Thursday, November 6, 2008

Clue, A Board Game for Abled People

When someone in a wheelchair or a scooter sits in front of glass doors, angled perfectly, poised to enter, looking longingly in, don't walk around them, open the door, let youself in, and let the door close again. This. has. happened. twice. recently. My jaw dropped. I couldn't even respond.

-When designing a hospital parking lot at a distance from the hospital, put in a disabled parking space or two or three or five if it's a really big lot.
-And put a ramp into the sidewalk, so the disabled person doesn't have to trot with the cars.
-And when you do put a ramp on one sidewalk, futher down, near the traffic circle, make sure that there's a ramp on the other end of the sidewalk so that the disabled person can get off the sidewalk rather than having to back up to where they started.
-And when you put another ramp in, past the traffic circle, don't have the second ramp end behind a bunch of cars parked against a wall so that the disabled person cannot pass.

When you see a disabled person loading her scooter into her car all by herself, just like a big girl, sure offer help if you're worried she might need it. But for goodness' sake, she doesn't want to discuss her diagnosis with a complete stranger.

Stop asking me if I have MS. Whether I have MS should not change your interactions with me. I'm the same person, and knowing what I "have" doesn't change your interactions with me. Next time, maybe I should say I have MS.

When teaching seniors and those with disabilities, please remember we're not preschoolers. Let us retain some dignity, please. Please. (This for the Wednesday swim teacher, my goodness, she takes the cake. I'd not go if they were all like this. The others are not like this, not at all.)


Elizabeth McClung said...

I am so sorry that you are reaching into this frustration. To visit one person I need to go headfirst into oncoming traffic for a 1/4 block. I have also had an able bodied person WATCH me from inside the door as I struggle, have is smash me in the shoulder as I try to wheel through and then say, "Wow, that looks difficult."

Yeah, the 'you're a public figure so I can ask you all about your medical conditions' - I find it interesting with you it is MS, must be because of the different scooter/wheelchair - for me it was/is, "So how did you break your spine."

Dignity, isn't that for REAL humans, not 3/5th humans? (sorry I get a little sarky sometimes after being talked down to in more ways than one). Yeah; is this how they would like to be talked to - then maybe they should try again.

FridaWrites said...

Traffic and wheelchairs/scooters, not a good combination. I'm always worried I'll get backed over while removing mine from the lift or loading it. I had to go up to someone's window yesterday and knock on it (I was in the only available spot)--she kept yakking on her cell phone and I just didn't want her to start backing up the vehicle inattentively.

I've also had someone watch from inside like that, then run away rather than help!

Yes, a lot of people with MS use scooters--that becomes people's assumption/explanation a lot.

Being snarky with ableds is fine--I get snarky with abled people all the time. And when one complains, about people running away, about the traffic problems, about the questions and lack of dignity, ableds just tell you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. They don't actually hear that there are problems and easy solutions and that they could be part of those solutions. I feel like a one-woman educational project, but I get a bit tired of having to be.

D Phoenix said...

I hope that you get some readers who are searching Google for comments on "Clue" the board game that they want to buy for X-mas. Everyone should get a "clue" for X-mas! Maybe there should be a law that building designers, road builders and such should have to do a run through using a wheelchair or scooter before the building or walkway can get a permit to open to the public.

If someone asks you if you have MS, have you ever been tempted to ask them something super personal as a retort? What could you ask? Do they have night terrors because they looked a bit stunned?

I almost got backed into while wheeling the other day. Maybe I should carry an air horn. Take care out there...

FridaWrites said...

The way people arrive at my blog, it might actually work! And I second the idea of a wheelchair runthrough for construction. Even on the blueprints, they could check the paths specifically.

I have thought about that, asking personal questions back, but just haven't thought of anything.

The horns on scooters at least aren't sufficient, no one could hear it their life. Air horn's not a bad idea.

Kara said...

LOL! I wish these clues could be part of a mandatory AB curriculum! Sometimes their behavior is truly ridiculous-sheesh! LOL!