To use a Scooter or not to use a Scooter

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the following: “People-watching at Disneyland I wonder many things. For example, is the wide availability of personal “scooters” (for rent) addressing the symptoms of a problem, or causing it”.

Which made me think perhaps they have a point, if any of you have liked my Facebook page: you know that I have posted about West Edmonton Mall and there Scooter/Wheelchair Policy: some would say ad nauseam. If a Mall or any venue want to charge for the use of a Scooter or Wheelchair then in my view they do not want my business.  Interesting to note that nowhere on the website do they mention that the scooters or wheelchairs are for the use of their customers with mobility issues.  Instead they say “Walking around North America’s largest shopping centre can tire you out!”   All say!!!!!!  That is why I would need a scooter when in that Mall, but I digress.

The Facebook post also reminded me of an article I posted on my page some time ago There is no delicate way to write about or discuss this issue without coming across as being insensitive however one can’t always be political correct, sometimes the truth needs to be told and from many different perspectives, my perspective not be like many others but it is mine and I will own it.

Granted many disabilities are hidden nor does everyone with a physical disability use walking aids.  Having said that it is very frustrating when I have had to wait upwards of a half hour to 45 minutes for the use of a scooter at a grocery store that only has one available as a courtesy to their customers with a physical disability.  This becomes even more frustrating when you notice the person who was using the scooter before you returning the scooter doesn’t appear to have a physical disability; in fact they look like they could use some exercise; that’s right I said it.  Why do I say that consider that when a staff member asks them if they need assistance carrying their groceries out they tell the staff that they can manage, really 6-8 grocery bags and you can manage even though you have a physical disability, well must be nice.  As a person with a physical disability there are certain signs that a person is physically disabled yes one of them is needing a scooter or wheelchair to help with running errands, certainly one who requires the need of walking aids, but at the end of the day if you require the use of a scooter at the mall or grocery store doesn’t it stands to reason that you would need assistance with carrying your 6-8 grocery bags?

I don’t want to get into a debate as to whether someone who is overweight is physically disabled, I believe it will take away from the point I am trying to make. Do I believe that physical disability can stem from being overweight; I certainly do.  Can a person with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida or a myriad of other debilitating disabilities that people are born with every day take there’s back; of course not.

I have brought this issue to the attention of staff but if they refuse the use of a courtesy scooter or wheelchair to someone the company opens themselves up to a Human Rights Complaint.

Unfortunately accessibility has been designed to accommodate those who use wheelchairs only and not those who use other walking aids like canes, crutches or walkers, disappointing considering that we have an aging population that will find it difficult to get around.

Lesson for today is if you need to run errands at the Mall or get groceries at the local Market and are feeling tired but you really need to get these tasks done and you get tempted to use a courtesy scooter please keep in mind that there are people who really need to get the same tasks done but may have a physical disability; please be kind and leave the wheelchairs and scooters for those who really need them.

Oh and before I forget I should mention that I noticed recently that IKEA now has courtesy scooters available for their customers who need them; FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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