I have tattooed a significant number of developmentally disabled and non neurotypical people.
I require caretakers to cosign all paperwork, if the person has a legal guardian. No matter what, everyone I tattoo must be over eighteen.
I require that I am satisfied they completely understand
1. the concept of permanence
2. that they will be in pain, and cannot move during the process
3. that they, alone, without coaxing, can express to me in some manner, what they would like tattooed on them.
if that’s written, ASL, using a speech to text device, or a person as a translator… all those are OK. they must be the one making the request, not their caretaker. that’s all. no coaching, no coaxing, no talking OVER the person who wants a tattoo. the request has to originate from my client only. the understanding of the outcome and process has to come from them. it’s their life, their body and decision. I need to know they are capable of making that decision, and that it’s THEIRS.
I have worked on people with almost no communication abilities, and not a one of them was coaxed or pushed by the caretaker. that in itself would cause me to refuse the service, since I wouldn’t be certain who had made the decision. I’ve tattooed people who used a caretaker to explain what they were saying, people who used a tablet or phone to tap in words painstakingly, I’ve taken basic ASL and can usually find a better -versed translator if my skills aren’t enough. I’m willing to take the time to explain every single thing that will or could happen, if someone needs the time and the explanation.
tattooing isn’t rocket surgery. it’s easy for me to explain, I think. there have been a few times when I felt the person really didn’t understand the concept of permanence-and so-
I have asked for doctor’s notes, and I’ve had people bring them, also. sometimes it’s me, unable to explain in a way they can understand. I defer to doctors; I realize that a lot of people need a different form of communication than I can provide and I’m willing to wait and see if someone more well trained in communication can make it understood.
I just do not want to do harm, to my clients, my potential clients, and especially to those who already have to go through a lot every day just to live in the typical world. if I’m certain the person understands the decision and had made it on their own I’ll do the work.
hell, that goes for face tattoos too, ya know?
any tattoo. I have turned away people who are verbal, neurotypical, etc simply because they do not understand the concept of permanence, or that they have to sit still for the process itself.
I’ve done face and hand tattoos on people who understood the gravity of the decision. (thinking about it for a long time isn’t an indicator of that understanding)
in other words, I welcome anyone who really wants a tattoo, and I want to do a good tattoo on them, and not cause harm to them in the process. I’m interested to know if anyone has questions or thoughts, too, on ways I could make communication about tattoos easier for people who struggle with social abilities or with communication in general.
I want my clients, my people, to feel at ease.
Anyone who needs accommodations to get tattooed by me and isn’t certain if they’re in place, please do ask. we are wheelchair accessible; I have multiple furniture we can position you on safely and comfortably.
anxiety reducing things like your own pillow, headphones, etc are all welcomed. I’m not fluent in ASL but I have the basics and will scratch notes on paper with you for as long as we need to take.
if you are non verbal, you can bring and use a person to explain, you can write or sketch or doodle or print out images to show me, you can bring a tablet or phone and type at me, you can email me. this is all OK by me.
if you’ve got social anxiety, I do consultations via email and can schedule you on a day which is typically less busy, and we can set up so that you don’t have to interact with others. if you’ve a fear of unfamiliar places, you can come in briefly to visit and become more familiar with me and with the space before your tattoo day.
therapy animals aren’t permitted in the shop, per the health department. working service animals are permitted everywhere except the working procedure area- they cannot come into that area during a procedure, but can be in the waiting area, where one of us can easily reach for you. service animals in training aren’t permitted in the shop, and uncontrolled animals have to leave. these are state rules; both states I maintain licensing in have similar rules for us to follow.
I’m not a standard model human, so I know what a pain in the ass things can be, sometimes. you don’t have to lay your life open to me, I’m not a therapist. I don’t want to make you do more work than you’ve got to do, just to get a tattoo.
everything on this earth is set up for the normal folks; it’s hard enough already. if you don’t see an accommodation listed here and you need to know, ask. I will do all I can. you don’t have to explain why you need a thing. if I can do the thing, I will.
everyone who can want a tattoo and understand what they are, who can ask for one in some way, and pay for one, is welcome on my table.
you might need a doctor’s note if you:
take blood thinners
have a heart condition
have a compromised immune system
have diabetes and want a foot tattoo (to rule out neuropathy, so we’re sure it can heal)
can’t communicate well enough with me to express your understanding of the process or permanence of the tattoo
I’ll still tattoo you with a doctor’s OK, though.
I won’t tattoo you if:
you are pregnant
you are nursing an infant under one year old
you can’t understand the need to sit still for the tattoo process
you can’t understand the concept of permanence
you are under eighteen
your tattoo is a symbol of hate
if you’re in any doubt, email me. resonanteye at gmail dot com. we can figure it out.