Idiot’s Guide to Disability Etiquette

Jody picked up on Mark’s book idea before I did, but I love it.

I actually don’t have very many good stories, sadly. Went to a gas station/fancy car wash place the other day to get gas. A young employee was lurking about with a clipboard, doing a survey, maybe, or giving out free car washes or something. He watched me get out of my car – he was doing this funny bouncing thing that made me think that he kept starting to walk over but then changed his mind. While I was pumping gas, he went up to every other customer with his clipboard to ask questions. Maybe I scared him off.

Oh, and then there was the woman in the grocery store who was just so proud of me, apparently because I buy groceries. That was bizarre. I just nodded and smiled and hoped she’d go away. The head patting thing has occasionally happened to me (bleah!), but I’ve gotten pretty good at moving out of range. I’d rather be scary than cute.



  1. S

    > Idiot’s Guide to Disability Etiquette

    I think that’s a fabulous idea. I’d never thought it was ever okay to pat anyone on the head, but I wouldn’t have known about the squatting versus standing while talking to you/Jody or (in Mark’s case) that it’s okay to pick up his hand if he can’t.

    But now that I’ve read those, I know to ask.

    — S.

  2. Katja

    I don’t follow the objection to squatting; I agree with Jody. Ideally, if we’re going to talk for a while, you would find a chair or something to perch on. It’s that cocktail party too many people, too much noise, my eye level is everybody else’s butt level that’s a total pain.

    By the way, that’s what Nancy Mairs was referring to when she titled her book “Waist-High in the World: A Life Among the Nondisabled”.


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