To laugh or not to laugh

  • 22/11/2018
Maree Ireland
wheelchair entering a train carriage

I came across this clip, have a look:

My first reaction was to laugh, because I’ve had similar experiences and I can see how silly those people look, but that’s only in hindsight.

Being at the receiving end of such stupid reactions isn’t funny at the time – It is just frustrating, annoying and sometimes hurtful.

Recently I have started taking the train to work. This has meant I have had more interaction with the general public. I am starting to realise that there are people who see the ‘disability’ but their reactions to it vary so much. 

There are some people who start up a conversation and when I start using my ‘Lightwriter’, they seem comfortable enough to keep talking; then there are people who don’t know where to look or they give a polite hello and then get their mobile phone out; then there are those who just look away. Then there are also people who appear to enjoy ‘eye balling’, which I occasionally like reciprocating – and winning.

On my taxi ride home from the train station I am often left pondering why some people are OK with disability and others not so much. I also wonder whether I need to be always on the alert and give good impressions around disability to the public; or when I’m with friends, can we just be dorks and joke and laugh?

Have you had any experiences like the ones in the above YouTube video? How did it make you feel?

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