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My mom was diagnosed with a chronic debilitating disease when I was 8 years old. She now uses a wheelchair for public outings, which makes going places difficult. It becomes increasingly difficult during the holiday season because the regulations set forth by the American Disability Act allow minimal space for wheelchair users. People, running kids, strollers, and other obstacles further reduce the already minuscule space provided.
I understand that seeing a disabled person isn't a common experience. However, some act as if my mom is carrying a contagious deadly disease. Rarely is the reaction one you would give a normal, mobile person. I understand the world can't be shaped for me and my mother's convenience, just as it isn't for mobile people. However, they do have the upper hand when it comes to performing tasks, like going shopping.
I'm not asking for a change in regulations; they will continue to be that way. However, people can choose to respond in any manner they please, whether it's positive or negative. All I ask is that the next time you see a disabled person you think about your reaction. Maybe take a step out of the way, or if they're experiencing difficulty lend a hand and possibly restore some of their faith, because at the end of the day that might just be what the doctor ordered.