I won’t say I’m “surprised” that this happens, because my faith in humanity has been utterly shattered for years, but I am severely disappointed. People with mobility disabilities rely–I mean literally, entirely, need–their mobility aides. Under no circumstances should you be touching these devices without the explicit consent of the people who use them. This includes wheelchairs especially. It is likely thoughtless ableism that makes people think the handlebars on the back of wheelchairs is a general invitation to push the wheelchair around, but seriously, if somebody looks like they’re struggling, use your damn words first.
o some people these ‘incidents’ may not seem like much but trust me they are. Since then whenever I go out in my wheelchair I think it’s safe to say there is a level of paranoia that is always there. This is much worse at times where I have been on my own or I am propelling my wheelchair myself. After these experiences I don’t find it surprising that there is a level of paranoia and anxiety around going out in my wheelchair. However, I shouldn’t have these feelings. Whenever I go out in my wheelchair now, if my chairs moves slightly in a different way to what I am expecting I panic. I quickly turn my upper body around to check behind me. I look to both sides of me and repeat. I have to try to switch off alarm mode in my head, to try to stay calm a collected. Now when I say if my wheelchair moves differently I mean, if there’s a slight slope or uneven service I think that someone has hold of me and my wheelchair. If I haven’t paid much attention to what’s beneath my wheels i.e. pavement, tar mac, cobbles, paving slabs, carpet or laminate flooring and I move differently and slightly quicker or with more force I panic and I believe that someone has a hold of my wheelchair. I should feel safe and comfortable in my wheelchair. I shouldn’t be concerned that free handles on my wheelchair are an open invitation for someone to push me or move me around.
Read more here.