Wheelchairs may be incredibly handy devices, but in one area they completely fail is getting through crowds. Wheelchairs are low to the ground and square, meaning they’re terribly difficult to get through crowds full of tall upright beings.
The main reason being is well, people rarely look down and notice us. It’s a terrible state of affairs, and you don’t have to be in a wheelchair long to experience this. Just spend 5 minutes in an area thick with humans and you’ll see just how invisible we are (to some).
Unfortunately…this means anywhere that’s crowded – concerts, festivals, work events, school events – we have a tough go at it. But there’s good news. We can learn how to get through a crowd without being frazzled.
To become a connoisseur of crowds on wheels, check out our three videos below!
Video #1: Riding a Crowded London Bus
Our first video is where no one in a wheelchair ever wants to be – on a crowded public city bus at rush hour – and this video comes from a wheelchair-user in London with cerebral palsy doing just that.
In this video, you see several strollers taking up the wheelchair accessible spaces on the bus, forcing her to park her wheelchair in the exit, which is a serious fire hazard.
Things gets even worse when she has to exit the bus briefly to let the strollers out and the bus driver doesn’t realize she exited, and tries to bring up the ramp while she is still on it (scary!).
Video #2: Surf Over Those Walkers
If you use a power wheelchair and go to concerts, you know how hard it can be getting through those alcohol-soaked music, lovin’ crowds. Even when you use a manual wheelchair it’s difficult. When you’re lower than everyone else in the venue, you are invisible.
While the party atmosphere definitely doesn’t help in people noticing us, this video reveals another cool thing that can happen when you’re at certain shows and the crowds are too much (yet the concertgoers feel for you; you would never see this at a jazz concert) – wheelchair crowd surfing.
Video #3: All We See Is a Sea of Butts
Another big pet-peeve of wheelchair-users is the constant view we get wherever we go, and it can be really good or really bad depending on who you’re looking at – people’s backsides. And it gets really dicey when you’re in a crowd. Sometimes you wish your wheelchair just came with blinders.
In this short first-person perspective from a wheelchair user, you get to be a voyeur and see what it’s like to be in a wheelchair while being pushed through a busy European street. People pass left and right, avoiding eye contact, but it doesn’t matter, all you can see is their butt or crotch anyways. heh.
Love them or hate them, crowds are a fact of life, but now that you’re a wheelchair user don’t let them stop by. It may take a horn to get through the sea of people, but it’s worth it if you can get out and life your life just as you want it.
How do you get through a crowd in a wheelchair?
Watch the videos!