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Author Topic: Helping (?) people in wheelchairs  (Read 1712 times)
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« on: October 15, 2019, 08:25:28 am »

From the BBC

Bronwyn Berg became so fed-up with people manhandling her without asking, she put spikes on her wheelchair. And she's not alone. With a spate of disabled people reporting unwanted touching some are taking action to stop it in its tracks.

Not sure if this topic belongs on the forum ... but we are looking at how people get around.

I suspect people for the most part may believe they are helping when their actions 'headline' as an invasion of personal space.  With very limited experience (one particular wheelchair user), thinking back I believe that I always ask before providing a push ... but the article is a reminder.

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 06:59:58 am »

Not quite sure where this puts her if she wants assisted rail travel and needs help getting up a loading ramp.
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 11:42:05 am »

Not quite sure where this puts her if she wants assisted rail travel and needs help getting up a loading ramp.

That doesn't change her feelings on invasion of personal space one bit. If she's booked assistance then she's expecting to be helped.

It's the unsolicited help that is this issue. When people, thinking they are doing good, approach and start touching the disabled person, or pushing their wheelchair. The simple message is, "Ask first."

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2019, 06:59:14 pm »

Not quite sure where this puts her if she wants assisted rail travel and needs help getting up a loading ramp.

I think CyclingSid was referring to the spikes on the handles.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2019, 08:44:58 am »

This reminds me of two things. I often take my bike on a train and sometimes a heavily loaded bike can be a bit of a struggle to get on and off a train, but no one ever takes my bike to "lend a hand." Sometimes I'll deal with bike and luggage separately and then might ask another passenger if they can pass the bags to me, but if I don't ask, they won't, which is the way it should be. On one occasion I returned to Temple Meads to find the main lift out of order, so I set off up the steps. The sensible thing to do would have been to take the luggage off the bike and take it bit by bit, but... so I ground to a halt half way up the stairs.  Roll Eyes And a nice man on the stairs, seeing my plight, did help; but spoke first. No grabbing. Which is the way it should be.

The second thing reminds me of when I lived in Warsaw, back in 2000, and worked in an office near the airport. I took the 175 bus to work, which often had airport passengers with their luggage. And gangs of thieves who would, if unsuccessful, bluster 'Oh we just wanted to help this person with their heavy luggage'. The relevance to this thread being that although most people grabbing wheelchairs or blind people's elbows are well-intentioned, a very few are intent on theft or assault and being grabbed without having been first asked activates the fear of theft or assault.

Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
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