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My Practice Script

Research shows that having a disclosure “script” and practicing it with friends, teachers, relatives, and mentors can be of great benefit to you when the time actually comes to tell. Most people find that it is easier to talk about the impact of having a disability than to offer a formal or clinical definition.

Someone with dietary restrictions as a result of diabetes is invited to celebrate a friend’s birthday with cake and ice cream.

She might say,

“Because of my diabetes I can’t eat sugary foods, so if you don’t mind I’ll bring some sugar-free snacks for myself and to share with everyone else.”

Since Tom uses a wheelchair, he has difficulty carrying objects in both hands. When he goes to a fast food restaurant with his friends, he might say to the cashier,

“Put my order in a bag.”

To help you practice explaining your disability, you might find that it helps you to write the explanation down. You might have to do this several times before the explanation really says what you want to say, in a way that someone who knows very little about disabilities will understand. Use additional paper if needed.

Here are some questions and hints to think about while preparing your practice disclosure script:

• Discuss what your disability is all about (including both strengths and limitations).

• Discuss how your disability affects your social or community life currently.

• Discuss what you’d like your social or community life to include.

• Identify ways in which community members or friends can best accommodate you in social settings.

• Explain what your greater participation in the community can do for others.

Write your script on the following page.

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