We often focus on the limitations of living with a disability. But are there any perks? Let’s find out.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around being paid to guide rich people around Disney World, using my disability to help them jump ahead of the line. I don’t know whether to be shocked and disgusted or whether to hop aboard the gravy train!
Blatant money grabbing aside, it is essential for people who use wheelchairs to have special access to amusement parks. They use specific ride entrances at places like Disney World, while at other amusement parks, they go up the exit ramp and wave for someone to let them on the ride.
Sometimes you have to move up in the line to wait for a designated amusement-ride car that is designed for wheelchairs. That happened at Disney World on the fantastic Toy Story Midway Mania ride, and it happened again just a few days ago at the Columbus Zoo on the Dinosaur Island boat ride.
So line jumping at the amusement park is a perk, but it’s an essential perk.
2. Wheelchair Parking Spots
Of course, good parking spots are another item reserved for people who use wheelchair accessible vans. This is another essential perk, as their accessible vehicles need extra room that is not available elsewhere in the parking lot.
A lot of times there are legitimate people who walk, but have grave problems in walking, they can't trek the length of a parking lot to get to and from their vehicles.
Don’t begrudge them this “privilege,” as they also need to be close to the building so they don’t get stuck in the snow.
3. Seeing Eye Dogs
Hey, he gets to bring his dog to the restaurant? Why can’t I?
Because he has a visual impairment. Having a service dog is essential for him to get around. Other service dogs are needed to alert parents when their child is about to have a seizure.
Of course, service dogs become trusted friends and it’s always a perk to have them around. But they are absolutely necessary.
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4. Are people that are deaf “listening” to me?
I have to admit, much of my knowledge about people who are deaf comes from watching “Switched at Birth.” The show let out this secret: “If I close my eyes, I don’t have to hear what you’re saying.”
One other “perk” that comes with being deaf is that you don’t have to worry about losing the attention of the person you’re talking to. They have to look at you, read your lips and follow your hands.
5. Discount cards and free memberships
Here in Ohio, people with disabilities can get a Golden Buckeye discount card just like senior citizens. However, this isn’t a gold mine, as not as many stores recognize the card like they did in past decades.
The national parks allow a lifetime free access pass for people with disabilities. It provides free admission to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas. This could be the best perk of all.
To get an access pass, you can pick it up for free at a national park or fill out this application and mail it in with a $10 handling fee. In some parks, this pass could also give you a 50 percent discount on swimming, camping and boat-launching fees.
While all of these items may qualify as perks, don’t hate on people with disabilities. Maybe they would rather enjoy the "perk" of trading places with you.
The Mobility Resource reached out to their fans and asked you what you saw as some of the perks to having a disability. This is what you said: