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Blog: Crippen - disability arts online
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Disability Arts Online

Are you stuck in that wheelchair?! / 13 February 2015

Caught this excellent blog the other day by Lucy Britton about the pitfalls of using a wheelchair if you don't need it all of the time.

"Over the last few years I've become increasingly aware of raised eyebrows when I get out of my wheelchair. A couple of years ago when taking my children out for the day, the woman deciding whether or not I deserved a disabled person's ticket asked me, "are you stuck in there? It's just I need to know if you're one of those people who can just pop in and out".

My moral worth was to be measured by how many steps I could take. A wheelchair is key to leaving the house for people with a huge range of conditions, including those experiencing fatigue, yet we're constantly told we need to justify our usage.

And so, it comes to this: either I allow people to see me stand from my wheelchair and accept that they will assume I am morally deviant, or I play the game and look like the disabled person they deem worthy enough, and get on with life in the usual way. I often choose to play the part which alienates me and others like me most – the media stereotype of the worthy cripple."