Watch the Awkward Interactions People With Disabilities Face in Everyday Places
About two thirds of people feel awkward about interacting with people with disabilities, according to Scope, a charity based in the U.K. Because people sometimes don’t know what to say to someone with a disability, they panic, say the wrong thing or ignore the person entirely.
Scope is on a mission to change that. As part of its End the Awkward campaign to lessen the awkwardness around disability, the organization teamed up with Channel 4 News in London to draw attention to uncomfortable encounters people with disabilities sometimes face through a series of humorous and painfully awkward videos.
The video series, called “What Not to Do,” includes six short videos that depict people with disabilities in real-life situations. Alex Brooker, the man behind the “End the Awkward” campaign who lives with arm and hand disabilities as well as a prosthetic leg, set up hidden cameras to expose various encounters between people with and without disabilities. The videos show him reacting to the way people with disabilities are treated when they do things like visit a hairdresser, go on a blind date or start a new job. The results? Pretty awkward.
“I went to this one bar, and the bartender came around the bar to take my order. She bent down and talked to me really slowly,” Jack Binstead, an actor and YouTube video blogger who uses a wheelchair, says in the video below. “Once she took my order, she then pat me on the shoulder — as if to make me feel better!”
Booker hopes the videos will start conversations about disability that will help others better understand that people with disabilities are just that: people.
“The situations in these short films are outrageous, but they’re based on real life stories from disabled people,” Brooker said, according to ITV News. “We need to get past all that and end the awkward. Disability is only a small part of who someone is.”
Watch several people with disabilities share their awkward moments in the video introducing the “What Not to Do” campaign below.
To watch the entire “What Not to Do” series, head here.