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Please Don't Move Someone's Mobility Aids Without Asking

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One thing that lot of non-disabled people don’t understand is the sheer panic, annoyance, anger, inconvenience and / or upset moving a disabled person’s mobility aid can cause. It’s difficult to explain just how we feel when it happens, because you have very little to compare it to, but it pretty much equates to taking someone’s legs and expecting them to walk across the room to get them back.

You see, my walking sticks or mobility scooter or wheelchair are essential. Without them I cannot walk or I will fall — not might, will. When I put them somewhere and have sat down or got out of my chair, I have put them in the exact position I need so I can get to them or into them again. Without them in the place I have put them, I will need someone to bring them to me before I can go anywhere again, meaning I’m relying on someone being there at the exact moment I need to move. This could be when I’m having a panic or sensory overload and need to be able to go at that moment, not after someone has brought me my aid and I’ve got back into it.

Stickman Communications, who I love, do a lot of key cards for this sort of situation, and her one for moving mobility aids is fab as it’s so simply put.

Don't move my wheels.
Don’t get me wrong, my niece occasionally plays with my aids and I don’t mind that, but she now knows she needs to ask me first. And if I say I need them back or say no, there is a reason. She respects this, however there are a few others who don’t. I’m not saying that if things are in the way or blocking an emergency exit you can’t ask me to move them — that is fine. However, if they are simply inconvenient for you, then you can walk a bit further around or step over them. All I ask is that you think and ask yourself, would you be able to walk across the room if I cut your legs off? If not, please realize that is exactly what you are asking me to do if you move my mobility aid.

Getty image by ChiccoDodiFC.

Originally published: April 4, 2018
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