Absolutely Brendon - My one day in the chair makes me no expert at all, but it did raise my awareness of some of the common everyday frustrations that someone may experience. That still is a good thing in my book. By the end of the day I was quite angry at the lack of respect I was given in my situation, and I don't know how those in a wheelchair can maintain good humour knowing theirs is permanent.
Simulations isn't going to make anyone an expert, but it *does* raise awareness. And that in itself is good.
I'm not sure I agree with this totally. A friend of mine years ago as part of job training, had to simulate being deaf (she worked for a Govt dept at the time). She had to wear ear muffs for the day to simulate being hard of hearing. She found the day strressful, but gave her a lifelong appreciation of the difficulties she encountered that day, and it made her much more understanding when it came to dealing with people with hearing loss. That was twenty years ago, and she still hasn't forgotten.
I also spent a day in a wheelchair when I was recovering from an illness. It gave me an inkling of what people had to put up with as I was taken out into a public place. To this day, I am much more aware because my own experience, and if I see someone in a wheelchair, I immediately scan the environment to see if there are any barriers in which I can help. For example, the amount of abled people that push in a queue in front of a wheelchair is amazing. I was gobsmacked! So if I'm ever in a queue now and I see a wheelchair, I make sure others don't push in. These are little things, but can hugely impact the experiences of someone disabled. Had I not been in a wheelchair myself, I wouldn't have been as aware. So I do think simulations can help, even a little, and sometimes it's the little things that can make a huge impact.
I agree on everything else you wrote though - respect is of high importance.