Sometimes getting started can be the most intimidating part. So, how do you get to know someone with disabilities? Lauren Ruotolo is a writer with McCune-Albright syndrome and she developed a 5-Minute Rule based on her thought that, “People think they know who I am, and as a matter of fact, who all disabled people are, and feel bad for them.” She advocates for truly getting to know an individual with her 5-Minute Rule:
Minute 1: Introduce yourself, where you’re from, and begin the geography game to see if you know someone in common.
Minute 2: Talk about your career, your latest adventure, or where you are in your life. Just see where the conversation goes.
Minutes 3 & 4: Now you can ask anything you want! Go for it and see how the person responds. Usually people aren’t afraid to answer anything as long as it’s sincere and coming from a good place.
Minute 5: Finally, wrap it up and see if you want to continue the conversation! Exchange social media handles or phone numbers, set a date for a next outing, and maybe recap a part of the conversation that stood out to you personally to let that person know you were listening.
What type of introductions do you like? How do you meet new people?