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Please don't stare
by TeenHelp June 30th 2020, 10:03 PM

Please don't stare
By Emma (Golfing girl)

What do you do when you see someone in a wheelchair? Do you stare at them or do you keep walking by and mind your own business? When someone is in a wheelchair it can be from a horrible accident, they can have a physical injury, for example they are paralyzed or they have a cancerous tumor growth or an infection or frostbite. When someone is in a wheelchair it is not only hard on them but also their family too. They may need your help to get around and some days are harder than others.

There are different kinds of wheelchairs, you have the ones that you have to push. That one is hard because people do not think about snow. When it snows it is so hard because pushing a wheelchair in it is like moving cement. Sometimes the wheelchair can get stuck and you have to push them with all of your strength to get inside the building. To put this in your vehicle, push the back of the wheelchair and it can fold in half, get low into a squat and pick it up. This one can weigh from 15 to 50 pounds.

Next you have the wheelchairs that are automatic. They have a hand grip to use to make them work. You use the hand grip to go forward or backwards or to turn around and they can also have trouble with the snow. Their tires are bigger so they will not get stuck as much. Their weights start at 150 pounds and go up depending on how big they are, and their cost starts around 1,000 dollars and up. For them to get in the vehicle they have to have a special kind that has a built in ramp to get in the vehicle. If you park too close to this vehicle they will not be able to get into the vehicle.

Then you have the sport wheelchairs, these are for people who can use their arms and still want to play sports, for example tennis and basketball. The wheels turn in and are on an angle so that when they are playing the game they can turn around fast and keep going. They start at around 1,500 and can go up to 4,000 dollars. Their weight is around 25 to 250 pounds.

In the USA, it is law that every single place has to have wheelchair access. That means the blue spaces in front of the building will have a blue line. You have to have a handicap plate or sign to park in that spot or you will get a 500 dollar fine and if you keep doing it then you can go to jail for 30 days. You also have to have some kind of wheelchair ramp or a flat floor for them to use.

When you see someone in a wheelchair we do not want to stare at them because it is not nice and they already do not like being in one. Just because you are in one you can still go out and have fun. At the movies they have a whole area for wheelchairs, and restaurants have areas to get them around the tables so you can have fun with your friends and family. Some people who are in wheelchairs can drive, the driver seat comes out for the wheelchair and it locks into the floor and the steering wheel has hand grips on it so that you can drive. A lot of the people who are in wheelchairs have a hard time opening bathroom doors in restaurants, grocery stores, Home Depot, Sam's Club and other places because of how heavy the doors are. So they have to keep pulling on the door until it opens or ask someone for help. Some businesses say they have handicap access for everyone, but that is not true, the doors are too small and they are not able to get into the building. So they have to wait outside while everyone else goes in or find another store that they are able to get into.

When you are at the mall and you would like to get something to eat and you do not have anyone with you, you will have to put your food in your lap and find a table to sit at. People will walk in front of you and you need to try not to drop or spill your food. If you are slow at moving, some people will talk about you and some people will ask to help you out. Just because you see someone in a wheelchair doesn't mean they can't do anything, they have so much in them that others don't realize.
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