Speak To ME, Please…

My fabulous little wife Diane went out for a lunch and a bit of shopping with her daughter Heather last week… and had the same insulting experience in all three shops they visited. They went in and after DIANE spoke up and got attention for them, the other person IGNORED her and addressed her adult daughter.

They ignored her because — we think — Diane is in a wheelchair. In a big power wheelchair full time now for about fifteen years. She deals with the difficulties gracefully and cheerfully every day, always happy and always busy. But this experience was new for her and quite upsetting. In all three shops, she was utterly dismissed and talked over during the visit, not included. And SHE’s the one buying!

It puts you in mind of the spelling of Invalid — being paralyzed — and Invalid, not authentic. Discrimination, any way you look at it.The shops Diane and Heather visited were two carpet stores and a restaurant in Kettering area; names and addresses not listed per Diane’s preference. 

Below is a column I wrote back in my newspaper days about a friend from college who had a similar experience; these stories are also all true. (Please click on the graphic TWICE for larger, readable size.)

Disabled people and discrimination

True stories — Weirdness of the Wheelchair Life

Wheelchair Life Rolling Along

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