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How can we take this idea of the power chair to create a paradigm shift in the way people view people with restrictions?

I have seen first hand how people in chair's are ignored, invisible and belittled. It seems as though people in wheel chairs are thought of as less than than whole. If you have someone who is walking and all of a sudden becomes wheel chair bound everyone thinks its such a tragedy. When you take someone who is completely immobile (bed bound) and give them a wheelchair the person is empowered. Should wheel chairs be called wheelchairs or should they go by a new name? Can people who are not restricted embrace a change in thought?
I personally do not have a physical condition that causes me to be in a wheelchair my disability is a little different. I found Sue Austin's video enlightening and would like to know what other formats could be used to share her story to empower others.

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    Feb 13 2013: The only disability is ignorance.

    :-) a new word is : "power chair" ♥ from Sue Austin :-)

    Everyone in a power chair should watch Sue Austin's TED presentation.

    (btw What a beautiful last name you have!!)
  • Feb 12 2013: (continued)
    Just to say that I believe there is no easy or single way to encourage people to alter attitudes of this nature. It is to do with personal development, and whether the more able-bodied person is sincere in their desire to grow in understanding and empathy.
    Disabled people can do their part is just as possible to abuse power in a chair as in any other situation. For example, when I am walking (unsteady!), one person in a power chair/scooter ran into me, and hooted me out of the way. I nearly had a dangerous fall, and haven't been out again on the pavement.

    There is a very long way to go. We all need, I feel, to get better and better at truly just accepting someone for who they are. It can be more difficult than many people assume. However, we have this human gift of sensitivity, and it can be done.
  • Feb 12 2013: I think it is very difficult indeed to alter someone's mind who is completely able-bodied if they have an attitude towards someone with disability that is based on their own experience and assumptions. Maybe impossible...without that person taking the time to develop deep empathy towards the other.

    I took delivery of my first powered chair on my 62nd birthday 2 weeks ago. I love it, it is transformative. All the occupational therapists etc called it a powered chair. However that is not enough to shift assumptions which are deep rooted.
    The key words I think are : pain.....willpower....and fear.
    Perhaps most people who use a chair either experience chronic pain, or have done, or could do if they go outside certain restrictions. Many people who don't, haven't. The idea of continuous pain is frightening to most people if they havent experienced it.They do not know that it is possible to draw on inner resources that one did not know one had. I believe it is this fear that is behind a lot of the behaviour towards disabled people that can be very hurtful and isolating. I find most of it is entirely unconscious.
    Such people sometimes like to believe that any pain (or indeed some illnesses too!) could be overcome with willpower, (and/or drugs) because that is how they believe they would approach it. If one truly needs a power chair, one is well beyond this stage.
    I can still walk - it's just that my legs give way and buckle under suddenly. It is curious how differently some people treat me if I am up or in my chair!
    I wish would change :
    1) the feeling of being trapped. I know I am a good listener. So do others! They sit in front of me and 'download'. Now, with my chair I can buzz away ! although I still feel I'm being rude. I would like people to give me my space to be quiet, or use my own time.
    2) for some reason, being in a chair seems to make some people imagine I can no longer make decisions for myself, especially organising decisions.(continued above)