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Say their names. Don't erase their disability

(08/03/20 4:00am)

As a kid, I recall clumsily steering the front of the grocery cart for Nana as she follows along behind, tightly gripping its metal handle. As I guide the cart, I offer up an apologetic, “Excuse me,” to other shoppers as we squeeze through the congested aisles. With only a glance, I’ll be silently affirmed for my patience or scorned for inconveniencing the shoppers as we awkwardly navigate around the flour, spices and sugar. I stop and read each of the food labels to Nana to help her find the items on her grocery list. At some point, I’ll need to find my older brother, who will probably be running up and down the snack aisle, excitedly proclaiming his happiness about grabbing the family-sized pack of Doritos. The shoppers we encounter in the grocery store aisles quickly form their own unwelcoming, isolating judgements of their disabilities.