Fibromyalgia patient fights for mobility scooter rights
Janet Warner was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but she has suffered from other health problems that have forced her to use a mobility scooter for years. Warner shares many horror stories of people who do not respect her scooter and mistreat her. However, she continues to fight for others who rely on the scooters.
The Derby Telegraph reports that Janet Warner has experienced multiple problems while using a mobility scooter in public. She states, “I have been spat on, verbally abused and nearly knocked off the vehicle I was using . . .” Although her fibromyalgia diagnosis only occurred recently, Warner shares that she has suffered from the symptoms of the disease for a long time, and she also has ME. Her health makes it impossible for her to walk in a store or down a sidewalk, yet some shoppers and pedestrians continue to mistreat her.
The Guardian reports: “While users describe how these products have transformed their lives, offering new independence and liberating them from the need to be pushed around, the scooter's increasing presence - clogging pavements and traffic lanes - has prompted rising hostility.”
Some people seem to leave their compassion at home before they go shopping, and Janet Warner explains that many scooter accidents are not caused by the users. Shoppers and pedestrians are often responsible. In the United States and United Kingdom, mobility scooters do not require a license and can be used on the road. However, people with disabilities frequently experience problems if they try to use their scooters outside.
Janet Warner is not the only one who has dealt with discrimination and abuse because she relies on a mobility scooter. A woman who is disabled and must use a scooter in Keighley in the U.K. was banned from the drive-through lane at her local McDonald's. Citing concerns for her safety and the safety of others, staff at the McDonald's told Tina Cougill her scooter was not welcome in that lane because her young son was a passenger. However, she responded that her scooter was insured and legal on the road. McDonald's later clarified that she could use her scooter as long as she did not have a passenger with her.
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