People tend to make a lot of assumptions when they see a person with a physical disability. Why are they disabled? What is their life-like? Sometimes these misconceptions can be hurtful and affect your relationship with somebody so this doesn’t happen here are few common myths about people with physical disabilities.
People with disabilities are in constant pain- In one of my volunteer positions someone asked me “are you in constant pain?” The answer is no I rarely ever have pain but that may not be the case for all disabilities it depends on what disability you have.
People with disabilities are confined to their wheelchair- Wheelchair users do not view themselves as wheelchair bound. Their wheelchairs give them the independence and freedom to do more things for themselves and be less dependent on others.
All disabilities use wheelchairs- Yes, some people with physical disabilities may use a wheelchair but that is a very small percentage of the disabled community. Many people with disabilities have invisible disabilities so never assume everyone who is disabled uses a wheelchair!
Abled and disabled people live completely different lives- People with disabilities get jobs, do laundry, and go to school just like everyone else. Some tasks may take us longer to complete and we may have to adapt them but for the most part, our lives are not much different than yours!
All people with physical disabilities have limited feeling in their legs- Not all wheelchair users have limited feeling in their legs and feet. Some of them have just as much feeling in their legs and feet as an abled person does. Never assume someone has limited feeling in their legs and feet without asking them first!
Dating is out of the question- Many people with physical disabilities get married and even have kids! Some people with disabilities may have difficulty in finding a significant other but that is not the case for everybody.
It’s alright to park in an accessible parking spot if it’s only for a few minutes- Accessible parking spaces are not there for your convenience but are there to help meet the needs of people with disabilities. Some people with disabilities cannot walk long distances or need the larger space to unload their wheelchairs so using these spaces if you don’t need it is inconsiderate.
You should treat people with disabilities differently– People with disabilities are no different from an abled person and treating them differently because of their disability is hurtful. Sometimes people with disabilities may struggle with things that you may not struggle with but that does not mean we need special treatment.
Sometimes if you don’t take the time to get to know someone with a disability you may develop certain ideas in your head that you think are true but actually are not. People with physical disabilities sometimes struggle to make friends because abled people make false assumptions about them before getting to know them. If you have questions don’t hesitate to ask because that is always better than making false assumptions. If you have any questions about common misconceptions about people with physical disabilities please leave them in the comments below.