When you’re talking to someone in a wheelchair eventually you forget they’re even in the wheelchair. When you forget sometimes that can lead to some awkward situations when you use an expression that is insensitive to wheelchaired individuals. It’s good to treat them like anyone else, but you have to be somewhat aware of what you’re saying at all times to avoid insulting or offending people. Here are the top 10 popular expressions to never use around a person in a wheelchair:
1. “Let’s roll!”
This is a phrase that has gained a lot of popularity since 9/11 when it was famously said by one of the brave men who attempted to take back control of the cockpit from the hijackers. However, unless you’re good friends with the person in the wheelchair they may take offense to this phrase.
Politically correct substitute: “Let’s go.”
2. “We’re not really seeing eye-to-eye on this issue.”
The inappropriate nature of this comment applies to dwarfs as well. Unless they have a really tall wheelchair that sit them exactly at average human height level, you’ll want to avoid using this verbiage.
Politically correct substitute: “I don’t agree with you.”
3. “I want to know where I stand with you.”
Sometimes when your relationship with a person in a wheelchair is in an ambiguous state, possibly because you’ve accidentally used one of the previous two phrases and they’ve been offended, you might want to ask “Where do I stand with you?” That of course would only compound the problem.
Politically correct substitute: “Do you hate me?”
4. “Get on your feet!”
This is a phrase you really only yell out if you’re an emcee or singer at a concert or some type of large venue event where people are seated. Of course what these idiots don’t realize is there may be some people with wheelchairs in the audience and this severely alienates them.
Politically correct substitute: “Make some noise!”
5. “I’ll help you get a leg up against the competition.”
When you’re trying to help a person in a wheelchair do better at something like a wheelchair race it’s best never to use the phrase a “Leg up.” It shouldn’t even be offensive, but people will still look at you weird whenever you mention legs around a person in a wheelchair.
Politically correct substitute: “I can help improve your performance.”
6. “Stand your ground.”
Ever since George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin there’s been a lot of talk about “Stand Your Ground” laws. Apparently the lawmakers didn’t have people in wheelchairs in mind when they named it. Of course folks in WCs have just as much right to defend themselves with guns so let’s include them in this.
Politically correct substitute: “You’re allowed to shoot people in self defense.”
7. “My leg just fell asleep.”
No one cares when your leg falls asleep especially if they’re paralyzed from the waist down. As far as they’re concerned that’s just a simple taste of what they have to deal with 24/7 so it’s best not to complain in their presence.
Politically correct substitute: (Just don’t say anything).
8. “Rim job.”
We all know the phrase “Rim job” is meant to connote the act of anilingus, but if you say this to someone in a wheelchair they may think you’re offering to change their drive wheels.
Politically correct substitute: “Oral stimulation of the anus.”
10. “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”
When someone in a wheelchair is talking a big game you may be tempted to say “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk.” This of course is a terrible question to ask. What started as a playful challenge became a rotten and ignorant insult.
Politically correct substitute: “You’re talking a lot of shit, Wheels!”
|Wheelchairs are just transportation methods. They don't define a person. Even if they have a kickass umbrella attached to them.|