It is something we all tackle with: the idea that someone cannot do a task all because of their position. Assuming someone is useless because of their handicap is ridiculous and strange. All because someone is in a wheelchair, or unable to walk without some sort of aid, dose not mean that should be cast aside and deemed unable to do anything.
Now, I say anything, but that is a bit extreme. Okay: the person cannot walk. That is not ableism, that is just obvious. It is ableist to assume that they need help with every little thing they face in life.
Yes, it is okay to ask if they need a hand. If they refuse your assistance, however, THEY REFUSE YOUR ASSISTANCE! I could not tell you how often, in my situation, people offer help and then INSIST after I say that I am okay. It is offensive. You are displaying that you actually see that person as less than that: you see them as incapable to do anything.
Wheelchairs, in particular, are a clear depiction of someones physical limitations. In some cases, people are never without the chair. It may as well be a shirt. They are obvious, huge, intrusive, and a hinderance to more than just the user.
Now, with that said, there are people who are better in a wheelchair than most are at walking. Some people in chairs flow through heavy foot traffic gracefully and quietly. They maneuver peacefully and do not disturb a single person. There are, however, those who need a hand. That is why you just simply can ask. It is not offensive if you accept the potential ‘no’ and leave it at that.
I feel like a broken record. I touched on the ramifications of forcing yourself on someone in a previous post. (Example one || Example two || Example three || and there are more I’m sure, see “Law Rants” up top). It is only part of the issue.
My personal example is that someone wanted me to go to a social thing a little while ago, but did not push the issue because of my chair. They never talked to me about it and I only found out when they decided to explode with rage towards chariot. The fact was ignored that I would have enjoyed that. There, by law, have to be ways for me to get into the venue. I have preferred seating (if the venue is not run by dicks) and usually my physical condition gets me a reduced rate. However, there was a sense of true anger towards the situation that I had no choice but to live with. I was made to feel as if I did something wrong because I am in a chair. There was no concession for the fact that I am trying to get up from here: no sympathy about how I might be impacted by the situation.
Post #90! Thank you!