There are a number of people who tend to judge, jump into conclusions or joke about wheelchair users. To make an end of or minimize such bullying and inconsiderate acts, the British Broadcasting Corporation, or BBC, helped in spreading the right awareness about wheelchair users so that the public will be careful with their words and opinions and even actions towards the community.
Every wheelchair user is unique but many have a lot in common. BBC shared some things that wheelchair users all know know but others unfortunately don’t.
- Part-time wheelchair users – When some people see a person stand up from his wheelchair and begin to walk, they often think it’s a miracle or that the person is a fraud. What they do not know is that there are wheelchair users who are not completely or fully reliant on the mobility device. Because of some conditions, a person might be advised to use the chair when they are at events or situations that require prolonged standing or long walks. There are also individuals who can walk but at times use a wheelchair to move and roam around because of fatigue, pain, or muscle weakness. There are numerous reasons why wheelchair users are on wheelchairs and those people who do not know a person's specific situation have no right to say anything rude or judgmental.
- “Sitting” in busy and crowded places – Wheelchair users cross busy streets, ride passenger-packed trains, and do other things while they are sitting. Yet there are people who are very inconsiderate to these individuals. Most wheelchair users are already getting a hard time getting through the day, and sadly, their experiences when going to busy and crowded places often add onto their difficulties. For example: since they are seated, their heads and faces are not at the same level with those who are upright. This then puts them in situations wherein their faces are surrounded by backsides when they ride a train full of passengers, or most often their heads are accidentally hit by grocery or shopping bags when others pass by them.
- Never push without the user’s permission – One thing everyone should be aware of is wheelchair etiquette. People should be advised that they are not allowed or they should never push a wheelchair without asking permission from the user even if that individual is currently not sitting on the chair. Another thing to teach the public is to never walk behind the wheelchair user because it might cause a fright to the person.
- Kidding around them – It is not uncommon that there are jokes made up for wheelchairs. And worse, these gags are even thrown around those who have wheelchairs as part of their daily lives. For others it may be funny and worth a good laugh, but to those who use wheelchairs, it’s definitely not. Making fun of people, especially those who are on wheelchairs, is not funny at all.
The public should be aware of the rights and the physical challenges, struggles and difficulties wheelchair users go through every single day of their lives. Good thing BBC is helping to spread the right kind of awareness about wheelchair users.
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