I have from time to time had to be limited to a wheelchair or other devices that have given me a different perspective than an able bodied person. The other day, we were out at Legoland. We rented a wheelchair because it would be easier for getting around. As many folks can atest to, I am a people watcher. I enjoy watching how people react to situations. The observations of the other day were a mixed bag.
Observations “Good”.. While pushing around, many people were quick to help out. We had some folks that really went out of their way. They opened gates to help get us into where we needed to go. They made sure that the path was clear of themselves and stuff – so we could get around. They even were open to conversation, asking how we were doing, need any help, how did it happen. Some very considerate folks!
Observations “Not so good”… It was amazing to see how many people simply just cut in front of you when you are pushing a wheelchair. They think that they can jump in front and hopfully jump out of the way. When pushing a wheelchair – up or down hills – control is a bit tough. Way too many times did we almost hit someone. Paths thru areas are meant to be clear for everyone (able bodied or not to get thru), but as the day went on the paths got shorter and shorter. The dirty looks that I received from folks were just amazing. Like I was putting them out of their way… The whispers were pretty good too! I guess some folks think that they are not going to be heard. My favorites were, “Who do they think they are? We all have to wait in line.” “Look healthy to me.” First of all, we waited our turns in line. Just like the parks rules state. Second, we look healthy, but walking in the park was not going to happen. Lastly, one that was pretty much the topper, was the not helping to open or hold the gates. Two people can not navigate the gate and wheelchair without some huge difficulty. It was amazing that when people came out the gate and did not offer to hold the gate… Wow.
I always thought I had a respect for any disabled person and getting around. I always have tried to be considerate. After my experience the other day, I will make sure that I ask and help whenever possible. It is the right thing to do!