Words of Encouragement for People with Disabilities

A recent blog post by Tiffany Carlson was posted on The Mobility Resource website. Tiffany described the 10 best phrases to be heard by a person with a disability.  Many of these sayings are important for everyone, not just those with disabilities.

Let’s take a look at the 10 phrases. I’ve added my own descriptions below.

1. “You’re hired.”

I’m glad this phrase is first on the list. In October, our nation celebrates Disability Employment Awareness Month. Only 10 percent of the workforce includes people with disabilities. At my job, I’m helping the organization improve strategies to hire more individuals with disabilities.

2. “Yes, we’re accessible.”

Places of employment must be accessible if they have an employee with a disability.  Reasonable accommodations include ramps or elevators, accessible restrooms, automatic doors, etc. Accessibility is also important at restaurants, movie theaters and shopping malls.

3. “You’re beautiful.” or “You’re handsome.”

Everyone would like to hear that they are beautiful or handsome. It boosts a person’s self esteem.  Increasing self-esteem may help someone become more active in his or her community.

4. “I forgot you were disabled.”

It’s exciting to hear this phrase.  When someone gets to know you for who you are, the disability disappears.  A person’s abilities should be the focal points of their personality, as opposed to their inabilities.

5. “May I help you?”

It’s great when someone is willing to offer assistance. However, it’s important for that person to ask, “May I help you?” instead automatically assuming the person needs assistance.

6. “Cool.” instead of “Good for you.”

Both of these sayings may seem appropriate, but it depends on the context of the discussion. “Good for you” can be perceived as condescending. Just be mindful of the vocabulary you use when talking with someone with a disability.

7. “I love you.”

These three words coincide with phrase three. We all need to hear “I love you” from our friends, family and significant others.  It’s important for people with disabilities to love and be loved by others.

8. “It’s fixed.”

All of us with wheelchairs, scooters and assistive technology devises appreciate hear that the equipment has been fixed! Between my wheelchairs, the joystick system in my van and even the garage door opener, there’s always something that could go wrong. I have to give a shout out to my wheelchair mechanics who keep me rolling every day.

9. “We’ll still figure out a way to make it work.”

Even when you plan for the necessary accommodations, they don’t always work. It’s always good to have a back-up plan. For instance, if you’re at a restaurant that has a couple steps at the entrance (and you don’t have a portable ramp), try finding plywood to use as a temporary solution to get you and your wheelchair into the building.

10.  “I don’t care if you have a disability.”

Hearing these words during friendships and relationships are wonderful. Despite your disability, people look past your differences and embrace their personalities.

These are only 10 phrases that people with disabilities want to hear. What are some other sayings that you would add to the list?

To see the Mobility Resource blog, go to http://www.themobilityresource.com/10-things-every-person-with-a-disability-should-hear/.

About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 31 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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5 Responses to Words of Encouragement for People with Disabilities

  1. Aunt Kathy says:

    Great work, as usual.
    I love you … Not just because you are my nephew, but because you are a great person. Smart, creative, and handsome!


  2. Paul Griffin says:

    I’ve always tried to treat people with disabilities like they don’t have any physical problem. I have a friend who is disabled and he is always talking ironically about his cane. I have always admired his willpower. Making them feel like they are not different is the best you can do. He sent me that article with words of encouragement in it http://hardquotes.com/life-motivation/words-of-encouragement-step-towards-stronger-mindset . It may help someone.


  3. Pingback: Top 10 blog posts of 2015 | Tuesday Talk With Alex

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