Seen in the latest ish of New Mobility. A good article by Ned Fielden, “Help!” A perhaps uncomfortable topic, how to deal with muggles wanting to help when they encounter a person in a wheelchair, sometimes unwanted, unsolicited and intrusive assistance. My favorite is his response when said muggle’s assitance is politely refused, starts to push anyway. “No! Don’t ever touch a wheelchair user without asking first!” Even the most well meaning muggle probably doesn’t realize that my personal space includes the chair. My chair is an extension of my body. In it, I am vulnerable in ways you are not.
I’ve told my family they if they will trust me to ask when I need help, I will trust them to help when I ask. Most of us fight hard to keep what shreds of independance we can. I’ve never encountered aggressive Good Samaritans, my experience with muggles out in the open has been 99% positive. Nonetheless, this should be taught right along with gender and racial sensitivity.
Fielden suggests that we print this out and put it up on the fridge. I thought it would stand a slightly wide distrubution. Read more of this unusual publication here.