Things happen to disabled people that happen to no one else. At least so I suspect. Let me tell you about what happened at the conference. I was attending the session given by a friend of mine, I arrived on time as is my wont. I received a handout package that I was holding in my hands. I didn't feel a need to flip through it because all content was on the screen. A few minutes later a woman comes in, sees the seat next to me empty and pulls it back. I'm in the back row so she is just making room with the chair.
The session was on how to help people with intellectual disabilities. How to listen, to support and to encourage. Good stuff and I was enjoying it. As the session was coming to a close I noticed the latecomer woman get a little fidgety. Like she wanted to dash out right away.
She reached over and tapped my arm for my attention. Here's our conversation:
pointing to my handout package, "You aren't going to use that package so give it to me please.'
'No, you can get one after up front.'
OK, it's not dialogue from a Broadway play but it's interesting. Her tone of voice was directive. I was being told what the situation was and what I as going to do. I'm way passed that kind of compliance so I simply said no. I had no need for confrontation and no need to create a scene.
She was annoyed and my 'non compliance'.
I told someone about this and they said, 'She probably thought you had an intellectual disability and that you wouldn't be using the handout.' Did I just land from Pluto or is that a weird thing to say. So instructing people with intellectual disabilities to give up their things for the betterment of staff is a GOOD thing.