If I can’t walk, does that mean I can’t talk?

As we—my mom and I—sat on a bus this morning, on the way to the hospital (just for a check-up, nothing serious), I couldn’t help but overhear her phone conversations (she’s really loud).  But it worked out since the conversation I overheard gave me the subject for this post.

As I texted, I listened while she called a friend to tell him that some guy they used to hang out with was now in a wheel chair.  She felt sorry for him, first his wife died which he didn’t handle very well, and now this.  The chair.

“Poor thing,” she said.  I didn’t catch what caused him to be wheelchairbound but if it was a bad accident, then her pity made sense.  But it was the words she said next that lit the spark for this piece.  “He used to give such good conversation.”

…  why wouldn’t he anymore? Because he’s in a chair? How/why does that change anything?

It reminded me of the change some people go through when they switch from talking to the person I’m with to me.  As the parent of a blind child, I feel my mom should know better.  But then, as the parent of a visually impaired child, she doesn’t act much better with me.  So perhaps not.

Why do so many people seem to believe this, that disability overpowers all other faculties? Because it doesn’t. Or you shouldn’t assume it does before you’ve even interacted with the person.

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