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As general rule, talk to someone with a disability the same as you would anyone else. As for what NOT to say? When it comes to chatting with someone with a disability, there are a few rookie errors and assumptions that people sometimes make. Not the basis for forming a great relationship, is it? As you get to know someone better, you might start to talk their disability — but remember some people might be very comfortable talking about their disability, while others may not be, so take cues from the person themselves. Many people assume that it is a mammoth struggle for people with a disability to even leave the house, or that they are not capable of leading an active, social, interesting life.

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Do you have gutters onto the road or kerbs? Not over our he or to people you assume are our carers. Print content Print with images and other media. Hannah Diviney is a writer and disability advocate based in Sydney.

7 meaningful gift ideas for someone in a wheelchair

Exploding the misconceptions around parenting with disability. They're still just like you and me. Give them the opportunity to learn from us and see that even though we're a little different, that does not equate to wrong or scary or something to look away from. Know that my experiences are not indicative of, nor am I a mouthpiece for, everybody in the disabled community. Duration: 4 minutes 10 seconds 4 m 10 s. See, I have this physical disability called Cerebral Palsy, which affects my gross and fine motor skills.

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Not every disabled person will feel that way, though. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. Think about it: I bet you barely notice when you step over the gap between the train and the platform — a gap my wheels cannot cross on their own.

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Duration: 1 minute 28 seconds 1 m 28 s. If you can, make other people aware of it too, and don't be afraid to demand action from those with the power to make lasting change.

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Why women with autism spectrum disorder often miss out on support. Your first lesson in how to be a better ally?

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Print text only. If you're a business owner, does your premises have steps, or narrow doorways? Both of these things are incredibly jarring and uncomfortable experiences that you wouldn't feel comfortable doing to an able-bodied person, so why are we different?

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ABC Everyday helps you navigate life's challenges and choices so you can stay on top of the things that matter to you. How you react to us in front of your kids plants the seed for how they're going to view disabled people and more broadly, anyone who is different from them for the rest of their lives — so please, make it a positive learning experience. Spoiler alert: I didn't.

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Luckily there are a lot of us working to undo what it's done, but we need your help. See the People With Disabilities Australia language guide for more. Does it twist uncomfortably in your chest?

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Not accessible. We all have our own unique relationships with language.

10 things not to say to someone with a disability

Instead, they get lost and scrambled, so it's easier for me to navigate the world in a wheelchair. All bodies are different.

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Also, the experience of those who are disability-adjacent parent, carer, friend and so on is not a substitute for the lived experience of a disabled person. Why does our consent — or lack thereof — have less value? Disability, Discrimination, Health. ABC Everyday.

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address. The one so well absorbed into society's structures that many people don't even notice it's there. Ableism has been allowed to fester in lots of quiet but powerful ways. For those who need clarity, ableism refers to discrimination and social prejudice against those of us who are disabled, born from the often unconscious and unrecognised belief that able-bodied bodies are superior to disabled ones.

Back to top. And when you step through a narrow doorway into a crowded shop, I'm likely to be left sitting outside because my wheelchair won't fit through the door. Kids are sponges; they pick up on stuff and they're curious.

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That includes words like 'retard', 'cripple' and 'spastic' — but also phrases like "Oh, I'm so OCD" when what you mean is "Oh, I like everything to be neat. Print Cancel. It's important that non-disabled people be led by and affirm each individual person with disability's choice of language they use about themselves. Do you need to sit with that for a minute? Understand that my experiences as a disabled woman are just that — mine. But when it comes to sex some things are universal.

2. “it’s so good to see you out and about!”

What happens if you can't in? These are words that I hear fly out of people's mouths regularly even now in To me, those words are hurtful. Do you even know what it is — beyond the obvious use of two or three well-known insults? We have complex individual needs, interests, desires and goals for our own lives, which brings me to my second piece of advice.

It might feel confronting to think about — because coming to terms with any kind of privilege is hard and uncomfortable work at times. Or if it does, the shop will often be too small for me to fit comfortably. Finally, I want you to be conscious of whether you're inadvertently contributing to an inaccessible environment.

Similarly, some prefer to use person-first language 'woman with a disability'but others in the community have a strong preference for 'identity-first language' 'disabled woman'. Across the board, I believe ableism is often the forgotten prejudice.

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And don't even get me started on how people just grab a wheelchair or other mobility aid under the guise of 'helping' a disabled person when they haven't asked for it. Will you us?

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Busting through similarity bias: How to get hired when you don't fit the mould. I'm still Mum: Parenting with a chronic illness or disability. But if you're willing, I have some ideas on what you can do to be a better ally to me and the millions of others around the world who make up the disabled community. If I asked you to define that word, would you know where to start?

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Sometimes they're just friends or even strangers we happen to be standing next to. If you're a town planner, how are the footpaths in your area? That means if your kid asks, 'Mum, why is that woman in a wheelchair? Socialising with workmates can be fun and a good career move. It's not my fault I'm obsessed with toilets.

Being an ally to people with disabilities

Some people have reclaimed words like 'cripple' as terms of self-empowerment. That basically means the messages don't travel from my brain along the clearest route to whatever part of my body I want to move or use. Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week. You would not believe the amount of times complete strangers have put their arms around me or on my back, across my shoulders or even prayed over my head without batting an eye or asking if I felt comfortable.

You cannot lump us all in together. Practising pride in the face of exclusion. From here, it's all about continually listening and learning, and calling out ableism when you see it or hear it. Noticing inaccessibility — and ableism in general — is the first step to creating positive change.