Tips for writing about disabilities

Including characters with disabilities is one way to increase the diversity of your cast. Here are some tips for writing about disabilities:

  1. Do your research
    Do lots of research on the disability you’re writing about to look for common traits among people with that disability and to make sure that you’re not basing your character off of stereotypes that are potentially false.
  2. If you can, find a sensitivity reader
    If you can find one, sensitivity readers are a great resource as they can tell you whether or not you’re accurately portraying someone with their disability.
  3. Don’t make the disability the only interesting thing about your character
    When you’re writing a character with a disability, don’t forget to give them a personality. If their only personality trait is their disability, the character becomes one-dimensional.

@Writers - do you have any other tips for writing about disabilities?


if i may, i have some tips:

  • don’t make their disability into an informed attribute
    disabilities affect people in many aspects of their life, so just saying a character is somehow disabled but not showing it at all is… not it

but also

  • don’t make their entire story about their struggles as a disabled person
    this is mostly adding to Cat’s third point, aside from their personality, their story should be about more than their disability ESPECIALLY if the author is abled or doesn’t have that same disability

there’s got to be balance between showing the disability and making sure it doesn’t steal the spotlight from the character

one of the most recent examples of disability portrayed right is in Lore Olympus with Hephaestus character

here's his character design:

he’s a supporting character, so there’s not much about him, but so far, his appearances in the story are not about his disability while also showing it there