Do you hear what I hear? A TEDx talk about communication

Anyone who follows my business and this blog knows I enjoy talking about various forms of communication including writing and how we communicate as leaders.

Last October, I had the honor of presenting a TEDx talk at TEDxDicksonSt. For my talk, I discussed a different kind of communication, this time between the able-bodied world and those of us with disabilities.

Some who don’t know me in person may be thinking right now, “wait, she’s in a wheelchair?” Yes, I was born with Spina Bifida and am a full-time wheelchair user.

Here’s the thing. like many other people groups (gender, race, etc.), people with disabilities often struggle with how people without disabilities treat them. Most of it is well-meaning, but much of what is said or done is out of ignorance and, quite frankly, underlying condescension and preconceived notions.

It would be easy to just fume and be passive aggressive about it all but I choose to educate. Instead of telling people the conversation-ending phrase “check your privilege” I choose to demonstrate what their actions and words convey.

In this video, you will see me interact with four volunteers who act out the four most common scenarios people like me encounter. These are only four!

The point is not to just give you a list of things to not say, it’s to show what you’re communicating. You will find that I encourage the audience to look at the world through other people’s eyes instead of putting themselves (and their perceptions) into someone else’s proverbial shoes. This concept is vital no matter the relationship.

The video is about 15 minutes long, but it is worth it. Please watch, learn, comment, and share.

If the embed doesn’t work, go to this link.