One thing that a 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 almost difficult to explain just how we feel when it happens because you have very little to compare it to, but what it pretty much equates to is saying to an able bodied person that you’ve just cut their legs off and are now 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 etc I have put them in the exact position I need them to be able to 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 and then go, no….. I must go…..NOW!
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.
Now don’t get me wrong my niece occasionally plays with my aids, and I don’t mind that, but she now knows that she needs to ask me first and if I say I need them back or say no there is a reason for that. She respects this, however there are a few others who don’t.
OK I’m not saying that if things are in the way of something or blocking an emergency exit etc and so a hazard that you can’t ask me to move them, that is fine I will move them. However if they are simply inconvenient for you then you can walk a bit further round or step over them, but you CAN do that and it is just an inconvenience for you. However for me it isn’t an inconvenience it’s a problem and so all I ask is that you think and ask yourself this….would you be able to walk across the room if I cut your legs off? If no then please realise that, that is exactly what you are asking me to do if you move my mobility aid.