Wheelchair Etiquette 101

1. My wheelchair is a part of me. It acts as my legs and as an extension of my body. “Moving me out of the way” is rude. Would you pick some stranger up and move them out of your way in the middle of a grocery store? That’s basically what you are doing if you move me out of your way. There are exceptions to this rule (like at taekwondo), but they are few.

2. Please do not step over me or my wheelchair. It is incredibly uncomfortable for me and I don’t want you falling on me.

3. When someone else is with me, ask questions about me to me, not to the other person. I can hear and respond to you. Also, bending down to talk to me, just please don’t do it!

4. Please don’t step in front of me, walk behind, or suddenly stop in front of me. If I am trying to go up a hill or other grade, I need to carry speed to get me where I need to go. Stopping a wheelchair suddenly is challenging and it wears the tires out faster. I can’t always see directly behind me, so please don’t stand too close behind me.

​5. If I look like I’m struggling and you want to help, please ask. Even if I don’t need help, I appreciate the offer.

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