Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Something has been bought to my attention through experience, and through listening to people and observing. Generally, people don't know how to behave when they realise you fall under the 'disabled' umbrella. So I thought I'd share this, in the interest of making life better for everyone. And so easily too.

I was once struggling to get myself up a slope in my wheelchair. So a man grabbed the back of my chair, and pushed me. That doesn't sound too bad. Or does it? I had no awareness of the man, until he started pushing me, because he was behind me, and he pushed me where HE thought I wanted to go, he 'parked me up' and thought he'd been helpful. I'm sad to say, I found myself saying 'Thank you'. Idiot. Me, that is.

People don't want to cause offence, so they do nothing. Or assuming that they are 'helping', they end up doing the wrong thing. Or they may be frightened of not understanding you, or of you not understanding them, so they just ignore you. And, of course, they could just be rude.  I have been on the receiving end of it all.

I don't have an an electric wheelchair, preferring to propel myself. This gives me good shoulders, and banishes bingo wings, but it's knackering. So anyway, I was finding it difficult to get up a slope and into some electric doors, which are my idea of heaven on wheelchair days. A lady saw me, and said, 'Do you need any help?' I could have kissed her. Not because she offered help, but because she asked.
So, that's how everyone can benefit. ASK. It really is that easy. If you see someone, anyone, and for whatever reason, struggling, ask, 'Do you need any help?' You'll feel good because you offered. The other person will feel good because you asked. Everyone's a winner.

It really is that simple.


  1. I had a fall outside Waitrose in Daventry. The trolley just tipped over. I went to get up, but I was being held down at my shoulders by a man. I panicked. It was horrible, I felt hot, then cold. Then the guy said "don't get up" and I realised that he was just being helpful.

    If he'd approached me from the front and spoken quietly to me I would have thanked him. But he didn't -- he treated me worse than a child.

    1. And that's why people need to know this!

  2. Reassuring article.. I was on Saunton Beach a few weeks ago, and a young man in a not suitable for rough terrain Wheelchair, was coming up to the stony uphill exit off the beach. I asked would you like a helping hand up.
    No i'm perfectly fine was the quick response.. I did wonder at the should i have offered help.. Now feel reassured, he was fine with me just asking..

    1. Paul.....YOU ASKED, and that's what counts!! Always offer, and people can accept or decline. It really is that easy.