The other day, I came across a sentence that jumped out to me as an ableist comment. “Those who are blessed to see, hear, read, should take care of those who can’t enjoy reading.” It took me a moment to capture it so I can revisit it later after I unpacked my reaction.
- Not everyone enjoys reading
- Not everyone can see, hear, read
- Can it be something other than a blessing?
- Is it an ableist comment or a “saving grace”?
- If it is a saving grace, who is being saved from whom?
- Some people prefer to listen or watch instead of reading
It’s a simple exercise to replace words to identify if there is a better set of words that fits your goal. In my case, it is to determine how to convert an ableist comment to an inclusive comment.
Step 1. Remove the trigger words
Those who (blank) to (blank) should take care (blank).
Step 2. Find neutral words and be purposefully inclusive
Those who (receive information and stories) should take care (to share information and stories with more people).
We are all story tellers. Whether we are sharing data or opinions, we have the power to present these information or stories in a way that can be passed along.