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Surprised a disabled athlete had to drag herself off a plane? I’m not

For wheelchair users like myself, having our wheelchairs removed or damaged is the equivalent of amputating or breaking an able-bodied person’s legs

Claire Harvey

There is a saying that if you give an infinite amount of monkeys enough time and a typewriter they will eventually re-write the entire works of Shakespeare. I have come to the conclusion that the same theory works with a customer services department and handing out press release apologies, in particular within the travel industry and their attitude towards those with disabilities.

As a person with a neuromuscular condition which leaves me reliant on the use of a wheelchair, I understand the difficulties which can arise when attempting to travel while having a disability. Travel on any form of public transport is difficult for me as disabled person. And because I’m unable to transfer from my wheelchair into an airline seat due to the nature of my disability – and airlines won’t let me travel seated in my wheelchair – this means I’m unable to fly abroad like my non-disabled friends. That might seem a first-world problem, but for young disabled people like me, it’s just another thing I’m excluded from.

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