A couple of days ago, I talked about the harm done by busybodies and assholes who proceed on the assumption that everyone they meet must be able-bodied until proven otherwise.
From the San Francisco Chronicle this weekend comes an article: “Segway helps disabled man more than wheelchair”.
A man with a spinal injury found that a Segway freed him. Using the Segway offered him psychological and physical benefits, and more access to difficult spaces than his motorised wheelchair did.
Unfortunately, he repeatedly came up against obstruction, harassment, and assault from people who refused to consider the possibility that he was using the Segway as an accessibility device:
“How am I supposed to know that you’re disabled? You don’t look disabled.” She approached my colleagues: “Is he really handicapped?”
People yelled at me from their cars: “Use your legs!” “Hey, Segway dork – why don’t you walk?”
“Do you have a note from a doctor?”
Just as I was approaching the gate, something hit me square in the back, and my Segway surged forward. I pulled back hard to brake and the Segway luckily kept its balance. I turned around to see a group of fratty guys walking away, laughing and high-fiving. Incredulous and somewhat frightened, I sped after them, yelling, “Why did you push me in the back?”
“I wanted to see if it could, like, really balance,” one replied.
I have a simple plea: Please don’t push me off my Segway.