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.

2 comments:

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.