Viral Tweet Points Out Ableism At Play With Unsafe Pathways

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/@OnALighter_Note

Seriously, who leaves these in the middle of a street?

For those of us who are able-bodied, we may not always think about the number of impediments that can be out in public that make it hard for people who use wheelchairs to get around. One self-described “writer, winemaker, and quadriplegic” decided to make a public service announcement about it, and his words have gotten many people thinking about what an unnecessary and complete pain in the ass this must be.

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“I’m a wheelchair user and I’m so fucking tired of people leaving these bikes and scooters wherever they want,” Twitter user Dain Carter wrote. “For able bodied folx it’s an inconvenience but for me it means I have to walk out into a busy street to go around. These are my only safe paths. STOP DOING THIS.”

There are so many e-scooters, bikes, and even pogo sticks (yes, I’m serious) popping up in cities all over the U.S., creating a real danger for people with disabilities who have to figure out a way around the object because someone else was too lazy to place it back in a docking station or move it out of the way of the general public.

Carter isn’t alone in his frustration with the ableism on display here. In fact, there was an entire viral thread on Twitter last year where people used the hashtag #ablesareweird to share stories about all the times able-bodied people are strange, rude, disrespectful, or just plain ignorant in the way they have treated people with disabilities.

Once Carter posted his frustrations something pretty awesome happened. People commented back, not only thanking him for pointing this out to them but letting him know they intended to do better moving forward:

Of course, others suggested he either revamp his wheelchair with monster-truck type tires (wait, what?) or just push the offending bike or scooter out of the way. To this, Carter responded, “I can appreciate all the people suggesting I knock it over but unfortunately wheelchairs are not monster trucks with giant tires and high functioning shocks. I can knock it down but it will still very much be in my way.”

Ableism shows up all the time, not always because people are inconsiderate but because they haven’t had to think about how their actions may be affecting someone else’s life. Earlier this year, one woman pointed out the plastic straw ban may end up hurting people with disabilities who need straws because they either struggle or are not able to pick up a drink.

Bottom line? We can all do better to make the world better for everyone. It only takes a minute to consider others, and Carter’s words are a lesson for everyone to do better.

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