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Good article: A wheelchair user's guide to consent


umsami
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What a scary encounter. Sounds like the guy wasn't trying to help but trying to abduct her. I would never touch someone's wheelchair. I would hold a door open but I do that for everyone.

I have a child who at 10 still asks very loudly about people with differences. I shush her and then talk about it later. Last time she very loudly said something about the cashier's ears looking gross (lady had gauges and facial rings). I AGAIN told her that it isn't nice to comment about people's differences. She's the only one of my kids who has ever done this and I've been working on her for years.

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3 hours ago, ashfern said:

What a scary encounter. Sounds like the guy wasn't trying to help but trying to abduct her. I would never touch someone's wheelchair. I would hold a door open but I do that for everyone.

I have a child who at 10 still asks very loudly about people with differences. I shush her and then talk about it later. Last time she very loudly said something about the cashier's ears looking gross (lady had gauges and facial rings). I AGAIN told her that it isn't nice to comment about people's differences. She's the only one of my kids who has ever done this and I've been working on her for years.

If she comes up to another child or even most adults in a wheelchair, they often WELCOME honest polite questions.  I work with severely impaired students and was discussing this with a parent last week.  She doesn't want children's shushed when they see the girl in the wheelchair.  Instead they will gladly answer questions about why she is in the wheelchair, what her equipment does for her (trach, feeding tube, O2 monitor, suction, etc).  I know that not all people want questions but often if they ask politely "may I ask you some questions about your wheelchair" many people love to respond.  One girl I know (3rd grade) even had her electric wheelchair designed so that she can give her peers at school "rides" on the back.

Obviously you need to be sensitive to others and the situation at hand.

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On a related note: If you think a blind person needs help navigating, ASK them, don't GRAB them. Unless they're literally about to step in front of a bus you can just say "Hey, they put up a fence there, do you need help going around it?" or "Careful, there's a pothole!"

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That’s horrible! It sounds like an abduction attempt. I’m thinking he abandoned the effort when she clearly had her wits about her. Had she been non-verbal ornotherwise impaired it could’ve gone horribly wrong. 

People have been so trained not to stare. I’ll bet most thought he was her caretaker and she was impaired and yelling for no good reason. I’m thinking she needs to yell “I don’t know you!” or “I’m being abducted! Call the police! Take a picture!” They teach kids to do this but a grown women wouldn't really think of it and there's the shock of it all.   

Nobody bothers my ds’s chair. It’s a power chair and ridiculously fast. He mostly gets little boys staring in awe at the cool equipment complete with joystick. If you’ve never gone to a petting zoo with a wheelchair be warned that goats LOVE wheelchairs and are NOT pc about it. 

So far our biggest people issues have been parking-lot related. People idling in the handicap spots or blocking the ramp to get into a store. A few times drivers have left their car blocking the ramp to run into the business and DS is stuck on the street. Luckily, his particular chair will climb up or down a small curb and we’ve been forced to use this feature more than once because people want to make their own lives easier and block access.  

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11 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

This definitely bugs me.  Being temporarily wheelchair bound as I’ve recovered, it is very eye opening to get a different view on society and interactions in terms of how people don’t listen or insist on inserting themselves or ‘helping’ when not needed.  Just asking before touching me or the chair would go a long way.

 

And this has been a very helpful experience to me as a parent who has a disabled kiddo too.  He’s just gotten his first wheelchair when we don’t feel like a stroller is appropriate, and recognizing that this puts him at a bit of a positional disadvantage and makes maintaining autonomy just that bit harder will hopefully make me a better parent and advocate for him in situations in public.  People don’t know - but I think they can be taught!

having used one to get around when we were visiting family when I was recovering from pneumonia - as well as bleeding during pregnancy  . . I recall one woman who made no secret of judging if I actually need to be in a wheelchair or not . . . . she was so brazen about it, she actually approached me about how her feet hurt and she wanted to know how she could get a wheelchair to use . . .  

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3 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

having used one to get around when we were visiting family when I was recovering from pneumonia - as well as bleeding during pregnancy  . . I recall one woman who made no secret of judging if I actually need to be in a wheelchair or not . . . . she was so brazen about it, she actually approached me about how her feet hurt and she wanted to know how she could get a wheelchair to use . . .  

I wasn't in a wheelchair the time I was accosted by Miss know it all.  It was about 18 years ago and I was taking the children to a performance done for school children (different perfermors had special school perferformances in an auditorium before the evening performances for paying adults),  I had a handi-capped placard so could park closer to the auditorium-  I still have a handicapped license plate on my car and carry around my placard too.  This lady decided to lay into me about using the space.  No, she did not have another person who needed that space too- she was just a busybody.  But in all the years, she has been the only rude person accosting me.  

Oh and if anyone needs to know, I have the disabled plate because sometimes I can not walk long distances due to asthma or bronchitis or pneumonia, sometimes due to lupus, or ra, or newest diagnosis Ankolysing Spi=ondylos, sometimes due to nerve issues that affect walking, sometimes due to needing to use my walker or a borrowed wheelchair, and sometimes due to an injury sustained.  But  I usually do not use it at all though more likely to do so if I am running around myself since I get tired more quickly then.

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