Access by Various artists

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Access: I'm not laughing

24 Responses

  • Hilary Stace,

    Well said, thanks Chelle. I'm sure many people have no idea that they act like this or that it is inappropriate.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • WaterDragon,

    This hits the spot. Well written

    Behind you • Since Jul 2011 • 74 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    How long will it be before things go a step further, and ableists start tipping wheelchair users out of their wheelchairs, like what's been happening in Britain?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    I saw this list of 15 things not to say to a person in a wheelchair.

    1. “I’m in a rush, I only parked there for a few minutes.”

    2. “Do you know what’s his name? He’s in a wheelchair too!”

    3. “Why are you in a wheelchair?”

    4. “Can I pray for you?”

    5. “It’s good to see you out and being productive.”

    6. “I had to use a wheelchair once, so I identify with what you are going through.”

    7. “Everything happens for a reason.”

    8. “You are good-looking for a person in a wheelchair.”

    9. “That’s great! You picked those things up so fast.”

    10. “Can you pop a wheelie?”

    11. “You are truly inspiring.”

    12. “How fast does your wheelchair go?”

    13. “Is your partner in a wheelchair too?”

    14. “I’m so glad I’m not in a wheelchair.”

    15. “I’m sure you will walk again, stay positive.”

    I suppose the 16th one should be : Dont tip protesters out of their wheelchairs as has happened in London by the Police

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    And No. 17 - "My Catholic uncle went to Lourdes and came back with two new tyres on his wheelchair"?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I hope you might enjoy I use a wheelchair and people are condescending as fuck from Captain Awkward. The comments are full of stories about people with visible physical disabilities being treated as if they're children, and the bitchiest come-backs. The thing with bitchy come-backs, of course, is that you have to have the energy to make them.

    A friend of mine used to have conversations with himself when faced with this. For example if someone asked me “does he want an ice cream?” He would jump in and say “Simon, do you want an ice cream? Yes please I do. What flavour would you like? I would like the chocolate berry ripple. Do you want it choc dipped? Nah, not today. All right Simon, I’ll tell them.” And then he would give his order. The trick was to sit there without laughing as the server gaped at us.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Following Emma's link, the "can {disabled person} have sex" one I have actually seen. I was as stunned as the person being asked, and she was waay too nice to say anything rude. There's got to be a snarky version of "first you'd have to talk to her rather than me, then you'd have to ask for consent". "I think you just blew your chance", perhaps?

    I once spent some time at a dinner party hearing stories from Kate who has some kind of muscle weakness syndrome that meant she usually uses a wheelchair. But can stand up if she needs to. And has a friend (Sarah) who is intellectually disabled but able-bodied. That combination is apparently head-exploding for some people. Funny, but also very wearing after the first 10 times someone asks Sarah a question she can't answer and ignores Kate regardless of what either of them say. Me, I just wanted to know who counts as the carer?

    Sarah had a thing for firefigthers, and once found a male strip revue featuring firefighters. So she dragged Kate along. Literally, in the "get in your chair we're going to see naked firemen" sense. The highlight was wangling said strippers into helping them out of the not-very-accessible theatre after the event. Sarah was apparently beside herself with excitement, and the strippers were very nice about it.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Christine Peet,

    Also in a wheelchair with Spina bifida

    1. “I’m in a rush, I only parked there for a few minutes.” Tick

    2. “Do you know what’s his name? He’s in a wheelchair too!” Tick - commonly mistaken for another woman who apparently looks remarkably like me who lives where I am - although I suspect only because of the wheelchair.

    3. “Why are you in a wheelchair?” Tick

    4. “Can I pray for you?” Tick

    5. “It’s good to see you out and being productive.” Tick *rolls eyes*

    6. “I had to use a wheelchair once, so I identify with what you are going through.” Tick "yep, sure you do"

    7. “Everything happens for a reason.” haven't had this one - yet

    8. “You are good-looking for a person in a wheelchair.” or this one - although that did make me laugh

    9. “That’s great! You picked those things up so fast.” haven't had this one either - thank goodness. It's the legs that don't work, not the brain

    10. “Can you pop a wheelie?” Oh yes... many, many, many times

    11. “You are truly inspiring.” *puke* yes

    12. “How fast does your wheelchair go?” Mostly from kids but yes

    13. “Is your partner in a wheelchair too?” *groan* have had this one too

    14. “I’m so glad I’m not in a wheelchair.” Yep, thanks for that

    15. “I’m sure you will walk again, stay positive.” Um...no and I've come to terms with that.

    My all favourite (?!) would be "What would your (insert relationship to you) like to eat/drink. EVERYONE I know, will say "I don't know, ask her yourself"

    Following Emma’s link, the “can {disabled person} have sex” one I have actually seen. I was as stunned as the person being asked, and she was waay too nice to say anything rude. There’s got to be a snarky version of “first you’d have to talk to her rather than me, then you’d have to ask for consent”. “I think you just blew your chance”, perhaps?

