Was This Wheelchair-Bound Student Wrong For Asking Her Teacher To Stop Pointing Out Her Disability?

For people who don’t have a ton of firsthand experience being around or working with people with disabilities, there can definitely be a learning curve while figuring out the appropriate way to navigate the day-to-day.

How can we learn, though, if the people who are living their lives with disabilities feel as if it’s rude to speak up and correct us when we’re wrong?

Of course, not everyone is up for learning a better way, and perhaps that’s why this wheelchair-bound student felt like they might have been in the wrong after correcting a teacher who continually made comments about her wheelchair.

OP (Original Poster) is a wheelchair user and has had the same chair for 7 years. She’s currently saving up to buy a new chair, but in the meantime, she’s been made aware (often and repeatedly) by an English teacher that hers is beat up and makes a “distracting” noise in class.

I’m 18f, have a pretty messed up pair of legs, have had since birth, I can walk but am an ambulatory wheelchair user. I’m currently due an upgrade for my chair, I’ve had it close to 7 years and it’s a bit messed up. It’s gotten pretty uncomfortable and it makes noise but like I said, I’ve had it 7 years and I’ve grown rather attached to it. We’re saving to pay for the new one at the moment.

I have one teacher, my English teacher, who constantly makes comments about how banged up looking it is, and gets pretty pissed any time I dare move and it makes noise. She says it’s distracting. The comments about the appearance of the chair annoy me a lot because it’s hardly going to look brand new after 7 years of constant use.

OP lost her cool finally and told the teacher that if it bothered her so much, perhaps she’d like to pony up the dough for a new one.

The teacher seemed slightly chastised.

She made a comment this morning along the lines of “You know, you should really get a new one, that one looks like it’s about to collapse under you”.

I got really mad about this and I said, “You know what, if you think I should get a new chair so bad, you can pay the nearly 4 grand it’s gonna cost or you can stop making nasty comments about something that literally doesn’t affect you.”

A boy in her class, though, thought she didn’t need to be that rude – not everyone knows how these processes work, right?

She didn’t really look at me until the end of the class but the boy who sits besides me said it was slightly a**holish as she probably didn’t realize how difficult the process was.


Reddit’s getting ready to weigh in on whether or not this young lady was in the wrong, so let’s see what they had to say!

They pointed out that a teacher commenting on a student’s lacking in any physical area really points to a lack of training and empathy in the first place.

Image Credit: Reddit

Most agreed the teacher was in the wrong, and needed to be educated.

Image Credit: Reddit

No one likes distracting noises, but it’s the adult’s job to realize what’s in a kid’s control and what is not.

Image Credit: Reddit

And in case you’re wondering, this is America. Of course her wheelchair is not covered by insurance.

Image Credit: Reddit

Some things need to be discussed in private.

Image Credit: Reddit

The girl could have been more tactful, but it sounds as if her frustrations were building up to a boiling point, and just finally exploded.

Given the imbalance of power in this relationship, it’s a no-brainer that the teacher, not the kid, is the a$$hole.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments!