Hello everyone! 🙋 I recently watched the short videos that Scope and Channel 4 did about some of the things that you really shouldn’t do when you are talking to someone with a disability. It inspired me to do this blog of my top ten things to not do when you are around someone in a wheelchair.
1. Bend down to talk to me.
Just an FYI I’m not a child, there’s no need to bend down and talk to me like I am one.
2. Talk to the person I’m with instead of me
3. Jump out of my way as if I have no control over where I’m going or whether I’m about to drive into you or not.
Honestly, I am in control of this wheelchair and I promise I wasn’t about to ram into your ankles. Although after that completely over the top reaction I’m now quite tempted…
4. Give me dirty looks when I pull into disabled spaces
Just because I’m in my early 20s doesn’t mean that it’s not possible for me to actually need to park in a disabled space. The joy I get when I see their face as I pull my wheelchair out of my car. Yeah, see…
5. Point me out to your children
This is one that my mum noticed more than I did. When kids look at me because they are genuinely curious I don’t actually mind. But if it’s parents pointing me out…that’s not ok guys.
6. Talk to me like I’m deaf
It’s my leg that’s the problem. My ears are fine.
7. Take picture of me when I’m sat on the tube
This is an actual true story. I was sat on the tube and some woman took a picture and forgot to turn her flash off. Maybe she was taking a picture of other people or the floor of the carriage. But I’m not convinced, her shiftiness after the whole incident was just too odd. Being chased by the paparazzi before I’m even famous…
8. Try and guess what my condition is or why I’m in a wheelchair.
It’s estimated that my condition affects one in 20,000 people. I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t guess. Oh…you’re still gonna try? Oh ok…
9. Ask me “what I did I do to myself?”
Unless we’re counting a genetic mutation that happened in the womb I didn’t “do anything to myself”. Just because I’m in a wheelchair at the age of 21 that doesn’t mean that I’ve broken my leg.
10. “My brother’s friend’s cousin is in a wheelchair. Do you know them?”
Seriously. That doesn’t even warrant an answer.