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How do you deal with people that question your disability when you are in public?

gray1 Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited February 2020 in Coffee lounge
Q. How do you deal with people that question your disability. When you are in public?


  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community Co-Production Group Posts: 6,551 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2020
    Ignore them. I have learnt that sometimes, it is just not worth engaging with certain people.
  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    hi gray1 be honest I have never really had anyone question my disability , when I was a bit younger I had some funny looks ...but age has taken its toll ...nor do I drive now , so I don,t get out much these days . Maybe in the summer months I might get out and about a bit. We live on quite a busy road and my son used to park over at the petrol station across the road to take us anywhere . The 'lady' that was running the spar shop told him not to park outside the shop ( at the side of the shop) ...he said he was just picking us up as his dad was disabled , it made no difference to her , she was screaming and shouting at him like a banshee ...the longest he ever parked there was ten minutes . ...but her banning him from parking there was not because I was disabled but she never took my disability into account , he now parks outside our house on the main road and when cars come out the garage , the cars overtaking my sons car are on the wrong side of the road when overtaking and the drivers coming out the garage usually look one way before they cut out onto the road ....there is going to be a bad smash there one day ....and all because of her letting us know that " she,s in charge" ...I hope one day she is not in the same boat as we are.  She has now stopped anyone parking outside the spar shop by putting up fresh coffee signs , lottery signs ect . She is single handedly cutting business at the shop .??
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Mmm, mixed depending on what mood I`m in.

    Ignorant people who question our disability should be ignored.

    I would use a posh voice and tell them to mind their own business.....I`d never swear at them,,but would later.
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    It`s so much easier now to say MS ..rather than HSP.....who`s heard of it?
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    Hi @gray1. Non of my disabilities are visible so I only tell people about my disabilities if I want to.
  • JenCo
    JenCo Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    I tilt my head a little and point to my BAHA as if yto say, excuse you, I literally have assistive technology surgically implanted in my cranium. Failing that, whip out my disabled persons railcard like, hi there, look an entire organisation acknowledges that I'm disabled. Or just give em a death stare ?
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Depending on circumstances.  Questions about disability are an opportunity to educate the public.  One more person  with a little more  understanding may pass on the information. 

    Hostile  questions are a problem.... a soft answer oft turneth away wrath?   The above poster regarding the spar shop might ask the franchise owner if the franchisees of the chain  are all informed about the law on goods and service providers,  which compel them to make all  reasonable effort to adjust their services to meet the needs of disabled  service users?   

    Hysterical, apparently hate-filled overreaction to the needs of a disabled person needing briefly to park might suggest a lack of awareness of the Equalities Act. So might filling the outside space with signs, causing avoidable hazard to blind people.   The  parent organisation can and must ensure their members don't bring the chain into disrepute  by breaching Discrimination law.
  • JenCo
    JenCo Member Posts: 122 Pioneering
    In happier news, when I got my BAHA fitted I sent an email round my entire office. I told everyone what it was going to be like and the things I might struggle with. It was light-hearted and everyone responded so positively, it was really lovely. At work I'm very open about my disability. Out and about in public it's very hot or miss
  • dolfrog
    dolfrog Member Posts: 441 Pioneering
    edited February 2020
    The lack of understanding of my communication disability, and especially by the so called local NHS medical professionals, is the reason I have become almost completely house bond in recent years. If the local so call medical professionals do not want to know about my disability how will the public in general know anything about it. 
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Member Posts: 6,389 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 2020
    Hello @gray1   Good question but same time can be sometimes destressing emotional and some times even rude.

    I have a number of times and more . Encountered those usually a specific age group who think we should not be here in this Country.

    Issue such statements and shock you to the foundations of your being.  Yet I learnt to if I have to fight back with a shaft of wit or some funny line.

    Which makes them feel small or embarrassed . Wish they had not.

    Recall one quick one line. Lady in a office I was in being a trainee and new.

    Uttered the immortal line you lost your fingers.  I have fingers missing from birth a genetic condition.

    I replied I know lost them in accident could not pick the rest up had no fingers left unable to do surgery.

    Stony silence for a few minutes then she quipped you making fun of me , so you are asking a personal question.

    I do not ask why how and when any thing about you.

    Then I spoke about ageism getting older and we get older might have some disability physical problem that might happen.

    Well eyesight need glasses, hearing loss hearing aid.  Difficulty getting out and about joint problems or muscle issues so on.

    End of chat, so what had the pleasure of telling the lady the truth.

    Other one is the situation of this Country is hate crime, if some one thinks less of you as a decent kind human being and insists making name calling or other insults you have the right to call the Police.

    All Police stations have hate crime officers, mine on speed dial.  Called a few times.

    Another thing is we do let those who consider us different. Hurt harm and insult , belittle and bully.  If they do then we need to address that by education and knowledge.

    I have at one time spent in all white offices not one person of diversity or any one like members of our community.

    All opinions, views and attitudes of the highest order the most disturbing the most insulting. Understood this was a long time ago but it does resonate ..

    Please if I can add have lots of experiences of my self meeting those who want to know more.  Had mainly in Supermarkets.

    Being singled out have you seen that man with funny hands in one Supermarket.  Me replied with stinging comments have you seen that woman with funny hair and a big nose.

    Continued shouting always as they  do I came back with more critical sharp wit.

    Security was called and she was ejected.  Much to her chagrin and horror screaming never shop here again, good.

    Uttered last quip your past your sell by date. 

    To deal with any of the questions if you need say. People do not listen but make them, in a sense be practical and sensible.

    Not spiels but clear, precise words.

    I have many encounters and experiences know with every one educated or made that person aware of what they are doing. 

    Please remember your among members of a community who care have compassion, anytime please any problems.

    We are here to be listening..

    Please take care.

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  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,736 Disability Gamechanger
    I find it's only people I know who question it.  The general public aren't interested, but my problems aren't hugely obvious.  I guess it'd be different if I was in a wheel chair or using disabled spaces.

    I had a severe anxiety attack in a very public place last week and no-one batted an eyelid!  After about 10 minutes of trying breathing exercises/distractions/sitting/walking/muscle clenching etc and realising it wasn't getting better, my fingers and lips started tingling and I realised I'd probably pushed too far and had to head for the car before I passed out.  Only a hundred metres or so but I had to steady myself on each of the parking bollards on the way back.  I was worrying about getting reported for suspected drunk driving!!  Fortunately I didn't pass out, and did make it home without any further incidents but honestly don't know what I'd have done if I was further away from the car.  My world's still getting smaller and smaller.  But I really was surprised that no-one in the busy car park and shopping complex checked to see if I was alright despite not actually wanting to be asked lol.

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    It is sad that more people didn't take notice @OverlyAnxious. I know it probably isn't what you wanted or needed in the moment, but it is a sad sign of how society has changed that no one thought to check you were okay. 
    Glad to read you made it back safely. 
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  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,868 Connected
    It depends. 

    I do not mind a honest conversation. I agree with you. 


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