recycled blog post from 12/19/06
· Use the same manners you would with anyone else,
o Rude is rude.
· Ask before you help,
o Sometimes independence is more important than ease or speed.
· Please don’t lean or hang on the wheelchair without permission,
o How would you like it if someone hung on you?
· Speak to the person in the wheelchair
o Not to the person with him or her.
· Make yourself eye to eye,
o You may want to sit or kneel.
· Shake hands, give a squeeze on the shoulder,
o But never a pat on the head.
· A person who uses a wheelchair is a wheelchair user,
o Not “confined to a wheelchair” or a “victim of a wheelchair”.
· Always ask before moving someone’s wheelchair,
o Whether or not he or she is in it.
· Be aware of the person's capabilities,
o Some users can walk with aid and use wheelchairs to save energy and move quickly.
· It is ok to use terms like "gotta run" and “went for a walk” when speaking to a person who uses a wheelchair,
o The wheelchair user probably uses the same words.
· It is okay to ask polite questions,
o Much more okay than staring.
· A wheelchair gives mobility and freedom,o It is not, in and of it self, sad or a tragedy.