Category Archives: Etiquette

The Importance of People First Language

Words matter. Words label. Words explain. Words create perception and misperception. Words can hurt. Words can limit. Words can lift. And words can convey powerful messages. Within the disability world there has been a shift  towards “people first” language, whereby the person comes first and the disability comes second. This change in language is important… Read More »

Misinformation and Magical Thinking

Recently I saw a post on Facebook of a link to a news item. The piece was about a woman who “defies odds, learns to walk again after spinal cord injury”. The piece explains that she did so through “faith and fortitude” making “a liar” of doctors. As a person who lives with a disability,… Read More »

Interacting with a Person Who Uses a Wheelchair

For many people interacting with someone who has a disability can be a stressful and daunting prospect, especially if they have had little or no previous experience. While it is important to utilize the following steps it is also vital that you keep in mind that you are not alone in feeling hesitant during these… Read More »

Respect Personal Space

Respecting personal space is a good etiquette rule to utilize in all interactions, particularly first-time encounters. Personal space is the area around an individual that they psychologically feel is their space, if this space is invaded by another they can feel uncomfortable, encroached upon, nervous and even violated. This space differs from person to person… Read More »

Introductory Post

My name is Heather McCain. I have been living with disability and chronic pain for seventeen years, exactly half of my life. I learned, fairly quickly, that the public perception of disability and chronic pain is not a true reflection of my experiences or of others. The media tends to only tell stories about people… Read More »