Support needs are human needs

The use of special and additional needs when taking about Disabled people puts the burden of support on us.

Special is not only infantalising, it also softens some serious support needs that so many of us have. Epilepsy medication and procedures are not special, they are life saving. So are many other of the medications and supports many of us have.

Special also implies that we get special treatment. It’s why so many of us get dirty looks when we use accessible parking and toilets, or dare to use a queue jump system at theme parks. Non-disabled people are assuming we are receiving help we don’t need or that they should get these ‘special treatments’ too (the privilege and entitlement here is beyond disgusting).

The same issue happens with the word additonal, it makes supporting us sound like an extra hassle. It puts the burden of support on us and follows the medical model that our disability and support needs are our issue as apposed to a social issue.

These terms are unhelpful and can marginalise us further. It’s time Disabled people are able to have our own words used for our own support needs. They’re not special, they’re not additional, they’re just human.

Leave a Reply