Do you know what really irks people who use wheelchairs? Following up on a lively discussion in our community here, we ran a poll to find out.
Here's the official list of the Top 10 Things that Annoy People who use Wheelchairs:
1. Able-bodied people parking in accessible parking spaces 37%
Able-bodied people parking in accessible parking spaces
2. Accessible bathroom stalls being used by an able-bodied person 12%
3. Talking over my head as if I'm not here 9%
4. Continuing to insist on helping me after I've said no thanks 8.3%
5. Congratulating me for things like going to the grocery store like it's worthy of an Olympic medal 6.1%
6. Strangers asking what happened to me 5.7%
7. Not inviting me to an event because you are protecting me from some frustration (let me figure it out) 5.3%
8. Patting me on my head. Don't. 5.0%
9. Holding on to the back of my chair so I can't move 4.4%
10. Speaking slowly to me because I'm in a wheelchair 3.5%
Now that we have the Top Ten List, we just have to get people who are behaving badly to cut it out!
We are sharing these results far and wide this week to raise awareness and help start a conversation. I hope you will join us in this effort.
If you're using a wheelchair, tell us how you deal with rude behavior -- do you try to ignore it, correct the person nicely but firmly, make a joke?
And if you're not using a wheelchair, how would you deal with a friend who misbehaved while you were out together -- apologize for your friend, let it go but bring it up later, or ignore it, and try to display better manners in the hopes that your friend would learn from it?
Give us your thoughts on how to make life less annoying for people who use wheelchairs. We will create a follow up list with some of the best ideas for educating the rude and ignorant individuals among us.
Help us spread the word and get others to join in, please:
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Reeve Foundation Paralysis Community
Director Online Communications
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
(800) 225-0292 ext. 7123
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