Accommodating the Normals

In your place of business, educational institution, or public service area, you will have to make certain accommodations for the “normal” (“Temporarily Able-Bodied”) patrons. (Please note that within Normal culture, it is considered appropriate to refer to them as “normal people” rather than as “people with normality”.) Normal people will usually succeed in schooling, and will apply for jobs that they can do, presuming that they are given accommodations. These needs are diverse, and such accommodations include, but are not limited to, the following items:

Normal people don’t go around in wheelchairs, so they need to have chairs made available for them everywhere.*

Normal people need to see what they’re doing, so they need to have lighting made available to them everywhere. This includes locations with very limited routes and signage, such as stairwells. It also includes bedrooms, even though most of the time spent there is when the person is asleep.

Normal people need caffeine to help them compensate for their hypoactivity, so they should be supplied with coffee, tea, cola or other culturally-equivalent beverages at work. Likewise, normal people have a low need or tolerance level for fidgeting or pacing. This is typical, and although some interest in doing such may be observed, their ability to sustain such for extended lengths of time is impaired.

Normal people associate loud noise with having fun, and will desire background music in a variety of places, such as waiting rooms, social areas, work stations, and eating areas, even though the background music interferes with verbal forms of communication. Most normal people do not sign, so their speaking volume will also increase the ambient noise levels. Although mainstreaming of normal people is considered to be good educational practice, their noise levels can aggravate those with hyperacussis or migraines, so your normal students may need special resource rooms where they can participate in adaptive mealtime programmes.

Normal people are likely to engage in such stereotypies as long bouts of eye contact, and chit-chatting about famous people or nothing much in particular. Their communication gestures are often not true signs or signifiers, but rather false tics that are socially learned responses, and are considered by some researchers to be a form of “social stimming”. These activities are harmless, although they may need to be reminded not to disturb others, especially in work environments.

Secondary and tertiary normal students have unusual deficits of ability to monologue about topics in extended detail, and will need supplementary tutoring and practice to reach adequate achievement levels.

Normal people are extroverts who need structured social activities to fill their free time, because they don’t become self-absorbed in their special interests. They will also associate “being alone” with “being lonely”, and given a living or working space with six rooms, all six normal people will frequently be found clustered together in the same room.

Normal people have a readily-recognised phenotype, and are remarkably consistent in their features and physical makeup (e.g. overall bilateral symmetry, regular walking gait). Due to their pronounced socialisation needs, they will exhibit strong tendencies for “following fads” and “team identification”, and will often be seen wearing clothing of great uniformity. Despite this, they frequently have savant skills for facial recognition (“hyperprosopony”), and will be able to identify and name literally hundreds of their peers.

Note that this special population not only has special needs that must be accommodated, but they are also a vociferous and sometimes petulant lot if those special needs are not met. Your legal adviser or Human Resources coördinator can consult with you about compliance issues and the ADA, DDA, or other local laws concerning accessibility and discrimination.

(This is a spin-off from another post, “Mitigating measures”.)

* I owe a big Thanks to Amanda for inspiration with her great post, “The staggering costs of the chair- and dark-impaired.”

~#~

For more fun, check out this video, “Goodbye to the Normals”. (Sorry, it’s not captioned, a long-standing complaint about YouTube vids in general.)

8 Comments

  1. Grace said,

    3 September 2007 at 22:45

    LOL! This is awesome.

  2. Shelley Leiser said,

    3 September 2007 at 21:09

    Very clever posting, Andrea!

    I am a “person with normality”, and I have to admit that I’m sipping a diet Pepsi as I’m sitting reading this, preceded by 2 strong coffees earlier this morning…

    As a stereotypical “woman with normality”, I confess to frequently spending hours chitchatting about nothing in particular with women friends. However the way I look at it ,I perseverate about feelings, my husband perseverates about computers, ( a very socially acceptable topic on which to perseverate), and my daughter perseverates about poodles, the upcoming presidential primaries and election, and ways to get back at President Bush for all the damage he has done globally.
    My daughter has Asperger’s,but she and I have agreed that it’s a diffability, ( a different kind of ability), rather than a disability.

    Best wishes,
    Shelley

  3. Juraj Variny said,

    2 September 2007 at 19:54

    Hello,

    we’d like to add this very fine article into Humour section of next IFHOHYP newsletter. What way is this possible? You can find our older newsletters at ifhohyp.org, if interested. We are bunch of young hard of hearing people.

    Thanks

    Juraj Variny
    IFHOHYP Newsletter editor

  4. 26 August 2007 at 3:42

    Fuck! I’d hate to have to be like that all my life! Is there any cure for that horrid-sounding disease?

    Poor buggers…

  5. Anne said,

    25 August 2007 at 4:51

    Well done! It’s true, those with hyperprosopony are overly sensitive and feel hurt, even offended, when told they haven’t been recognized and we don’t know who they are. They often need to be forewarned that this may happen to them, as they don’t seem able to adjust to it.

  6. Maya said,

    24 August 2007 at 16:44

    Brilliant!

  7. Bev said,

    24 August 2007 at 15:11

    Regardless of what they prefer, I must insist that they be called “persons with normality”. To do otherwise is just disrespectful to those of us who have spent all this time coming up with the politically correct wording.

    I find people with hyperprosopony to be very frightening. They say things like, “Don’t you remember, I sat behind you in Chem lab in 1979?” If that’s not obsessive and perseverative, I don’t know what is!

  8. Ed said,

    24 August 2007 at 11:40

    Thanks Andrea,
    This is an excellent post. I like the way you described a different way for people to look at things.
    I continue to read your blogs regularly and learn alot from them. You have such a vast base of knowledge on so many subjects. The issues related to how people learn is what helps me the most and it gives me alot to look up. Its making more sense all the time.
    Your continuing to write is greatly appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: