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Sarah H.
05-23-2000, 11:09 AM
I just got back from a wonderful 16 day vacation to WDW, with a day each at Sea World and KSC. It's the trip to KSC that indirectly caused the temporary (and involuntary!) use of a wheelchair at Epcot one afternoon. To make a long story short, something I ate at KSC was bad, and I must have gotten some food poisoning, becuase I was very nauseated and vomiting for the last 5 days of our trip.

However, trooper me, I crept around the World Showcase, even though I had to stop every 5 steps to sit and rest my tummy. Finally, at American Adventure, I could not go on! I thought I was going to die! DH informed a CM, and he called paramedics and Disney first aid. They wanted to take me to the hospital, but I refused, as I was feeling much better laying down in the A/C. They offered a wheelchair, since I was having such difficulty getting around, which my DH insisted that I use. We did American Adventure, France, and ToN while I was in the chair.

Holy smokes! I couldn't believe it! People stood in front of me, (hello folks, I'm only 3 feet tall down here!) kicked me, and talked to my husband about me in the 3rd person! And these weren't all guests - one incident was a CM! While in France, we took a few moments to watch the living statues. People would look at me in the chair, and then stand in front of me. One guy rammed my legs against the chair in an effort to be the "next one" with the statue. No apology - nothin'. However, here's the one that really shocked me - my husband had to use the restroom, and wandered down the international gateway (pushing me). A CM told him that the nearest one was past the exit, but he could get his hand stamped and then come right back in. So, we proceeded to the exit. He parked me, and then asked the CM at the exit to stamp his hand because he needed to use the restroom. With me right there, right next to my DH, the CM ignored me and asked DH, "Do you need to get her hand stamped too?" H'mmm...it loses something in the writing, I think, but even though I didn't need my hand stamped, I would have preferred if she would have asked ME, instead of referring to me in the 3rd person to my husband.

Anyway, as we left the park that evening, we left the wheelchair at the wheelchair rental counter. This was definitely a learning experience! Even though it was only 3 hours or so, (if that long), it was long enough for me! I definitely appreciate the difficulties people face who must be in wheelchairs or ECVs for an extended periods of time. Lemme tell ya, I got so tired of being on the eye level of people's butts! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif The very worst thing about it, though, was that DH and I couldn't hold hands and talk as we wandered around the park. He was pushing me, so his hands were occupied, and I was getting a crick in my neck from trying to turn my head to talk to him. I actually missed him!

I also was wondering about what people were thinking of me - ok, here's a healthy looking 27 year old woman in a wheelchair - she's faking it. The CM's who brought the chair over for me to use were so nice, however. I told them that I didn't want to use the chair, because what would people think? They said that hey, nobody knows you here, who cares what they think ? And I thought, "yeah, hey, I know I'm not using it to get extra attn or shorter lines (at this point my tummy was in no condition for any attractions - I almost lost it in the France movie!) who cares what they all think?"

Like I said, it was a learning experience. And a week after my KSC food experience, I feel 100% better, thank you


Sarah H.

BonnieG
05-23-2000, 12:39 PM
Sarah....

Being in a wheelchair or ECV even for a few days or hours really gives you a totally different look at the reality of the people here and elsewhere who deal with their permanant disabilities on a daily basis.

I know that I am a much different person for the better, I would like to think, after having my life change the past two years.

We were also very surprised at the rudeness of some people in WDW and the fact that you became invisable to them or you were an obstacle to jump over,in front of or go quickly around! /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Anyway...I am glad that you are better and sorry that you had to be so sick while on vacation!

I would also like to say that to all of my fellow disABILITIES pals....you and your families are all in my thoughts and prayers each night.

Take care all,

BonnieG

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Piper
05-23-2000, 02:08 PM
Sarah,
If you haven't already done so, would you post your message on a few of the other boards. I appreciate your writing. Maybe your experience would help other people understand some of the things we deal with daily!

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Piper

Wheelsie
05-23-2000, 03:49 PM
First off let me say that Im very sad that you got ill during your trip... I can that can REALLY stink..

And as to your experince in the chair for that afternon (and I say this in an EXTREMELY joking tone...actually laffing as I type)

WELCOME TO WHEELSIE'S WORLD!!!! ROFL /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
I know that many permanantly chair bound types like myself do deal with in one day that you did in just a few short hours... I commend you for not smacking people around...Lord knows I want to some days LOL

and I agree w Piper that you SHOULD post this to the other boards like theme park and resorts.... such things NEED to be said to make people aware of their actions... if you decide to do it and need any help at all ...just email me.. I'll be more than happy to get your experience to the masses /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Wheelsie /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
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Jennifer L
05-23-2000, 04:21 PM
Hi, I'm not a disabled person, nor do I have any friends or relatives who are. I guess I just eavesdrop on your boards from time to time. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I honestly can't explain why, but there is some weird psychological... I don't know what it is, a something, that comes about when people who don't normally interact with disabled people are around them. Maybe it's simple unfamiliarity and uncertainty. Should I offer to help that person, or will they take it as a challenge to their independence? Questions like that come into play. I mean, logically I know they shouldn't, but they do.

That said, I decided to test this 'unfamiliarity' theory by making an effort to talk with people more over my Disney visit. Sometimes it was as simple as asking someone in an ECV for the time, when I needed to know -- once a lady commented that I startled her, as everyone asked her husband for the time, never her. Or I whiled away some time in the Star Wars movie line talking with a woman with a gazillion tourist items she had decorating her ECV. Or talking with people on the bus to pass the time, seeing what they enjoyed most in the parks, stuff like that.

I really do think that there's some strange, illogical awkwardness that able-bodied people feel. I still can't really explain it, and I hope that I haven't offended anyone with my posting here. That certainly wasn't my intention. I think if people would just talk more, though, and pay more attention, there wouldn't be quite so much unintentional (well, okay, and not so unintentional) rudeness about.

Jennifer

Piper
05-23-2000, 05:56 PM
Jennifer,
I, for one, welcome your post. I think it is important to share our feelings and discoveries. I understand the awkwardness you and others feel. I used to share it (and still find myself in the situation) whenever we encounter something or someone new. It is natural to off-balance in new situations.

Unfortunately, some people react to their uneasy feelings by being very rude. Some people equate any disability with mental deficiency. That is not usually the case. Many of us are extremely bright (just witness those of us here -- grin.)

It helps when people read boards like ours and discover some of the things that affect others. I bet you are much more aware of others. Good for you for posting.

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Piper

SueM in MN
05-23-2000, 08:55 PM
Tiis is a really nice thread.
Welcome to the other side of the looking glass.
My husband landed in a wheelchair for a few weeks after a foot injury. He thought he knew all about what he would encounter becase we have a 14 yr old daughter who has used a wheelchair since she was 30 months old. He was very surprized at what he found and not at all prepared. I think your story is very important to share.
I also have to say that we have encountered increasing amounts of rudeness all the time. In some cases, I think it is a result of the ADA act. People who don't realize what it is like to live with a disability see that act as a "GIVE ME" act for people with disabilities.
Thanks for sharing and thanks to people like Jennifer (I think I remembered it right) for helping people with disabilites feel more like just people.?

SueM in MN
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Sarah H.
05-24-2000, 06:09 AM
Jennifer -

I've often thought about the same thing. Why is it that able-bodied people seem more comfortable talking with other able-bodied people than with people in wheelchairs/ecv's/etc.

When I was in college, I had a good friend (who was also my roommate for a few years) who has Muscular Dystrophy. She wasn't in a wheelchair, (although her condition is getting worse as she ages, so I assume that one day she will be) but she does walk very slowly, has a noticeable limp, wears leg braces, and uses crutches. One day (perhaps a year after we met, and several years before we were roommates) I got up my "nerve", and asked her why her legs are as they are. She was shocked - she said that NOBODY ever asked her what was the matter, and was surprised it only took me a year to ask. She said that most people just seemed comfortable "ignoring" her condition. She said it was as though people wanted to make a point to her about how her disability doesn't matter to them, but the truth is that it mattered to her. If an able-bodied person broke their leg, people wouldn't hesitate to ask what happened. But my friend said that nobody asked her or even talked about it.

With this friend, I've been on the "receiving end" of the 3rd person bit - people would talk to me instead of her when we were together. I knew that had to be annoying for her, but I never realized just how dehumanizing it can be until my Epcot experience - and it only happened to me once!

But since knowing her, I've wondered what is that that makes able-bodied people uncomfortable? Perhaps it's guilt - "I'm healthy and this person is not, and I don't know how to deal with my guilt, so I'll deal with it by not dealing with it at all, and not talk to the person. If I talk to this person, perhaps my guilt will rise, and I want to avoid that possibility."

Just MHO


Sarah H.

[This message was edited by Sarah H. on 05-25-00 at 10:01 AM.]

Michelle NY
05-24-2000, 01:21 PM
Wow What a great thread. I know myself before having my DD I was always aware of others. I enjoyed helping people with disabilities, but I know that others around me never understood my interest in the diabled. I guess I was just in early training. It is amzing how something unexpected can really change our outlook. Thanks for posting.

DisDuck
06-01-2000, 09:36 AM
This thread seems to be the perfect place for me to post. I have no disability but had a departed friend who was w/c bound. And now my mother must use a w/c to get around and hold her oxygen. I can never understand the rudeness that is exhibited by some people. Am I missing something here? This is one of those 'walk in my shoes' moments. I do sometimes struggle with 'should I hold the door?' or other similar situations. I can see, thru my mother, how it might come across as just another loss of independence. But if I hold doors for non-disabled then why be different. I look upon people as just people first. We come in all sizes, shapes, colors and abilities. But the common thread is each is a person first. I have (with my DW at my side) raised my children (all 4) the same way. Each one of them cannot understand why others are/or have to be rude. I hope this post hasn't been too long. These are just some thoughts I have on the subject. By reading these posts I learn and I pass them on so my children learn.
Thanks for your time and pixie dust to all of you.

Donald Duck

WDW-with-kids
06-01-2000, 02:02 PM
I came here looking for info on the electric carts! NOT THINKING about using one, just curious about the price. I am truly touched by this thread. When our family arrives (24 days) We are all going to try and be aware of ALL people around us. Having a mother WC bound for almost 3 years and with her overweight issues, people assume she can't walk because she ate to much! Isn't it amazing how much strangers thoughts and comments seem to hurt the worst?! Great great posts guys!

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Wes
06-02-2000, 04:37 PM
I'm reading this thread after just having made a flight reservation and requesting that a wheelchair be provided for me for the first time. I have chronic fatigue that sometimes allows me a few hours of normalcy a day, but I have had to face the fact that when I get to the airport, I have to be prepared for extra stress and the possibility that my few hours of normalcy will not coincide with the flight times. I am still hoping that by the time we go to WDW in December I will be better, but I won't really know for many more months.

I think the discussion of why people react as if people in wheel chairs are mentally deficient is a good discussion. I do not think it is guilt. I agree that it is some sort of common response to anyone who displays any form of impairment.

It is not unique to physical differences. I have known people from all over the world who have come to the United States and speak English with an accent and/or a bit hesitantly. My experience with this has made it second nature to me to see through their accent, hesitation or unusual choice of words to their meaning and to carry on a conversation with them as normally as with any native speaker. I had not realized how unique I was in this experience / ability until an Israeli woman told me that after she had spent more than a month in the United States, I was the first person who she did not feel was treating her as if she had the mental level of a child at some point in their conversation.

dollyo
06-02-2000, 06:12 PM
Hi, I am new here, just reading through the comments of the lady who through an unfortunate event ended up in a wheelchair for several hours in Epcot.

I am wheelchair bound partially, and having been an RN for over 20 years, get so frustrated with people when I am in my ECV. It's like I just took invisible pills or something. People stumble over you, walk into you, then cuss you out for not watching where you are going. I even tried tying a helium balloon at eye level on the handlebars of my ECV. I have even had people push tiny babies in strollers in front of me. Now you would think that at least a new parent should be watching where they are pushing their offspring.

How can I tell them that I would give near anything not to have to be in that chair, as would most all of you. I get so frustrated that I wait to go to WAlmart until 10:00 at night so there isn't a crowd of people milling around.

Another thing for "normal" people to consider. Have you ever wondered why your 5 to 6 or 7 year old gets restless in a crowd? Well, get in a wheelchair, Bub, and you will find out first hand. The sights sure aren't pretty, and the smell ain't so hot either, plus getting clobbered by purses, jabbed with umbrellas, stepped on, and nearly get smothered if you are pushed face first into someone. Now, people won't appologize to a person in a wheelchair, why would you think they would think to appologize to a child.

I hope no one minds me getting this off my chest, it has been trapped inside for a long time. I still have about 11 months before we go to WDW, and I don't anticipate any great healing of my back taking place so I'll be in my ECV wheeling through the parks. If I see you, I'll say Hi and Wave. Dolly

SueM in MN
06-02-2000, 06:50 PM
This is a really nice thread. Im glad people feel so comfortable sharing these feelings here.BRi dont know exactly how my dd who uses a wheelchair feels because she doesnt talk, although she makes her meaning well known most of the time thru sign language, gestures, etc.BRWeve had the experience her whole life with people treating her as if she cant understand. She understands TOO well most of the time. My problem is with people who should know better, people who deal with her all the time.BRWe had one good experience where Katrina really told someone off without having any words. She was in afterschool daycare and there was one worker who kept treating her like a baby. One night when I came to pick her up, she was signing bird (at least thats what I thou ght) and pointing at him. I finally figured out that what she was signing was turkey. She let me know thats what she thought he was AND she wanted ME to tell him that for her. I did, with her giggling uncontrollably behind me. He was amazed and apologized to her. He never underestimated her again. Shes called other people turkeys, like a lab worker who couldnt find her lab slip for blood work after 1/2 hour search. Ive explained to her that its not polite to tell people that, but I am glad that she knows when people are not treating her well. BRSueM in MNBRCo-Moderator of A HREF=http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Ya=frms=40009993f=38009194 TARGET=_blankdisABILITIES/ABRIMG SRC=http://disneyclipart.simplenet.com/Movies/Cinderella/Cinderella/cinderella08.gif P[This message was edited by SueM in MN on 06-03-00 at 10:18 AM.]

nae
06-04-2000, 06:05 AM
In 1998 we went to disney and even though my daughter was disabled we used a stroller (she was 2) and had the most wonderful time imaginable.on our trip back in april during spring break our daughter was in her convaid wheelchair.the experience was not as good.people were down right rude.the stares,cutting us off,ect were unbelievable.the adults not any children had the upsetting behavior.we were absolutely exhausted.for 90% of the rides we had to remove her from the chair including taking apart her tray and had to listen to one father said "how do i get to go ahead of everyone else in line like you are?" i relpied be willing to carry your child everywhere and change her diaper for life.maybe that was alittle harsh but at this point i had had it.magic kingdom was the only park we encountered rude adults but are hoping this was just 1 bad experience and our next trip in august/september at the wilderness lodge will be more
enjoyable.

SueM in MN
06-04-2000, 09:55 AM
Nae, I've very sorry that you had such rude encounters. My daughter is almost 15 yrs old now and if I had $1 for every person who cut us off or was rude to us, I'd be a very rich woman. There are also nice people, but it seems like they don't stand out as much. I think it's getting worse and I think the ADA has something to do with it. When the ADA is in the news, it's never for something good. It's usually about some poor business person who is being forced to spend humongous amounts of money to make accomidations or about some person who is trying to be included in the ADA for something that most people do not view as a disbility.
If I could make my daughter completely perfect I would. But, if I had to choose between having her "normal" and not having her at all, I'd certainly choose to keep her the way she is.
I wish there was a way to sensitize some of the rude people in the world, but other than making them live with what we live with, I don't know of a way. Even though the world has changed, there are still people who would rather have all the people with disabilities hidden away somewhere that they don't have to look at them. I'm just happy when those people DON'T have a disabled family member, because I wouldn't want to wish that on any person with a disability.
Just hang in there and do the best you can. You and your dd have as much right to go to WDW as everyone else and if you need some extra help to have fun, that's how it is. ∞

SueM in MN
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snoopy
06-04-2000, 10:26 AM
What an eye-opener of a thread. It makes one really aware, and in all honesty I wonder if I have ever been rude. Not intentionally, of course, but if maybe I have ever stood in front of someone in a wheelchair? Please don't be mad at me, I'm just thinking out loud.

I certainly will remember this post anytime I am ever in a large crowd, whether it be WDW or any where else.

Thanks for your post.

snoopy
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SueM in MN
06-04-2000, 01:57 PM
I dont think anyone really minds the people who inadvertently cut off a wheelchair. Its the people who PURPOSELY do it that make me upset. Those are the ones who look right at you and sneak in ahead or, even worse, do things like step over the footrests.
SueM in MN
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Linda
06-05-2000, 06:36 AM
This is a great thread!

I have a question , one of those you never want to ask... When my children, mainly the little ones see a person in a wheelchair, mainly other kids they point sometimes(only my toddler now, as pointing is not polite, he's learning) and ask why, what happened? What do you do? When standing next to these people I often wonder, is it ok to ask the child having a good trip? or let my toddler talk -as you never know what a 3 year old may say? I would speak to anyone else if sitting and waiting for something, but then wonder, well maybe I should not? Well they be offended if my child says something like why are you in that chair?. MY older kids always have had disablied kids in there school classes, I think this has been great for them as they have learned these kids are 'just kids'. This is a very difficult issue as to know how to always do the right thing, and teach our kids to do the same. But if my kids or I make eye contact with a disabled child or their family do you smile or say to yourself 'oh my God, they'll think I was looking at the disabled child' and turn away quickly. You always want to do the right thing, it is VERY hard to know what to do, if I smile will they think it is out of pity, when its not. It is just very easy to be confused as to how to act sometimes.

This summer I'm traveling to WDW with my 2 mentally disabled cousins, both in there 40's now, we have been planning this trip for 3 years, it is their 1st trip to WDW and I can't begin to tell you how excited they are!!! They funtion on a pretty high level, but it is very easy to see they are different, I was in high school with one and the kids could be horrible! They are always wonderful to people no matter how awful some where to them, use to break my heart, really still does! These 2 guys are very special to me, and always will be... Knowing them has made a better person, my kids have also learned to treat them the same as anybody else and it has helped them when they encounter others like my cousins.

Linda

Rollwithit
06-05-2000, 09:59 AM
Linda, I can only speak for my husband, who is in a wheelchair. He doesn't have a problem at all when someone asks him what happened and he's more than happy to satisfy the curiosity of any little ones that can't keep their eyes off him and have questions. He's in a wheelchair because of a drunk driver and it's an awesome opportunity to educate people about drinking and driving.

teri
06-05-2000, 10:32 AM
and it seems like they are in stun mode, or really trying to figure out what it is that is different, I will often ask them, "Are you wondering why he is making those noises?" or "why he doesn't talk the way other kids do?" Some kids really want to know... but they have been told not to ask. I would rather have them get MY 15 second explanation about what is DIFFERENT than for them to imagine something is BAD about my kids. And it is amazing how many people will say, "Oh, he is just like Lucy..." or some other kid they know. My own little public service special needs advocacy campaign...

SueM in MN
06-05-2000, 02:10 PM
We often get the kids asking "why is she in a wheelchair" and the parents trying to shush them. I usually step in then and say it's OK to ask and that "her legs don't work as well as yours". The kids will often ask more questions and like teri mentioned, they may even say some thing about a child they know who is similar. I always let them know that Katrina can understand them even though she can't talk to them. I think it's important to try to talk to the kids so they are not afraid of people with disabilities.

SueM in MN
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teri
06-05-2000, 07:29 PM
People often think that Marc doesn't understand... Not only can Marc understand them, he is so empathic he feels their confusion, and sometimes it makes him act out. And, his sister is right there, radar ears on... in addition to the usual sibling rivalry and aodption issues, it is hard to be the sister of a kid who gets so much attention because he is different. I have a vested interest in keeping everyone focussed and positive.

SueOKW
06-06-2000, 03:18 AM
My DS is 10 and non verbal - sort of! He smiles and makes vowel sounds that indicate happiness OR displeasure! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif His vision is not too hot either.

Anyway - we do not mind children asking at all - "what's wrong?" "We'd say, he can't walk or talk, but can understand you." "Are you having fun?" He wouldn't answer - but probably give you a big smile! We would answer - "of course!" Just the other day a little 3 yo girl gave him a kiss on the cheek after asking her questions. How sweet!

As far as smiles go - when I'm alone, I try to make eye contact with the seated person and the person accompanying him or her. (if there is one!) I always smile, whether they see me or not. Even I have a door dilemma - open or not to open... but I usually do open!

I find, though, that when we are all together (all 5 of us!) I don't generally look at other people much - probably because I don't want to catch the stares or the horrified looks - and that has me missing the smiles. I would much rather you smile at all of us - hopefully we will catch that smile! /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Thanks -
Sue

Mary Jo
06-08-2000, 08:58 AM
<font color=navy>Thank you for the very insightful post. I try to teach my kids to be considerate and not cut in front of wheelchairs, but in doing so forget to actually look at the person & smile a greeting. I will take special care now to recognize people for who they really are, and not overlook them unnecessarily.</font>

<font color=blue>Mary Jo</font>
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Allan Pederson
06-08-2000, 01:17 PM
Hi, I just found this discussion board a few minutes ago. This thread has been very interesting to me.

I lost my legs to a landmine in Vietnam over 30 years ago, left above knee amputation, right below knee amputation. I was totally dependent on a wheelchair for the first 6 months. I couldn't wait to have artificial legs made. Once I had them, I refused to use a wheelchair in public again. I wanted to be "normal".

I have been to WDW twice. The first time I walked everywhere, no matter how sore I was. I am sure I was a pain to be around.

The second time was two years ago and I was convinced to rent an electric cart. That made the trip so much more enjoyable. It was embarrassing though, to me, to be able to go around the lines to get on rides. I was sure people were wondering "what's wrong with him"? I have always refused to wear shorts in public, so most people would never realize what my disability is.

In the last year I have begun to have more pain, evidently due to circulation problems, so I am sure I will be walking less and less in public.

Personally, I think the attitude towards disabled people has improved significantly in the USA in these 30 years that I have been one. Much of the rest of the world though, especially the E European countries, look with disgust at disabled people. Even Russia, I am told, toward their own disabled veterans. I would guess that WDW reflects more of the world's attitude than the rest of the USA.

A year ago I actually built up the courage to wear shorts in public. No one said a word. LOL

As far as your children asking questions. I think most disabled adults realize children are totally innocent and open. I no longer am offended by children asking me anything. I don't like to see adults trying to gag their kids, or scold them for staring. I think that gives the kids the impression there is something to fear.

If anyone has any question of me, I will do my best to answer it. I really hope this type of discussion continues. Thanks.

SueM in MN
06-08-2000, 07:26 PM
Thanks to all of you for sharing things that I am sure are hard to share.
My daughter doesn't get the same reaction outside of WDW that she gets inside it. I think one reason may be that WDW has more visitors from all over the world than we encounter at home. Also, many visitors to WDW are doing "commando touring" and whoever or whatever gets in their way is going to get it.

SueM in MN
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momngrandma
07-03-2000, 09:05 PM
I really enjoy talking about my son when people (and especially children) ask questions about him. And I don't mind staring if it is accompanied by a smile -- as if they are thinking Robbie is cute or funny or loveable (and he is all three of those things!) I DO mind staring in a rude, ugly way, though! Whenever I see other disabled people about, or families with their disabled loved ones, I try always to smile and catch their eye in a friendly, compassionate, understanding way. They may not know I KNOW firsthand what they're going through, but I want them to know I'm not looking at them out of rudeness, but because I CARE.

nancycels
07-08-2000, 01:50 PM
after multiple trips to wdw, always in an ecv due to a back injury, i am about to go out and get an airhorn!! LOL maybe it would get the attention of people who are so busy pushing and shoving that they don't pay attention to the barely audible horns on the wdw ecv's@! one lady i saw this year had a supershooter, and some had other noise makers of their own to use as horns...while i'm not advocating the use of any of these, it just goes to show how bad the situation can get at times.

But what i really want the airhorn for is the castmember who hit me with his street cleaning machine(he was cleaning up after a parade) and yelled 'THANKS ALOT LADY!' he managed to break the side of the ecv, fortunately didn't injure me, but I just couldn't believe he said it!

I reported it at the gate as I left, but i also noted at least a dozen cast members who had been particularly helpful, and those whose names i could remember from their pins, i told management about as well. Some of them are spectacular, just like in any other business!

My other beef is, don't ever try to make reservations in Epcot if you are on an ecv, cast members can't see you there either! We were trying to sign my daughter up to swim w/the dolphins and were ignored as others were taken in front of us. Of course this didn't just have to do w/being disabled, it may have had to do w/the fact that the adult was in a wheel chair and 18 yrs olds aren't considered too important either!

nancycels
07-08-2000, 01:57 PM
i know i have no problem with anyone asking me why i'm in an ecv or wheelchair. i think i can speak for a large number of those who are in a wheelchair and say, we don't mind kids who ask us questions, even when the questions get a little wild! LOL One little girl asked me why i didn't just rent a stroller, they would be so much more comfortable! and others have asked me how or why i'm there and i have no problem answering without getting into major details. JMHO!

SueM in MN
07-08-2000, 03:03 PM
Some of those stroller do look quite comfortable. Now, if they just made them in extra large size.....
We've had problems too with people ignoring my dd when she wants to buy something while sitting in her wheelchair. She is non-verbal, so she can't yell at them, but she understands very well and likes to be independent buying things sometimes. I can understand the clerks might not see her because some of the counters are high, but I get angry at some of the other guests. Don't they notice that she is sitting there with merchandise and money in her lap when they climb over her to get to the counter?\

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)
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Dianna S
07-09-2000, 04:43 AM
I too have greatly benefited from this thread, having no experience to draw from. As a rule I explain to my 4 year old about how some folks bodies are different, then move the topic into do you think they like pie? or do you think they like knock-knock jokes? To get her considering the fact that they're people who feel, and gives her a new question to ask them if she decides to trot over for a chat.

To date I have felt a little uncomfortable approaching disabled people because I am (and I know she is) wildly curious about their condition. I'm secretly convinced (apparently wrongly so) that they're all sick of explaining and just want to get on with their business like everybody else. Nobody stops to ask me to explain my present state of being--I should extend the same courtesy.

I'll definitely make an effort to be more aware, more willing to just ask, or let my little one ask the burning question, to never forget to make eye contact or speak as though the person isn't there. I've always imagined handicapped and wheelchair-bound folks getting more attention and questions than they wanted, NEVER would have guessed they're largely ignored and avoided.

About stepping in front of wheelchairs OR kids views--it's a personal peeve. At Sea World and Busch Gardens (first trip to WDW will be 9-11!) if I know there are children seated behind me at the shows I make a point to ask the parent if the kids can see OK or if I should move my big melon.

This whole thread has been a good reminder and eye opener for me. I'm glad to have happened upon it.

Dianna

SueOKW
07-09-2000, 03:56 PM
Over 800 hits on this posting.... thank you Sarah H! You've probably started a lot of smiling, even though you had a miserable time, you've helped a lot of people. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Sue

Maryann in MA
07-09-2000, 06:50 PM
I had to answer your posting, as on my recent trip to WDW my knee decided it just couldn't walk the whole park, after much convincing my husband talked me into a wheelchair. Now for years, my daughter has had no choice to but to use a wheelchair and now I understand why she dislikes it so much. People do look at you as if you are using a wheelchair to get ahead of them. Even the cast members that I dealt with were rude to me, one made mention that I could handle getting in and out of the wheelchair" pretty well for someone with a bad knee". My daughter has Fibromyalgia, and if anyone knows anything about that she is not able to walk the parks, but she has been subject to more rude comments then anyone deserves. I think that not only visitors to WDW are uneducated, but the cast members need to ride a few hours in a wheelchair and then maybe, just maybe people with disabilities will be treated with the dignity they deserve. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Maryann in MA
07-09-2000, 06:53 PM
I had to answer your posting, as on my recent trip to WDW my knee decided it just couldn't walk the whole park, after much convincing my husband talked me into a wheelchair. Now for years, my daughter has had no choice but to use a wheelchair and now I understand why she dislikes it so much. People do look at you as if you are using a wheelchair to get ahead of them. Even the cast members that I dealt with were rude to me, one made mention that I could handle getting in and out of the wheelchair" pretty well for someone with a bad knee". My daughter has Fibromyalgia, and if anyone knows anything about that she is not able to walk the parks, but she has been subject to more rude comments then anyone deserves. I think that not only visitors to WDW are uneducated, but the cast members need to ride a few hours in a wheelchair and then maybe, just maybe people with disabilities will be treated with the dignity they deserve. /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

teri
07-09-2000, 10:24 PM
I would love to tag a few of the CMs and guests who were rude to us on this recent trip, and send them off to a disability awareness training. I wish we could all get together and make an awareness video... and then play it on infinite loop on the Resorts Infomercial Channel, and in a few key CM training sessions...If they only knew how their comments and disregard hurts!

SueM in MN
07-10-2000, 05:57 PM
in recent years, they have added disability training to education for doctors at some medical schools. They get a profile of what their disabilty is and then get fixed up to simulate it, including things like ears plugged with cotton, glasses smeared with vaseline to simulate hearing and vision problems. Some get knees bound with stiff bandages that prick when they move or they are not allowed to move out of a wheelchair. I think that would be good mandatory education for everyone. PSueM in MNBRCo-Moderator of A HREF=http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Ya=frms=40009993f=38009194 TARGET=_blankdisABILITIES/ABRIMG SRC=http://disneyclipart.simplenet.com/Movies/Cinderella/Cinderella/cinderella08.gif

nancycels
07-10-2000, 06:17 PM
has dis ever considered providing a space at counters that works for people in ecv's or wheelchairs? it would have been really helpful this year when i was being totally ignored because in my ecv i'm to 'short' Just a thought! I don't remember seeing any low counters. Also a line for those trying to get food would be helpful. We were attempting to get food last year at epcot and had a horrible time because of the way the fast food lines were set up. Usually I go w/my husband who can get in line, but last year i was alone and it was impossible to get food. Thank goodness for some neighborly people who offered to help me out from the next table. And the next time someone is feeling like bashing 'non-USA'ers'(since i overhear this way to often in the park) the kids who helped me out were a tour group from brazil!

LuvN~Travel
09-10-2000, 06:13 PM
Linda, I think a lot of it has to do with the child you are with and the situation. If the person who is 'different' or is in a wheelchair, is fairly close, I might just tell the child to ask them if I think the person is a verbal person. ( as opposed to having something like Cerebral palsy which can render some speechless)that can give the 'challenged' person a chance to answer the question in their own words.
If we are in a hurry, or just too far away to speak to them, I just tell them the truth. My kids now take it in stride if they see something or someone different. My own daughter has a craniofacial abnormality that brings on questions of it's own. So I don't mind answering questions of others.<G>
Now if I can just get the six year old to not loudly bring up the 'smoking' issue in public.....<G>
(he did that one recently when we opted to sit in the smoking section at a local restaurant. Whooo boy!)<G>
Kim

bfeller
09-11-2000, 03:22 AM
I also experienced WDW this past August as a wheelchair/EVC user. I had a cast on my foot/leg and wasn't allowed to put a lot of weight on it. I can't tell you how many people made comments about wishing that they were in the chair and could get through lines quicker. I would tell them how I wished that I could be up and walking around like they were. They just didn't get it. I found that children, when caught staring, would sometimes look away but most times would look at me and then I would smile and say something to them about how their day was going. Some felt comfortable enough to ask me why I had a cast and some even asked if it hurt and would I get better. Majority of people were very nice. I only encountered a few rude people and I only lost it once when a gentleman(and I say that loosely) looked around and obviously saw me, walked right in front of me and stopped on a downhill slant. Of course the EVC couldn't stop as fast as he and I instinctly put my good foot down to stop the EVC and not run into him. He turned around and yelled, "Wow, that really hurt. What is the matter with you?" Well, my temper flared(we were at AK and it was hot) I looked right at him and apoligized and explained that we were going down hill and the EVC doesn't have brakes and it was very hard to stop it very quickly. I apoligized and said I was very sorry but maybe he should not stop so suddenly in the future. He looked around and saw that his yelling at the poor lady in the EVC had backfired and said "OH, I didn't know" Using the wheelchair really opened my eyes about disabilities.

I also have a stange incident that happened while I was on the resort bus, at the end of the day going back to our resort. I turned in the EVC at the end of the day and was on the bus(remember I have a cast on) We were getting ready to leave and we were one of the first 10 people to get on the bus. As the bus was filling up a mother and child ran up and sat in the last two seats, beating out an older lady. Well, a wheelchair bound person(who was with the mother and child) wanted to get on and the bus driver came back to my daughter and myself and we were informed that we were sitting in the handicap seating area that can be raised for the wheelchair and that we would have to get up. I looked at the bus driver and mentioned that I had a cast on my leg and he didn't care one bit. So I looked around, especially at the mother and daughter who ran over people to get the last seat and they never offered their seats to me or my daughter who had to give up her seat also. Well, long story short I stood up and another family(from France) offered me a seat and I took it. I felt that the bus driver was rude and the family of the wheelchair bound man were jerks. If it had not been the end of the day and I was tired I would have made a scene.(Did I mention that another bus pulled up beside us and filled up and left in the time that we waited for the wheelchair to get on) Well, I got to see more of that family during the week because they were staying at the same resort as us and almost everytime showed up late for the bus and told driver that they just had to make the bus, could the bus wait for them. They were very rude. I felt sorry for the man in the wheelchair. I don't think he had a clue that his family was being so rude. They really had the attitude that everyone owed them something. Anyway just a story about one disabled person being put aside for another. The bus driver was in the wrong to hold up a bus that was almost filled to load a wheelchair and make a person stand with a cast on their leg to accomodate the wheelchair especially when another bus pulled up and left in the same amount of time.

I know that this is long, but this thread really struck a nerve. I realize that families have given up a lot of freedom when someone is in the wheelchair but don't expect the special treatment. It is a courtesy to be in front of the line or special place on the bus, not a right. In all of the attractions that I got preverential(sp) treatment on, I always said that I would wait until people in line who had been waiting longer than I could ride. The CMs were great and never let me wait.

Please don't everyone get offended. I realize that these people are in the minority but when I medically needed to be seated on the bus this family(who appeared to be healty enough to be rude) seemed to think that the rest of us owed them something.

Puffy2
09-12-2000, 05:49 AM
This first post NEEDS to be posted on the Theme Park Planning page as a public service announcement.
Personally, I found it very discouraging as someone who is planning a trip to Disney with my best friend who has lupus. She doesn't like attention drawn to her illness, yet I doubt she'll be able to see a park like Epcot without the help of a WC for part of it. I was hoping it would be no big deal /infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

Daisimae
09-12-2000, 09:42 PM
I am in full aggrement with the person who started this thread. Even though I am still tired and achey from our trip which just ended Sunday. I could not pass this thread w/out posting.

Due to FMS, CFS and Arthritis I ended up in a ECV, which I rented from Randy's Mobility for the land portion of our stay (eight days). They were great and the ECV was of monumental importance to me. I NEVER could have walked the parks. I'm still in my early 30's.

Didn't have too many problems at SeaWorld, Universal or IOA. But the first day at WDW, when we hit the MK, it was horrible. We were day guests, because we wouldn't be staying at PO until the next day. The am started off ok. One of the woman at the ropes told her family to make sure they let me by, when it was time to go. But the day quickly disenegrated. I viewed more peoples butts than I thought possible. Got a good look at everyone's kids in strollers and thought that I had taken invisiblility pills. People walked in front of me, bumped into me and attempted to seperate DH and I as we walked thru crowds. He would hold onto the chair or basket of the ECV. Sometimes I would put it on it's lowest speed and we would hold hands. But someone was usually trying to push their way thru. At Cosmic Ray's DH and I wanted different meals and got in different lines. I had to naviagate to the table by myself in the ECV with the tray, no CM's offered to help. A woman who saw me did get up and assist me. She commented that it was rudw that no one had helped me Leaving after the MSEP and fireworks was horrible. No one wanted to wait at all. At the entrance one man pushed me and sent me straight into DH's legs and feet.

The next day at EPCOT, I stopped apologizing when I ran into someone after they looked at me and tried to cross in front of me anyway and I started telling everyone esp. little kids NOT to cross in front of me. At AK a woman cut me off, then got upset when she bumped into me a few seconds later because she tried to cut me off again. I heard her mumble "excuse me!" in a sarcarstic way. I just kept putting along.

The worst problem happened at the Studios. We did the Fantasmic package and were seated in the handicapped area of the package seating at 8pm. There were two empty benches in front of us that were clearly marked handicapped. People flocking in after 8pm, (show started at 8:30), thought they were entitled to these seats! The CM's were constantly telling people that they could not sit there, or stand behind us, that the seating was for disabled guests and their parties. People did not want to go all the way down to were there were seats and later, they did not want to use the standing room. About 8:25pm a man wanted the seats and was arguing with the CM telling her about the resort fees he paid, as if that guareteed him a seat at the theatre, when he walked in 5 mins before! As soon as the CM's back was turned he and his family jumped past the line of wc's and ecv's in the back row and took the seats. Other people seeing them did likewise and in about 30 secs both the benches were full. Later, when handicapped people came in there was no space for them there.

And on the subject of night shows. DH and I got our spots for MSEP at 7pm for the 8:30 parade, in the handicapped seating near the castle. There was a spot of curb in front of me for hubby to sit on, before the parade he opted for the bench surrounding the planter behind me. The people beside me as had a little curb in front of them for a few members of their party. It amazed me how many people strolled around between 8-8:30pm and thought that they should be able to sit there. If I had a dollar from anyone who asked it the place was taken, I could have paid for my ECV rental or more. Actually, the joke was that we should rent out the space and leave, the "real estate" price would be so high, we would all have enough $$ for another trip. One lady circled around the space in the curb, looking like she was gettting up enough nerve to sit there, another woman actuallybent down to sit there without so much as a by your leave to anyone already there. From her dress I gathered Eastern Indian I think, so she may not have spoke english, but, she certainly understood all of us telling her no! In the end the lady in the wc to the right of me didn't need the space in front of her because her husband opted to stay on the planter's bench and my DH did the same, so we gave the seats to a family who had had their kids nearby.

I had no problems at EPCOT for the TON, but, CM's were not posted at the WC viewing area for Illuminations, near the German pavilion. The first night I saw it a lot of people wandered in and tried to push their kids in front of or between us. The second night a fellow guest at the entrance was telling people who did not have
WC's or ECV's that this was a handicapped viewing area and asking them to leave.


I didn't notice anyone making comments about us being ahead in the lines. I transferred from the ECV to a WC for some of the lines and DH pushed me up in the regular lines. On some rides we did go up the back entrance, I felt very funny doing that. Most of the time I would get a FastPass and when I came back, the CM would send me to the front. It wasn't anything that I looked for.

I have to say that the bus drivers at WDW were excellent! Whille we were at PO, I only ran into two busses that didn't have a lift and both of those drivers radioed in to make sure the next bus would have one. All of the drivers were friendly and helpful, only I think I did see a few disgusted faces when we were the first on the bus, esp. at night comming out of the parks. I didn't hear any negative comments. Only the morning we went to MGM one family said to me as they all were exiting, "You were on first, but, you are last off." The statement and the boarding order didn't bother me. It was said with a smile...maybe it should have.

All the CM's at all the parks we went to were great. I had no problems or negative comments from any of them.

This was my first experience with an ECV for a long period of time. DH has some health problems to and probably should use one. He doesn't want to. Says there has to be at least one of us walking to protect the other and right now, I really need it. I understand him completely. Eventually, I will probably end up buying a scooter. I think I have seen my future and it's not very pretty. Sorry this is so long /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Daisimae
Proud Survivor of the Space Mountain Morning-Mini Marathon and Splash Mountain Rapid Rampage
____________________
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2003-Family Reunion-Probably at Safari Logde

teri
09-12-2000, 09:57 PM
Oh, Daisimae, you didn't deserve that kind of behavior. I wish I had no idea what you were talking about. This last time I went to WDW, I do think that people were less thoughtful than they had been, in general, on previous visits... on the night my daughter needed a wheelchair, we got such looks and obvious deliberate attempts to cut us off, jump over us, beat us to an entrance... it was very difficult.

If we could just convince Disney to do public information campaigns for the park and resort guests, to raise awareness of disability issues and etiquette!!!

mamajoan
09-12-2000, 10:53 PM
How many times have you heard "Oh you were so lucky to use a w/c / ecv at WDW You got to CUT in line" EEEEKKK !!! I finally lost it after the 100th (no joke) time. "No I did not get to CUT.... I waited with everybody else 90 percent of the time.... you wanna have my busted up legs..." sorry I am usually a happy, kind person. But just WHAT are people thinking??? ok thanks for letting me vent. Sorry if I sound rude. It has been one of THOSE days today....Thanks guys

pugdog
09-13-2000, 06:46 AM
By all means let them ask. It's the only way for them to learn. My DW loves to talk to the kids and educate them about the disabled, it's the only way they will get comfortably around them. As for the way that my DW gets treated in the 3rd person way, I Just tell them I don't know what she wants why don't you ask her.

SueM in MN
09-18-2000, 04:50 AM
We lost a few good posts in the latest softwear upgrade, but it looks like we got some great posts from this being bumped up to the top again.
We just got back from WDW and we expected and received some rude comments, stares, etc. We were lucky to be there at a slow time and we didn't go to Fantasmic or the parades at MK (some of the areas with lots of rude encounters). My dh says we need to let people KNOW about the things people are writing about here. I think writing about them here is a good first step. There are some people who will don't want to believe. You know the ones: They keep saying that wheelchairs get to the front of every line even though we keep telling them they don't and they treat everyone in a wheelchair as if they were faking a need for it.
I had an interesting encounter in a shop at DD. My dh and dd were sitting outside and I was near the door. A woman with a stroller was having a hard time getting in and I held the door for her. She thanked me and said she was surprized anyone would help because "pregnant women and people with strollers are usually invisible." I told her "wheelchairs and people with disabilites are too". She said she hadn't thought of that, but had noticed and would have stayed to talk, but her dh saw her then and she had to go. Well, at least one more person was educated.I

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)
http://disneyclipart.simplenet.com/Movies/Cinderella/Cinderella/cinderella08.gif ˇ

BuckeyeBelle
01-04-2001, 09:21 AM
bump :)

teri
01-19-2001, 09:26 PM
another bump of a classic post!

lisapooh
01-20-2001, 06:58 PM
My family and I were at WDW over Christmas and it was not easy at all. Islands of Adventure was actually a better experience than WDW. Unfortunately it was not just the guests but some of the castmembers as well.
One big problem was castmembers who did not recognize my power wheelchair as a wheelchair and dubbed it an ECV. I don't have special seating or standard foot rests (fully padded chair seat and a platform foot rest that is at the highest point because of my short size) but do have a controller on the left side. At the Pooh ride I was refused entrance by one castmember because I would not transfer to a manual chair (can't push one). Later I returned and was admitted with my chair.
Several bus drivers gave me problems when I would not make turns on their instructions. One told me there was no place to tie the chair down. I told him exactly where to do it.
At Dixie Landings I had to be accompanied by someone if I wanted to eat. Not one line was accessible nor were the deli cabinets. There were no castmembers to help. One night I finally went back to my room and ordered pizza which was awful.
I agree with all that say you are invisible. I have learned to speak up and tell them I was here first. At parades I refuse to allow anyone too close to the controls after a child at MGM hit them and turned the chair hitting the child. The parent started screaming at me. The parade at MGM is the hardest because seems to be no policed handicapped seating areas.
At EPCOT people seemed to be especially rude.
What's interesting is I use my wheelchair to get around campus at school (grad student) and I never get a second look or comment and everyone is quite helpful. I go grocery shopping at the local Publix and its them same. WHat makes people at WDW so rude.
And I'm another who wants and airhorn.

