Handicapable

Hi, my name is Jon. Yes, I hurt my leg — considering I’m hobbling around with a crutch, your powers of observation are astounding! No I didn’t “strain my ankle” or “fall down.” I was hit by a car. Yes, I was on my motorbike, but that look that says “well then you must have deserved it” is not reasonable. It was an old lady, not wearing her glasses, making a turn onto a road that wasn’t there, then stomping on the gas when she saw me. That can’t have been my fault no matter what form of transportation I was using.

Thank you for noticing, and drawing attention to my discomfort, however, I’m not interested in your pity or sympathy; do not try to pull the backpack off my back to “help me out.” If you could avoid slamming doors in my face, cutting me off on the sidewalk, jumping in front of me when I’m trying to negotiate the escalator, or walking directly toward me then moving over at the last minute leaving me not-quite-enough-space to stay upright without clawing for the wall, that would be all the help I need.

Yes, I have a temporary disability, does that make me only temporarily sub-human? What about those who are more permanently affected? Do they ever get to be treated normally again? Please don’t kill yourself trying to treat us like broken toys; please don’t kill us in your hurry to get around or away from us. That, and wheelchair accessible entrances that are actually wheelchair accessible would be plenty, thanks.

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