Wichita State News

The following is an excerpt from an November 5 report by KWCH-TV, Channel 12 in Wichita. Grady Landrum, director of disability services for Wichita State University, contributed to the report.

How to talk to a person with disabilities

Friday, November 06, 2009

What happened to you? Do your legs move? How long will you be in that chair?

Innocent questions from a curious child are not unusual, but when those questions come from an adult, it's rude, and not the questions you'd usually ask someone you just met.

But when a person has a visible disability, people forget boundaries and feel they can ask or say anything.

(Grady) Landrum runs Wichita State University's Disability Services Office. But he also has personal experience; he's used a wheelchair since a car accident in the 1970s.

Landrum says things have changed since then; people with disabilities are integrated in the community, thanks in part to laws that ensure opportunity and accommodations. But people with disabilities often find they are still stereotyped.

"Some people do come up and they talk louder or slower to you like you have some type of mental disability in association with your physical disability," Landrum says.

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Created on Friday, November 06, 2009; Last modified on Friday, November 06, 2009