By The mobileWOMEN Team
OK, let's face it. Often when you use a wheelchair for mobility, you are a target, for not only staring but sometimes, for very strange or inappropriate questions. Most people have good intentions but sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder why they think it's OK to ask these questions.
Often it stems from a lack of knowledge when it comes to disability. Sometimes, it feels like you are a rarely-seen mystical unicorn! Gradually, this lack of representation is changing with more inclusion and diversity in the media, television shows etc. but we still have a long way to go.
When on the receiving end, sometimes you just need to roll away but ideally it is best to try to educate people and help them to understand that we are just the same as everyone else. Once they see the commonalities that exist between us, those barriers will gradually disappear. It is our hope that this article can be a learning tool towards that goal, so please share with your able-bodied friends.
That being said, we approached some mobileWOMEN contributors and asked them to share a few of the strangest (or most inappropriate) question(s) that they’ve ever been asked.
"Were you injured because you were hit by a train?" asked the woman who walked across the hall from me.
"Oh because I once heard about that happening to someone and I thought it might be you."
"No, wasn't me."
“Do you know my friend so-and-so who is also in a wheelchair?”
mw Comment: One in five people have a disability so there are literally millions of us. We do not all know one another and we all are unique, in every way. It’s kind of like meeting someone who is Chinese and assuming that they must know your Chinese neighbor!