TryHarder™ Magazine: The Disability Etiquette Issue Featuring the Dowager Crippess From Downwith Ableism

TryHarder™ Magazine: The Magazine for People Who Need to Try Harder, 2 cents

Issue No. 5: The Disability Etiquette Issue

In which Mx. Crip-Manners is most grateful for any etiquette-related #CripTips the Dowager Crippess of Downwith Ableism might care to offer

Gif from Downton Abbey of the Dowager Countess in full evening regalia, stamping her cane for emphasis.

“My dear, if punctuality is the courtesy of kings, then access is the etiquette of ableds.”

 What is a ‘forgetting of the access’?

2 cents symbolEtiquette is so inextricably bound to access that I cannot countenance this notion of ‘disability etiquette’. Disabled people do not require ‘special’ manners.
There is nothing remarkable about courtesy, except regarding the lack of it many disabled people encounter. I have never understood how any well-intentioned host could ‘forget’ to offer a navigable entrance to guests.  We do not ‘forget’ to offer our guests chairs, for example, do we? Why, imagine it – it would be like one of those exceedingly tedious ‘cocktail’ parties where one is forced to stand as if one is in the court of Louis XIV. 

No, if a guest is kind enough to arrive with their own seat, the least one can do is provide a no-step entrance. If you can’t remember such basic courtesy, write it down. Entrances and seating are only two matters, of course. Which brings us to that terribly fashionable accessory: The access checklist.

Did You Know?

Etiquette is the practice of remembering and responding to the needs and feelings of one’s guests. One prepares appropriately to do so by ensuring their access has been addressed beforehand. #CripTips

A host whose manners are overly reliant upon a checklist will radiate the hospitality of a clipboard.

2 cents symbolEtiquette does not start with a checklist. Oh, my dear, no.  If only our guests were so predictable. Etiquette requires one to be present and apparently interested in the vagaries of the human creature entrusted to your care.
But far be it for me to discourage one from seeking written guidance on protocol or creating an aid in memory. Anyone who has had to learn the order of procession into the dining room understands the appeal of established guidance.

Did You Know?

I have not spoken of a ‘disabled guest’ because there is no such creature with regard to etiquette. You need concern yourself only with a ‘guest’. #CripTips

Don’t be so defeatist about access, dear. It’s terribly abled-class.

2 cents symbolI simply have no use for people who allow their fear of making a mistake in access preparations to become an excuse for neglecting the endeavor altogether.
You will commit errors, possibly even grievous ones, and resolving now to apologize simply and sincerely will steady your hand in awkward moments to come.
No whining.

 Did You Know?

Disabled people often have the loveliest of manners and may be depended upon to overlook many a breach of decorum, if it occurs in an otherwise blameless access context. #CripTips

If punctuality is the courtesy of kings, then access is the etiquette of ableds.

2 cents symbolIf there is one thing we know about kings, it is that everyone served them. One did not hear, “The King’s not really my job.” Or, “I think we have a guy who takes care of the King.” The King is able to be punctual because the King is everyone’s responsibility, in some measure.
So it is with access. When everyone pulls together, when everyone is invested in providing access, then we can put on our best manners and welcome disabled people.

Did You Know?

  Without proper access, your guests will be uncomfortable and you will have failed in your duty as a host – which is to say you will have failed as a human being. #CripTips


2 thoughts on “TryHarder™ Magazine: The Disability Etiquette Issue Featuring the Dowager Crippess From Downwith Ableism

  1. Hilarious.

    I shall remind my Personal Assistants (including everyone I’ve ever known or passed on the street or been put on hold by) that I am the King. And the Queen.

    Liked by 1 person

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