Pooh

SueM in MN
01-21-2001, 05:27 AM
People with children in mobility devices (the big umbrella stroller type ones) have the same problem as you Lisapooh. It's almost like you need a sign that says "this IS a wheelchair" if your device doesn't look like one. Even with regular wheelchairs, we have found some of the bus drivers don't know what are appropriate places to attach the tie downs - so many types of wheelchairs, so many configurations.
I think one of the reasons that people are rude at WDW is that everyone has paid a great deal of money to go there and there is a mentality of "I paid for my fun and don't you get in my way." All you have to do is go on one of the other planning boards and see people complaining about how their day will be ruined by having to wait 15 minutes for the bus or if they have to wait more than 15 minutes for Dumbo or whether they can shave 10 minutes off their trip into the park by taking the boat rather than the monorail from the parking at MK. When someone like that sees a person with a disabilty, they don't see a person, they see another lost 5 or 10 minutes that could be spent having fun. That's what makes them rude. It's not nice, or right or pretty, but it's reality and I hope not to run into those people.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

lisapooh
01-21-2001, 02:47 PM
Sue,
I think some of these people need to realize that the person in a wheelchair or his family has paid the same large amount of money on a vacation as they have and have the same expectation of having a wonderful time and seeing and doing as much as we can in that time. They would never pull that attitude with an able bodied person.
I think the time I was the angriest was when an able bodied person tried to tell me I had no right to be at Disney because his taxes were paying for my vacation. Yes he got blasted. I have never been on any type of assistance and have held a job most of my adult life (didn't work when kids were little but hubby sure did).
The only way that the government helps me is with a handicapped sticker for my car :)

Pooh

SueM in MN
01-21-2001, 07:14 PM
I totally agree with you lisapooh. The point I was trying to make is that people come to WDW with unrealistic expectations of what it takes to make a "perfect" vacation and when people get in their way, they get angry. What they need to do is step back and realize that no one is ever promised them "perfect". A lot of them assume that people with disabilites are getting some breaks that they aren't without understanding what we are having to deal with. Like you, we haven't used any tax dollars. In fact, for our new van, we had to pay EXTRA tax because the lowered floor and ramp added cost and we also have the priviledge of paying extra insurance because our vehicle is worth $15,000 more than it would be if we didn't need the extra equipment.
There's a thread right now on another board about how kids toddlers should be free and how it's not fair that 10 yr olds have to pay adult prices. I've posted on those types of threads before to let them know that people with disabilites are paying full price and there are many rides/attractions that are not accessible. I'm not in a mood to be nice on that thread right now, so I'm not posting on it.. ›

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

mhopset
01-27-2001, 07:00 AM
Let me tell you all about an experience I had last year. Ok here goes:

First of all I have Muscular Dystrophy and I can still walk, but am very slow and quite unstable. I was sitting at my desk at work last Feb. (3 days before my vacation and 2 min until I left for the day) The fire alarms sounded!!! DING, Ding, Ding, We all sat there and looked at each other because we always have drills at 8:30 in the morning. Well they came over the intercom and said "This is not a Drill Evacuate the building NOW!!!! Oh God, I'm going to die 3 days before my vacation!!! LOL Everybody in my unit looks at me. My department manager comes out of his office and says "Where is Tony?" All I can think of is "I'm going to die 3 days before my vacation"

Well, being Mr. Macho I refused to go down the stairs in one of those evac chairs. (there is no way I'm going down 2 flights of stairs being 6'7" 300 pounds letting 2 men 120 pounds each hold on to me. NO WAY!!!! I get down the stairs take one step and my legs are so weak I fall. I break my ankle, black my eye, have a laceration on my head. Still I am thinking I am going to die 3 days before my vacation!!! (can you tell I love my vacations?) I get taken to the hospital in a squad which was pretty cool, I asked them to turn on the lights and siren, but they said I wasn't really an emergency. WHATEVER!!!! Get the the hospital. They call my wife, she freaks out. My 4 year old still talks about it. The doctor some 20 year old was a total jerk. He wantrs to cast my leg. I laugh at him I can bearly walk with no cast and he wants to put this thing on my leg. Well, a heated discussion starts with the doctor and my wife. She tells him to get out and we want another doctor. I'm still thiking my vacation is ruined. They put a walking cast on me and I try to walk LOL LOL LOL you should have seen it. I finally get home and I'm holding on to my wife and I say "take this thing off" Yeah it hurt, but I was done with that. We werent able to go to Disney, but we did go to Myrtle Beach. I was on my scooter with a black eye, a walking cast, and a big bump on my head. I know that everybody thought my wife beat me up LOL, I even told one guy that, that was staring at me.

To make a long story short. There was only one guy that came up to me and asked what happened. Everybody just wondered. So if you are reading this from another board. If you wonder what is wrong with a person just ask, most of the time you won't offend them. Heck, If I want to know I ask.

It was an experience I don't ever want to be in again, But now that I look back it is kinda funny.

sncbird
01-27-2001, 08:32 AM
My family and I are going to WDW for the first time in October. I'm 32 years old and have Muscular Dystrophy. I will be using my manual wheelchair for the first time on vacation. I thought WDW would be a great place to go. It's taken my husband over 2 years to convince me to do this. After reading this thread, I'm wondering if we have made the right decision.

Please tell me not everyone has had this type of experience or treatment.

BuckeyeBelle
01-27-2001, 09:48 AM
sndbird,
WDW is a wonderful place for vacation... one of the best for folks with all types of disabilities. I think what you are seeing in this thread are people who are happy 98% of the time, just getting in a good vent among among others who understand the other 2% ;). Also perhaps trying to enlighten the folks who still think that wheelchairs and ECVs are a golden ticket to skip the lines (which they aren't), and help them understand that using a chair isn't the cake walk they might think it is , but you already know that.

Truly, if all of us didn't love WDW so much, we wouldn't be going back again (and again and again...). :) I think you will agree, and have a fantastic vacation yourself! :)

[This message was edited by BuckeyeBelle on 01-27-01 at 01:59 PM.]

lisapooh
01-27-2001, 12:41 PM
Sndbird,
We all need to vent sometimes. Trust me. A vacation at WDW is a lot of fun. In fact, I am planning another one in late April, early May right after classes end at college and my oldest garduates with her BMus.
Be sure to be vocal about your needs and don't allow anyone to ruin your fun. Also speak your needs. Only you know if you can do something. If a castmember asks that you do someting you know you cannot or feel it is isn't safe tell them NO. Explain why but don't do it. Better safe than hurt. If your room needs a bit of rearranging let your hubby do it. We had to move a chair and table at DL in order to charge my power chair easily. We also had to move the glasses and ice bucket down so I could reach them. Let housekeeping know and they will not change it back until you return home.

You'll have a great time. Enjoy. :)

Pooh

Wheelsie
01-27-2001, 04:02 PM
Sncbird! :)

First off let me WELCOME you to DIS and disABILITIES!!! :) Im Wheelsie!!

Let me put it to you like this....for every...say...10 mean encounters I have at WDW....I have 15 where people open doors for me (I have Spina Bifida and have been in a chair all my life)......They tell the CM that "yes this young lady you cant see WAS in front of me"...and yes the CM DOES understand that I cannot walk and it aint gonna miraculousely happen just because they ask "Are you sure you cant transfer???" (well...errrr....DUH!!!! LOL)

So yes go to wdw....enjoy yourself....and do got to Universal Studios as well.....all good fun and great laffs.....no matter who you encounter..

DISCLAIMER!!!!: The opinions expressed by Wheelsie are Wheelsie's alone and are soley hers if you care to email if she has offended anyone by the proceeding comments> Love Wheelsie :D

And for those that do lurk this forum....PLEASE if you want to know about a person/or your child wishes to know....ASK!/let the child ask...it will make everyone feel much better for it!


I love to tell people about me....even when they dont wanna hear it!!! LOL

And please ask the person...not the people they are with....we can answer for ourselves...

And please please please I beg of you if your child unknowingly makes a comment as children will often do....dont under any circumstance repremand the child...they are curious..they want to know....and smacking them in front of the person they wish to know about hurts the person as well as the child.....I should know I've seen children slapped because they asked their parent about me when I was standing right in front of them.....the child's phyche isn't the only one's that gets warped! :(

Thank you!

*rolls off her specially ramped soap box*

Wheelsie Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)
and
DisneyTips (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=87009194)
wheelsie@mail.wdwinfo.com

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/wheelsie/cokewheelin.gif

[This message was edited by Wheelsie on 01-27-01 at 08:34 PM.]

[This message was edited by Wheelsie on 01-27-01 at 08:36 PM.]

sncbird
01-27-2001, 04:23 PM
Thanks everyone for putting me at ease. This is a big step for me and I'm very anxious about it. This board is a life saver!!!

I have asked a few questions and everyone of them have been answered. I'm sure I'll have a million more within the next few months.

I really want this to be a wonderful vacation for my kids and I need to continue learning how not to let the rudeness of other get to me.

There are alot of wonderful people in the world. I have meet SEVERAL on this Forum alone.

I can only hope I can be as helpful as all of you when we get back from our trip!!!

sncbird :cool:

Wheelsie
01-27-2001, 04:27 PM
Dont fret none hun!! :) you'll have a blast and wonder why you ever worried...and believe me when you come home you'll be chiming in on all the posts just like the rest of us do LOL

Wheelsie Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)
and
DisneyTips (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=87009194)
wheelsie@mail.wdwinfo.com

http://www.wdwinfo.com/sites/wheelsie/cokewheelin.gif

SueM in MN
01-27-2001, 04:40 PM
sncbird, the last few posts really said it well, so don't be afraid to go.
This is a place where we can come and vent and know that the other people who read it will have gone thru some of the same things. Before we got this forum, every time someone posted asking about using a wheelchair or ecv at WDW, people would actually post "Oh, you are so lucky. You get to go to the front of every line." And when I or some one else would post about that not happening, usually someone would indicate that we didn't know what we were talking about because they had seen people go to the front of every line. Or they would say that their aunt's counsin's child had a sprained ankle and went to the front of every line.
We also tend to vent a little more when there have been posts bashing wheelchair users (which there were earlier this month).

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

[This message was edited by SueM in MN on 01-28-01 at 08:39 AM.]

sncbird
01-27-2001, 05:17 PM
I did read the posting by measlymouse. I think that one came out the first week I started reading the boards. I have to say everyone from this forum replied with such class. I felt like blasting this person and decided to leave it in the hands of the Veterns of the disABILITIES forum. I turned my best friend onto the message boards and she came across his posting as well and had a few choice words to reply back to him with. She's a little fistier than I am. LOL

At least I know if feel the need to vent about something, I have a place to come to vent to with those who understand!!!

Thank you again!!!

SueM in MN
01-28-2001, 04:42 AM
I'm gald you feel better about going to WDW and we didn't scare you too much. I know I wrote and re-wrote my replies to the postings complaining about wheelchairs and I'm sure that is how some of the other replyers managed to do such a classy job of replying too.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

Cheshire Figment
06-04-2001, 10:25 PM
My last two trips to WDW I have rented an ECV. I will probably do this on all future trips, especially since I now have one less kidney than I had a week ago. Anyway I intend to go to a sporting goods or boating store and purchase a compressed gas actuated air horn. This is used by small powerboats to warn other boats nearby just as large boats (and trucks) have installed air horns for warnings. The way people tend to act around ECVs and Wheelchairs, having something that will frighten them might increase their awareness. Anyway, it is something to try. JudySue says I must say that I am just kidding, but I am not really. There will be a report after the August Pin Meet at Epcot.

Piper
05-25-2003, 01:01 PM
bump--thought it might be time for this thread to surface again

SueM in MN
08-25-2003, 11:38 AM
It's been a long time since this one was on top - bumping it up.

videogal1
08-25-2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by nancycels
has dis ever considered providing a space at counters that works for people in ecv's or wheelchairs? it would have been really helpful this year when i was being totally ignored because in my ecv i'm to 'short' Just a thought! I don't remember seeing any low counters. Also a line for those trying to get food would be helpful. We were attempting to get food last year at epcot and had a horrible time because of the way the fast food lines were set up. Usually I go w/my husband who can get in line, but last year i was alone and it was impossible to get food. Thank goodness for some neighborly people who offered to help me out from the next table. And the next time someone is feeling like bashing 'non-USA'ers'(since i overhear this way to often in the park) the kids who helped me out were a tour group from brazil!

Gosh, folks...Ever heard of the ADA? This is an ADA access issue. I have just read several posts blaming those who cause "problems" by protesting access issues even though after 12 YEARS many businesses have NOT complied with the guidelines of the ADA when it comes to these access issues...Just spend a while trying to get food at a counter as this poster did and you'd be angry enough to want to protest, too, to force businesses to do what they were supposed to do 12 years ago. Blaming the pro- ADA protesters is silly. Blame the businesses that simply don't think the access issues are important enough to fix. If the mental health of a society can be measured by how it treats its stray dogs, just what kind of mental health is reflected in a society that treats its ambulatorily impaired members the way ours does?

SueM in MN
08-26-2003, 02:25 PM
Actually, they do have at least one lowered counter/wheelchair accessible line in all the fast food restaurants at WDW that I am aware of. The problem is that there is so much going on visually (and it is all so new to many people) that they don't notice the accessible line. Plus, if there are a lot of people already in line, they might prevent someone sitting lower to the ground in a wheelchair or ecv from noticing the line or seeing signs. More than one would be nice though.
The street vendor carts are less likely to have a lowered counter than the others, but the CM can move around to make it easier to buy there. One of the problems is the "invisibility" factor of a person in a wheelchair. When my DD tries to make a purchase, she often has people move ahead of her. Since she doesn't speak, she can't speak up and tell them she was there first, so she just ends up waiting unless the CM notices her.

Talking Hands
08-26-2003, 10:26 PM
Sue the same thing happens to me when I am in sign mode since I forget the world doesn't all sign and forget to use my voice. Being in a wheelchair as well as being hard of hearing I get completely ignored.
As to the lowered counters, or the accessible ones they are often closed if not all lines are open. I just find a CM in the area and tell them I need to use that line as my chair will not manuever through a regular queue line and usually I am helped quickly.
Worst place I have ever been was Sea World where there were no accessible lines and the person there just looked at me and said to get someone in my party to get my food. I was alone at the time. I asked a for a manager and asked how I was expected to get food when I was on my own and had no one to get in line.

SueM in MN
08-27-2003, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Talking Hands

As to the lowered counters, or the accessible ones they are often closed if not all lines are open. I just find a CM in the area and tell them I need to use that line as my chair will not manuever through a regular queue line and usually I am helped quickly.
If the world was more disability aware, the accessible line would be the first one opened and the last closed.
Originally posted by Talking Hands
Worst place I have ever been was Sea World where there were no accessible lines and the person there just looked at me and said to get someone in my party to get my food. I was alone at the time. I asked a for a manager and asked how I was expected to get food when I was on my own and had no one to get in line.
That is very sad. Even if you were not alone, it still is not a humane way to treat a customer. :(
Things change slowly.

Talking Hands
08-27-2003, 02:14 PM
True Sue but the more we are out in the world and take time to educate them the better things get. :)

Janet2k
08-27-2003, 08:01 PM
Being recently temporarily disabled, this thread has really opened up my eyes (and saddened me at the same time). But after reading it, I feel that I am now somewhat prepared for both sides of human nature during my upcoming WDW vacation. Of course, I am praying that the best of human nature will prevail and will be all that I remember of my trip. I will make sure that I have my Disney Attitude with me at all times (God willing).

Early in this thread, it was pointed out that this information needs to be disseminated to the Theme Parks and Resorts boards. Believe me, upon my return, I will write a detailed trip report and post it on the Resorts board since that is where I normally hang out at here on the Dis. You folks have educated me here on the disABILITIES board so I will be sure to pass the education torch along to my fellow Dis'ers. :earsgirl: (I wish I had a Statue of Liberty smilie to use at a time like this.)

SueM in MN
08-27-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Talking Hands
True Sue but the more we are out in the world and take time to educate them the better things get. :)

Very true, Lisa. And our children are (in general) more educated than most of us were, so things are slowly getting better.
:D

And Janet, you will find that there are more good people than bad people (and some of the ones we remember as bad are just uneducated, overtired or overwhelmed by being at WDW [although some are just plain rude and would be just as rude to anyone]). It's just that the bad ones are the ones that keep coming back and nagging at your memory.
I hope you have a great trip and you find only nice, helpful people.