    Have had this one too... also "Do you sleep in your wheelchair or in a bed?"

    I just had to put my two cents worth in here. Irresistible.

    New Zealand • Since May 2014 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Christine Peet, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    This used to happen to me when I was in school - mother had to constantly come up to the school to speak to teachers/pupils about the way I was being treated, ie pushed over into the garden.

    New Zealand • Since May 2014 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Geeze, Chelle. So, so, so true.

    Peter is very near to picking up his Gold Card and still gets this stuff.

    His pet hate is the dear old biddy who slowly and clearly in that sing song voice asks him if he's "having a nice day out today dear?"

    Mostly, he just smiles and nods.

    Sometimes, if he's in the mood....

    One thing that doesn't bother him is folk asking why he is in a wheelchair. He is quite happy to explain the whys and wherefores....he figures he's doing his bit to raise consciousnesses.

    The thing that most pisses me off is the guy who stands over Peter and loudly tells the story how he broke his neck once and the doctors told him he'd never walk again but he was determined he was not going to spend the rest of **his**life sitting on his arse in a wheelchair....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    3. “Why are you in a wheelchair?”

    'is it contagious?'

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    "won't let" etc
    #sigh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    'is it contagious?'

    It's socially contagious - people who piss me off find that a wheelchair to the shins impairs their mobility.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Christine Peet,

    12. “How fast does your wheelchair go?” Mostly from kids but yes

    Do people sometimes assume you must be interested in the Paralympic games?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4294 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Moz,

    It's socially contagious - people who piss me off find that a wheelchair to the shins impairs their mobility.

    "Why are you in a wheelchair?"
    "Because I dissed someone in a wheelchair".

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    "Sometimes all I want is not to be noticed."

    We had a tradesman in the other day to fix our water pump. I was flitting around doing what I do, Peter parked down in the garage while the pumpman did his thing.

    Every time I passed through...pumpman spoke to me, asked me a question, TOTALLY ignored Peter....totally.

    Like he was infuckingvisible.

    Sometimes, just to be a bastard, Peter will force these nongs to engage with him.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Christine Peet, in reply to steven crawford,

    I'm not sure that enters their minds - but maybe I guess

    New Zealand • Since May 2014 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Christine Peet, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    My mum goes to most of my Dr's appts with me. The last specialist we saw addressed me the whole time - like mum wasn't in the room. "how very refreshing" I said to mum. More often than not it's her that gets spoken to - insulting considering I"m 40. Mum doesn't have to go with me, she's just interested in what's happening and it is often easier to get there with her help.

    New Zealand • Since May 2014 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Christine Peet,

    I"m 40. Mum doesn’t have to go with me, she’s just interested in what’s happening and it is often easier to get there with her help.

    Hah! Peter no longer drives (shoulders stuffed after 45 years pushing a chair) and needs someone to transfer him....so I tag along. Also, he (10 years younger than me) comes from that generation who blindly and blithely accept every word the Dr utters as gospel. I have, on more than one occasion, butted in and asked questions when the learned physician is clearly going down the wrong path...with potentially fatal results. BUT...I hate doing this. For all the reasons Chelle is talking about.

    Having said that, speaking with the wives/partners of other 60 plus year olds, not living with disability, it appears to be an older man thing...rather than a disability thing. If that makes sense.

    Peter has three fairly regular hospital appointments...two of the doctors are very good. The other is a clinic type set up...and it was here that Peter himself put his foot down and flatly refused to see a couple of the senior doctors due to their abominable treatment of him in the past, both as a person with a disability and their complete ignorance of his particular impairment.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • walrus,

    Ouch! recommended a few years back that the question "what happened to you?" be answered with "I angered a wizard". I try to remember that one, just in case. But mainly I get "don't get a speeding ticket!", and unfortunately if I'm pushing my wheelchair fast enough to earn that one I can't spare a finger to reply.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2015 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Chelle Hope, in reply to walrus,

    Ugh. Yes. I get that variations of that all the time. Even when I'm not going that fast. It really annoys me.

    Hastings • Since May 2014 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Chelle Hope, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Thanks, Hilary. Yeah, I think that's the problem. Very difficult to react with anything but a sort of forced politeness when people aren't trying to be awful.

    Hastings • Since May 2014 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Chelle Hope, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Yeah, I get this, too. It might seem like a very different thing but I think it is two sides of the same coin. Being sort of actively ignored is really the same as the negative attention I was talking about. When someone is making a joke that doesn't land about me and my disability, they are clearly uncomfortable and are trying to overcompensate. Same thing with ignoring someone who is different, with the effect that they are rendered invisible.

    Hastings • Since May 2014 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Chelle Hope, in reply to WaterDragon,

    Thanks very much.

    Hastings • Since May 2014 • 53 posts Report Reply

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