Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Ouch Disability Talk Podcast

7 Apr 2016The Ouch Podcast talks about news and issues affecting those with a disability, all with a humorous touch added to the mix. The presenters themselves each have a disability so they speak from personal experience. I find what they say quite relatable.

I've been listening to episodes on and off again for a few months now and their recent episode was about public transport. They shared some stories about rudeness and others about funny circumstances. The goal was to gather an opinion on the state of public transport. While they were talking about their local transport system the opinions and stories they share are common to all of us.

Those of you that have a disability, and those of you who travel with people who do are aware of the problems that can arise. Many of the buses in my local area are the accessible kind. But some are the old kind with steps and no ramp. If you have mobility issues it can be a gamble each time you decide to catch the bus. Hopefully the old buses are phased out over time.

During the podcast one of the hosts, Kathleen, talks about the issues that affect her. I can empathise with her and her experiences. I'm sure many of you will be able to.

How often do you board a bus or a train and find there aren't any seats available? I rarely experience this on the bus but it's common on the train. Like Kathleen I'd prefer to stand than draw attention to myself and try to explain to someone why I need a seat. There's no guarantee they'd move anyway. This is my choice however so I can't blame others.

My issue comes from the white knight behaviour of the other passengers. How many of you have received looks of disapproval when you're seated but there are others standing who look like they need a seat? When I'm sitting down I look just as capable as everyone else which leads to requests and demands to give up my seat. It's only when I stand up and you see me walk and watch me try to maintain balance that you realise I'm not.

When people stare, or I'm rudely asked I'll discreetly lift my pants a little to reveal my AFOs. Something I take pleasure in doing if they were rude about it. Their reaction is priceless. I'm not going to turn this into a rant or whinge post about my experiences so I'm not going to go into detail. However If you have a story to share, good or bad, let me know in the comments.

Don't forget to check out the Ouch Podcast, I'm sure they'll have something you can relate to. You can listen to them at audioBoom or on the BBC website.

Ouch! - audioBoom
Ouch! - BBC

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