Hi folks,remember me?
Yes I know it’s been a while but I have learned the hard way building a wheelchair accessible slice of off the grid heaven is actually a full time job.
well I’m back, and my reason is to talk about the words used to describe people who use wheelchairs and the assumptions people make about us.
A well meaning blogger recently wrote a piece titled “ living in a wheelchair for life”
last time I checked the wheels under my ass does not come with an ensuite and a galley kitchen?
perhaps the best way to describe wheelchairs and what they’re for is to quote the Supreme Court of the United States in 1996 when a wheelchair using woman sued a restaurant who denied her booking because they didn’t allow wheelchairs?
the unanimous decision of the court said
“ any perambulatory device I.e. wheelchair, walker, cane, or anything else that may be prescribed to enable a person to live a normal life has the protection under law that an able bodied human does if you deny a wheelchair entrance you are for all intent and purpose telling that person we do not want you,your legs are a problem because the ADA established that wheelchairs and such devices are to the persons using them are their legs”
so my wheels, your wheels, your walker are nothing more than your legs, we’re not “ bound” last time I checked there’s no duct tape involved!
Im not sentenced to life without parole in my chair,I’m not in my chair for life I’m in my chair when I need to get somewhere just like an able bodied person puts on shoes to walk.
So now to assumptions! I went to a doctors appointment and she sent me to the physical therapy department to make a physical therapy appointment, the secretary looked at my wheelchair and said “ oh you mean occupational therapy” ? I asked why? She replied “ you’re in a wheelchair you must need occupational therapy?
I explained no I have an elbow injury I’ve been in my chair ten years
she replied “ we know best, our policy is the disabled always get occupational not physical therapy “ I had to get my doctor to come over to sort her out.
Listen abelists,we can have a thousand other medical issues just like you that have zero to do with our wheels or walkers or crutches or prosthetics and don’t tell me because you can stand and walk you know best because you must be healthier than me.
The know all secretary was 200lbs over weight and had never exercised since Monica lewinski got friendly with the president
I rock climb,swim miles,built my own home and teach judo and race in my wheelchair yet a fat wheezing fast food munching ableist knows better than me what I need?
sounds like when men talk about reproductive rights doesn’t it girls
a very smart doctor who was my sons neurologist and mine once told a group of groveling interns that if you’re in a hospital room with a patient who lives with a life long diagnosis you’re not the expert they are!
He told the interns”listen to them,answer their queries ,talk to them, not at them or down to them theyre sitting in the chair theyre IQ isn’t remember the most intelligent living being on earth is Stephen Hawkins ?