The background of getting asked for ID when you have a severe disability
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The background of getting asked for ID when you have a severe disability

For any middle aged adult the sense of getting IDed has become almost a compliment in our appearance. Personally, as a nonverbal wheelchair user this concept interestingly has the opposite effect for me, to a point it’s almost an insult.

To provide you with a bit more background into this statement, I’m Gretta, I’m 33 and I have been a nonverbal wheelchair user since I was born. I was also brought up in the little area called the Hawkesbury. As it was the nineties I had the unique opportunity to grow up as the most severely disabled person in my district and school. Although I’m extremely grateful for these opportunities, there have always been times where I have been frustrated with people who don’t treat me like an average person. Interestingly, I’ve noticed that these feelings have sort of grown since I’ve entered further and further into adulthood. Personally, I feel this is because I constantly compare people’s treatment of me to how they would treat other adult women. I understand that some of you who are reading this are relating way too well to this situation. If this is you I’m just going to give you some tips that I really try to remember in these situations, although it’s extremely hard sometimes especially if you’re nonverbal.

My first tip is especially for situations you might feel that there’s limited people who have disabilities like starting a new TAFE or University course. Basically, my tip is try to be as outgoing and outspoken as possible so that everyone knows that you don’t have an intellectual disability or a social disorder. This theory worked perfectly for me at university and gave me an amazing university experience. My second point is that to be understanding to the other person’s situation, especially if they are a little child or from another country. Personally, if a little child or a person clearly from a different culture is staring at me I just smile and wave, as I understand they don’t mean to harm anyone just in need of education. My last tip is to remember that you deserve to be treated exactly like everyone else. So it is important to always speak up for yourself and always maintain your maturity and identity.

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Based on 187 reviews
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