Scrolling through Facebook the other day, I saw many links and articles. However, one caught my attention due to the subject of disability. It is about a girl who became “invisible.”
Rather than having people ask her what she would like or how she was doing, they assumed people around her could answer for her. In this reading, her disability was not specified, like Christopher’s in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
The author explains that rather feeling invisible from her limitations, the society makes her feel worthless and insecure about herself, as she is treated like a child who cannot figure out simple tasks, or just ignored completely. One of the authors issues is how people are treated different instead of normal when they have a perceived disability. However, this issue brings in the other extreme. If society does treat people with disabilities the same way as “able -bodied” people, then they will still be disadvantaged. Without curb cuts, ramps, and special ed classes so people can learn at their own pace, people with disabilities are also disabled by society.
This is where the question of how much extra attention should people with disabilities receive? There is no clear answer, as every person and every disability are different. The easiest way is to simply ask. Yes everyone is trying to make the world a more accommodating place, as the universal design model explains, not every one wants help. When someone talks down or immediately assumes they are incapable of taking care of themselves, it belittles people with disabilities. Treat someone with disabilities as you would anyone else and then respect their decisions. Never let anyone feel invisible.