer not to have it, simply acknowledge it politely, and I'll treat you with the same respect and courtesy...

As for the other items, some of that is simply abyssmal behavior....seriously? patting your head?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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The only one of those I think I've violated is the "help" one. I offer to assist people when they look like they can use it, whether they're crippled or not. I don't recall anyone being surly about it, but I have been told that my help isn't needed.

I guess I'll probably continue doing that. If I have a day where the worst thing that happens is a nasty rebuke to an offer of help, that's a pretty good day.




posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 04:20 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Yeah,sometimes there's worse risks you could take.
A rude reply would be akin to holding a door open for a woman with shopping bags in her hands and being told ...

"I do have a foot you know, I could have kicked it open,just because I'm a girl I'm not useless..YOU SEXIST!!"



In which case you could always slam her head in the door



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