It always surprises me how people who use a wheelchair are, almost, deemed to be stupid.
Fortunately, at present, I am not having to use a wheelchair myself. I do have a self-propel one of my own though for when it gets bad. Not quite as snazzy as the one shown here!
It amazes me though when I do use it how I am treated differently! Other wheelchair users will confirm that you seem to disappear and people talk over the top of you. Either that or they look down at you and talk at you as if you are stupid!
It is so frustrating, you haven’t disappeared or had your brain removed, you are just using a wheelchair. I suppose in many cases it is because others feel awkward at seeing someone below them.
I don’t mean below as in status but in position, it is difficult to talk when you cannot make eye contact.
So if you meet a friend or an acquaintance in a wheelchair, remember they cannot stand up easily! Do the decent thing and bend or stoop down to make sure you can make eye contact. Then you can talk to them or with them but not over them or about them as if they aren’t there.
None of us ever want to be in a wheelchair, but like for me, occasionally it is necessary. Other people have to use them all of the time and that is even more frustrating.
You probably will not ever hear those wheelchair users complain about their problems and you will not notice them seething. They will though just seeth inwardly if you treat them (and me) as if they are stupid.
Treat wheelchair users as normal people and they will respect you for it. Treat them as if they don’t exist or as if they are stupid and you will upset them.