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3 questions in the "Disability" category

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I've recently graduated and struggle alot with my disabilities (yup theres a whole bunch) but i want to be employed, do you have any resources for accessible employers or even some advice on how to cope during unemployment as a disabled person?

I'm afraid I don't feel able to give you careers advice but EmployAbility is a great little charity who are dedicated to assisting disabled students and graduates into employment. Check them out:
http://www.employ-ability.org.uk/

Asked on 13th August 2012 in Disability

Would it be appreciated to politely tell a dyslexic person the correct spelling if I see they're having trouble.

For me it very much depends on the situation. Sometimes it can be incredibly embarrassing and patronising for people to point out my mistakes, especially if there is no other point but to tell me I've already gotten it wrong. Personally someone telling me how to spell things won't enable me to learn the spelling or guarantee that I will get it right from that point on.

However if I am in the process of trying to spell a word and I get stuck, or I freeze then I appreciate people spelling the word out for me. Having said this it's important to remember to spell words out slowly, it takes me a while to correlate the sound you have made to what shape that makes on paper and can mean that by the end of you spelling the word out I only actually got the first 2 letters, and its really embarrassing to have to ask for it to be spelt over and over.

Spelling can be really really frustrating when you can't do it. Especially as so many people put so much emphasis on it being right. So sometimes a little help can be really handy, however sometimes it can feel like people are actively pointing out the fact that you can't do something that other people find so easy. My advice is to judge it on the situation, don't be patronising, if your going to spell things out do it slowly and if the person becomes frustrated it is more likely then not about the situation and the fact that they feel stupid rather than directly at you.

Asked on 4th March 2012 in Disability

Is it wrong to use disabled toilets (even though I'm not disabled), if there is no one waiting for it?

This is a question that has fuelled some debate between disabled activists, and although to begin with looks like it should have a simple yes or no answer there are quite a lot of complexities.

It is important to understand exactly why accessible toilets exist; they are there to make it possible for disabled people to use the loo, therefore allowing them to engage in everyday activities that others may take for granted. It means that you don't have to go home every time you need the toilet and means you can get involved. Having this option taken away from you because it is easier or quicker for someone who does have the option to use any toilet in the building can be extremely frustrating.

It is also important to remember that there is a wealth of different reasons why people may need to use an accessible toilet and using a wheelchair is only one of these. For example trans or gender variant people, people with mental health problems, people with bladder/bowel problems and social anxieties to name but a few may all need to use an accessible toilet. This means it isn't just a case of looking around for someone who you perceive to be disabled based on whether or not they use a wheelchair to make sure there not waiting but remembering that disabled people come in all shapes and size and that you can't tell who is disabled by just looking at them.
As a general rule if you can use the usual bathrooms without physical or emotional difficulty, do. If for whatever reason the usual bathrooms just aren't accessible to you, use the accessible bathroom.

Asked on 17th February 2012 in Disability

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