Today I had to literally pry a woman’s hands off my scooter while getting on the train & tell her that I don’t need help, and she insists that because her father uses a walker she understands. Um that’s nice, but I’m not your father & you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t try to pull my scooter, the part you’re gripping is what causes my handlebars to collapse. I don’t need to be pulled onto trains, I can accelerate just fine. I just need you to step back so I don’t run over your feet. ASK if someone needs help before doing anything. Don’t touch a disabled person’s body or mobility aids without permission. Thanks!
FULL METAL SCOOTER!! \m/
I. AM. SO. HAPPY. RIGHT. NOW.
I FINALLY HAVE A WAY TO GET AROUND INSTEAD OF STAYING IN BED ALL DAY BECAUSE MY LEGS AND BACK HURT TOO MUCH TO GO PLACES AND WALK AROUND. Holy crap, I’m excited. I cried a little bit. This is huge, guys. And it only cost me $165 because it’s refurbished/donated. Freaking amazing. I feel like celebrating!
Took Scoot MacGroot (my mobility scooter) out to a shopping trip at Homegoods today. At first I felt self conscious because other than achy legs I didn’t feel that bad, so maybe I didn’t actually need the scoot, maybe it was overkill, because I wasn’t totally wiped by the end… and then I realized that being able to do things and feel pretty normal afterwards - not exhausted and in pain - means the scoot is working for me. And that was great.
Playing good crip for the scooter delivery boy.
Justifying my needs.
Explaining why it’s important to have a mobility device that fits in city buses
when he responds,
‘mais vous avez le transport adapte’ ('but you have paratransit’).
Explaining that it takes 24 hours to book a ride.
I have tried
a three wheel before.
Contrary to popular misconceptions, I know what I want.
And what I don’t want? To fein interest in the advice of a man who knows
only my file number and what I look like after rushing out of my morning shower to answer the door.
And that’s it.
Je m'en cris.
Temptation tickles: ask him if he’s ever taken transport adapté,
Vindictive inclination tingles: break his knee caps with your cane so the next time he drives a scooter its out of necessity.
But no, here I am playing good crip, apolitical crip for the scooter delivery boy. So he will
take my side and
find me a scooter to
get on the bus with.
okay so my little sister once said that as a result of being a college student in a small southern town with purple hair and a mobility scooter named steve who is decorated with captain america merchandise, my life is like a weird, quirky indie movie. and she’s not wrong. he are a few hair and/or scooter related incidents:
- random people roll down their windows and holler across the street at me “i like your hair!” or “i like the captain america!” a lot
- a little girl came up to me and told me she liked my hair. not an unusual occurrence. but then five min later, she snuck up, left a small flower beside me, and dashed away as if i were a faerie queen and she was leaving a nature offering
- i’m able to stand up for about 5 min, so i generally leave my scooter outside of various buildings and establishments when i go in. my first week freshman year, i left him on a sidewalk and went into a stadium to watch a soccer game. i came out and he was bike locked to a lamppost with an ominous note that simply said to call campus police. i started freaking the hell out bc i didn’t know if i was in trouble for leaving him on the sidewalk. when they showed up, they explained i had unknowingly left him next to the rowdiest senior apartment building and they didn’t want him getting stolen. they let me keep the bike lock. my friends and i refer to this as the time steve got arrested.
- several instance of random people (usually middle aged) stopping me to say that they love my shield and it makes them smile whenever they see it
- a lady saluted me one time. several people have addressed me as “captain”
- a little boy in a spider-man hoodie once asked me if i could give him the action figure zip tied to my scooter. i explained i couldn’t get it off, and tried to offer him a different, removable cap toy. he took it, appraised it, and then announced that he already had that one, and gave it back. his mother was mortified. i found it hilarious.
- another campus police story: i left steve on the sidewalk outside of my friends’ eating house (essentially a sorority) when i was their guest for dinner. two friends arrived later and explained that there were some cops outside by steve bc this was the greek part of campus and the didn’t want him getting stolen. apparently they were speculating on who the owner could be, and came to the conclusion that he was almost definitely male. i came out in my lemur onesie with my unicorn backpack to explain everything. they were surprised.
- also worth noting that i lead admissions tours. my school is a small, private college in the southern us that has about a 20% acceptance rate, so prospective students and their families have this idea of what students here are like. they’re always very polite on tours, but it’s clear they have no idea what to make of me.
A staff member at work was putting away some items in a hallway. There was a four foot high stack of tables on a large steel dolly. The dolly combined with the rack the staff member was using blocked the entire hallway. It would have been difficult for someone to walk around them.
I am permanently disabled and use a mobility scooter to work. I can stand up and walk short distances, but even when I am completely still, I am always in a great deal of pain. Moving around and doing manual labor makes the pain even worse. Everyone I work with is aware of this.
The staff member realized that all the equipment was blocking the path and moved them out of the way. After I thanked him and started to go by, he glared at me and said
‘You do have two legs, you know.’
I looked at him in disbelief and said ‘I’m sorry? Next time I’ll just go ahead and get off my mobility aid and move heavy objects then.’ And I left because I have work to do and no time for foolywang.
Educating ableist people online is tiresome. Doing it in person when you can see the resentment and lack of respect in the other person’s eyes is agonizing. I won’t put myself in the position of having to justify my existence to others. Pursuing a dialogue with someone who acts like this is not in my best interest and I don’t advocate for confrontation in situations like this. If it affected my position I’d take it up with a supervisor, but this is just rudeness and ableism from someone who doesn’t have direct authority over me.
I’m going to keep doing my job and not let able bodied people force me into performing tasks that could be harmful to me, because they think I’m ‘lazy’ or ‘exaggerating’ my illness. It’s just another perk of having an invisible disability. Even with visible mobility aids, people don’t believe you are ‘really’ sick.
Disabled people don’t have to prove anything to you. We just want to live our lives like everyone else. We have to struggle harder to reach the same goal. The very least you can do is not literally obstruct the path I’m rolling on and then tell me that I have legs and can clear it myself.