Sunday, April 27, 2014

Scammer or Truly Disabled?

 A recent blog post on ( discussed the top ten things not to do in Disney World. While the blog post did not discuss scooter or wheelchair use, many of the commenters did.

I read over and over how people hated to see those who don't need a scooter or wheelchair using one in Disney World just to cut the line.

First of all, Disney generally send scooters through the regular queue, but if they cannot go through the regular line, the scooter will be sent elsewhere to wait. Many times the handicapped person and all in their party are waiting longer than the regular line. A few times the wait is shorter.

My question for those who made the derogatory remarks, How do you know the person is scamming? One woman stated she saw a couple who were sharing a scooter so they were obviously faking it. Perhaps one has heart disease and the other has disabling arthritis. It's possible they could each walk some distance, but cannot walk the entire park.

A couple of other people commented that almost everyone who uses a scooter is obese and lazy. My question for these people: How do you know? Maybe they are obese because of limited mobility. Perhaps they've been on high dose steroids for a long period which cause weight gain?
I've heard people complain about those who use handicapped parking permits and aren't "disabled". While there are people who may not need it, how many have invisible disabilities and are doing well just to go to the grocery store?
Many illnesses are not obvious, but they are no less disabilities. Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriatic Arthritis, heart disease, and even severe osteoarthritis are a few . Just because someone doesn't appear disabled, doesn't mean they aren't.
I realize many disabilities are invisible and many do not realize how devastating an illness like Lupus can be. Perhaps the next time you see someone who "obviously isn't disabled" you'll think about the invisible illnesses and give the person the benefit of the doubt.