Hi, I’m Jack and I’m deaf.
I also have autism.
Because of my disability, I need everyday services to be inclusive of my needs.
Same for my friend.
Because of her disability, sometimes she has to sit on the floor in long lines to stay in the queue.
Which makes people stare.
Which makes her feel even more uncomfortable.
Wouldn’t it be great if everyday services, included everyday common sense, like stools while we wait?
Shopping. For some it’s a delight.
For others, it’s a chore.
But for people with sensory sensitivities like autism, or health conditions like Occiptial Neraligia, it’s an unimaginable pain.
Loud music, bright lights and register scanners can trigger migraines, panic attacks and worse.
But please don’t try to relate or empathise.
Rather let’s innovate and organise.
Like some super supermarkets that now have quiet hour.
An hour of less power, with dimmed lights and lower radio and register volumes.
See, it doesn’t take much, to be inclusive of people with disabilities.
Some disabilities are invisible. Like mine.
Look at this beautiful face, you wouldn’t know I have a disability, right?!
But just because my disability is invisible, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
So sometimes I do need people, places and things to more inclusive of my needs.
Think how it makes me feel when I walk out of the disabled toilets and get this face from people.
Or when I’m having a panic attack, but all people see is this.
These invisible disabilities don’t disappear. They’re for life.
So, when it comes to being more inclusive of people like me, please remember, everybody has a role to play.