Do It Myself Blog – Glenda Watson Hyatt

Motivational Speaker

Want to Know How Talk to People in Wheelchairs? Start with Hello!

Filed under: Accessibility 100 — by at 6:49 pm on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Glenda wearing a leather jacket and a big smileEarlier today I read, on a major blog, an article about what never to say to people in wheelchairs. However, I will not dignify it with a link.


For two reasons:

First, It assumes all people in wheelchairs have the same look, feelings and opinions. News flash! We are not a homogenous group.

Second, it assumes all people in wheelchairs are angry, grumpy and bitter. Contrary to that assumption, some of us are happy and content individuals. We even have a wicked sense of humour!

The article gave the genuinely curious reader nothing useful when approaching wheelchair people – as if we need to be approached differently than walkies.

If our paths should cross one day and you are unsure how to start a conversation, start with “Hello!” We can both take it from there.

If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a chai tea latte. Thanks kindly.

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Comment by karen

May 29, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

Woot! I was hoping there would be a response to that here!

Comment by Glenda

May 29, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

Karen, I couldn’t let that one go without responding, even a quick response. 😉

Comment by Diane Brogan (@DianeBrogan)

May 29, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

This world sure is filled with peculiar people. Obviously the person who wrote that post doesn’t know YOU. I so admire you Glenda. YOU are someone I want to meet in person because you are so awesome. YOU have done things I will probably never do.

I do get all riled up by insensitive, uneducated, uncaring people. The problem with that is that unkind thoughts sometime rise to the surface. Running over an other person with one’s wheelchair is not proper behavior I guess.

You see Glenda, I do not have the grace and kindness you have. You are a gracious lady. That is one of the reasons I admire you and aspire to be more like you.

Comment by Glenda

May 29, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

Oh Diane, there have been times when I have wanted to have an intentional involuntary movement! And some comments have been hurtful. But, in most cases, many are simply unenlightened souls. They don’t know any better.

Comment by Lili

May 30, 2013 @ 6:32 am

Way to go, Glenda! It is amazing how insensitive some folks are. I like your answer to just say “Hello” and see where it leads.

Comment by Glenda

May 30, 2013 @ 10:48 am

Thank you, Lili. Sometimes simple is best.

Comment by john kay

June 2, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

hello, wheelchairs don’t bother me. i am a person. could be in one someday. prejudice bothers me.

Comment by Jennifer Pringle

June 3, 2013 @ 2:13 am

Wow, amen to that 🙂

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