GrannyEv
09-30-2004, 08:39 AM
Wow, I can't believe that man said that to you. Some people can be so insensitive. This is a great thread and I for one will
be more conscious of people in wheelchairs and ecv when I go on my next trip to Disney. I will also engage some of them in
conversation. What uplifting stories!!

twocat
10-03-2004, 01:08 PM
Wow! i have just finished reading through this thread and have run through the gamut of emotions. Anger at the way some people treat each other, guilt because maybe I was (inadvertantly) stepping in front of someone in an ECV or wheelchair, tearful by the strength and power of some of your stories, and encouraged by the raging optimism and positiveness of everyone posting on this thread.
This has truly been an eye-opener for me, a non a dis-ABILITY person.
Sue, maybe this is one of the posts that should go at the top of the disABILITIES forum so MANY more people would read it. It might get the message out.
Thank you all so much everyone for opening my eyes and increasing my knowledge. Always a good thing for everyone!
Donna

SueM in MN
10-03-2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by twocat

This has truly been an eye-opener for me, a non a dis-ABILITY person.
Sue, maybe this is one of the posts that should go at the top of the disABILITIES forum so MANY more people would read it. It might get the message out.
Thank you all so much everyone for opening my eyes and increasing my knowledge. Always a good thing for everyone!
Donna
A good suggestion. I can "stick" this thread to the top. It seems to get "found" about every 6 months or so, but we could make it more visible.

Destination Disney
10-21-2004, 09:58 PM
I have to agree with twocat. I just decided to check out what this forum was all about and it was such an eye opener. I too ran through the gamut of emotions, and at one point I had some pixie dust fly into my eyes which made them water a bit! That darn pixie dust!
I think we can learn a lot form one another and this forum is excellent. I know a lot of us take life and what we have for granted. I recall being at the MK on day and we (me and my hubby) were about to get onto splash mountain when the CM informed us that we had to wait for the following boat due to a family with a diabled teenager was about to board. I understood and was perfectly content. We already waited for about 30 mins, what is another 10 seconds. (or as my husband would say...what's a bucket of water when you're drowning!), but the grieps and groans from the family behind us were unimaginable! I turned around looked right at the mother and said. "Is it really all that bad, I mean what could possibly be your problem? At least you do not have to pick up your child and carry them to a ride!" Needless to say she silenced quite quickly! Later after we got off of the ride, the mother of the disabled child happened to see me and thanked me for what I said. That felt good, and then it hit me...how many times did that family have to listen to people griep about them getting on rides in front of other people. Ya know, I bet they would give anything not to be in that situation.
I just thought I would share my little story. I am not usually one to lash out on someone, especially someone I don't even know, but something just triggered me! I bet it was the sound of that "mother's" voice! (hee-hee!)

Wheelin In Disney
11-10-2004, 09:45 AM
I just wanted to add my thoughts on this thread. I was born with Apert Syndrome, which causes the bones to fuse at birth, requiring multiple surgeries to correct some of the deformities to the hands, skull, mid-face, etc.

Anyway, I'm getting ready for my trip to Disney World in January, and I'm getting really excited. My mom, boyfriend, and I are all going, and we'll be taking my Kaye reverse walker and manual wheelchair.

My boyfriend has Traumatic Brain Injury, and can't see very well, although he can see things that are at a certain distance. When we went to Disney World this last time, he was pushing me in my manual wheelchair, and we had to deal with a lot of people running over us/running into us. Both of my wheelchairs have a low floor-to-seat height, so you can just imagine what that is like.

I can get out of my wheelchair for some rides when it is necessary, but due to my uncoordinated balance control, I need someone to hold onto when I'm walking slowly, or otherwise I'd fall easily. We don't take my walker to any of the theme parks, as it's so heavy and cumbersome, it usually gets left in the hotel room.

I have the "adolescent model" of the Kaye reverse walker line, and my mom has a hard time lifting/handling it, because of her short height, and because it's so tall and heavy when folded. So, that's why we don't take it to the parks with us (although it would be very handy for some places, such as the Pirates Of The Carribean ride).

Because my balance is very uncoordinated, we usually get a lot of looks from other people, especially if I'm out of my wheelchair and walking for a short distance to get somewhere. Other times, people would smile, as if they understand.

Samantha

vhoffman
11-30-2004, 11:29 PM
I have arthritis and use a wheelchair occassionally, however, I prefer not to, even if I'm in pain, because of the experiences I've had while using one. My experiences are similar to others posted here. My pet peeve is other people's butts in my face--literally! I guess I'm about "butt" level, however, that doesn't give others the excuse to stick their ***** in my face. Its expecially a problem on crowded elevators, when people are trying to squeeze in. The wheel of my chair is the boundry for their feet, however, they seem to think they will gain more room by leaning in towards me. I once had a man all but stick his "private parts" right in my face. My 6'2 body builder husband told him "move it or lose it". Guess which option he took?

Cruelladeville
01-24-2005, 09:10 PM
EVERY able-bodied person should have to spend a day or two in a wheelchair at WDW! Boy, would their ideas change! I became temporarily disabled last March, the day before leaving for Florida. Little did I know that I would still be among the disabled a year later! I have now taken 4 trips in a wheelchair or using a cane--I actially had someone kick my cane! Anyway, your perspective really changes when you are in a wheelchair, you are removed from the world, even cashiers took my money and handed the change to my daughter. Hello! I paid for the trip!

I blessed the people who opened the bathroom doors for me--what was Disney thinking when they put in two doors into a bathroom? How is a disabled person supposed to open a door weighing about 100 lbs, get inside, turn 90 degrees, and push open the second door, when there is no space? And who thought a long bathroom stall should be called handicapped accessible?? How do you close the door without turning your chair?

Thanks for letting me say this! Everything is just so HARD when you are handicapped! You can't just DO something, you really have to THINK how you are going to get out of whatever you are wheeling into. When you are sitting, you begin seeing how gracefully some handicapped people actually are in what they do as part of their daily living. :moped:

Cocoa
01-30-2005, 10:11 PM
I just want to say something about people being in a wheelchair. I have a dear friend who is in a wheelchair permantently. He loves Disney World and and is a saint to wait for us to go on rides that he can't ever go on to see. So when the lines are long, he waits for us or will go see something he can see for himself. I have heard that some people don't think it is fair that the people in the wheelchairs get to get into the ride faster. That is not true, people in the chairs at times will have to wait for a specialized vehicle to go on the ride. I never feel that it is unfair for a disabled child get on the ride before me, I am thankful that I have my legs to stand just a little bit longer.

The biggest laugh was a few years ago. I was in line for splash mountain when I started talking to these young men. They were telling me that they rented a wheelchair so they could get on the rides sooner. As they were telling me their story, my face just became redder and angrier. Then they told me that they had to give up there wheelchair because they were getting tired pushing each other and it cost them 25 dollars. I just started laughing and they heard it from me. I had them apologizing for their actions and my niece just couldn't believe that I spoke up. I hope I made a point in those young men's lives.

Also, remember, even though you may think you see a person in a wheelchair that is not disabled, that may not be the picture. There are many illnesses out there that can cause a person to be in a wheelchair especially walking around disney world.

Lastly, if you see someone in a wheelchair, please do not stand infront of them. It is easier for you to move then the person in the wheelchair, remember we have our legs. ::MickeyMo

paigevz
02-07-2005, 12:53 PM
In my late teens, I was in a car accident, and severed a tendon in my leg. I had a couple of operations and was in a variety of braces/crutches combos. At one point, my parents had a convention in Tennessee.......in that big convention center there.........well, it's just so huge, myparents wanted to get a wheelchair to help me out as it took so long to get to the covention hall, and then it was basically standing all day long going from exhibit to exhibit. I used that chair one day, and told myparents to turn it back in. I was run into, stood in front of, and got the whole invisibility thing, too. The first day there, on my crutches with my brace, many people talked to me about what had happened, how are you doing, can I get you anything, on and on.................when I was in the chair........nothing. Nobody asking me if they could help when I couldn't maneuver the chair or carry a tray at lunch, certainly no one asked me what had happened to my leg.........but the worst was just no one looking at me.....no smiles, no how are yous.......absolutely nothing. If they did look my way, they quickly looked away if they caught my eye. I am very friendly, and used to smiling at people and greeting them and being smiled at and greeted in return. It was quite eye-opening, especially since I was still just a teenager. I try to pass this story on to my kids often, so they will realize, too.

minkydog
02-07-2005, 01:29 PM
Okay, I have to tell my funy wheelchair story now...

I was at the mall with my then-4yo who at that time had very poor muscle tone and needed a full-support wheelchair for mobility. He is also autistic and non-verbal, so he was quite a noisy, flapping, drooling sight. Anyway, this little boy also about 4yo sees him and breaks away from his Granny. He climbs right up in DSs lap and begins talking to him. DS is like the Tar Baby--he say nothin'. Little boy tries harder, asking questions, rubbing his arms, his face, trying to get DSs attention. The boy's GM was mortified and she tried to snatch the boy away, but clearly DS waas not upset, so I asked her to stop. The little boy turns to me and says,"Why won't he talk to me?" I explained that Christian had a slow brain and it was hard for him to learn things like walking and talking, but that he tried very hard. The little boy reached up and carressed DSs mouth and said," Just open your mouth like this and let the words come out." :goodvibes

Just a side note, if that was your little boy--Christian is now 9yo and he walks very well. He still doesn't talk much, except to say "I love you" (ee-YAH!) or "go outside" (DOOR) but he signs and points. He also swims and plays keyboard, and he learned to kick a ball this year. I appreciated your son seeing past his disabilities and loving him for the "normal" boy he is inside. Dont ever hold back from making someone's day.

Cathy--mom to Christian the Amazing Wonder Boy, and his sidekick Minky-Boodle

deelovesdis
02-13-2005, 02:10 AM
I have read this entire thread. Thank you all for being so candid. I now know I am not crazy. Thank you for sharing your experiences.It was both enlightening and saddening to know you all have experienced the same incidents that I have. My friends tell me it is "all in my imagination". That is because they knew me before the injury.THey know I am an intelligent capable woman. When someone sees you in a wheelchair or using a cane they seem to make assumptions about you, and those assumptions are all negative.


I was injured last year in a MVA and am now disabled. I can walk a little with the cane, but could never walk around WDW. I had to rent a wheelchair or an ECV. I could not believe how rude people were. I have encountered it since using the cane, but it was worse while I was in the chair.
People try not to look at you, they avert their eyes, they bump into you, you are invisible. OH, and the smells. People think nothing of passing gas in public and guess who is eye or should I say "nose" level to it. Thats right, us. THey will aalso stand right in front of you. I had people stand right in front of me for the parade! Actually went in front of me and my chair! I asked him a few times to please move, I was at the front of the parade line and there for almost 45 minutes before the parade. He acted like he did me a big favor by moving, and then blocked my 6 year olds view. THe woman next to me was in a chair too, well she was a bit more verbal than I was, and the guy finally moved.

With the cane,I have experienced pretty much the same thing,rude behavior. I actually had a few kids in WDW touch my cane. THey moved it, pushed it up and walked under it, without any word from their parents! Imagine touching someones cane. What if I fell right down? Hey, what happened to not wanting the lady with the cane to fall down? It would be absolutely wonderful if WDW had a path for wheelchairs and people ambulating with canes.Maybe mark it with blue lines? Naw, wouldnt work, they would still run in front of us and cause us to hit the wall. Like that didnt happen atleast three times in WDW.

I do get some doors opened for me sometimes, as well as people slamming doors in my face at the mall. People will see you struggling and turn and just slam a door on you. I say I understand that you dont know if I want the door held open or need help. But ask me. Maybe I would welcome help opening that heavy door. IF I am having a good day I may not ask or need your help. But there are days I can barely make it to walk my daughter around the block to school.

The woman who wrote that people equate disability with mental deficiency had it so right. One of the other class mothers at my daughters school actually asked me if I finished school. SHe was shocked when she found out I had a Master's Degree, and praised "someone like me "for doing something like that with "well, good for you, dear". It astounds me that anyone would even ask me such a question. Well, it really shouldnt. I worked in customer service and in marketing/ sales for years. It made me rethink the percentage of people that are good and bad. Well , to be honest it is 80-20 in my book, with the bad ones way ahead of the game!

There must be a way to educate the public about physical disability. Physical disability is not mental disability. Are people afraid this could happen to them? Maybe. It did happen to me. Did I treat wheelchair bound people the way I have been treated? No. I have always cared about people's feelings. But hey, :wave: thats just me.
Let me know your thoughts,
Deeloves dis :wave: :wave: :cool1:

BroganMc
02-15-2005, 08:34 PM
I've had severe arthritis since I was a toddler. Spent most of my youth getting around the best I could (or being schlepped by my parents). In my adult years I used a plain old push wheelchair (only do this if you like having arguments with chair pushers over where you should go next). For the last two years I've used a power wheelchair. (The freedom is unbelievable and fun. It feels like having your own personal E-Ticket Ride.)

Can't say I've endured as much rudeness as others on this thread have. Perhaps I'm used to the odd look or comment so ignore it. Last year I *was* trying to videotape Cinderella's Birthday Surprise Show outside the castle. I didn't want to get in the way of all the little kids clamoring up front (and sitting quietly on the ground before the show), so I stayed off to the side where the rope line was (near CMs). Sure enough as soon as the show started people jumped in front of me, climbed on top the rope barriers and blocked my shot. When one rather large guy walked right in front of me and stopped, I gave up in disgust and left (who needs footage of some guy's back).

Of course, because I left early I found myself arranging a private meeting with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Pearla Mouse in Toon Town for my 3 yr old niece. In the end I think fate got me the better deal. :)

For every inconsiderate thing, I've experienced 3 more truly nice things from folks. I've had people scrunch up behind the parade rope line and offer me a spot even though it was less than 5 minutes to showtime. I've had people jump to hold doors for me or help me reach things in the stores.

This year we've convinced my dad (in his 70's and having leg/back problems) to rent a scooter for the week. I honestly don't think he'll be able to tour the parks without this ride. And for me, it'l be fun to see what he learns from the experience.

So many things about being disabled (bathroom doors, tight aisles in stores, crowd behavior, quantity of curb cuts, etc.) you don't think about until you have to. I think all architects, builders, and civil engineers should have to go around in wheelchairs and scooters for a week before designng their first job. I also wouldn't mind a required high school course on disability awareness (where you have to live with a "disability" for a time). First thing they'd learn is DON'T DART IN FRONT OF A MOVING VEHICLE!

As for "invisibility", I'm a gregarious person in public so I'm usually starting conversations or explaining why my body is like that before asked. Parents generally give me smiles of relief when I take over answering the tons of pesky questions their kids have.

It's not hard to banish perceived rudeness with a smile and a little niceness.

