Monday, June 30, 2014

Re: My Week in a Wheelchair #2: "Can I help?"

"I can understand how easy it would be to slip away and just give up, if this is what I had to look forward to, as in forever.” [x]

On the contrary, I think you’d find that you, like so many of us who are disabled, would adapt. I’d encourage you to continue educating yourself about people with disabilities. Read blogs and accounts by people with disabilities. If you find someone willing to answer questions, and dialogue with you, listen to them.

We are living our lives just as you are. We don’t need pity. And publishing insights that focus on how negative an experience you had temporarily being in a wheelchair is really harmful. Because while we all have down days, most people with disabilities are not constantly overwhelmed by the sadness and negativity of our circumstances.

Respectfully, I don’t need your insight, as an able-bodied person, on what it’s like to use a wheelchair temporarily. I need you to listen to people for whom using a wheelchair is an everyday reality and get an accurate representation of what living with disability actually is.