It always amazes me how rude able-bodied people can be to people with disabilities. Many times, they treat us as if we are not to be shown respect at all. Last Friday, that fact was driven home to me once again.
A state social worker came to see me. That, alone is not blog worthy, considering how I arrived here in the first place,
What makes the social worker's visit blog worthy is the unprofessional and disrespectful way in which the short interview was conducted.
I was in the bathroom. There was a knock on my door.I thought it was my aide coming to help me. The door was opened by a person I had never seen before. They were not an aide, but it still didn't bother me because there are always new staff members here. They person didn't tell me their name or show me any identification. They wanted to ask me a few questions. They could see I was on the toilet, attached to the stand-up lift. "As you can see, I'm a little busy," I said. They offered to come back, but they were in the bathroom with me , I was exposed with no dignity left. What was the difference? People are always coming in when I am in the bathroom. Inside, however, I was mortified. I am sure this was the first time someone has been interviewed in the bathroom. It took five minutes. I have been asked similar questions before.
I went downstairs to find out who the staff member was. No one knew. Finally, someone heard my conversation and said that the individual I was describing was from the state. I was told that they were holding their ID in their hand. They didn't show it to me.
I feel tricked. I feel violated too. When this individual saw that I was on the toilet, they should have left immediately. Why was it okay for them to talk with me when I was in a vulnerable position? Why didn't they show me any ID? Instead, they led me to believe they worked at this facility.
I want to warn people with disabilities. Always ask t see someone's ID before speaking to them. Never assume anything. If this happened to me. It can happen to you ..