J;)

pumpkinfish
02-21-2005, 12:31 PM
I feel like I am around family here! I have rheumatoid arthritis and it was pretty bad last September when DH and I went to WDW. I tried to be a tough 25 year old (I am otherwise very healthy...and quite "proud") and take the pain, but after touring the parks only one day, my knees had swollen up a great amount. After that day, every day DH would rent a wheelchair for me and push me around the park. I thanked him dearly every day- especially when he pushed me around for the KTTK tour! It was so hot that day! I REALLY appreciated persons who are bound to a wheelchair after that experience! It was AMAZING how people reacted (or didn't react) at times. I have my horror stories as well, and also personal issues with being confined to a wheelchair. Like I read before, I received a LOT of dirty looks after DH and I would park the wheelchair at the outside of a ride and I would walk on. *SIGH* Just because a person "LOOKS" healthy, doesn't mean they don't need a wheelchair. :wizard:

sdonnellan
03-28-2005, 09:47 PM
I don't know why, but my husband and I have not had the same experiences... maybe because this thread started in 2000, and perhaps have opened some people's eyes. Maybe because it wasn't me in the wheelchair, but one of our daughters. We have a daughter (Kristin) in a wheelchair, who is fully disabled. Some people label her with cp, but she doesn't have mental capacity that most cp children seem to have - can't sit up on her own, feed herself, communicate, etc. I think that she was around 8 the second time we went to Disney World, and the first time we took her on EVERY ride she was allowed to go on (we, of course, now regret not taking her on all the rides the first time we went). I don't remember having any problems that have been described here... well, not at Disney World anyway. However, we do deal with problems like this, in general -- in restaurants, especially, people crash into her chair ALL THE TIME, and it's not like it's easy to miss. I'm glad it locks in place real well, and weighs about 40 pounds, because I think people hurt themselves when the run into it (wheelchairs for juveniles do not fold up, nor are they light). I guess part of the reason why we had such a good time was because we traveled with friends, but also because we got that special pass that allowed us to bypass most of the lines (which I had to beg for last time - Spring Break)... I think that some people must abuse this pass, since they seem to be VERY hesitant to give them out. And I don't think that we got too many odd looks or jealous stares, because Kristin is OBVIOUSLY disabled. I don't know anyone who would wish they had a kid like this just to avoid the lines. We never used the pass if Kristin wasn't going on the ride (just like the handicap parking tag - it's just not fair to do that). The CM's come up to her ALL THE TIME and talk to her and cuddle with her, and she loves it. And she LOVES the rides -- this kid spends most of her time in some kind of seating/standing aparatus or lying on the floor, so I can see why the motion is exciting to her. And the more dramatic, the better, she laughed like CRAZY when I practically crushed her in the runaway train ride. We are planning another trip to DW in December (this will be our 4th trip there). Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, yes it is probably an eye opener to be in a wheel chair when you are not normally, but if you are always in one, you learn to cope. Or ignore the rudeness, or whatever. I will have to try to pay more attention next time... but I bet I'm just to excited about being there to do it!!!

RaySharpton
04-05-2005, 09:50 PM
Here is an article by Chet that describes his first adult experience at WDW. I think that you will enjoy it.

http://allearsnet.com/pl/mev_chet2.htm

My friends always ask if I am going to WDW again. They ask why. I say that I feel welcome there. The castmembers look at me, and talk to me, and treat me like I am any other guest...with a smile and kindness.

TumFamily
04-05-2005, 11:08 PM
I have two daughters with Cystic Fibrosis. The heat is extremely dangerous for them so they really should not wait on the lines. I had heard that Disney was not allowing people with disabilities to go to the head of the line. Is that still true??

Both of my girls just had surgery. My 8 yr old has not recovered very well and her Dr told me that if we still went on the trip she would need to be in a wheelchair. Do they have alot of wheelchairs to rent? Do you need proof to get one? Any info would be helpful. Thanks. Debra :sad2:

iamhappy
04-14-2005, 09:14 AM
I really appreciate being able to access this post, even though it is an old one. 6 months ago my husband was in a near fatal motor vehicle accident. The doctors did not know if he would ever walk again. Well, prior to the accident we had booked out trip for this month, and we'll be able to go, however my husband will need to use a scooter. It helps to be prepared for some challenges we may face so can make a choice not to let them ruin our trip!

SueM in MN
04-14-2005, 02:34 PM
I have two daughters with Cystic Fibrosis. The heat is extremely dangerous for them so they really should not wait on the lines. I had heard that Disney was not allowing people with disabilities to go to the head of the line. Is that still true??
What you want to ask about is a Guest Assistance Card (we call it a GAC to avoid typing so much). It is not meant to (and never was a front of the line pass). What it is meant to be is a tool to let the CMs know what sort of assistance is needed by a person with a disability (especially if it is an invisible disability). What you do is go to Guest Realtions/Guest Services in any of the parks and explain your daughter's needs (in their case, it would be to avoid waiting in the hot sun). They will be given a card with an appropriate message for their needs. That card will be good for the lenght of your stay in all the parks. Just what happens when you show the card will depend on the attraction, the time of day and how busy it is. If it is not busy and the regular (standby) line is less than 20 minutes, you may just be sent into that line to wait. Most of the lines are shaded and some (even outdoor ones) are air conditioned.
Both of my girls just had surgery. My 8 yr old has not recovered very well and her Dr told me that if we still went on the trip she would need to be in a wheelchair. Do they have alot of wheelchairs to rent? Do you need proof to get one? Any info would be helpful. Thanks. Debra :sad2:
They do have quite a few wheelchairs to rent and you don't need any proof to rent one, but depending on the size of your 8 year old, the wheelchairs for rent in the parks may not be the best size for her. For most young children, an adult wheelchair will have a seat that is too deep and too wide, footrests that are too low and armrests that are too high. That might be OK for a short time, but for a whole day, it gets uncomfortable. She might be better off using a stroller (they have sizes to fit up to small 12 year olds) or renting either a special needs stroller or a small adult wheelchair from one of the off-site vendors (check the disABILITIES FAQs thread). You can get a GAC that allows a stroller to be used as a wheelchair.

cquick
05-12-2005, 10:47 PM
My son :sunny: is 27 years old and we live in Orlando, so we go to the parks ALL the time! He has cp and a seizure disorder and low vision, but he has the BEST times! He loves :love: the music, and the shows and the buses and boats.
But I have a real problem with The Land at EPCOT. They completely remodeled the whole interior and added Soaring, (which we love!) but there's still a big hill to push the wheelchair up and then down when you get inside, and THEN you have to take the one and ONLY elevator! It's just not convenient. I am surprised they didn't rethink the elevator thing! :love:

SueM in MN
05-13-2005, 07:06 PM
But I have a real problem with The Land at EPCOT. They completely remodeled the whole interior and added Soaring, (which we love!) but there's still a big hill to push the wheelchair up and then down when you get inside, and THEN you have to take the one and ONLY elevator! It's just not convenient. I am surprised they didn't rethink the elevator thing! :love:
That is disappointing. I had heard rumors that they were going to add some more elevators (by the escalators). Too bad they didn't.

monymony3471
05-18-2005, 02:53 PM
On a prior trip in 2003 my mom had to use a wheel chair because of an injury. The staff were wonderful and would offer us to stay on a ride a second time so we wouldn't have to go through the line maneuvering a wheel chair or the lines were cut a lot shorter due to the wheel chair.

I think I remember having just a few issues of just not being seen or "overlooked". Reading this thread has opened my eyes a bit more and I want to say thanks for my learning a lot about this subject.

Disneys Billpayer
05-27-2005, 09:26 PM
Help I am a Disney veteran but do not know what to do about my DW.
We have paid for and planned this trip for a long while. Since that time my DW has become pregnant. She had a difficult pregnancy with my first born, as she is now. We are scheduled to arrive at the Poly for a week on June 7. Because of her condition she can stand or walk for only short distances at a time due to blood pressure and circulatory problems. She plans to stay in the room the whole trip as not to spoil our vacation with my DS-6 and DD-9. We will miss her and not enjoy ourselves without her. Is there a place to rent a wheel chair in the park or at the resort? And her not being permanantly disabled is this O.k. I am willing to push her around anywhere she wants to go. But if she is able to get up from her chair to get on an appropriate attraction is this going to be offensive to those who must always use a wheelchair? We do not want any special treatment but we do not want to offend anyone either. I am not sure if there is any other solution. Do they rent electric scooters anywhere at WDW?
Any help or input will be greatly appreciated. :confused3 :confused3

Cheshire Figment
05-27-2005, 11:06 PM
Click on where it says "disABILITIES" at the top of this page; it will take you to the index. The 4th item down is the "disABILITIES FAQ" with lots of information about ECVs and wheelchairs.

Our general recommendation is that she rent an ECV from an off-site company as: they are better, they are available at all times including the hotel and Downtown Disney, and for six or more days they cost are less than you would pay Disney. This way she does not have to be pushed and you can chase/control the two kids.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself, and the suggested answers.

Is she disabled, even temporarily? Yes.

Does everyone in your group know she is disabled? Yes.

Do you expect to meet anyone you know (who does not know she is disabled) on your trip? No.

Do you expect to meet many people who don't know you on this trip and who will probably never meet you again. Yes.

Do you have any reason to care what any of these people think? Definitely NO!

Will her having and using an ECV make for a better vacation for everyone in your family? Yes.

cquick
05-28-2005, 07:40 AM
:moped: There's absolutely NO PROBLEM for you and your family at WDW. The parks all have wheelchairs to rent as well as electric scooters. Although I agree with Cheshire Figment: She SHOULD rent an ECV from one of the vendors who will deliver the scooter to your hotel for you and then they will pick it up after you are finished with it. That way she would have the use of it all the time. The resorts are large, and the distances from one place to another might be too far for her. She must reserve as much energy as she can. And DON'T worry about what "other people" might think......lots of pregnant women have trouble getting around, and her health is the most important thing. Most of the WDW transportation is very accomodating for the electrified scooters, although she'll have to transfer to most of the attractions, but the cast members are very helpful. Be sure to bring umbrellas for the sun and the rain, and have an extra poncho for the scooter.

You'll have a GREAT time!!!! :flower:

Disneys Billpayer
05-28-2005, 09:38 PM
Hey, thanks alot Cheshire and Quick. I will find an offsite rental this will really help. Thats why the Dis boards are so great. there is always someone with a good answer or tip.

Again thanks for the input. :sunny: :moped:

SueM in MN
05-31-2005, 07:29 PM
I was gone over the weekend without computer access, but just wanted to add to the voices saying you should rent an ecv from one of the off-site companies. There are lots of people with temporary disabilities who do need ecvs or wheelchairs.

Disneys Billpayer
05-31-2005, 09:41 PM
I was gone over the weekend without computer access, but just wanted to add to the voices saying you should rent an ecv from one of the off-site companies. There are lots of people with temporary disabilities who do need ecvs or wheelchairs.

Thanx again, that seems to be the best way to go. My DW will have a much better time. :goodvibes

dweiss
06-09-2005, 02:26 PM
I'm getting nervous. We leave on the 12th for a whole week at CR. We haven't been to Disney since 1986. Two weeks ago I broke my foot. I don't have a cast but the dr. said he would only let me go on our vacation if I agreed to use a wheelchair in the theme parks. He doesn't want me over doing it while we're there. Everyone at work said they thought I would do great so we decided to go ahead with our trip. Now I'm nervous that it will be awful. I can walk short distances but 7 whole days on my broken foot would not be good. I can't even wear a regular shoe yet. I will be able to swim though.

BillSears
06-09-2005, 03:11 PM
I'm getting nervous. We leave on the 12th for a whole week at CR. We haven't been to Disney since 1986. Two weeks ago I broke my foot. I don't have a cast but the dr. said he would only let me go on our vacation if I agreed to use a wheelchair in the theme parks. He doesn't want me over doing it while we're there. Everyone at work said they thought I would do great so we decided to go ahead with our trip. Now I'm nervous that it will be awful. I can walk short distances but 7 whole days on my broken foot would not be good. I can't even wear a regular shoe yet. I will be able to swim though.

Just go, have a great time and don't sweat the small stuff. I've never taken a single step in Disney World but I still love it there. It may not be perfect but it's a whole lot better then the real world.

BTW you might want to consider renting an ECV. Using a wheelchair for 7 days if you're not used to it will probably wear you and anyone pushing you out.

ekmdisney
06-10-2005, 12:12 AM
I agree, you should rent an ECV off-prop. This way you can enjoy your trip more. You will be able to control where you want to go. And not be a the mercy of the person pushing you. Plus the wheelchairs and ECVs that you can rent at the parks have to be returned when you leave that park. You will have to walk to and from the bus stops or parking lot.

At the very top of the disable forum, there is a stick thread that gives names and numbers of some of the off prop rental companies that are in the Orlando area. Check it out, and give them a call. On my last trip I used Walker, and really liked them!

problemchild718
07-06-2005, 01:02 PM
Hi all, due to a car accident in the fall :sad2: , I am in a wheelchair for anything outside my home-my dh and I are considering a trip to wdw in Aug. My question is this: is it worth it in a wheel chair? I am able to hobble on and off a select few rides and am ok with just rollin around, but is it unfair to him to push me around and will the crowds prevent a nice trip? Are there electric chairs avail? :moped:

Nanajo1
07-06-2005, 02:08 PM
Click on where it says "disABILITIES" at the top of this page; it will take you to the index. The 4th item down is the "disABILITIES FAQ" with lots of information about ECVs and wheelchairs.

Our general recommendation is that she rent an ECV from an off-site company as: they are better, they are available at all times including the hotel and Downtown Disney, and for six or more days they cost are less than you would pay Disney.
Will her having and using an ECV make for a better vacation for everyone in your family? Yes.
Problemchild this reply albeit edited says it all.

Disneymar
07-27-2005, 06:34 AM
I was directed here from mousepads - I just returned from a Disney trip - and going back again in October. I need to have back surgery and I have severe arthritis so the trip was very painful for me, I eventually ended up not being able to go to the parks because I didn't want to use a wheelchair (mostly because of the pride factor). I did talk to alot of people in wheelchairs and heard many of the same things that are posted here - we certainly need to better educate society of those who have disabilities. This has made the decision to return and use a w/c much more difficult - I didn't expect to read about so many difficulties, but am grateful for the eye opening so in the event I do - I know what to expect and can maybe deal with it a bit better than being surprised.

Disneymar
07-27-2005, 07:41 AM
I have fibromyalgia as well - I also need to have back surgery. I would gladly trade a wheelchair, my handicapped parking card and any other benefit anyone thinks I get by being disabled but not looking it to anyone who would take my pain with them.

pumpkinfish
07-27-2005, 04:58 PM
I was directed here from mousepads - I just returned from a Disney trip - and going back again in October. I need to have back surgery and I have severe arthritis so the trip was very painful for me, I eventually ended up not being able to go to the parks because I didn't want to use a wheelchair (mostly because of the pride factor). I did talk to alot of people in wheelchairs and heard many of the same things that are posted here - we certainly need to better educate society of those who have disabilities. This has made the decision to return and use a w/c much more difficult - I didn't expect to read about so many difficulties, but am grateful for the eye opening so in the event I do - I know what to expect and can maybe deal with it a bit better than being surprised.


I just wanted to post and give you a HUGE hug :) :grouphug: I feel your pain for I had to use a wheelchair on several visits to WDW. I too have arthritis (rheumatoid) and it pained me to walk after several hours. It was a pride issue for me too. I certainly am ABLE to walk, but my knees are so bad that I had to go ahead and use the wheelchair. I was really amazed at how little knowledge people have of wheelchair users. Whether it is when I go through the handicap entrance at a ride and getting dirty looks from those waiting in line, or when people do not move out of the way when they see my husband pushing me through a crowd. I remember people who just ignored me and stuck their rear-ends in my face. Please!
If anything, I truly have more respect for those who are in wheelchairs. I always was careful not to be quick to judge before, but now I am most certainly respectful of anyone in a wheelchair. I do not feel sorry for them since I know that I hate when people look so sad at me. I am fine people! I am normal just like anyone else. I just happen to not be able to walk great lengths at a time :)
I am glad there is a board here where we can be supportive of one-another :)

Cheshire Figment
07-27-2005, 08:48 PM
I was directed here from mousepads - I just returned from a Disney trip - and going back again in October. I need to have back surgery and I have severe arthritis so the trip was very painful for me, I eventually ended up not being able to go to the parks because I didn't want to use a wheelchair (mostly because of the pride factor). I did talk to alot of people in wheelchairs and heard many of the same things that are posted here - we certainly need to better educate society of those who have disabilities. This has made the decision to return and use a w/c much more difficult - I didn't expect to read about so many difficulties, but am grateful for the eye opening so in the event I do - I know what to expect and can maybe deal with it a bit better than being surprised.
Welcome to DisBoards and disABILITIES. Anyway, I did not direct you to come here, I only suggested it. BTW, read post #95.

