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These wheelchair users say people accuse them of faking their disability


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Earlier this week, the hashtag #AmbulatoryWheelchairUsersExist has been trending on Twitter.

An ambulatory wheelchair user is defined as someone who is able to walk unaided for some of the time but uses a wheelchair to assist with day-to-day activities in certain circumstances.

The Twitter campaign #AmbulatoryWheelchairUsersExist was started by people sharing their stories and photos relating to their experiences as ambulatory wheelchair users.

Speaking to TNS, Chloe Tear, an award-winning blogger and disability activist told us she was pleased about the hashtag's performance:

'I absolutely love that the hashtag is going viral. It is such an important topic…It also reminds part-time wheelchair users that they are not alone with what they face.'

Chloe further spoke of discrimination she has faced being a part-time wheelchair user: 

'People are shocked if I stand up or tell me I am making it up. It is because of these attitudes that awareness needs to be raised and I hope this hashtag does just that.

'We are the same person whether we are stood up or sat down, this is our way of managing our disability or condition.'

Users have commented on the freedom that a wheelchair gives them when out and about for prolonged periods of time. 

However, some Twitter users highlighted the discrimination they have faced in not having to use their wheelchair all of the time, often being accused of faking their disability.

Ambulatory wheelchair user Joy told TNS what they would like others to know:

'No, I'm not faking it because you saw me walk the other day. I simply have a disability that makes me have good and bad days. I will not apologise for walking on my good days and using my chair on my bad days.'

Join in the discussion using the #AmbulatoryWheelchairUsersExist hashtag here.

Featured image courtesy of Chloe Tear

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