Travelling while disabled is hell. We need major change – and kindness | Penny Anderson
If transport workers or members of the public see someone who looks like they need help, please treat them as individuals
Every day brings news of novel, cruel and unusual indignities inflicted on a human daring to travel while disabled. In the latest demoralising example, Steve Smithers was prevented from flying for the crime of carrying spanners, in case he used them to “dismantle the plane” instead of adjusting his wheelchair. It would take a time-rich, engineering-genius-meets-world’s strongest man to do that, not someone paralysed from the chest down.
I am disabled because of MS, which causes restricted mobility and impaired vision, both of which are worsened by stress. I dread travelling, even by bus. I can’t fully see to flag down the correct one, and, boy, do Glaswegian drivers hate it when I explain why I stopped the wrong one. See me trying to count the exact change (mandatory in Glasgow) with my restricted vision, while an impatient driver snorts. And despite my walking stick, passengers hog seats near entrances reserved for the likes of me, spreading across two seats until asked to move.
Related: What is life really like for disabled people? The disability diaries reveal all
Be kind and pleasant. Respect a passenger’s dignity. Don’t assume disabled equals ramp
Source: Guardian Transport
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