Saturday, March 26, 2011

The difficulties of managing a hidden disability

Dialogue with a lady on a bus -22-3-2011

I was on a connecting bus which ran from Hatfield Station to the University of Hertfordshire Campus. The bus was quite empty when I boarded it and I needed to be somewhere the bus driver could make eye contact with me to tell me where to get off the bus. I was just sitting there minding my own business when the following happened. (IK is myself, L =lady)

L:             Oh my good God (heaving shopping), “Why are you sitting in my seat?”

IK:           “Excuse me”?

L:             “You are not disabled, why are you sitting in my seat?”

IK:           “How do you know I am not disabled?”

L:             “Because you don’t have a stick!”

IK:           “There are hidden disabilities, and just because I haven’t got a stick doesn’t mean to say I am not disabled!”

L:             “Well, you are in my seat!” (keeps leaning her hand across to IK onto the window). “I think you are being really difficult!!”

IK:           “I don’t think I am being difficult. I am sitting on this seat because it is near the driver so he can tell me where to get off the bus. The bus was empty a few stops ago and there are still plenty of other seats.”

L:             “Stop looking at my road!!!”

IK:           “I am just looking out of the window!”

L:             “Oh my good God…..!”

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