Disability Assumptions


Sometimes it's a struggle to plan blog posts in advance, because I don't always have little trips or activities booked.

Whereas other times, content ideas will literally appear out of nowhere and slap me in the face.

Today is one of those days.

Human beings, being dickheads - I'm sure I could start a new series...

For those that don't know what I do for a living, I work as an Admin Assistant in a nursing home. My job involves a lot of computer based work (recruitment, payroll, HR) as well as manning a busy reception environment - dealing with queries from residents, relatives and staff.

It's no secret that I am a wheelchair user, and you'd be surprised how many people like to mention it when meeting me for the first time.

One thing that annoys me the most, is the assumption that because I WORK in a nursing home, I must also LIVE there.

This may sound ridiculous, but I kid you not, it is a regular question I get asked.

I guarantee that this question has never been asked to any of my fellow colleagues / able-bodied staff.

With this being said, it got me thinking about other assumptions people make towards those with disabilities.

Driving

I was recently at a meeting where the company involved paid for our travel expenses. On handing out the expenses forms, I was instantly overlooked, as the two people sat either side of me were automatically given forms for driving.

An assumption was made that I did not / could not drive. I then had to directly ask for a form and the look of shock on this lady's face was priceless.

Technology has advanced so much these days, why would you assume I can't drive? I've been in charge of a wheelchair for the majority of my life, so I think it's safe to say I definitely have the skills.

Dating

BREAKING NEWS, disabled people can have relationships too! Yes, things might be a little bit trickier but hey, we still have feelings.

I've been on a few dates in my time and had the odd relationship (emphasis on the word ODD!)

People assume that if you have a disability, you're basically a nun.

Earlier on in the year, myself and my fellow @MDBloggersCrew shared a series of blog posts in relation to 'Disability, Dating and Sex'.

I wrote about my Tinder experience which caused quite a stir (click here if you missed out on that one)

Speaking to different friends with disabilities (in particular females), it became apparent that one of the first questions they get asked when dating is: "can you have sex?"

Who said romance is dead?!

This assumption in particular cracks me up. It's not something that I have personally been asked myself, but rest assured, everything is where it should be and works just fine thank you.

Now I'm fully aware that my family read these posts, so I think it's best we move on...

*Hi Mum*

NightLife

Another assumption that I want to just briefly touch on is "nightlife". I don't go "out out" very often anymore, but whenever I do, I get inundated with questions, hi-5's and handshakes.

This may sound all nice and friendly, but when you're out with your friends, you just want to have a good time and not be bothered by random strangers.

If I had a pound for every time someone said to me - "Oh it's so great you're out" or "you're such an inspiration" - I'd be a very rich man.

Some people just assume that people with disabilities sit at home all day and do nothing, or that they never go out and have fun.

"I hope you're not drink driving!"

"Have you got a licence for that?"

PISS OFFFFF.

On a recent weekend away with friends (who are also wheelchair users), we had a random guy shout at us: "PARALYMPICS!!"

Yes... because I'm so glad you think I'm fit enough to win a gold medal.

So there we have it, these are just a few of the assumptions people make in regards to people with disabilities.

I let most comments go over my head these days, because it's just not worth the stress. But in certain situations, I'm motivated by the idea of breaking stereotypes.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post. If you have a disability and have been subject to certain assumptions over the years - let me know, I'm interested to hear!

Speak soon!

Ross x