Dealing with diversity is one thing, facing diversity is another. I hope by now you understand that I am very comfortable with talking about my “disability,” the everyday situations that appear, the highs and lows and the reactions we experience from others on a daily basis. In fact, I encourage it, because it is better to be knowledgeable about it than ignorant. The only way diversity will go down is if you spread awareness, inform others of your condition and teach them the correct terms. If I just allowed people to walk all over me, they will also walk all over other minorities. I guess I’m just trying to be the speed bump for all of this traffic. My goal in this post is to share some personal stories and experiences on how to go about helping out someone with any form of handicap.
There are numerous varieties of handicaps out there, if this is news to you than you need to get out more. Some are more severe than others, but more importantly some people handle it differently than others. Not everyone takes control of their personal situation. Physical appearance unfortunately means a lot to some people so acceptance of that can be tougher and could take longer to deal with.
My biggest troubles are reaching for things. What might be a stretch for you could involve a ladder for me. I approach these obstacles hands on at first. I always will make an effort to first try myself. I can get creative sometimes by finding something that could act as a poker, toss something at it to knock it over and catch it or climb up to reach it. My kitchen is my playground/gym. I climb everywhere, stand on open drawers, walk on counters, jump over sinks, climb up cabinets push up off tables. With anything dangerous comes injuries and those I’ve experienced with a couple cracked heads and chins. But now I’m a pro and definitely wasted money on that gym membership this summer. Stools are cool and helpful, but are usually in a different room or just no where to be found. What looks dangerous to you, is just another form of adaption for me. When people tell me to “Be careful” when standing on a chair, I sort of take it as “Good luck.”
After a couple of attempts or even I think the task at hand is too dangerous, that’s when I ask for help. Asking for help has become easier and easier as I grow older. I am starting to accept the fact that I can’t do everything. I have never had any difficulty or problems from anyone I have ever asked for help from. If you are one of those people witnessing me or anyone struggling live by these simple tips and you will have no problems and possible even make someone’s day. If you notice someone in need of help, don’t stare. If you feel comfortable enough approach them. Politely ask them if they would like any help. If they say yes, do the task at hand. These situations can be very fragile depending on the attitude of the person you are helping. A state of embarrassment can come upon the person being helped because of how simple the task is for most people, can be difficult for him/her. The person might be one of those “never give in” and be stubborn and not ever want help. That is why asking if they would like help is safer than just helping. A sense of arrogance might be taken, meaning look how easy this is for me and not you. The main points are: be polite, be courteous, be respectful, and offer a smile. If you do all of that, 99.99999% of the time you will have been greatly appreciated. A little help can go a long way and in this world that wasn’t really built for me I will jump on an opportunity where the advantage is in my favor.
So next time you see me jumping up and climbing in the salad bar at the dining halls, feel free to ask if I would like help. I promise you I will accept the help and be so appreciative of it. A little help goes a long way. The sky’s the limit, so I look to keep climbing until I reach it.