I have a bone to pick w/ some wheelchair accessibility, visibility and edu advocates. I've been seeing this more and more, and it only seems to be growing legs. (Pun not intended but feels apt. Bc your privilege and ability is showing.)
I've been seeing so many threads, videos, infographics, comics and more trying to discuss what "real wheelchairs" are like. You can see where this is going.

The INTENT is to take a stab at bad media representation, social ignorance, inaccessibility, etc, when it comes to chairs.
But what often follows is exclusion, lateral ignorance, shaming, and a quite frankly, elitist behavior. ..wiping out a huuuuge population of chair users in its wake.

Much of this advocacy highlights the features, size, weight, shape, etc of "real chairs" compared to stereotypes.
1. They're all "real". And someone's relying on them rn.
2. A massssive percentage of the disabled pop DOES use 'those unsightly things'.
3. The chairs being represented as universal instead are merely ONE type, fit only specific disabilities and are a privilege to own.
"NO ONE uses a hospital chair!! Why would we do that?! It's a transport chair, not a daily personal one!"

...except everyone who does. Every day. Sometimes for 5, 10+ years. Bc that's all they can afford, that insurance will cover, or that a program could give them for free.
Yes, they're heavy af. Yes, they're 'unsightly' and uncool. Yes, they're harder to push, not made for outdoors, and lack tons of custom features.

Yet, thanks to poverty, discrimination, healthcare, low education or support for access needs? Hundreds of thousands are in them now.
"Wheelchairs are lightweight! Cmon, they're, like, 25lbs. They go anywhere."

...unless you have a power (motorized) chair? A "hospital chair"? A chair with added height, leg rests, smart drives, etc?
"No more high backs or handles! We use low backs - comfort and mobility. No one has hospital handles anymore. We can push ourSELVES."

...unless you can't? All the time? Tons of us REQUIRE the option for assistance. And high backs? Those, too. Or head/neck support. Low is a gift.
"The armrests are hospital-only too. We don't have those. They get in the way and [I've literally heard this] aren't as sleek and slimming. Only temp chairs have em."

...except millions? For upper body support, a rest, to *literally steer their chair*? Only YOU don't need them.
"What's w/ all the pedal footrests? We just collect our feet on a bar. It doesn't even move; it's just fixed to the frame."

...unless you have one of like a bazillion other chairs/disabilities/needs. Heck, mine are RAISED legrests, v much detach, & I can't even put my feet down.
"Some have anti-tippers but those are only for beginners." they're not? Plenty of people want them for life. Bc lack of coordination, inaccessible streets, personal security/confidence, past trauma/falls, seizures, core paralysis, etc etc. Don't be rude.
"Wheelies are a must to get around, not just cool." got the last part right. IF you have a lightweight, compact, square, manual wheelchair and the physical ability to even do them. That's a lot of mandatory criteria. My manual chair can't even do them, bc...rectangle.
"Those fancy electric chairs that let people stand eye level? They're ableist, no one wants that, stop it."

...except they're not? A lot people not only WANT that, but may be medically advised to "stand" often. It can be grounding, needed stretch, exercise, etc. Not just social.
"Chairs are tiny and compact, dismantle into even smaller spaces. Stop acting like you need to part the Red Sea for me or can't have me in your car/home/etc."

...this is VERY valid IFFF you do in fact have a chair like that. Many do have huge chairs and are ostracized even more.
"We have cool colors, features, baskets, cup holders, wheels n rims now. They're not so ugly. We take pride in our chairs too. Stop making us look old and sickly."

...yikes. Way to make everyone w/o that wealth, luck, support, disability type and straight up luxury feel hideous.
Here's the thing.

So many of these wheelchair education TEDTalks speak only for those with:
- a lot of money (custom chairs - which these are - are thousands of dollars)
- incredible insurance
- resources/support
- a singular chair type
- more mobile/specific disabilities
- luck
If you're fighting for representation or better social understanding of wheelchairs, this only advocates for some. AND does so for the already more-visible and "palatable" disabilities.

It needs done, but not by shaming, misrepresenting and speaking over an entire community.
The fact is, these self-sufficient, modern, sleek, fashionable, lightweight, compact, custom chairs are already going to be greeted w/ more acceptance by society, and many disabled folks WISH they had that.

So when other disabled folks sht on our chairs or needs? It cuts deep.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that MOST portrayals in media, social circles and even the medical field are ONLY misguided ignorance -- not trying to speak truth to reality.

But there's a way to impress that by saying "only x if y". Not "x doesn't exist, not real, gross".
It really hurts AND adds to our discrimination.

It makes people/drs think you're faking w/ a hospital chair (or 'it's just temporary'), see "poor" if it's not custom, promise "it's accessible" bc they think ♿=small/etc, judge you for features they think you shouldn't have, etc.
But it's mostly just invalidating, exclusionary and plain ole sucks to be forgotten and spoken over by your own community. Esp whilst "advocating" for you.

