colorwheel: six-hued colorwheel (pearl barley & charlie parsley)
[personal profile] colorwheel posting in [community profile] accessibility_win
a friend of mine helped me with something recently. i'm not sure whether he knows that he helped me twice at the same time.

my friend took a time-sensitive package to the post office for me and mailed it, on a day when i was too sick to go out. it's obvious why that was so helpful. but i want to explain how it came about, because he made his own help especially accessible to me by the way he offered. knowing that i was sick, he mailed, "If there's anything I can do to help (car ride somewhere, pick up groceries, what-have-you), let me know." the specificity of his examples was what made me feel comfortable asking him to mail my package. i felt comfortable extrapolating that the post office was in the same category as the things he mentioned.

another friend, who lives quite nearby, often tells me what neighborhood or store she's going to that day and asks if i need anything from there. easy as pie to accept, because it's clear that it's easy for her.

when people offer help in general terms like "let me know if i can do anything," even if they really want to do something, it leaves me with the task of guessing what type of help would be okay to ask for. often i won't risk asking for help if i think it might turn out to be the person's least favorite type of thing to do, or the most inconvenient for them given their life or the week they're having. my friends' material examples allow me to feel like i'm accepting a particular offer rather than asking out of the blue. that's agatha fry and christopher john for ya.

Date: 2011-05-31 01:44 am (UTC)
in_parentheses: (Default)
From: [personal profile] in_parentheses
That is really helpful to know. Thank you.

Date: 2011-05-31 04:44 am (UTC)
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] fairestcat
Free To Be You And Me reference for the WIN


This is really good advice that I have been trying to remember of late.

First, remembering that offers of help should be specific rather than general. We have a wide and diverse circle of friends/chosen family, many of whom are disabled in some way (including me, my wife and my partner), and many of whom don't drive. We recently acquired a car and I've been trying to remember to say not just that I'm available to give people rides if needed, but to specify specific things I can do that various friends may find useful.

And second, remembering that if I don't know what kind of assistance someone might need it's better to ask then to just give a general "let me know if I can do anything".

And from the other side, I'm trying to remember to, when I'm able, articulate my specific needs so that my friends are better able to make those same kind of specific offers.

Date: 2011-05-31 04:53 am (UTC)
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] fairestcat
I'm the exact same way. General offers to help can be incredibly hard to interpret unless I know the person fairly well.

The ways and instances in which I may need someone's help are often so diverse that the effort of figuring out what I can ask X for help with often makes the actual asking seem impossible.

Date: 2011-10-03 09:32 am (UTC)
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
From: [personal profile] happydork
This is really interesting -- thank you for posting about it.


accessibility_win: An attractively integrated ramp and stairs. (Default)
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