The Wheelchair Experiment
Why do people feel that it is acceptable to judge others? Why is it so difficult to lend a helping hand? During my brief time in a wheelchair, I discovered that hate and judgment towards individuals with disabilities still exists. For this project, I visited a local Target location and used a motorized wheelchair to navigate around the store. Through my time in a wheelchair, I discovered how difficult life could be if I were dependent on a wheelchair. As an able bodied adult, I did not like being immobile. My new found immobility left me feeling judged and alone in the world.
At the age of twenty-four years old, I have never felt more judgment in my entire life than I did while I was in Target. I got many glances from children, and some adults glared at me as though it was my fault that I was in a wheelchair. I completely understood the daily challenges that go along with being disabled. Simple tasks like going to the restroom, trying on clothes, and reaching the top shelf for items became stressful and tiring. These tasks were made even more difficult when able bodied adults were not willing to assist me.
Within the first thirty minutes, I had attempted to use the restroom and the fitting rooms. These were probably the most difficult tasks I attempted. While trying to get into the restroom, I noticed an employee laughing at me. Once he realized that I noticed him, he immediately stopped. Because the employee made me feel ridiculed, I left the area and did not go back. Shortly after the restroom incident, I attempted to use one of the fitting rooms. While attempting to use the fitting room, I noticed that the employee at the counter was not very helpful. She was not willing to remove carts that were obstructing the pathway. The fitting rooms clearly have handicap access, but because of the employee’s unwillingness to assist me I was unable to take advantage of these facilities. The situation left me feeling so uncomfortable,...
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