Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wheelchair bound?!

Just wanted to blog quickly about the usage of the phrase "wheelchair bound". I was bored and so what do I do when I'm bored? I look at news articles on disability! Many of the articles I looked out used the phrase "wheelchair bound" which is a phrase I absolutely, positively cannot stand. I've heard other disabled people say it conjures up an image of a disabled person chained to their wheelchair, and it does the same for me. But what annoys me the most is that it gives the impression that it is the wheelchair that limits us. It's the same with the phrase "confined to a wheelchair". A wheelchair does not limit a disabled person; in fact, it frees us. A person who uses a wheelchair to get around is going to be much more independent that way than if they walked with assistive devices, or didn't walk at all. Even for people like myself, who have mild disabilities, a wheelchair can be an asset. I am getting a mobility scooter soon for college and other places where I might have to walk a lot, and I can't wait! (Isn't it so disability nerdy of me to be excited about a new mobility device? I get the same way when I order a new pair of crutches.) The scooter is going to allow me to go places I could have never gone before, because I couldn't walk that much or that far. I have several friends who have gone from using manual wheelchairs to power wheelchairs, and have found them so freeing. A wheelchair can be a step towards the independence that all of us, but especially disabled people, crave.

"I wasn't born with a chair glued to my butt!"

-my best friend who uses a power wheelchair. This is her response to the timeless question "Were you born like that?"


Anonymous said...

GREAT point! That phrase drives me nuts too, for some reason. I just found your blog; I love it! Your frankness is refreshing. I blogged about this same topic the same week you did! So you're not alone! :)