‘Hey, Handicap’: Neighbor Leaves Horrible Note On Amputee’s Car

‘Hey, Handicap’: Neighbor Leaves Horrible Note On Amputee’s Car

Ashley Brady lost her leg in 2014. Although she’s learned to walk again with a prosthetic limb, even up three flights of stairs at her apartment complex, moving around on ice proved to be a challenge this winter.

Her apartment complex created a designated parking spot for her close to the building, so that she could avoid icy slips. Brady got her spot last Thursday, March 12. By Saturday, she found one of her neighbors was parking in it.

So, she wrote a note, which did not go unnoticed by the recipient. “I was stern and confident in what I was saying and just letting her know she doesn’t know what its like to walk around without your own leg,” Brady told Dayton’s ABC 22 News. “She in return had placed this really rude note under my windshield wiper.”

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Brady posted the note to Facebook, where it went viral. The letter reads:

“Hey handicap! First, never place your hands on my car again! Second, honey you ain’t the only one with ‘struggles.’ You want pity go to a one leg support group! You messed with the wrong one! I don’t care what your note said shove it, but you touch my car again I will file a report, I am not playing! I let the office know the cry baby one leg touches my property I will cause trouble so go cry your struggles to someone who cares cause I’m walking away with both mine! -[expletive].” 

“I read it probably like 5 times over and over, because my brain just couldn’t even process the level of mean that it was,” Brady said.

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This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the victimization of individuals who suffer from disabilities. In 2012, a video surfaced online of a man mocking a 10-year-old child using crutches for issues relating to cerebral palsy. That man was subsequently jailed for 29 days on two misdemeanors, one relating directly to the incident caught on camera, according to TIME.

Just last year, two Delaware teens were arrested after beating a 26-year-old man with a neurodevelopmental disorder. According to USA Today, the 13- and 14-year-old boys were charged with “offensive touching, assault on a vulnerable adult and third-degree conspiracy.” Again, there was a viral video attached to the perpetrators’ actions.

Related: When A Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Was Bullied, Her Team Stood Up For Her

Those with disabilities are common targets of bullying, according to L. Scott Lissner, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at The Ohio State University. “Bullying anyone is an activity that tends to come from a place of self-doubt and a lack of self-confidence, and targets people who are in an out and down position themselves,”he tells Yahoo Health. “This puts people with disabilities in a vulnerable position.”

In Brady’s situation, the rude note is just the start. The term “handicap” is no longer appropriate due to its negative connotation, Lissner says. “The word has definitely fallen out of favor,” he explains. “The phrasing most widely accepted now is people-first language — like ‘people with a disability’ or ‘Joe, who is blind,’ and so forth.”

The public is catching up to this change, and so are state governments. “A lot of states, including Ohio, have had recent legislation revising language from ‘handicap’ to ‘disabled,’” Lissner says. So, if you start seeing this linguistic switch on signs and documents in future months, that’s why.

In the meantime, the public is rallying around Brady after the run-in with her insensitive neighbor. Although there are certainly bullies in the world, she’s also discovered an outpouring of support. 

“I got a lot of feedback online from a lot of other amputees who have been in similar situations,” Brady said. “You’re not just going to get what you want by… bullying. She told me to cry to someone who cares, so I went to the internet and it turns out a lot of people care.”

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