As a woman, born with a little right arm and a visible Muslim wearing a headscarf, I have certainly met some very interesting people in my life. Sometimes a little too helpful or asking some of the most awkward questions. I pride myself on being very open-minded and saying that no question is stupid but that does not mean they are awkward to ask, hear or reply to!
No I don’t wear my headscarf in the shower and yes I can wash my own dishes (and cook, clean etc…). Awkward questions might be trying at times but they are generally harmless and asked with the best of intentions. With that in mind, I keep a smile on my face and encourage people around me to feel comfortable asking. Why? I want to help bridge the gaps that seem to have built up between all of these different groups and boxes. At the end of the day, we are all human.
Discrimination is a whole other matter and it’s against the law. Unfortunately as a twelve-year old, I was too young and vulnerable to recognise it, speak about it and take action. Here’s a basic definition of discrimination I found. I’m restricting the definition to disability only in this instance though discrimination can happen to anyone with any form of protected characteristic.
Discrimination is when you are treated less well or put at a disadvantage for a reason that relates to your disability. The treatment could be a one-off action, the application of a rule or policy or the existence of physical or communication barriers which make access difficult or impossible. The discrimination does not have to be intentional for it to be considered to be discrimination.