Via Alas, I have learned that Diary of a Goldfish sponsored "a blogging against disablism" day on Monday. There is a very interesting round-up of links regarding the experiences of people with disabilities-- a group even the most able-bodied among us could one day join. As the wife of a paraplegic, it seems that I ought to have something terribly profound and insightful to say. Unfortunately I don't and, as I have mentioned, I am strapped for time at the moment. Thus, the two thoughts that come to mind are rather mundane, although the first is nonetheless quite important:
-- DON'T #*(!) PARK IN THE PARKING SPACES RESERVED FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILIES UNLESS YOU ARE A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY!!! GOT IT? I don't care if you're "just running in" to the store. Sometimes a person with a disability wants to just run into the store too. But he can't, because YOU are parked in the one spot wide enough for him to open his door all the way and get his wheelchair out of the car. So he's driving around and around the parking lot fuming because you couldn't be bothered to park a couple spots down. And then he comes home and bitches all night to his poor wife who just wanted to have a couple beers and chill out. Or maybe he gave up and didn't "just run into the store" because you are hogging the parking spot, thus forcing his otherwise extremely busy wife to leave her nice warm comfy home to make a special trip to the store to get milk, bread, or whatever. So stop doing that!!!
-- Don't assume that the lovely woman living with the paraplegic man in your apartment complex must be his maid or home health care assistant. The fact that you see her leaving the apartment complex every day in a business suit and carrying a brief case could perhaps be a tip-off that she is not in fact a maid or home health care assistant. Thus, before you ask, "How long have you been [paraplegic man's] attendant?" consider the fact that paraplegic men sometimes have wives, even very cute ones (if I do say so myself). If you have committed a faux pas like this one, however, don't beat yourself up the way you should if you have parked in the "handicapped" parking spot, because at least in this instance, you have provided moments of great hilarity for the paraplegic man and his attendant/lovely wife for years to come.