There are some things that just seem to get better with time: wine, we’re told, improves with age; so do certain cheeses, apparently; and we all know that leftover pizza benefits immeasurably from an overnight stay in the fridge.
Similarly, some clips on YouTube seem to age better than others, which brings us to this chestnut on this Washington DC Government channel from 2014, (a vintage year, it seems, for Instructional Videos).
You may have seen this before, but even if you have, gee it merits another look.
Check out the video below and we’ll see you back here in a coupla minutes.
OK, so, “Disability Sensitivity Training Video” – what did you think?
What’s so impressive about this clip is the way it bounces between humorous scenarios and spot-on messaging about how to interact with people with a disability.
Our three favourite comedic moments:
- Bob’s hapless antics in the lift in the opening scene almost had us hiding behind the couch in embarrassment.
- The person ‘helping’ by grabbing the door and throwing it open, thus casting our heroine onto the floor – oh my goodness.
- The man with the bullhorn yelling at the blind woman two feet away from him was priceless.
What all these funny bits have in common (other than the sheer awkwardness of the each scenario), is the looks of weary resignation on the faces of the people with disabilities, as if to say, “Here we go again, another person who has good intentions, but just doesn’t quite get it.”
And so what this clip demonstrates so well is that people with disabilities are constantly called on to be understanding, patient and charitable to others. And boy, can it get exhausting!
OK, so here’s some of our favourite messages from the clip:
- It’s simple: People with disabilities are people first.
- The easiest way to show respect is to focus on the person, not the disability. An example of this might be: focus on the person signing, not the interpreter.
- Don’t take it personally if I ask you not to touch my service animal!
- We sign documents, vote, volunteer, work and pay taxes.
- Just because I’m blind, doesn’t mean I’m deaf.
- Take a deep breath and relax, we don’t bite…
- Treat us the way you’d want to be treated, and we’ll all be OK.
Again, the clip’s overarching message is the reminder to the viewer without a disability that THEY’RE the one with the challenge ahead of them. They’re the one who needs to get over their awkwardness, be a bit mature about it all, and just, as the clip suggests: “take a deep breath and relax.”
Possibly our favourite line in the clip (and judging by the comments from the clip’s 600K+ views, most people’s favourite line) is “Just because I’m in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean I can’t sweep you off your feet.” The verbal delivery and visual execution of this is beyond perfect.
We applaud the makers and the actors in this awesome clip!
PS: there’s a few other interesting clips on this “dcgovernment” channel: clearly there’s an admirable focus on minority groups and the betterment of people with disabilities, etc, but really, the clip we’re featured here stands head and shoulders above the rest.
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