Yesterday, again, I was caused to pause and think because of a comment made and a question asked. This time it was 'John R' who left this question:
Question and advice please!
I was at a rock and roll show this
past week and was standing in "the pit". It was fairly crowded and lots
of people were standing at the stage,belly-up. The stage was at approx
four feet high.....In comes a young man, with a high tech power
wheelchair, using a respirator and with a ton of adaptive stuff
attached. He was with who appeared to be his parents. He was assisted
in to the pit and slowly made his way to about 10 feet from the stage.
This is a very loud and raucous rock and roll band who was performing
and this fellow was obviously, like me, appreciative of loud and rockin'
music. Lots of dancing and cheering and moshing (that is like dancing
....several people moved from his way so he had at
least a slight view to the stage but a few people were oblivious to his
presence, stood in front of him and moved in front of him and
occasionally bumped his chair, his adaptive equipment and were just
plain rude. A few times I saw his companions move him one way or
another, but he continued to stay for the show, watched the racy dancing
going on to his left side and seemed to have a good time.
is my question, should I have asked the rude and oblivious people in
front of him, after I conferred with him, to step aside so he could have
a complete view of the stage. At his level and height in the chair, he
was blocked. He did not seem to mind but I know if I was in his vantage
point for the show I would have been disappointed. Should I have
advocated with/for him??
On person responded to John and I thought I'd like to hear more ~ what do you all think? What is your criteria for entering in and speaking up? What would you have done in this situation?
I like to think through these situations either in my life or in the experience of others ... it gives me a chance to prepare a bit for next time.
Because there is always a next time.
I want to add a wrinkle to John's question though ... would it make a difference, regarding intervention, if the person intervening was a non-disabled person or a disabled person? I'm curious about that because, occasionally when another disable person has spoken up when I've been taken aback by something - I've received that assistance in a different way than I might if the person assisting was non-disabled. I'm not sure of that ... but I think, for me, it might make a difference.
So, time to have a big ol discussion.