‘Since I’ve been in a wheelchair, often people no longer talk to me. They talk to my carer instead, as if I didn’t exist.’


I’ve heard comments like this several times over the years from people who are in wheelchairs. Whether you were born with a disability or suffered some illness or injury later in life, unfortunately, once you’re in a wheelchair, you may not be treated with much respect. Because I’m white, middle-class and educated, I take it for granted that, most of the time, I’ll be treated with basic courtesy. Recent examples when this hasn’t been the case – talking to a website company on the phone, dealing with a real estate agent – left me feeling quite put out. How dare they be patronising towards me! In the midst of my indignation I suddenly remembered that, for many of the people I work with, being treated with patronising disdain is probably a daily reality. Continue reading “Respect” »