Mike

Disneymar
07-28-2005, 06:37 AM
Thanks for letting me know where I could find all this information - the support and the knowledge have really helped alot.

As I stood in Epcot one night 3 women came up behind us, one young lady was in a wheelchair. I turned around to chat and noticed she wouldn't have been able to see any of the fireworks and lights because the railing and other people were in her way, so I directed her to a disabled viewing area. The 3 ladies actually found my family after the show and thanked us because their 23 year old daughter got to see the entire show.

As an individual who doesn't have a disability that confines me to a wheelchair full time, my heart goes out to those that are, and who consistently do their best to put up with those that just don't know how to treat them. For now, I can say I will do my part to educate society of the challenges wheelchair-bound individuals face. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories!

SandrA9810
07-30-2005, 03:25 PM
Well I'm not about to read 8 pages of wheelchair experiences, but I do have my own.
My brother is severally retarted, mentally and physically. He's fairly smart for his condition, but not polite at all. If we ever let go of the chair and he's off on his own, you better watch your back or he'll run right into you.
The last time he was at disney, he was in a stoller. The next trip I go on, I want my mom and brother to come. What I remember from way back when, the CM's were nice and they were always helpfull in getting him onto the rides. Now he's a lot bigger, and from what I've noticed, there's not that many CM's left at attractions, so I'm sure it'll be a trip and a half dealing with him.
The one time we're ever in any crowds is when we go to the youth fair, and each year they slowly stop being polite, they slowly stop making room to allow a wheelchair to pass through. You know those rides that have a line a mile long, and in order to get across you have to pass through the line. My god, you think we were cutting to the front of the line, just to get to the other side. And ride opperators, forget it... we won't let him go on it. "You're gonna tell me that after 20 years of coming to this fair?? And every year before we leave we go on the giant wheel, and this year for your inconsideration your not going to let us go on it?" Ohh I always let them have a piece of my mind. Of course you always get the occasional nice guy that picks him up and puts him on the ride, and then lets him ride for free.
But it's nice payback when we get tired of pushing him to just let him push himself into every one. He'll make room for himself, even if no one wants to be polite about it.

When I get back, I'll be sure to post about it.

Talking Hands
07-30-2005, 04:16 PM
I was directed here from mousepads - I just returned from a Disney trip - and going back again in October. I need to have back surgery and I have severe arthritis so the trip was very painful for me, I eventually ended up not being able to go to the parks because I didn't want to use a wheelchair (mostly because of the pride factor). I did talk to alot of people in wheelchairs and heard many of the same things that are posted here - we certainly need to better educate society of those who have disabilities. This has made the decision to return and use a w/c much more difficult - I didn't expect to read about so many difficulties, but am grateful for the eye opening so in the event I do - I know what to expect and can maybe deal with it a bit better than being surprised.
DIsneymar, I just returned from WDW and used my power wheelchair my entire trip. I have Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Diabetes, Neurofibromatosis and Sciatica. I'm hard of hearing as well. And unfortunately some unneeded stress caused my fibro to flare big time so I was in major pain which was not being controlled by my pain meds. The CMs were great im making my trio magical. Yes there were rude guests, Plenty of them but refer to post #95. They don't know my condition and I will never see them, again. And this even applies to some DIS people who think they know your condition and consider you a whiner. Pay no attention to them. Only you know how you feel day by day. Go an enjoy because WDW is magical and really picks your spirits up when you are down. On a good day I can walk around the grocery store and on a bad day I am bedridden btw.

minxy
08-25-2005, 02:48 PM
I know this board has to do with Disney world .. but.. I was hoping one of you would know .. of a site for handicapped people that can go camping and skydiving and horseback riding.. I know there one .. since I have seen it ONCE> lol any help would be wonderful~~

happy travels

minxy

cquick
08-25-2005, 03:03 PM
I know this board has to do with Disney world .. but.. I was hoping one of you would know .. of a site for handicapped people that can go camping and skydiving and horseback riding.. I know there one .. since I have seen it ONCE> lol any help would be wonderful~~minxy

These are the websites I know about for accessible travel. We haven't used them yet, but they are pretty good, with many types of travel, from escorted to individual and from complete care to completely independent. Try these: http://www.tripsinc.com/ , http://www.disabilitytravel.com/, http://www.access-able.com/.

If these websites don't come through the boards, please PM me and I can help you then. Connie :wave: :

LoriDee
08-29-2005, 03:33 PM
I'm am ashamed of how non-wheelchair individuals act. I had an experience back in Feb 1998. My daughter, Loren, (no longer with us) was undergoing treatment for cancer was granted a Make-A-Wish trip to WDW. With her being a Make-A-Wish guest they gave us special treatment at the rides. Being brought to the front of the line. (Not sure if that continues.) Well, on one ride (can't remember which) a woman behind us started complaining because we were brought to the front of the line. Well, I decided to take me daughters hat off. (Yes, she had very little hair.) One of the individuals with this woman told her to shut up and told her to look. I felt a little vindicated. I also understand about the looks and pointing and yes, the commits. We had a lot of stares taking Loren out.

What's wrong with our society? Just because people are different then us doesn't mean their inferior. As a child I grew up with handicapped and mentally handicapped individuals. I learned that they were able to do many things that I could just doing it differently. I thank my parents for teaching me how to respect and appreciate the differences in all of us. I hope and pray that my kids learn this as well. Diversity is a wnderful thing.

Okay, I'm stopping now. Once I get going on something that I feel very strong about it's easy for me to get started and difficult for me to stop.

vhoffman
09-04-2005, 06:16 PM
Actually I just started a thread that kind of relates to this one. I've had the "invisible" treatment, along with "talking to my keeper". However, what bugs me the most is people asking all sorts of nosy questions that I wouldn't dream of asking a stranger and patronizing, belittling remarks. Honestly, can't people just talk to me like a "Normal" person? Actually, that's what I am, really. I don't need people coming up to me and saying things like "Jesus loves you" or "I'll pray for you". I really don't need false displays of concern and sympathy, either. Just when I'm enjoying myself and acting like a "normal" person someone takes it upon themselves to remind me and everyone with me that I'm not ("normal"). I'm not talking about offers of assistance that are clearly indicated, like help with a door, package, or the time I was at Disney and nearly passed out and two nice ladies gave me their seat and got me a bottle of water. That 's quite a different scenario than approaching a disabled person sitting in a restaurant, or with a group of friends, and saying things like "Jesus loves you" or "People like you are such an inspiration", yadda yadda. Last summer we went on a vacation and my daughter fell and hurt her knee. It was her idea to use a wheelchair to get around. After about an hour she didn't want the wheelchair anymore, although her knee was swollen and obviously painful. She said people were acting too weird. She's 8 years old, and, in my opinion, quite pretty. I guess she made a sight in the wheelchair, and apparently many people thought it was their place to let he know how "different" she looked. We had the religious nuts, people coming up and patting her (really, keep your hands to yourself!), and someone actually gave her a dollar! She was in tears and said she'd rather walk, but couldn't due to her injured knee. She just wanted to come home, and we did. She said she wasn't one of the exhibits! Before we left, we went to a restaurant. The only way she could get in was using the wheelchair, and the waitress was obnoxious, with all her comments, hugging her, talking to her like she was retarded, etc. Finally my husband got up and talked to the manager and asked for another waitress that knew how to act. We got a waitress who was "terrible". she didn't make one comment on the wheelchair! Imagine that! No hugs, no baby talk, no "Jesus loves you (BTW, we're Jewish), none of that! She just treated my daughter like any other kid. Honestly, some people! (The second waitress got a big, cash tip. It was her business if she decided to split it with the first waitress).

SueM in MN
09-04-2005, 06:35 PM
That 's quite a different scenario than approaching a disabled person sitting in a restaurant, or with a group of friends, and saying things like "Jesus loves you" or "People like you are such an inspiration", yadda yadda.
My Dd got that kind of treatment a lot more when she was smaller, but she still sometimes gets those comments.
The people mean well, but it's certainly not welcome for most people.

twocat
11-19-2005, 05:55 PM
SueM in MN,

I'm the poster who originally asked that this thread be posted on a sticky and you did that. I now I question whether that was the right move.
It seems like this great, great thread is not getting the attention it so deserves. Hard to tell if the 'hit' count has increased but based on recent posts, the last one being almost three months ago, it would seem it's not getting the attention it so richly deserves.
So...maybe this should get resurrected as a regular thread so some of us could bump it up when it seems to fade into page2..page3...
I have just reread this entire thread and am still so utterly moved by everyone that has posted here.
Donna

SueM in MN
11-19-2005, 06:42 PM
I think sometimes that the stickies become just part of the "wallpaper" of the page and don't get noticed. Maybe it is time to retire this one for a while.
What I will do is put a link to it in the disABILITIES FAQs thread. That way, there will be an easy way to get to it, and people can still post and bump it up if they want.

leebee
11-24-2005, 01:45 AM
Regerding the invisibility factor...my sister has cerebral palsy and although she usually gets around with crutches, in crowded places she is safer, and faster, in a wheelchair. One evening we were at Fantasmic, sitting in front of Sal in her wheelchair, when some man in the standing area stood his young child on the handles of the wheelchair! When my sis asked him, very politely, to remove the child from her chair, he went off the deep end, the old story about spending so much money for this trip, child couldn't see around Sal's dam&%d chair, yadda yadda yadda. He took off in a huff, but let me tell you, it was pretty tempting to remind him that we ALL pay for WDW and to suggest that perhaps if he'd arrived at Fantasmic an hour ahead of time, he, too, might have had a seat. But we didn't, we were polite, even though he barely deserved it!

pixie lady
02-06-2006, 05:07 PM
Hello. Although I am not always in a w/c there are times when it is absolutely necessary. The last timei was in Disney I started off in a w/c and when I was having a good day i would walk a bit. I had both good and bad experiences. People looked at me like i was a fraud when they would see me walking and then they would see me later on in the day in a wheel chair. I got some stares and whispers. But for the most part I have to tell you My experience was very positive. People were nice and respectful. They talked to me and apologized for accidentally bumping me. The cast members were very nice and most people were great. I did once in a while have someone just bump into me or push a stroller in front of me. So don't be discouraged by other posts because you may have a great experience! :wave2:

zizzyx
04-04-2006, 04:18 PM
I am looking around for info on wheelchair for mom and came across this thread. It reminded me of two years ago, when my 15 year old daughter got sick in the park, 102 fever. It was hot and she looked very pale. I was going to bring her back to our room but insisted she wanted to stay. Against my better judgement, I let her stay and the first aid reccommended getting her a wheel chair. What a learning experience that was. Many times my daughter was asked why she was in her wheelchair (She wasn't up and about looking healthy either). At Fantasmic, we were put in the wheelchair section and I can't believe the rudeness of many of the people. Like other posters said, people just went and stood in front of her. Even when it was mentioned that they were blocking her, they STILL stayed there. One man asked "What's wrong with you? Were in in an accident or something?" She still remembers all the comments and rudeness. As of that time, I think my whole family is much more aware and is much more understanding.

Tinker*Shell*Bell
04-04-2006, 06:23 PM
Not all of us without wheels are terrible, but sadly many are.

I found out just how unusual we are in 2000, when we met a young boy at the Magic Kingdom. We were near the Carousel and my son was curious about the boy's wheelchair (decorated with lots of stickers) and went over to talk to the boy. He talked to him like a little boy talks to any little boy, not like he was one of the "things to see at Disney."

The mom was nearly in tears, she said after a moment that Matt was the first child to talk to her son all day (it was late afternoon) and that although he couldn't talk much she could tell he was excited to talk to another boy his age. He was gesturing and making very happy sounds.

The boy and Matt could enjoy each other even with Matt doing all the talking. Matt talked excitedly to the boy about his chair (it was really cool) and about the stickers (even cooler) and about the bag on the handles of the chair (which Matt thought was great too.) Matt talked about the rides he went on and the one they were going on next. When it was time to go the other boy tried to say goodbye to matt, it was unintelligible. I love my son...he said excitedly "Mommy he said bye to me!!!"

The other mom and I exchanged a look and knew that we both had made the other's day, a special thing had happened and we were both lucky to see it. She thanked me for "allowing" my son to talk to hers, no thanks were needed, I got to see my son at his best and that was a gift I will not soon forget.

At the time we didn't know our son very well, he was later diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. Maybe some disabilities have hidden benefits. Matt's lack of understanding about social interaction let him meet a boy who others didin't get to meet. Matt's disability let someone elses disability not matter for 5 minutes.

tarkus
04-04-2006, 06:56 PM
I am looking around for info on wheelchair for mom and came across this thread. It reminded me of two years ago, when my 15 year old daughter got sick in the park, 102 fever. It was hot and she looked very pale. I was going to bring her back to our room but insisted she wanted to stay. Against my better judgement, I let her stay and the first aid reccommended getting her a wheel chair. What a learning experience that was. Many times my daughter was asked why she was in her wheelchair (She wasn't up and about looking healthy either). At Fantasmic, we were put in the wheelchair section and I can't believe the rudeness of many of the people. Like other posters said, people just went and stood in front of her. Even when it was mentioned that they were blocking her, they STILL stayed there. One man asked "What's wrong with you? Were in in an accident or something?" She still remembers all the comments and rudeness. As of that time, I think my whole family is much more aware and is much more understanding.

That's all too common. I call it "vacation head syndrome".

People go on vacation and act in a "me first" state of mind.
Put those same people in a wheel chair and they will think again next time.

What we need is for the companies that make chairs get people more up to the eye level of others around.

All the best,
Alan

Darian
06-04-2006, 05:47 PM
zizzyx, I understand how it feels to have people give you nasty looks and make comments when they see you in a wheelchair and your disability is not apparent. My disability is not noticable unless I'm very tired or get too hot.

I have advanced heart disease but for the most part I don't look disabled. When someone makes a snide comment like "whats wrong with you?!?!?" to me I usually reply as if it were a complement and thank them for telling me how good I look. Then quickly add "... for someone who has survived cancer, thirty heart surgeries and 5 heart attacks, that is!"

Maybe I'm just blissfully ignorant of my surroundings, but I've been so surprised by how much kindness and assistance I've gotten at all the WDW parks --- people opening restroom doors (why do they have to weigh so much???) help at food courts getting condiments for my hamburger and a zillion other things. I really believe people have become more educated and aware as the years go by.

