Friday, December 5, 2008

The Amazing Wheelchair Race

I'm not a big proponent of those events where they simulate disabilities for a half hour or whatever, for a number of reasons. But this YouTube video was kind of interesting.

It shows a group of able bodied friends using a wheelchair to race through a house to see who can go fastest and/or match the time of the wheelchair user. Every person had a different reaction - one guy didn't finish after falling down, for example, while another was determined to beat the time. Although it's important to keep in mind that the experience of using a wheelchair every day is much different than these one time attempts, I think the video is useful for remembering one thing: when people assume how hard it is to live with a disability, sometimes that assumption is based on the perception of a person new to the experience and equipment.

On the other hand, this video also shows how barriers in the environment are the main reason getting around is tough.


FridaWrites said...

Great illustration--I love these videos you find! Notice on doors that don't close automatically that she turns to face the door to close it, as I must do; most of us who are disabled don't have the strength/flexibility to close a door by bending backward or would injure ourselves by doing it often. For the most part barriers slow me down, or the inability to get around because I can't even get into a building or office (can't open the door).

It does take a lot of work to use a wheelchair or scooter--even electric equipment. It's ironic how people joke about speeding--rare is the time I can turn the speed up.

Wheelie Catholic said...

Frida- doors are the bane of my existence lately. Ones that are heavy in particular.

I agree it's rare that I can turn the speed up.

I'm also starting to think that pictures explain things better than words at times.