Carin and I talk about this a lot. For the life of me I have no idea why you wouldn’t want to be handled the way you seem to be ok with handling us so please stop doing it is such a difficult concept for people to…uh…grasp, but that’s the world we live in. Hopefully this campaign can help even just a little.
My #JustAskDontGrab campaign has been on @SkyNews this morning. I'm raising awareness of how best to help disabled people. Being grabbed, pushed or pulled without warning is frightening & sometimes dangerous. If you want to offer assistance to a disabled person just ask! pic.twitter.com/hFKou8W3am
— Dr Amy Kavanagh (@BlondeHistorian) August 26, 2018
The video cuts off in a funny spot (at least it did when I watched it), but there should be more than enough here to get the point across. If not, here’s an article on it.
Dr Amy Kavanagh has launched the #JustAskDontGrab campaign to help change the way people interact with those with disabilities.
She says that while people with disabilities often receive well-meaning offers of assistance, they’re not always in the most helpful way.
Navigating the world with a visual impairment presents a unique set of challenges.
Sometimes I need a bit of help with everyday tasks, like crossing a road, going down the stairs or getting on the right bus.
I rely on the kindness of strangers to help me live an independent life. However, sometimes the good intentions of the general public have unintended consequences.
Almost daily I am pushed, pulled or grabbed without warning by strangers who are trying to help me.
This sudden unexpected and unwanted touching is often frightening, disorientating and sometimes even dangerous.
Imagine what it’s like to be pulled into a road when you can’t see the other side of the street or if the cars have stopped. Or pushed onto a train when you can’t tell where the platform ends or the carriage begins. Yet, whenever I explain that being pushed or grabbed has scared me or disorientated me, people reply “I was just trying to help!”.
The more I talked about these experiences on social media, the more replies I got from other disabled people sharing their stories.
Wheelchair users being pushed around like pieces of furniture, people who use crutches or canes are being unbalanced by enthusiastic strangers. I even heard from a guide dog owner who had his dog’s lead pulled out of his hand!
Each time, they were told that the person was just being kind, just trying to help.
Yet frequently these incidents have resulted in damaged wheelchairs, caused pain or injuries, or sadly made someone too anxious to leave the house.