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15 Things You Should Never Say to Someone in a Wheelchair


As growing collegiettes you are probably becoming more in tune with the world, and that means meeting people of different races, wealth statuses, creeds and abilities. Often times that last difference is treated with worse stigma than most, even though you probably have met someone who is deaf or perhaps pushed your grandparent in their wheelchair. Like with most minority groups, something that you may not have meant to be offensive comes across that way, especially when dealing with a stranger whose difference in ability you are trying to understand. While many things are personal to the person and their ability, here are a few things probably not to say someone in a wheelchair.

1. Don’t you have fun going down ALL the ramps?

Do you have fun walking down 20 flights of stairs?

2. I had to use a wheelchair before for three weeks when I broke my leg!

3. I bet you get special treatment all the time.

Too bad that “special treatment” doesn’t mean getting out of final exams.

4. Do you sleep downstairs since you can’t walk upstairs?

5. I will pray for you.

Shouldn’t you pray for everyone?

6. It must be relaxing to sit all the time!

I guess that’s because able-bodied people never get the opportunity to sit down?

7. I wish I were in a wheelchair so that I would always have an excuse to use the elevator instead of the stairs.

8. Do you know my brother’s ex-girlfriend’s cousin? He’s in a wheelchair, too!

9. What places are wheelchair friendly?

10. What should I call you? Crippled, disabled or in a wheelchair?

Um, call me by my name...

11. Is ableism a real thing?

Just as real as racism and sexism.

12. How do you go to the bathroom?

You really want that explanation…?

13. I bet you get great parking!

Yeah, even though people who don’t have a disability often use it to their advantage and at my expense!

14. You do realize that sitting most of the time is bad for you?


Because you are only talking to the person who is currently pushing me.


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