What do you feel when you look at someone with a visible physical disability?

...when you look at someone with a visible, physical disability (e.g. someone in a chair, using crutches, having no legs or arms) while walking down the street? Is it awkward for you? What do you think is that caused by? Do you feel ashamed of feeling scared or turning your head away?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I used to always look away and pretend I didn't see them or something until I realized what it felt like to be the person on the other side. I have been in a wheelchair a lot of the time due to my epilepsy and constant seizures. I don't want people to pretend to not see me when I definitely know that they can see me in a wheelchair. I definitely wouldn't mind if someone came up to me and asked me how I got in a wheelchair kindly. I invite people to do that actually. I'd rather them be educated then ignore the subject.

    Life could be worse than being in a wheelchair, just got to remember that :)

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What Guys Said 3

  • I have MD and I'm in a wheelchair and I never care if people stare at me. I don't think your rude for doing that. and some people say they don't know how to act around us and you should just act the same as you would with anyone. Plus how do I know the only reason your staring is because of my disability. I do realize it can be awkward when you don't understand, and I don't blame u.I guess its just the fear of the unknown. Trust me though, if you ever came up to me with any question about my disability I would never get offended. If anything I want you to learn about it so its no longer the fear of the unknown

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  • If the person is attractive I get turned on. What can I say? As I'm pushing my walker down the street I figure that they aren't even paying attention to me.

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  • I try not to feel ashamed. After all he/she is human and has the same likes as everyone else.

    So if I had to talk to one I would most likely say something like " How are you today? You look great! " Everybody loves this.

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What Girls Said 5

  • Actually, I used to feel bad for disabled people.

    I used to think: "poor them, and their sad life. they can't do a lot of things."

    Then I dated a handicap guy.

    He had no use of his legs from basically the thigh down,

    he walked with this cane stick things and sometimes was in a wheelchair.

    He never once complained about anything, even showed me up at some things.

    One day he fell and I felt really bad until he said to me:

    "You know, if I wanted someone to baby me, I'd date my mom."

    Ever since then,

    I respect them, obviously. And I help them as much as I can.

    But I don't feel bad for them anymore.

    Handicapped people aren't helpless or anything.

    They have good qualities and bad just like everyone else.

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  • I don't know what to do. I don't want to offend the person. If I look at them, they might think I'm staring at them and that I'm thinking they're unusual or something. If I don't look at them, they might think I'm ignoring them. What do you think is the best way to handle the situation?

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    • Hey. I'm disabled so I can tell you which solution seems best to me. You might be surprised, but I like when people are "ignoring me". Of course not when I ask them for help. If someone's passing me by, and there's a little glance, it's okay. It's impossible not to notice peope in the street. But after that, I like them to act like I was an average girl. Nothing special to look at. Just turn away and do your stuff. I'm not the main event of your day, am I? ;)

  • i get ashamed if they see that I looked at them, I don't stare because that's rude, but if I just glance at them and they see me I feel like I'm in the wrong. if I see that they have dropped something then I will help them but usually they just shout to leave them alone (I live in a rough area where its expected teens will steal from disabled, elderly) so it gets awkward because it makes you look like the bad person

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    • Hello, thank you for the answer. I wrote a comment on how do I see this as a disabled person, you can read it below curiouschica's post. I'm glad you don't stare, you would be really surprised to realize how many people do this all the time. Try to act like they were just some random people in the street. I guess everyone stares at people who have interesting clothes, hair or skin colour, but when you look at disabled, they're sure it's because they're looking weird, ugly.

  • It doesn't bother or phase me.I treat them like I'd treat anyone else.Unless it's obvious that they need help,I won't treat them like they are idiots or any more special than I'd treat the average joe.

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  • the fact they have a disablity doesn't bother me as much as the fact that I'm not sure how to act around them. I feel if I stare at them they will be offended but if I look away then I'm ashamed

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    • Hi. :) Don't panic and act naturally. Disabled people get mad at people who are confused because of their disability, but inside their hearts they know that you didn't mean to be rude. If you're really really curious and you can't resist looking at them, just make sure they can't see you staring.

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