An Insult to People with Disabilities

OK.  How do I write this?

Maybe two weeks back, I had an incident with the school librarian.  First off, there are sidewalks all over campus.  I use them to go from building to building.  Now it was a rainy day and I was going to the library to do some work.  My aide and I get settled to do some work when we see the librarian wiping up the mud tracks.  She was looking all over to see where all of the mud came from.

My aide excuses herself and confronts the woman.  “Excuse me.  Is there a problem?”

“Oh no no no.  I was just wondering where all of the mud came from.”

“Yeah, well, there is a girl in a wheelchair over there.  It’s from her wheelchair.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.  I didn’t know…”

“You didn’t know?  Maybe you should check your surroundings next time.”

I left the library feeling unwelcome in a workplace that should be utilized by everyone regardless of what abilities or disabilities they have.  My aide wrote a letter to the Office of Disabilities complaining about that.  But it is like the old saying: “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  But I might tweak it to, “If you can’t do anything nice, don’t do anything at all”.

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