I appreciate the thought, I’ve gotten that line more than once, but… as a hard of hearing wheelchair user I have to wonder:
Why is the wheelie portrayed as patronizing the Deaf and folk with intellectual impairments???
Why is it that even us with friends and relations who have been or still are in that or like situations often find ourselves behaving similarly?
I KNOW better!
Have even done same to MY WIFE once or twice!
I should be a better man than that!
(sorry dude, yer a flawed human just like everyone else on this planet)
Remember, be kind to the tactfully impaired – there’s no cure.
Is he holding the communion plate or a handgun?
I have a new rant….Just how many cartoons does dave get to inspire exactly? Isn’t there some limit to that?
Laura – sorry… I always aspire to inspire until I perspire or expire!! Dave
must be a traditional church thing?
I am so ashamed.
I spent a few weeks in the summer as a volunteer, and desperately wanted not to be patronising to a fellow blind volley – and failed every time. I patronisingly pointed out ‘there’s a road there!!!’ ect.
though 3 of my fellow sighted volleys intolerance of her, and the difficulty imposed by being blind, shocked me. I guess this just further exposed the thoughtlessness they’d shown in every aspect of communal volleying.
i think suffering brings up a whole range of feelings for us, we are human, i feel resentful, inadequate, frightened and irritated – most of the time!
in the end, this woman gave me so much, her courage to have a go alongside exposing the selfishness of others who’d been slighting me horribly anyway, and her fun conversation, so long – I’ll look forward to meeting her again sometime
I have nothing worhy of insight to say except that I believe the body of Christ on the table looks like Jesus finger.
Although I have no officially designated disability (apart from ‘being human’), I HATE being patronised myself, and I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that it’s something I do to others quite a bit, albeit unintentionally.
Experience suggests that the key to not patronising people comes from relationship – ie when you actually know someone and know ‘where they’re coming from’, the perceived disability stops being a barrier and becomes simply a feature of a friend. To take subo’s (8) comment, I’m guessing that pointing SOME things out to a non- or partially-sighted person might be perceived as helpful, but others (where you are stating the obvious) might not.
I think there’s a very fine line between between being appropriately helpful and being patronising in any situation, and since each person will view words and actions differently in any case, it is only by being honest enough to accept that you may (however inadvertently) get it wrong, and perhaps offend, and willing enough to be prepared to learn, that any of us can hope to overcome these situations. If in doubt, ASK!
I guess it calls for a determination to see people as PEOPLE, regardless of their circumstances, and a whole load of humility in respect of our own shortcomings. We all have some form of ‘disability’, and sometimes the ones we CAN’T see are the hardest of all.
I’m still working on it.
Hey! Where did that smiley face come from?!
Jesus would say welcome.
i was just curious as to what the thing was supposed to be by the wine that looks like one of the styrofoam heads with a wig on it
I have a good friend who was in a horrible car accident at 19 that has put her into a wheelchair since.
The way people talk about her when she’s around, or in fact, don’t even see that she’s in a line and will walk right past her as if she doesn’t exist never ceases to amaze and appall me.
Well, she notes that she was always short, so she’s not all that much shorter now she’s in the chair, so it must be her sitting that does it. And she is great at getting even. She runs over people’s toes.
One time, we were sparring, and she got really obnoxious, so I kicked her chair and sent her spinning backwards. You should have seen the aghast looks of horror! Of course, my friend came right back up to me and ran over my foot, hard. We saw it as quite the laugh, but later spoke on the reactions our playing around received.
What is it about a chair that makes people so awkward? We cannot acknowledge either the chair or its inhabitant exists? Every year, she races with other wheelchair-bound athletes in a marathon. And every day, she lives her life, constantly aware of the chair’s influence on her, even to the point of her having redesigned and modified the layout of her kitchen and the placement of all light switches in her house.
She’s a university graduate and businesswoman. What is it about a chair that makes people think they a) need to shout so she can hear them, or b) need to use small words directed to her husband as if she can’t understand them?
6. This is more of a liturgical thing – the priest blesses the bread/wine then we all stand in line to receive what has been blessed for us. Like many in this group, I have been to services (e.g., Greenbelt) where the priest blessed the bread but then we all fed each other.
9. Looks to me more like priest is giving the person in the wheelchair the finger.
13. You Brits are the ones who are into having your government officials wearing wigs et. al. Perhaps this is Jon’s subliminal commentary once again in action.
“Will _he_ be taking communion?”
“What is that and why is it here?”
Have a story on a friend to tell:
a couple that’s been my and Kathy’s friends since before we got married have a daughter in her late 20s with multiple severe disabilities. Teresa uses a wheelchair and a walker and has difficulty speaking. It has been her dream for several years to open a small convenience store in rural town they live. Her parents got it going and ya know what – business is good! Teresa’s physical difficulties limit her in-store activity to mostly meet and greet; but, remember, the whole deal is her idea and it’s working out quite well!
Last year a couple of my friends at church came down with a mystery illness within weeks of one another which left them wheel chair bound. Again within weeks of one another they were both healed in prayer (one away at a church weekend away and one during one of our services). One became ill again this year but is now walking again. I really hope that we did not patronise them, our youth group are really friendly and just wanted to help, neither of them has said that they felt patronised and so hopefully they didn’t.
I don’t have anything to say other than how annoying it is when people talk to me when I am pushing my Mother. She has a masters degree. I am essentially just the lacky pushing. I have no idea what she wants.
Never had it happen in church though…
I have been enjoying your blog since I found it a few weeks ago.
My 14 year old son has multiple physical and cognitive disabilities. He uses a wheelchair and doesn’t speak, although he vocalizes quite a bit – often in competition with the sermon. Our pastor and many people in our congregation talk directly to him: warm generous greetings, words of encouragement, hugs from those who know him, etc. He responds with smiles and laughter. He much prefers to be a participant, rather than a spectator, in interactions that involve him.
If the spirit of the illustrated interaction is problematic, the question, “Will he be taking communion?,” is very appropriate for my son, because he cannot speak for himself, and because he has swallowing difficulties and could aspirate the communion elements (this is not apparent even to many people who know him).
Thank you for your provocative images and forum.
thank you kevin. i often feel like i’m swimming in dangerous waters with these cartoons. people such as your good self really make it worth doing.
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