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10 Things Disabled People Definitely Understand

Yes, because this is so much fun.
Yes, because this is so much fun.
I’m going to do this post in a list format because I believe that most of these are self-explanatory. If they are not 100%, I will explain under that number.

1. It is hard enough when you go to a public place and none of their bathrooms are wheelchair accessible, but it is even more frustrating when you go somewhere and there are plenty of open stalls and someone who is not disabled takes up the only accessible one.

2. One of my readers brought to my attention that she finds having the changing table in the accessible bathroom. It is perfectly understandable that children need their diapers changed, but what happens when the child is with the father? Or, what about creating a separate area in the bathroom so that the wheelchair accessible stall isn’t taken?

3. One last note on public bathrooms is the possibility of putting a rail in all the stalls. Some people are amputees or even the older population and just need that rail to help them up. This forces them to use the accessible stall when just putting a rail in other stalls could be the answer.

4. Many stores, and I can think of a few in particular, make their aisles incredibly narrow, making it almost impossible to get a wheelchair through.

5. Other stores don’t provide baskets that you could put on your lap, forcing you to either put everything on your lap or push a cart.

6. Many stores and restaurants don’t have accessible doors and the people who work there don’t always help in opening the doors. This causes the possibility of falling out of your wheelchair, losing your balance with a walker, or just plain not being able to get in the facility.

7. My biggest pet peeve is when I go shopping by myself, which happens quite a lot, and something that I need is high on the shelf and I can’t reach it. There may be customers or even workers around watching me try and reach what I need, but they wait until I ask. I completely understand that people don’t want to intrude but it would be nice every now and then for people to offer to help.

8. Curb cutouts…or lack of. Need I say more?

9. Maybe someone can explain this to me because I don’t completely understand. When I’m at a mall, which is obviously highly populated, there are elevators and escalators. Why do people who don’t need to take the elevators take them, so then people who need them, such as those with strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, etc., have to wait?

10. Last but not least, I love when kids ask questions and aren’t afraid to approach me because I’m different. They are young and learning. What I don’t like is when parents pull them away like I’m going to hurt their child. It’s all about education, and that’s why I’m happy to be Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2014. This gives me the opportunity to educate people that I’m the same as they are, I just use a chair. 
Noah Alott May 26, 2014 at 05:37 AM
All the insensitive and inconsiderate comments, claiming it's entitlement or good parking spaces, just because of being disabled.What would you say to a veteran who has lost their legs defending your freedoms and is in a wheelchair.I just pray it never happens to you to be in that same type of situation and you feel the same inconsiderateness. Pearle applaud you in your efforts to educate the insensitive and inconsiderate.Their comments explain what kind of human beings they really are .If you want to call them that.
Dan Cox May 26, 2014 at 01:46 PM
The Chicago Police staged a Sting Operation in Lincoln Park last year, using a under cover cop as a ploy. The cop was in a wheel chair and was using a Lap top computer. He was attacked by seven different groups in a course of 5 hours. over 25 people were arrested and they stopped the Sting Operation at dusk, because of safety concerns for the Officer. Point being... it is extremely dangerous for those of us that have a disability. Criminals are like Predators, looking for an easy victim as Prey.
Catherine Caporusso May 27, 2014 at 06:53 AM
This comment string definitely opened my eyes to hatred against disabled people in this country. Pearl, never stop fighting!
Pearl Gannon May 27, 2014 at 07:17 AM
I definitely have to say I'm very surprised by the amount of attention this post received. I will be writing a response to this for my next article because of the feedback in the comments to respond to some of what people said. I'm also shocked that two weeks later people are still writing in about it.
Shawn Palmer June 02, 2014 at 03:15 AM
I think Pearl has made good points and to let others view in disabled eyes. I would have to agree with numbers 4 through 7. My grandma is disabled from a car accident in the 80's and was paralyzed from her waist down only. When she has to use a bathroom at a public place, She's fine cause she has a tubing that can be used for any bathrooms which maybe is helpful in her case. Narrowing aisles she does have problems cause like Pearl mentioned are not wide enough as I witnessed it and sometimes take the advantage and move them if needed for her to go through. Now five is something my grandma has trouble with. She can't push a cart of course or even a basket unless trying to push herself which is hard basically for everyone cause you only have two hands to use. She tries all the time but me or my aunt does take it away just to make things easier for her to push herself. It's true most places don't have automatic doors just opened for you but she doesn't have a problem as she has people opened doors for her even if me and my aunt are there which is nice of them to do so, walking in or out. seven, Same goes for my Grandma. She can't reach cause things are quite bit high for her so she has to ask me or my aunt to get her things if out of her reach. Lastly, eight. Rarely happens only at hospital when my Grandma comes with. But at woodfield mall, I can see where Pearl is coming from. Not so much though at Vernon hills as we usually get on elevators ourselves to minimal amount of people with us. So somethings my Grandma has problems with but she's never down or sad about them. She's grateful to be alive and not dead. Doesn't let anything like that bother her. But whenever she does go out, My aunt and me most of the time are with her anyways cause of how much we care about her. She can still think and do most things as other people can just not with her legs. It's difficult if you go out alone but my Aunt and I make sure to go along with cause we know she's gonna need some help. She accomplish a lot of things before the accident and after too when I was born. Sure we haven't experience much bad things but the point is, she doesn't let whatever stop her. She can find an alternative route but having us with her is ensuring. As long you have a family member or a friend with you if your disabled, you be fine. We all need a hand for something and if we as human beings can't help each other, we are only gonna go down together and further.

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