‘End The Awkward’ At Work – Disabled people tell Scope their stories and tips


EUGENE: When I was 18, I used to help promote club nights. Saying, you know, “Come along I can get you free entry, free drinks probably…” The landlord heard about this and started asking me questions. I told him about the music, the types of things we were going to do, where it was… And he said “Have you ever considered doing pantomine?” “You people always end up doing the same thing at the end of the day, don’t you?” RACHEL: I think interacting with disabled people at work amplifies the awkwardness that you feel… …in every day life because of trying to be professional. EMILY: One of my most awkward situations that I’ve had a work with a colleague was… When they refused to actually believe that I had seizures. They ended getting themselves into a situation where they were attempting to phone my doctor’s surgery… …for themself to find out if I really did have seizures. EUGENE: I’m sat in this interview with this guy who’s going to be my boss… And in the middle of this interview, he asks me if I have a Green Card. Which to me means that I’ve got status to be a resident in America. (!) And I said, “I’m sorry?” And he said, “Well you know, a lot of people with disabilities have Green Cards.” EMILY: Some of it is just around not knowing what disability really is and having a panic And a fear about not getting it right. ALAN: You kind of see that gulp or you hear that “Oops… it’s Alan I shouldn’t have said that.” JENNIE: I don’t really believe that most people are setting out to be rude. But there isn’t enough education out there for them. There isn’t enough disability awareness training. EMILY: The best way to stop situations becoming awkward is to talk to the person. Don’t panic. Don’t fret. Don’t treat them as any different to any other member of your workforce. We all have things that we need a bit of help with… Or need adjusting in some way. Some people just need a bit more adjusting than others.

6 thoughts on “‘End The Awkward’ At Work – Disabled people tell Scope their stories and tips

  1. This week we're talking about  #awkward situations at work and how to resolve them. Check out the following new film for our #EndTheAwkward campaign.

    What #awkward  situations have you had?

  2. Awkward is usually how we make people feel when we go out.

    If people start getting awkward around my wife and her wheelchair she will stay play acting as if she is going to make a scene. Then I say to her rather loudly "If you don't behave you'll get no tea tonight…….again!"

    People will then stare and sometimes you can hear them say "What a horrible man!"

    We than start laughing and it works as a great icebreaker and we have ended up having some good conversations. The difference is that they suddenly see my wife as a person instead of a wheelchair.

    We also do the Little Britain "want that one" routine sometimes.

    We find that getting people to laugh with us is a great way of getting people to accept disabilities easier, and for them to feel less awkward.

  3. I have cerebral palsy I think this is a fantastic campaign by scope it will educate more ignorant people hopefully disabled people will be treated the same.

  4. Brilliant SCOPE. But what about end the awkward at school? Pleeeease?

  5. Great idea Chris! We've asked around to see if any of our Trendsetters (our group for young disabled people) have any tips or awkward situations they'd like to share. If you've got any yourself, then please email them through to [email protected]

  6. Is there I can share my story about my disability? Mine is unusual so I would love for people to understand more about it

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