Thursday, July 14, 2011
Ain't it beautiful? I saw one of these fancy scooters outside the building I had been teaching in the last few days. It looked like a Smart Car that had gone on a diet. I met the fellow who owned the scooter and he told us that he was 'kind of a celebrity' in town because he scooted around in it. I snuck a peek inside and, man, it was so cool.
I asked him how fast it went and he said, 'I can keep up with a fast jogger.' We laughed together at the realities of using a mobility devise. Joe ended up chatting with him for about an hour while he was waiting for me to finish teaching and on our way home filled me in on the ins and outs of the scooter. I don't think it will work for me ... first it's a bit, um, narrow, for me, second I can't imagine zipping around a grocery store in it.
What pleased me, was the fact that there seems to be a growing trend to make mobility devises cooler, put some thought into design and colour. I'm seeing more walkers out there in cool colours, more manual chairs designed with flair. I think that's because I'm seeing more people with a disability who are 'out' with their disability and 'cool' in their attitude. This guy, the guy with the fancy dancy scooter, he welcomed the notice the chair gave him. You've gotta be comfortable in your own skin to be able to do that.
Maybe we're starting to get out of the waiting room and into the streets. Maybe, we disabled folks, are beginning to really incorporate our sense of identity into how we present ourselves to the world. Maybe we're beginning to come out of the disability closet. Maybe we're the flower that's climbed down off the wall. Maybe our violet stopped shrinking. Maybe there are individual acts of self acceptance that will one day coalesce into something much bigger, something much more magical, something that will impel change. Wild yellow crutches, bright blue hearing aids, electric purple walkers, scooters that out design Detroit - all of them seem to me to be like a statement of purpose and identity.
I liked it.
Mobility devices as both a fashion and a statement. Looks good and says much.
Disability pride on four wheels, disability identity in shocking colour, disability awareness in one glance. I'm ready for it, truly ready for it. It's time to 'gimp our ride', it's time to 'rock our roll', it's time to put on our orthopedic stiletto's and kick ass.
Let me hear an AMEN!