“Please don’t push me off my Segway.”

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.



Categories: social justice, violence

Tags: ,

9 replies

  1. Damn – why are there so many entitled arseholes in the world?

  2. What the hell is wrong with people? I bet most people think that people who ride segways are like GOB from Arrested Development, not people who might *actually* need them, but how the hell can you tell and why on earth would you ever do something like that? Jerkfaceheads.
    Lost Clown’s last blog post..I’ve been nominated for a Canadian F-Word blog award!

  3. It just makes me sigh.
    The societal attitude is pretty much: if you’re disabled, you’re a vegetable who can’t do anything by yourself. If you claim to be disabled and yet can stand/walk/speak clearly, you must be a faker. There’s no in-between.
    And it’s really frustrating.
    amanda w’s last blog post..So apparently

  4. On a related topic – is anyone going to undo the damage Howard did to the disability pension and other services?

  5. I wonder if having an epidural or spinal block would make them understand what it’s like not to be able to use your legs and how helpless you feel. At least they wear off. I’ve had both for caesar deliveries and found it quite daunting not being able to move my legs, especially when trying to retrieve a newborn without hurting my brand new incision. But it gave me some food for thought about what it would be like to be permanently like this. I think it’s an experience more people need so they have a little empathy. Like the jerk of a police man in the US who tipped a guy out of his wheelchair onto the floor so he could search him.
    Mindy’s last blog post..My doctor says I have to forget everything I ever knew, in case thats whats causing the headaches…

  6. “The societal attitude is pretty much: if you’re disabled, you’re a vegetable who can’t do anything by yourself. If you claim to be disabled and yet can stand/walk/speak clearly, you must be a faker. There’s no in-between.”
    And if you can speak and/or move a finger, you better bloody well be working full-time, ya whinging bludger.

  7. A related societal belief seems to be that if you were a victim of medical malpractice but the crime didn’t appear in the press or a medical book then it never happened
    It reminds you of this line from Britcom Drop the Dead Donkey:
    Gus: “If it’s not in Sir Royston’s authorized biography _then it didn’t happen_!”

  8. One last thing:
    Is there a special circle of hell for relatives and friends who simply don’t get diseases (trying to sneak things I said I couldn’t have into my food, saying I was a picky eater, or just a general baby)?

  9. What the hell is wrong with people? I bet most people think that people who ride segways are like GOB from Arrested Development, not people who might *actually* need them, but how the hell can you tell and why on earth would you ever do something like that? Jerkfaceheads.
    Yes, even if the guy had been ablebodied, it still would have been overentitled and jerkfaceheaded (great word!) Isn’t there enough misery in the world without going around randomly causing it?
    Helen’s last blog post..Hooves, galloping, fading into distance

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