20 Things Not To Say Or Do To Someone In A Wheelchair
I don't necessarily agree with all of the responses, but I can relate to some of them and I really can't blame her for being frustrated. I use a walker, I've been in a wheelchair more times than I can recall, and I've experienced much of this. Listen, we get that you don't get it. You're not in a wheelchair and you don't have a clue what it's like to live in someone else's body, especially an individual whose body happens to be permanently broken. But there is so much education out there, and a little self-awareness can go a long way. A nice rule for humanity as a whole is pretty simple: think about what you're saying before it comes out of your mouth. If you're not sure if it will offend, it's best not to say it. If you're tactless and don't care how your words affect others, you deserve a sarcastic response. If you're making an effort to be respectful, it will show, and most likely, the individual will be willing to have a discussion. I am more than happy to talk about my condition, but only if the asker has approached me respectfully and the subject is appropriate. Skepticism, cynicism, and general asshatery is frowned upon with a vengeance, as you can see by the jaded author of this article.
Some of these things are honestly ridiculous, but they really do happen.
Stealing a handicapped parking place? If you don't have a valid permit in your name or the name of your passenger, you don't have the right. There are NO exceptions. And while I'm at it, handicapped parking spaces are NOT! YOUR! SHOPPING! CART! RETURN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If my crippled backside can put my shopping cart where it belongs, your lazy backside can do the same.
Speaking to the person accompanying me, about me, instead of addressing me? You're assuming that I'm deaf or dumb, apparently, and you would be wrong. As for grabbing someone's wheelchair and pushing them without permission, it is never ever ever okay. Never. I don't know why anybody would ever think it is acceptable to do such a thing. Don't be stupid. It is violating. And don't even get me started on the disability memes. I'm sure you already know that I find such things humorless and in terrible taste.
This is a big world and there are an awful lot of people with an awful lot of varying abilities and conditions. Be mindful, otherwise you're, well, mindless. No-brainer, right? Pun intended. The bottom line is that these things matter, so on behalf of those who live with disabilities, thank you for your consideration.