Changing Perspective

The Realities of Disability

I do find at times people will try and take advantage of people with disabilities. I think that people will just think that you won’t notice it, or know that it is wrong. But for someone like me, I know it’s wrong and for how long I tolerate it depends on the situation I am in.  

Being taken advantage of comes in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it is unintentional, but still bordering on taking advantage of the person’s vulnerability, and at other times it is outright intentional. 

Friendships are developed not because the ‘friend’ was interested in being a friend, but because they’re interested in working with people with disabilities, so they wanted to spend time with you as practice. Support agencies trying to charge you for services you never requested, hoping that you don’t notice the date of service on the invoice.  Medical services trying to overcharge you, hoping that you are not going to fight back. Insurance companies prying on the weak and vulnerable and on and on it goes. 

Workplaces not treating you in accordance with the law, but do so with other employees or telling you that you are slow at your job because of your disability, and making you feel that you should do hours of unpaid overtime, when the reality is that your disability has no impact on the speed of your job but you’ve been given an unrealistic workload for anyone on a part-time basis. Then there is the covert discrimination with people telling you that they will get back to you on something or they are interested in the services that you are offering, but they know you have a disability, and eventually you stop hearing from them. 

These are just some of the ways in which people who are in vulnerable situations because of their disabilities are taken advantage of. You would like to see the best in people, and believe that they are not deliberately taking advantage of you, but you know that they are. Or they are seeing just how much they can get away with, because they know that you have a disability and don’t have the energy or sometimes even the mental capacity to stand up for yourself and tell other’s what they are doing is wrong. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we lived in a world that instead of taking advantage of people, we treated them with the respect and dignity that they deserved? Wouldn’t it be amazing that once giving the person with a disability an opportunity of employment, we consistently gave them a fair go instead of taking advantage? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we developed friendships with people because we want them as a friend and not as a means of taking advantage? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we lived in a world that valued the difference found in people with disabilities, then perhaps we wouldn’t look for ways to take advantage of the vulnerable in our society.  

Author

briar@strengthdignityhope.com

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