Don’t be scared to talk about disabilities. Here’s what to know and what to say

More than 1 billion people — nearly 15% of the world’s population — experience some form of disability. In the United States alone, about 61 million, or 1 out of every 4 adults, live with at least one disability.

“To so many people, [disability] remains a mystery, this very scary and overwhelming topic,” says disability rights activist and writer Emily Ladau. “We don’t talk about it. We ignore it. We shy away from it. We hide it away. But that’s not what we should do when it comes to disability, because it’s just something that’s part of what makes people who they are.”

“To me, being an ally looks like asking yourself ‘Who’s at the table?'” says Ladau. “It’s a constant learning process and that can be challenging, but when we know better, we can do better.”