The insistence that anyone can overcome or transcend physical limitations such as disability or illness when for any reason it is just not possible for them to do so.
The assumption that if one person can, anyone can, regardless of circumstances resources or any priviledge.
The belief that expressing vulnerability is to be avoided, and that asking for help or support makes us weak rather than pragmatic – or just human.
The assumption that limitations in one area mean that we have no competence or potential in others, and that we do not deserve support for those limitations
That any differences in capacity and ability are not ‘normal’, they make us lesser by default, and we are helpless, or a drain on resources
It takes all of us working together to dismantle these assumptions, bias and prejudices. We need:
To meet people where they are, to listen and to work out what CAN be changed or improved, and to accept fully and help mitigate what cannot
To understand people’s circumstances, and the barriers and challenges they experience, especially practical ones that are often overlooked.
To help everybody recognise their vulnerabilities, and to also assert their needs and to take action to keep safe.
To be more human ourselves, to be open about our vulnerabilities, and what we need help and support with too.
To assume competence, and give people the opportunity to try and fail if they want to.
To give people more time to learn, and more support.
To normalise differences, to recognise the contributions that people make and the right they have to make hem, however small.
To listen, listen, and listen more. Give people a voice. Give people the chance to discuss.
To question, why and how and why not?