Dear humanity far and wide,

Last weekend my mother flew in from out of state to attend my graduation. I cannot begin to convey enough how much this meant to me. After the ceremony we made plans to go see the Mall of America. My mom has never been and of course I wanted to have her witness one of Minnesota's "landmarks". I am not sure if it was the location or if this happens often at the Mall of America but I was shocked at how RUDE some people were when I was trying to push my mom in a wheelchair. My mom broke her hip a few years ago and life has not ever been the same. It pains her to walk long distances and she's moving slower due to it. A wheelchair allows her to enjoy life a bit outside of being confined to the house. After our experience in the cities I decided to write about the challenges those who are disabled (visible or not) and accommodations needed to give them the best quality of life. The one thing that shocked me the most was how many people would cut right in front of her wheelchair as I was pushing her. It was like she was invisible even though she's sitting in this moving "vehicle". One man was holding a baby and stepped right in front of her running into the wheelchair. He almost fell with his baby. It’s not worth that to try to get ahead of others or trying to rush from one spot to another. Slow down, please. People also wouldn’t move until the very last minute to let us by. We had someone try to jump in front of us when entering the elevator. Of course, there were many many kind people too but this experience made me more aware of just how many people don’t care and disregard someone elses disability. I decided it was important to raise awareness and encourage courtesy for those facing additional challenges in life. It's within all of our capabilities to make life a little easier for others, so why not do that? I know this experience has made me more aware and I plan to personally be more diligent about how I am around others that could be struggling to get from one spot to another. 

With that said the security officers and staff at CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar were exceptional at the MOA. So impressed with how accommodating and kind they were.

After gathering feedback from others, here's some ideas on how you can be courteous and helpful to those that might be disabled.

  • 1

    If someone is moving a little slower, give them some space and try not to rush them

  • 2

    If you see someone in a wheelchair, step aside and let them pass

  • 3

    Life may be a bit foggy, confusing, sensory overload or be experiencing overwhelming pain from a disability. Show kindness & a helpful attitude

  • 4

    Open the door and/or give verbal guidance to someone that might need additional assistance

  • 5

    Caretakers for those that are disabled need breaks too. Support respite care and consider working for one if you're able to.

  • 6

    Support legislation or modifications that support accessibility enhancements that help them live a better quality of life

  • 7

    Clear pathways and walkways of snow/ice or anything that could inhibit mobility

  • 8

    Leave designated handicap spaces open for those that really need it. Whether it be the parking lot or bathroom stalls.

  • 9

    If you come across someone that needs some for of accessibility but it doesn't exist, help bridge it till it does

  • 10

    Treat everyone with respect and care, you never know what someone else is going through