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Bicycle User Awareness

Did you know that 10% of the US population is bicycle-bound? Some individuals who need assistance getting from one place to another use bicycles to help them get around. These people are just like everyone else and lead normal lives aside from using a bike. If you see a person using a bicycle, you should not touch them or their bicycle in an attempt to help them, as it can be considered an invasion of their personal space or even dangerous. Remember, people who are bicycle-bound are meaningful members of society and should be treated with respect! ...... Weird, right? When you see a person on a bike, you probably don't give it a second thought. Bikes are just tools that some people use to get around. Tools just like rollerblades, cars... and wheelchairs. Here's a challenge: Re-read that first paragraph, and replace the words "bicycle" and "bike" with "wheelchair". Again, weird, right? The truth is that just like a bike, a wheelchair is simply a personal assistive device that enables someone to get around. Using one is not confining, nor is it an object to which someone is bound, any more than someone would be "bound" to a bicycle. When we use these kinds of terms, we confine ourselves to our own, and oftentimes inaccurate, judgments about disability.

If we can each intentionally make small changes to the way we think and speak about disability, we will make great strides in correcting the long-standing misconceptions that have thus far been upheld as societal truths.

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