Knowing your rights when you have a disability
When it comes to improving your health and well-being it’s important to find new ways of exploring your options and abilities in the world. You definitely have the same rights as your friends and family. So, here’s how to approach a few stressful and confusing situations you might face during your lifetime.
Incidents and Accidents
I know that people like to joke about slipping at the grocery store to pay for their tuition. But accidents do happen and it’s important to think about. With so many places continuing to be inaccessible, it can be pretty easy to get hurt when you have a disability. Things like ramps being too steep (or not having a ramp at all!) or uneven steps with no handrail can be incredibly difficult and dangerous to navigate. Plus, a fall can be even more serious than it would be for some abled people.
I’ve seen my friends and people I know struggle with inaccessible venues time and time again. It never gets any less frustrating. Whether you were born with a disability or you suffered a serious injury during your life, you have the right to follow up any accidents you are involved in. Business owners should be held accountable for putting their customers at risk, whether that be with inaccessible features or just poor maintenance.
I was curious about the logistics of such a scenario and want to share a link that you might find helpful: https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/trip-fall-injury-attorneys/.
Disabled people tend to catch a lot of backlash for speaking out about things like ADA violations and accidents, but remember that it’s your right to have safe access to public spaces.
Job hunting can be incredibly discouraging. So many workplaces aren’t accessible, especially when you’re in a wheelchair or have multiple physical locations. That being said, if a company doesn’t hire you because of your disability then you are being discriminated against. Pay close attention to the interview process and make sure to do your research beforehand. Learn what employers are legally allowed to ask you and what they’re not.
My brother and I have both experienced interview questions that were totally illegal. From asking what medications my brother was on to asking me specific details about my disability and limitations. Sometimes it can come across as a desire to help and ensure you’ll get the accommodations you need. I promise it’s almost always used against you.
You can absolutely report this discrimination and seek compensation. It’s incredibly hard to get a job when you have a disability. A big reason why is because employers continue to get away with discriminating against us.
While it can be difficult to find, seek out a company that is going to value who you are as an employee, disability and all. Look up reviews from previous employees, and trust your instincts when meeting with the company. Once you’re hired, they’re required to give you reasonable accommodations. So, make sure you advocate for yourself to get what you need. If your current workplace is holding you back don’t be afraid to speak to a colleague or human resources; they will be able to advise you on the best way to move forward. You can also reach out online and see what other people in similar situations have done.
When things get difficult, it’s important to remember that you have your friends and family ready to support you. Whenever you are doubting yourself or your abilities, know that you can turn to them. They will know how to boost your confidence and help you through your struggles. Everybody goes through a tough time at some point in their lives. It’s when you’ll learn who your true friends are.
I’d also recommend getting involved with the disabled community. Especially if you don’t have any friends or family who you can relate to on this subject! Having disabled friends is enormously valuable. Finding your place within the community can help change your perspective in ways you might not imagine.
Ableism is everywhere, but know that you’re incredible and don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise. Do your best to stay well informed of your legal options, and seek support from your co-workers and friends.
Things may become difficult, but take it one step at a time and you can solve any problem that might fall in front of you.
*This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links*