Bif Notes No. 4 No Pictures Please

It’s completely mind boggling to me how little expectation of privacy people with disabilities have in public. But it’s an all too common problem. Even a simple dinner out can easily turn into an extremely uncomfortable situation due to intrusion from strangers.

This intrusion takes many forms, from unnecessary, often very personal questions, rude comments or an insistent offer to help the disabled person in some way. It’s not even uncommon for people witnessing disabled people “in the wild” going about their daily lives to feel it perfectly acceptable to take pictures or video of said disabled people.

Not only is this a complete violation of the disabled person, often it is done with the intention of painting the disabled person as someone to be pitied. They are the recipient of a good deed that the non disabled person can then check off and feel better about themselves. For the disabled person this is beyond insulting. They do not exist to be objects of pity. They are not life lessons for strangers to learn from. They are people, often just trying to go about their daily lives, and should have the same expectation to be allowed to do so.

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