Using a Mobility Assistance Device Is Not 'Lazy'


I have several mobility-restricting chronic illnesses. It can be hard some days to slip on my shoes, or to pick something off the floor. My mother also has mobility-restricting chronic illnesses.

I have noticed a really horrible trend of people calling those who use mobility assistance devices such as wheelchairs and scooters lazy, the problem with the world, and some other things I’m not going to repeat here. The problem with this line of thinking is that these devices are not made for able-bodied people. They are made for people with disabilities. I have confronted people who have said these things, telling them the device is for the disabled. But alas, most of them have screamed curses at me and told me I was just a fragile little whiner, among other things. One of these people even said that because they had watched a video of someone without arms doing the task the device helps with, no-one else should be allowed to use the device.

Mobility devices can help people with mobility issues become more independent. They can literally change lives. At the moment I don’t use such devices because I am still able to do those things, but that could change one day.

This ableist view about mobility assistance devices being for the lazy hurts people. If this ideology persists, it could do a lot more damage. And this is only one example of ableism. We need to end this ableist ideology, and we have to work together to do it. Help fight it and spread awareness with the tag #AbleismAwareness.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Moodboard.

 


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Disability

Please Be Patient as My Son With a Disability Gets in His School Bus

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your compassionate smile as my son loads onto the bus on a lift that takes his wheelchair up. He smiles down at me as we wait for the driver to get on and then roll him in. You see us smiling and it’s contagious. Thank you for [...]
Promotional image for 'Stronger'

Jake Gyllenhaal's Casting as Amputee in 'Stronger' Criticized

“Stronger,” a film based on the story of Jeff Bauman, who lost both of his legs during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, is being criticized for its casting of Jake Gyllenhaal as Bauman, a double amputee. In an interview with Boston.com, David Gordon Green, the film’s director, said he never considered anyone other than Gyllenhaal to [...]
Woman seemingly cured of her disability.

How Society's Focus on 'Curing' Disability Can Harm Disabled People

There’s something I feel needs clarifying between many abled and disabled people. There is a major problem with society thinking disabled people’s greatest, most pressing need is to be cured. It’s difficult to explain and I hope I can find the right words to help people understand and to help disabled people be heard. When [...]
18 Messages of Hope From People With Disabilities Who've Struggled With Suicidal Thoughts

18 Messages of Hope From People With Disabilities Who've Struggled With Suicidal Thoughts

As people with disabilities, we can struggle with pain, fatigue and other physically and mentally stressful aspects of our conditions. We also live in a world that often misunderstands us, devalues us and does not prioritize the things we need to live successful, happy lives — such as supportive, affordable health care, accessible buildings, welcoming [...]