Over my 48 years of life, I’ve been asked some strange questions. I used to think everyone gets asked the same type of questions. I later learned, the odd questions coming my way were generated because I have a disability.
When I was young and people would ask me strange and inappropriate questions, it used to make me angry. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that people often don’t think before speaking which often leads to some very strange questions.
I know that I am not the only one who deals with odd questions. So, I summoned some of my friends with disabilities to chime in and share their details on the strangest questions asked.
My friend Melody said, one of the strangest questions she was asked; was when she told someone she had a job, “why don’t you just let the government take of you?” Why does society think people with disabilities are not capable of working? People with disabilities are some of the best employee’s around. We’re not looking for handouts, instead we’re looking for a hand-up, which hopefully will lead to more opportunities.
Diana chimed in by saying she was asked if she still had a disability? Disabilities don’t just up and disappear. Usually when you’re born or even acquire a disability, it stays with you for life. I often think that some individuals think it’s sad to have a disability. I’m here to let you know there’s nothing sad about myself or my friends. Our disabilities are a part of us, and we own it, and we’re ok with ourselves.
Terri, who’s blind and uses a guide dog added, one day while at a university library asking for directions to a particular section, a librarian commented, ” your dog reads the labels for you right?” Terri responded, “Yeah, sure, she just can’t read aloud.” Guide dogs can do many things, but they can’t read aloud, yet.
Julie, who’s a little person three feet or so tall shared; she was once at a doctor’s office in a crowded waiting area and a little girl kept inching her way closer and closer and finally was sitting directly beside her like really really close, and she asked, “do you live in a little house?” Julie, who’s very kind yet wise, proceeded to tell the little girl that she lived in a typical sized house. Kids say the darndest things. Julie added, while the conversation was going on between her and the little girl, the entire lobby was listening intently to the conversation.
I, like my friends, have been asked many strange questions but my favorite by far came from a presentation I was giving to the Girl Scout’s. A girl scout asked me, “How do you sleep?” My response was, I close my eyes!” Everyone laughed including the girl scout. I gave her a pass for she was young and wanted to know. I wanted her interaction with a person with a disability to be a positive one.
This has been a fun post to write, and I’d like to thank Melody, Diana, Terri, and Julie for sharing. I think I’ll continue with more strange questions asked in the future. Stay tuned!