13 comebacks for ableism you can use to answer ignorant questions about your disability.

People with disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental illnesses get asked curious, outright ignorant and sometimes blatantly offensive questions regularly. It’s OK to take a moment to educate someone, but it isn’t your responsibility to answer any or every question thrown at you.

You are not obliged to put up with questions or statements that are hurtful or infuriating. You also have the right to keep your medical information private, even if your disabilities are visible.

Disability advocate Imani Barbarin started the hashtag #ComebacksForAbleism on Twitter Friday after an encounter with someone in an elevator. Though Barbarin wasn’t able to respond in the moment, she had a perfect and sarcastic response in mind.


Barbarin told our partners at The Mighty she was annoyed that she didn’t say what she wanted at the time, and that people with disabilities are often “peppered with invasive questions that aren’t anyone’s business.”

Barbarin decided to start the hashtag because “it’s nice to commiserate with others that experience the same thing.” Many people on Twitter agreed and began sharing their responses to questions and statements they’ve received.

Here are 13 comebacks for ableism you might relate to or want to borrow for your next encounter.

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This article was originally published by our partners at The Mighty.

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