Assess your DEEP privilege, don't condescend your peers in the snark for the public, and learn about OTHER disabled needs.
Thought I ought to share my own wheelchair experience and unique style needs over the last 9 years:

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More from @rollwthepunches

12 Mar
What the Disabled Community offered the world this past year:

▪️best ways to stay connected w/ friends and family from home
▪️hacks to stay productive while working remotely
▪️tools to manage (and cope w/) health anxiety
▪️honest, raw conversations about death or hospitalization
▪️education on virus transmission or effectiveness of any "hack" to avoid COVID
▪️tips, commiserations and resources to navigate healthcare and insurance
▪️ways to save money in all ways, but esp on the essentials for life at home
▪️dark humor; relief knowing it could be worse
▪️infinite coping strategies and realistic tools for incapacitating isolation, depression, anxiety, and knowing the system will not protect you
▪️hospital and ER survival guides! (both in the fun way AND literal way)
▪️tips on how to best support a sick loved one in your life
Read 7 tweets
28 Nov 20
This tweet alone contradicts itSELF. That's a new feat.

You REHEARSED with an autistic girl - meaning it was written and moving into production. But when that didn't work, you chose to WRITE IT for Maddie. Was it... not... written yet? To be able to rehearse?
Her own subconscious lied on her.

She'd been telling people sporadically for 5yrs she'd been writing a movie for Maddie...even teaching all Stevie's "tics and movements and vocalizations" herSELF.

But last wk it was always "they suggested I use Maddie" "I chose to cast Maddie".
But now she's likely been reading/hearing all the many, many times she said she wrote this for Mads, and her subconscious just snuck that one in there for us.

Btw, Maddie also objected to this role "during rehearsal". Is that when you brought this autistic girl in?
Read 6 tweets
28 Nov 20
I got several tweets since my original Sia thread, calling me a hater, someone who doesn't know her or her story, or just needs to know her heart like fans do.

Kiddies. Loves. Gen Z. I was a huge fan since Colour the Small One (2004) but also owned Healing is Difficult (2001).
Her story through trauma, addiction and self-destruction spoke to me as a teenager. I shared her music w/ loved ones who complained they couldn't understand her but I NEEDED them to get me.

I sent her song Alive to tell my therapist I survived something we thought I never could.
So when I say I was CRUSHED, and I mean devastated, to see someone whose art carried me through 15+ yrs of my life, disrespect, exploit, belittle and profit off the autistic experience?

To see her spit venom at disabled friends, use ableist terms, and refuse to listen? I broke.
Read 4 tweets
26 Nov 20
Hey, my lovely writers.

I'm so glad my Sia thread really helped condense a lot of info for you and connect dots you hadn't!

But when you write an article, delineating all her inconsistencies, in order, include references to exact written interviews I found, and even
bullet points I listed out as notes to consider but didn't have time for, it starts to just feel like plagiarism, not reporting.

We've ALL had screenshots of our tweets thrown into articles while many just add words around our Good Thoughts™️. But when you don't even do that?
Make it look like you did all the investigative work, found all these nuggets and drew important conclusions often missed in other articles? Mmm.. that feels.. exploitative? Of another disabled person?

No mention, hidden link, screenshot, nada? But do link/add names to OTHERS?
Read 6 tweets
24 Nov 20
You ever have a moment where it sinks in that Joe Biden is the President? President. Of the United States. Not a temp, not some exceptional circumstance where he's just there til Trump comes back.

He's really the 46th President. For 4 years. And Trump is done. It's.. it's over.
Has it started to hit you that this...fever dream, the daily trauma and years of unspeakable horrors and disbelief is really and truly...ending??

Imagine a clear, sensible, thoughtful, respectful, and kinda...casual(?) leader. Someone you'll even forget about for wks at a time.
I forgot it could even be like that. We now have a leader that the world can see and we get to experience leading us as the office of the President is supposed to.

That will still be errant, w/ PLENTY of calls we strongly oppose, but are..normal..political objections and upset.
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov 20
ICYMI: Maddie wasn't comfortable with this from the jump. She cried on set, so upset. Sia convinced her it was good and right and she'd never let people question Maddie.
Oh! Also. I didn't include this in the orig thread bc I'm exhausted and fried, but if you have the stamina to watch the full interview, Sia also discusses training Maddie 'like a dancer' to mimic Stevie's "tics and movements" exactly.

To study our physicality w/ 100% accuracy.
The way she describes it is honestly a really disgusting way to treat a "friend", to pick HIM apart and mould Maddie into him. And then call it "perfect".

"Stevie" btw is her "friend she met in AA whose mom did ASL interpreting". This love letter film was to HER. Not us.
Read 5 tweets

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