I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to wheelchair users of all ages and illnesses and one thing keeps being mentioned,so i thought that maybe now is the time to address a rather important subject for those of us confined to our chairs and dependant on others for helping us get about in day to day life.
This issue affects all ages and after bringing up and caring for a severely disabled child for 9 years, Now I am dependant on others to help me and I am utterly fed up of this issue and the feelings it brings to light.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that my son, myself and various friends, also wheelchair dependant, are blatantly ignored and only the person pushing or accompanying gets addressed when we bump into people. The number of times L or myself have been looked over and totally ignored as if we are inferior to them and we dont deserve to be greeted, acknowledged and spoken to as an equal. I know L cannot verbalise like you or I (yes I can talk if you hadn’t all ready gathered!) doesn’t mean he should be treated any less respectfully than your average able bodied person.
I’ve had people address my hubby and ask questions about how I am and how things are without even a look in my direction. I DO have a voice and I know how to use it! Don’t ask my husband how I’m feeling as he won’t know unless he asks me!
Lewis will smile at you and laugh with you if you just took the time to engage with him. He loves to touch faces, play with hair and loves seeing smiles beaming back at him. His smiles speak a thousand words if you’d juat take the time to talk to him.
I also hate when people lean down into my face and start talking to me in a pitying manner and then talk to me like I am a toddler. I’m 39 yrs young and I know how to hold a conversation. Don’t ask my husband questions about how I am doing, what I’m up to etc. He has enough on his plate without having to talk about me unnecessarily when I have my own voice and opinions.
I get upset being treated as if I don’t exist, is my life really valued any less just because I’m in a wheelchair? Is my son’s life worthless because he is in a wheelchair and doesn’t talk to you in the way you would want.
Just because we have wheels doesn’t mean we have no capacity to engage in normal life.
It really frustrates me that our basic human rights to speak are snatched away because you THINK you know best.
All I ask is that next time you meet a disabĺed person in a wheelchair, please don’t talk over their head and ignore them. Get to know them by talking to them, don’t pass judgement unless you’ve experienced it yourself and don’t assume that we can’t talk
#everyoneisentitledtoavoice #moreawarenesslessassumptions #evenasmilespeaksathousandwords #eyecontactmeanssomuchmore