Friday, 24 March 2017

6 Acts of Kindness I'm Grateful For As A Disabled Person


I'm first to call-out injustice, crap accessibility, ableism and ignorance. As a disabled person, I experience negativity a lot and it's really difficult. But I wanted to dedicate this post to the other side of that, I want to tip my hat and wheel spin to those people that are considerate, that do help disabled people, and are often overlooked.

A lot of the times, in all aspects of life, it's really easy to forget the small acts of kindness that take place on a daily basis. They're usually not that monumental because they're so commonplace that you forget they happen; someone holds a door for you, gives you a compliment, pulls out your chair etc.

But when it comes to disability, I try to remember (who am I kidding, I write them down in my phone as my memory is absolutely awful) when someone has gone out of their way to help me out. It's probably a non-subject to these lovely people, they've most likely done something they'd do for anyone but for this disabled person, it was a big deal and it made me regain a little bit of faith in humanity.

I thought I'd just share a few things that have happened recently that made me smile and thank these strangers for their kindness.


  1. The man on the train
    I was travelling to London and was in the wheelchair space. My boyfriend was with me but was sat across the aisle listening to music so I could have been potentially on my own. Anyway, as we were pulling into St Pancras the man asked if I needed him to get anyone to help me off the train, or was there any way in which he could help. I thanked him for offering and told him someone would be meeting me. I've been on a lot of train journeys and nobody has ever asked me if I needed any help before. I thought it was a really lovely gesture and appreciated it so much.

  2. The woman on the train
    On the way home from St Pancras, we got on a smaller train and the carriage wasn't wide enough for my wheelchair. I luckily had my crutches and it was only a few steps to the disabled seats, however they were occupied. As soon as the woman that was sat there saw me, she instantly picked up her belongings and moved a few rows behind. I thanked her profusely and she told me, 'it was absolutely fine.' So thankful.

  3. The receptionist at my doctors surgery
    At my GP surgery the receptionist counters are obnoxiously high, if you're under five feet there's absolutely no way of being able to see the receptionist that you're talking to. And being in a wheelchair means I usually end up talking to a piece of wood. To the left of the main counter there's a lower counter with a window, but none of the staff sit there. However there is always a lovely receptionist that gets up from her seat and takes me around to the lower counter every time, so she can actually see me and I can see her when I book in/pick up prescription etc. This makes me feel like I matter and I always hope she's at work whenever I go to my doctors.

  4. The shop assistant at Sayers
    I recently spent a week up north with my family, and after picking my 4 year old nephew up from nursery we went to get some lunch. I had my backpack hanging off the back of my wheelchair and it's quite difficult to get into without help. My nephew is a great little assistant but he's not very skilled at packing. After we ordered drinks, cakes, and a pasty, the shop assistant asked me if I wanted help putting everything in my bag. She came out from behind the counter, showed my nephew how to put everything in my bag, zipped it up and didn't blink. I was extremely grateful; she was not only really lovely to me but she was great with Kaine.

  5. The woman on the street
    The same day as above, I took Kaine to the park after lunch and as we were walking/wheeling home he needed a drink. His bottle was in my backpack which he could retrieve but he couldn't zip the bag back up. A woman was walking towards us and I asked if she could help. My actual words were, 'I realise this is a strange request, but could you possibly help the little guy close my bag, please?' She checked my nephew had closed the lid on his drink and fastened my backpack. I never usually ask for help, especially when it's a complete stranger, so not only was this a big achievement for me, but it was received with such warmth and politeness. Hopefully I encounter more lovely people like that woman in the future.

  6. The shop assistant at Costco
    I went to Costco with my brother and my nephew (the kid doesn't leave me alone) whilst I was at home, and after wandering around the store I needed the toilet. Of course, Kaine came with me and when we got to the disabled toilet neither of us could open it as the door was too heavy. Little bud pulled at it as much as he could but we simply couldn't get it open enough for me to wheel into. Luckily a store assistant was going to the toilets and held the door for us. She also asked if I'd need help once I'd used the bathroom, which I did. So she went to the cubicles, and Kaine and I had a wee, as I was washing my hands she knocked on the door to say she was back and would wait for us until we needed her. I found this extremely kind and couldn't thank her enough for her help.

I realise these 6 little things might not be a big deal but they had an impact on my day for the better. They made things easier for me, made me feel like I mattered and just genuinely made me smile. They also gave me hope that if I did go out on my own there'd be people willing to assist if I needed it. 

Thank you.

12 comments:

  1. This is so refreshing to read, these simple acts of kindness can have such a lasting impact. I'm glad these people were around when you needed them most!

    Dalal
    monochromedaisies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was such a lovely read. It reminds me of the nice things people have done for me too when I've been in my wheelchair or using crutches. In a world where people can be very unkind and unhelpful it's nice to remember the good things that happen too.
    Kate x
    Www.kateiscoveting.wordpress.com

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    Replies
    1. Definitely, so important to talk about the good things too x

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  3. I loved this post, Sarah! Sometimes people are afraid to offer help, but it's all about asking before assuming and putting yourself in the other person's wheels, as it were! I know that you do face a lot of frustration, and I'm glad to see that there are lots of cases where people treat you with the respect and kindness you deserve. Little things mean a lot!

    Www.whatlyddid.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it. I've just been seeing a lot of 'doom and gloom' when it comes to disability lately and it can be really scary for those newly diagnosed so wanted to let everyone know that there are some nice people out there x

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  4. This is really lovely. I was searching for experiences of using a wheelchair a few days back (before using one for the first time myself), and everything was about stigma, and people looking at you weird and being rude. Whilst of course that happens and needs to be spoken about too, it was scary as a first-time wheelchair user that noone seemed to have anything positive to say. Wish I'd read this beforehand!

    Caroline
    https://potsandspoonsblog.wordpress.com/

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you didn't find this sooner and I hope you have many good experiences in your chair x

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  5. I love this! I'm a wheelchair user, have been since I was 4, and where I live, the train station doesn't have a lift. So, whenever my mum and I go to the train station, there is always someone offering help with my manual chair or even helping us with it without speaking. It always regains my faith in humanity.

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    Replies
    1. That's so lovely. I'm glad someone helps.

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  6. This was such a lovely post to read! It's a nice reminder that there are still lots of wonderful, kind people in the world :) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most definitely. I thought it was necessary since all we hear about is negativity x

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