I work in the human services industry and I work closely with people with disabilities, most of whom are often marginalised.
I support a gentlemen; “George” to a choir. As this choir is relatively welcoming, it attracts other people with disabilities to join in. One particular lady; “Anne” comes with a support person, “Diane”, George and I see them often and would often exchange pleasantries.
Today, as we usually do, George and I were at the choir when Anne and Diane arrived; as there was no space elsewhere, they came to sit with us. Just before settling in, Diane stated that Anne does not like other people in wheelchairs as they scare her.
I work with people because I believe that everyone should be included in the community and be treated like anyone else. And no one should be subjected to discrimination based on race, gender, culture, etc- by anyone.
I was shocked by the statement made by the support person. How is it ok to condone and enable another person to discriminate others?
I was gobsmacked, I couldn’t actually verbally acknowledge her statement. I certainly do not agree.
If ‘regular folks’ are frowned upon such views, then shouldn’t people like Anne and Diane be frowned upon too? Why should there be a double standard?
Professionally, I do not understand how the support person accepted this view and not help Anne work through it- perhaps there is a deeper issue, a negative personal experience that made her apprehensive.
What are your thoughts on this?