You can tell when someone on an ECV or in a wheelchair is having a bad day. Be sure to smile and say hey! as you pass them in the parks to help cheer them up and let them know they aren't invisible. :wave: (especially if they are wearing the lime green of the DIS!) We can at least be kind to each other, even if some non-disabled folks are intent on being rude. I've met a lot of wonderful people this way and you don't have to get a crick in your neck looking up to talk with them! :thumbsup2

Talking Hands
06-04-2006, 07:14 PM
If you see 4 together in an ECV, Power wheelchair and manual wheelchair with a 5yo in it and someone pushing. That's me Bonny and MJ with whoever accompanied us to push MJ.

david1
06-05-2006, 05:23 PM
I know this post is mostly about people in wheelchairs and other peoples ignorance towards them.
But this post got me thinking about our trips to Disney and peoples ignorance and attitudes.
I have one leg and some other problems quite a visible disability with shorts on.
On our first trip to Disney 2002 I got so tired of people starring and talking behind my back that I got loads of Disney stickers from the C Ms and stuck them to my leg to give them something to look at a grate hit with the kids I might add.

Once on a Disney bus I got up off my seat in the middle off a very busy bus to let a very old lady with a walking stick sit down as no one at the front of the bus would move to let her sit down very ignorant as the old lady was very unstable and in need of a seat. I to was using a walking stick that day but she needed the seat more than me it just surprises how inconsiderate some people can be.

I have had persistent problems with my stump resulting in me being unable to stand for to long especially after walking around the parks all day. Because of this I try to watch the parades from the one of the disabled viewing areas with seats (I miss the disabled viewing area seating at the top of main street in front off the castle :sad2: )
Last year in MK we wear sitting in the disabled viewing area the one just across from the ferry loading dock the top left of the part (sorry dont know the name)
A family came over looked at the barrier and moved it and sat down the cast member noticed them and asked them if they had a GAC and they said no. The cast member asked them to leave with them becoming very cheeky towards the CM then looked at me and said hes not disabled why his he allowed to sit in this area what a bloody cheek I thought I wish I wasnt but I am it just saddens me that some people can be so ignorant and uneducated.

One funny thing to finish with we wear sitting at the BW bus stop waiting for the bus as you do and this little girl walks up to me and smiles then taps my leg to see if its real her dad was mortified it was so funny.


So it doesnt mater if you have a visible on hidden disability you will always get ignorant prats wear ever you go.

All the best
David

P.S
I spent almost 9 months in a wheelchair so I understand a bit what people are saying in this thread.

Belle1997
06-05-2006, 06:31 PM
I have found this thread really informative. As I am new to this forum but not to Dis. I need a scooter now to go grocery shopping and anything with a lot of walking. I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable about how people would think I was faking since I look healthy. Why I would care now I have know idea I would not hesitate when waiting in a long line at Disney to sit on the ground. So why would I care now, but I do. So I know people will look and I solved it in my own way just like the poster above. I have begun to decorate my scooter :moped: with Belle, her friends and Mickey. Should give people something else to look at. And hopefully bring a smile to some as we wait in line :)

Daisimae
06-16-2006, 08:44 AM
Hi Everyone!

After my latest trip to WDW that ended on 6/3, I am sorry to report that the rudest place in the World is still Fantasmic, which is one of my favorite shows. On 5/30 while waiting for the show to begin. I once again witnessed all the deplorable behavior of years past.

I had people stand behind my ECV and a few were very resistant to move when a CM told them to. Mind you, I had already told them all that they would not be allowed to stay there and there was plenty of seating to the left of the stadium, but, it required a much longer walk for them. I even had one group of people inquire about the bleachers with "the blue lines on them". I explained that they were for people accompaining a person with a wheelchair or :moped: . The person then told me that all the spaces weren't full and if everyone would just "smush" up a little there would be room for them to sit there. I just stared at them. Fortunately, a CM came along a few minutes later and told them they couldn't stand there and to please keep moving.

The crowd movement between Spectromagic and Wishes wasn't much better. I stood in one spot for at least three minutes waiting for someone to let me cross between the Tomorrowland side of the sidewalk near the castle and the inner hub. A nice man finally interceeded for me and told people to let me through.

I must say though, after four trips in six years, I am much better about beeping my horn and telling people not to cut me off.

I'll be going back for two days in August with my Sister ,who is also on these boards, and one of my girlfriends. Me, DH and my Sister, are planning a trip next year with my parents who both use :moped: . That will be five people, three with :moped: . What a trip that will be! We are getting a 2-bedroom villa at Old Key West. Can't wait!

BTW, I usually rent from Care Medical. I've rented from Randy's in the past and liked them and their service. But Care guarentees me the scooter by 8am so we can get into the parks at opening. Randy's doesn't guarentee 8am delivery, so I would either get to the parks late or have to pay for an extra day, the day before to get there ontime. The price for both of them is the same.

waltfan1957
06-17-2006, 10:59 AM
That's all too common. I call it "vacation head syndrome".

People go on vacation and act in a "me first" state of mind.
Put those same people in a wheel chair and they will think again next time.

What we need is for the companies that make chairs get people more up to the eye level of others around.

All the best,
Alan

my wife's got one when she raised it about six inches so she could see the parade someone behind her tried to force it down, and a kid or about 13/14 th
then stood on the back of it, soon got off though

Boston5602
01-06-2007, 09:33 AM
I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and life experiences.

I will keep all of this in mind not only next time at Disney but whenever I'm out and about.

OneLittleSpark
01-06-2007, 01:58 PM
I've used a chair a fair few times at WDW but the last few months things have got bad enough for me need one in the "real world". I must say, I actually find some people out there rather amusing. The woman giving me an evil look because she stopped in front of me on a down hill slope (I even managed not to run into her), the lady in the supermarket determined to run me down (she seemed to be waiting around every corner for me with an evil glint in her eye :rotfl:), and of course all the people that my magical invisibility cloak work on ;) . Oh well, they're good fun for a laugh, I'm just sorry that these wheels seem to stress them out so much (and cause them to want to mow me down with a trolley).

Along the same line as the stickers, I found the Poundland red, sparkly tinsel around the wheel spokes and foot pedals at Christmas seemed to attract a few smiles, as well as positive comments from other wheelchair users. I've recently invested in some motion activated blue flashy lights for the wheels (also Poundland), and they seem to be going down a treat too.

SueM in MN
01-06-2007, 02:15 PM
Along the same line as the stickers, I found the Poundland red, sparkly tinsel around the wheel spokes and foot pedals at Christmas seemed to attract a few smiles, as well as positive comments from other wheelchair users. I've recently invested in some motion activated blue flashy lights for the wheels (also Poundland), and they seem to be going down a treat too.
We meant to get some battery operated Christmas lights to put on my DD's wheelchair before our recent trip, but didn't get around to it. I didn't think of tinsel, but we could have used that.
I did see several people with flashy lights. I love those.

OneLittleSpark
01-06-2007, 02:41 PM
The lights I've got aren't Christmas ones, as such. They're designed for bikes and screw on over the air valve for the tires. They weren't very sensitive at first, then my dad took them apart and fiddled with them; now they light up almost as soon as you look at them :).

Michigan
01-06-2007, 02:52 PM
The lights I've got aren't Christmas ones, as such. They're designed for bikes and screw on over the air valve for the tires. They weren't very sensitive at first, then my dad took them apart and fiddled with them; now they light up almost as soon as you look at them :).


My oldest daughter had Mickey Mouse ones that we bought at WDW years ago. Now both girls have light up front wheels on their wheelchairs.

SueM in MN
01-06-2007, 03:31 PM
The lights I've got aren't Christmas ones, as such. They're designed for bikes and screw on over the air valve for the tires. They weren't very sensitive at first, then my dad took them apart and fiddled with them; now they light up almost as soon as you look at them :).
I've seen those. They won't work on any of my DD's wheelchairs because she has permanently sealed (foam filled) tires and doesn't have any air stems.
I do think those lights are really cool though.

edcrbnsoul
01-06-2007, 07:54 PM
My wife and I have saying your 3ft tall and invisible, we have people step over your footpegs when shopping. She always says I wish everyone could spend 1 day in a wheelchair it would open alot of eyes.

KPeveler
01-09-2007, 11:03 AM
I have chronic health problems, and other than looking pale and tragic (sorry, clue reference) I look normal. However, i cannot stand or walk for more than about 1-2 hrs without a significant rest (i.e. i cannot go see a show to rest, I need to be in a bed). so this time (my 6th wdw trip) i am going to swallow my pride and use a chair. i will most likely end up in a chair eventually, so i like prolonging the inevitable.

i am purposefully renting a chair from off property, a manual chair, because i feel like people in wdw chairs get it worse. its like "you cant really be disabled, you dont even have your own chair." because of my very small size, my feet wont reach the ground, so i can remove the footrests, which will help with moving. i also am getting a manual chair, so I can move myself some.

my bf is insisting that i use a chair, because he knows i will make myself very ill if i dont, or i wont enjoy the trip (and this might well be a honeymoon trip).

there are times i use crutches simply to have some extra support when i walk. I think i will get forearm crutches for disney, so when i can walk, i will.

this thread is both wonderful and depressing. using a wheelchair right now would improve my quality of life dramatically (even just in the mall), but the social stigma keeps me from getting one.

i think the drs visits, etc tire me more than the disease does!

OneLittleSpark
01-09-2007, 12:10 PM
I say get a wheelchair, have a brilliant time and don't worry about what a few narrow minded..... people think. Since I've had all my wreckages, I've tried wdw without a chair, I ended up sitting on the floor in Norway close to tears. It really isn't worth being miserable, when a chair could mean you have a wonderful and magical holiday free from excess pain and anxiety.

Bob_P
01-09-2007, 01:01 PM
invisible, we have people step over your footpegs when shopping.

When leaving a park you have people constantly cutting in front of you:cool1: . You see, I leave a little room when pushing my DW in her chair:woohoo: . Seems I have a problem, I can't just stop on a dime. It can take a foot to stop:scared1: . Sometimes it has literally taken a foot:lmao: . I remember one time in particular someone jumping infront of the foot rests and stopping dead. Can you say OUCH! :rotfl2: Sorry!, that's why I leave a little space! :flower3: Having your own chair is much better or renting offsite is much better than the hard wheeled ones you get at the park. Naumatic tires offer a much better ride.:idea: I put knobbies on her chair, the traction and ride are great. 99.9% of the CM are just superb. :banana:

slkant
01-09-2007, 01:37 PM
When we were in the parks, I kept saying that there was a fine line between forging your way ahead of the masses and mowing people down. I think the closest I came to mowing someone down was when someone literally came out of nowhere from behind me. Some people just seem to lose their brains in the parks.

I like the idea of adding lights to my wheels. For those who have done that, can you be more specific about what you found. The only bike lights I've found seem to go on the spokes of the wheel, but my electric wheelchair doesn't have spokes.

Bob_P
01-09-2007, 01:43 PM
Try JCWHITNEY. Look in the motorcycle section. They have several colors. I try not to mow anyone down. Always walk off to the side and a bit behind. But like you said some people just don't think. The chair is going to roll forward a bit when I try to stop, laws of physics. Most of the time now, we just wait or take the long way. Much easier.:dance3:

Cheshire Figment
01-09-2007, 02:25 PM
there are times i use crutches simply to have some extra support when i walk. I think i will get forearm crutches for disney, so when i can walk, i will.
Since you are going to be renting from offsite, tell the people you will be renting from that you will have the crutches and they will be able to includes crutch-holder clips on the chair.
this thread is both wonderful and depressing. using a wheelchair right now would improve my quality of life dramatically (even just in the mall), but the social stigma keeps me from getting one.
Please ask the following questions. Here are the suggested answers to go with them.

1. Are you disabled (even temporarily)? Yes.

2. Do the people you are travelling with, such as your family, know you are disabled? Yes.

3. Do you expect to meet anyone you know during this trip who may not know you are disabled. Probably No!

4. Do you expect to meet a bunch of people who you will probably never meet again in your life? Probably yes!

5. Is there any reason at all that you should care what these people think about you? Absolutely No!!

6. Will using a wheelchair or ECV make for a better vacation for you and your family? Absolutely YES!

KPeveler
01-09-2007, 03:28 PM
Sadly, my family knows very little. they know i get sick easily, and that i hurt, but they refuse to admit that anything is wrong. i have had little luck with drs, because they always want to "see what happens," and ignore the current symptoms :mad:

actually i am debating getting a wheelchair through 100wheelchair.com. you can get a chair as good as any you would rent, for around $100-$130. This way I can customize my chair, and make it fit me better (cushions, etc). :woohoo:

i have sadly had some problems within the disabled community, because i am not "disabled enough." i can walk, although not far, well, or without pain. my life is limited by my physical health, but since i can stand i am not disabled.

if someone wants to read a really good story about living with chronic illness, check out butyoudontlooksick.com

i've used chairs before, and i managed not to run anyone over... but i agree, some people don't know how to behave around those in chairs.

OneLittleSpark
01-09-2007, 03:45 PM
i have sadly had some problems within the disabled community, because i am not "disabled enough." i can walk, although not far, well, or without pain. my life is limited by my physical health, but since i can stand i am not disabled.

If you are “disabled enough” to benefit from a wheelchair, you are “disabled enough” to use a chair. Unfortunately there are a lot of narrow minded people in the world, both wheelchair users and able-bodied, who will judge others by a made-up set of standards they have in their heads. If you spend your life trying to measure up to everyone, you will always fall short. Live your life the way you think is best, however that may be, and let everyone else think what they like.

Many happy thoughts :goodvibes and much fairydust pixiedust:!

Bob_P
01-10-2007, 08:35 AM
Sadly, my family knows very little. they know i get sick easily, and that i hurt, but they refuse to admit that anything is wrong. i have had little luck with drs, because they always want to "see what happens," and ignore the current symptoms :mad: .

Sounds Familiar. My wife got sick often and ended up in the hospital several times. After finally getting to see an Endo. It was determined she had secondary Addison's. We now have that under control and I have injections for the critical times. Life is much better. :cheer2:

She has other porblems that cause the use of the wheelchair. But she can walk, Sometimes, it is a cane, others a walker or finally the chair. At Disney, she could walk some, but would be worn out within the hour and that would not make for an enjoyable day. On a good day. we use the chair to move around the parks. Then for the rides or sights, she gets up and walks. Sometimes she wants to walk and pushes the chair for support. :woohoo:

Many, Many people are disabled, but it is no obvious. Heart, skeletal, joints, illiness. So people are just naturally rude and crude. :headache:

KPeveler
01-10-2007, 08:51 AM
I just looked up what Addison's is, and that's me!!!! Does the treatment help?

Bob_P
01-10-2007, 08:56 AM
I just looked up what Addison's is, and that's me!!!! Does the treatment help?

Big time. Has not been in the hospital in over a year and it used to be 2 to 3 times a year. Send her a note, she would love to give you info and discuss it with you. dzinohio@adelphia.net Her name is Deanna. I wish you the best. :sick:

karice2
03-06-2013, 05:44 PM
I happened upon this thread while reading some other postings to prep for my next trip. Dad used an ECV on his last trip due to heart conditions and dystonia from his stroke. I didn't really run into any issues with people being rude. Could be because I had my 6'5" boyfriend there.

Just wanted to give this a bump because it is helpful. Dad also has aphasia so it is hard for him to make himself clearly understood but he is pretty fluent with the word NO. In fact it was one of the first words to come back after his stroke. Someone tried to bump him out of the way during Wishes and all I heard was No, No, NO, NO, NO. They moved.

My next trip I will be traveling with two ECV's. Pistol Packin Granny is going to be on a roll. Lord help anyone who gets in her way. Don't cut her off because she will run you over and give you a dirty look for being in her way. Should be interesting.