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Ross, who has SMA, has written a recent blog about some of the negative comments he’s been receiving online, and gives his top tips for how to deal with this when it happens:

Image shows an adult man, who has SMA, sitting in his wheelchair holding an ice cream in one hand, and a drink in the other.For today’s blog post, I wanted to touch on something a little bit deeper than usual…


And no, I’m not talking about the fluffy-haired kind from the 90’s. Although that does sound like something I would definitely read!

I recently uploaded a video online, in collaboration with a brand I was working with. This video shared an insight into my home, by showcasing all the accessible equipment I use to help me live independently. Whilst I am proud of this work – and always strive to reach new audiences – I was not expecting it to get quite the reaction it did. Almost 1 million views later, I am now receiving negative comments across multiple platforms.

As a blogger, I am pretty used to opening up and sharing intimate details of my life online. However, there are some comments that I just will not stand for [pun definitely intended!] I’m the first person to take the mick out of myself, or have some light hearted humour when it comes to my disability. However, there is a still a fine line between having some banter and being downright nasty.

Comments such as: "Thank us for paying for it" and "Nice freebie" are incredibly insulting. Yet again there is a negative stereotype and assumption that disabled people "have it easy" and get everything for free – which is absolutely not the case. In fact, it’s the complete opposite – where we have to constantly fight for access to basic essentials – which in itself is both physically and mentally draining. Not to mention the hefty price tag which often comes with disability related items.

Except for the parking… that is a great bonus.

In regards to trolling, I have also been referred to as "Timmahhh!" on multiple occasions from this video, with various accounts tagging me in a derogatory tone. For those who haven’t heard of this reference before, Timmy is a severely disabled character who uses a wheelchair in the American animation tv series, South Park.

Being mocked online or in the street is often too common within the disabled community and it’s not ok.

My intentions are never to ‘show off’. I’m fully aware of how lucky I am to live where I do and I completely respect that there is an ongoing housing crisis – especially when it comes to accessible homes. However, I work hard and pay my own way in life.

Whilst I know many people reading this will be thinking "just ignore it" or "don’t let them get to you" – it’s actually harder than you think. Having to constantly defend yourself and break down these negative stereotypes is exhausting. However, that’s why I do what I do on this platform. My content only ever aims to make people smile, whilst also educating and raising awareness of disabilities.

So with that in mind, I thought I would share my top 3 tips on how to deal with negativity online:

  • Focus on the positive comments.

The good definitely outweighs the bad!

  • Block the negative accounts.

It’s actually quite liberating!

  • Treat yourself to ice cream.

It definitely works!

To read the original article, and to read other blogs from Ross, check out his website.