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Stop Infantilizing Disabled People

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This article is for people who mean well, but often do not know what to say or whether or not they are saying offensive things to disabled people.

Recently I went to a bar with some friends who aren’t disabled and at the end of the night a woman came up to me, grabbed my arm, and told me that I was “so adorable.” Able-bodied people may not immediately see anything wrong with this “compliment” in this scenario, but at a bar as a woman in a wheelchair, being called “so adorable” is not the “compliment” you may think it is.

It is actually viewed as infantilization, which is when an adult is treated like a child. As disabled young adults, we already face an uphill battle to be taken seriously in entering careers and dating spheres, etc., and these comments and actions reinforce our fears.

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