In daily life, everyone will come into contact with wheelchair users from time to time, such as in public transportation, shopping malls, parks, waterfronts, etc. Many enthusiastic people take the initiative to provide various assistance to wheelchair users, but there are misunderstandings about the way to get along with wheelchair users, which sometimes leads to situations of "good intentions doing bad things", embarrassment or misunderstandings.
This article hopes to share the experience and thoughts of being able to get along with wheelchair users, so that everyone can understand the needs of wheelchair users in many ways. I wish you a "lasting friendship" with your wheelchair friends!
(1) Ask yourself, how do you hope your friend 'right' you?
Although wheelchair users are physically handicapped, need assistive devices or other people’s assistance when moving, and can participate in limited activities, they actually want to be equal Treat, get along with people around you happily and help each other, avoid excessive worry and protect.
When getting along with disabled wheelchair users, let them maintain a certain degree of independence without helping them in everything. For example, wheelchair users with lower body disabilities need the assistance of other people to push the wheelchair up and down the ramp, but they may not need assistance when moving on a short section of flat road. They can be allowed to push the wheelchair by themselves; when eating, wheelchair users need the assistance of others to move the chair. To make room, but if their hands move freely, they should also be allowed to eat by themselves.
You should get the consent of the wheelchair user before providing assistance. Wheelchair users want to maintain a certain degree of independence and self-care space and do not want to be interfered in everything. Especially when meeting with a wheelchair person for the first time, you should politely ask for the wheelchair person’s consent before touching their body and assistive mobility equipment, so as not to feel violated or treated disrespectfully. When there is a need for a helper to lift a wheelchair, such as going up and down steps, going up and down on the footpath, crossing the gaps in the subway/light rail platform, You must first ask the user where the wheelchair can be lifted by force, because the structure of the wheelchair is different, if you use force in incorrect places, including the armrests, footrests, headrests, and the center button of the wheel / Pull the ring, there is a chance to 'pull/snap it', or even throw it out as a reel, which is counterproductive. After getting acquainted with each other under the premise of mutual respect and establishing a tacit understanding, you will be able to grasp the degree of assisting wheelchair users.
Wheelchair personsWorking in jobs that do not require physical labor (such as paperwork), work ability is the same as ordinary people, so wheelchair persons can be given appropriate jobs; many Wheelchair people will also pursue interests, such as photography and art, which can help wheelchair users pursue their own interests. In addition to being taken care of, wheelchair users can also help people around them and make contributions to further establish self-worth.
(2) The most important first step is not to 'tag'
When dealing with wheelchair users, you shouldAvoid labeling them, don’t just think about being handsome, and sometimes the feelings of wheelchair users。
In terms of language, should avoid using discriminatory or derogatory terms that discriminate against wheelchair users, and don’t make jokes about physical disabilities. Some of the expressions between ordinary friends and ordinary friends seem innocuous, but they can actually cause psychological harm to wheelchair users.
In terms of physical movements, don’t imitate the movements or postures of wheelchair users. When talking with wheelchair users, you can naturally stay standing or sitting down.
（3）Making friends does not mean 'no taboo'
Wheelchair people are usually sensitive to more personal topics such as the experience of physical disabilities, and may not easily reveal others, so when chatting with wheelchair users , You should choose the topic carefully and don't take the initiative to mention topics about physical disabilities.
When meeting for the first time, you can choose more common topics or introduce them with common interests, such as food, music, sports, etc. These topics are usually safer and will not touch the privacy or taboos of wheelchair users.
After getting acquainted with wheelchair users, they should not take the initiative to bring up topics related to physical disabilities. If wheelchair users take the initiative to raise them, they should adopt an attitude of listening more and speaking less and avoid making comments. They should simply give support and encouragement.
（4）Be patient and respect the choice of wheelchair users
Wheelchair people, like others, may be wary of people they first met. Therefore, when they offer assistance to wheelchair users at the beginning, they may be rejected or get a colder response. Faced with this situation,You should maintain patience and respect the choices of wheelchair users. After you gradually build trust with wheelchair users or even become friends, you can naturally narrow the distance between the two parties.。
There is no shortcut to getting along with people in wheelchairs. It depends on sincerity and sincerity. As long as you treat wheelchair users with a normal mind and build a trusting relationship in your heart, you can get along with wheelchair users easily and happily.