Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wheelchair or cane?

A few months ago, I decided to ask this question to the airline attendants as I stood waiting for assistance. I have been an airline traveler for more years than I can remember but it never fails. Each and every time I ask for assistance, out comes the wheelchair and each time I have to politely say that I do not want one. I would prefer to walk and take the arm of my sighted assistant. Even when I specifically ask for assistance by booking the services at the airport before hand, the same thing happens. I always state that I do not require a wheelchair but alas! There is one for me to seat myself in.

Another thing that I have noticed over the years is that when it comes to assistance, the wheelchair passengers are always assisted first and I am the last to be assisted. Now, I know that someone has to be last in line but why all the time does it have to be me? Am I missing something or do I need to be educated? Would it be better then for me to take the proffered wheelchair?

Maybe someone reading this blog can give me a logical answer. I’m Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and encouraging you to go out there and share my thoughts with others. Visit to learn more.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna

    Great blog, as ever!

    Didn't you realise that all disabled people are wheelchair users? Well that's what the World perceives, doesn't it?

    Working with my company Accessible World Ltd where we are trying to encourage every business to be more accessible, we always come up with the barrier that they don't have space to provide a wheelchair accessible toilet.

    Constantly, we are trying to get the message across that if they can't do that, there is perhaps no reason why they cannot provide menus in large print or braille, improve signage, colour contrast, etc to help people with a visual impairment.

    Similarly, they can make adjustments for people with other disabilities.

    Finally, if they cannot provide the ramps to get in or the wide door or the wheelchair accessible toilet I ideally want, please make it easy for me to communicate with them so we can discuss how they may be able to help.