At CAB today we did some training on how to support clients who are appealing disability benefit decisions. What to do, what type of information to put in the various letters (for mandatory reconsideration) or forms (for appeal).
And the subject of getting dressed came up.
So we covered the need to check how long it takes, do they avoid certain items of clothing or look for certain fastenings because that’s the only type they can put on (for example I can dress myself but I mostly wear trousers I can pull on and don’t wear socks as I can’t get them on and my shoes sometimes fall off as I struggle with them).
Then someone raises the point of needing to sit down to get dressed. Someone else said “yes, because that’s not the normal way to get dressed.”
The conversation moved on pretty quickly but I was sitting there thinking “What? Sitting down to get dressed isn’t normal?”
I did kind of know that – I’ve seen many friends and family members get dressed standing up but at the same time it surprised me to hear something that’s my normal described as not the normal way of doing so. It probably shouldn’t have done but it felt like a bit of a revelation. I think I’d been kind of assuming that sitting to get dressed like I do was normal and it was the ablebodied people with their insistance on standing to get dressed that were the unusual ones.
I mean, really, why do that when you could just sit down somewhere comfy?! It makes sense to me. But if society wants to see their weird hopping from foot to foot and trying to balance as the correct way to get dressed I’m not going to argue with them.
I would so hate to be normal after all.