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Barbara*, 1939-

“They don’t argue, these bus drivers, they outloud you, they do. I don’t have the volume in my voice to out-scream them. Nonexistent skills of communication, they raise their voice and quit listening. It’s a living nightmare.”

“Ma’am, you can’t get the wheelchair on the bus,” they yell.

“How am I supposed to move around? I have bad knees and diabetes,” I sometimes try to fight back, but they don’t care. “If you are not in the chair, then you are not disabled and can’t bring it on the bus.” Of course, I can’t sit in my wheelchair, they know it; everything I own is on it. “Ma’am, step away, I am closing the door.”

They don’t argue, these bus drivers, they outloud you, they do. I don’t have the volume in my voice to out-scream them. Nonexistent skills of communication, they raise their voice and quit listening. It’s a living nightmare. I can’t have arguments with six or eight drivers every single day, and keep my composure.

It is a daily struggle for me. Beyond the drivers, there is the issue of my stuff falling off when they brake. Fat ladies aren’t going to come flying out of a wheelchair, but books and stuff do, they simply go flying out. And I also need the help of a bus patron to carry the wheelchair onto the bus. So, sometimes I’ll be able to ride the bus, and other times, I’ll turn around and get out, but I’ve got to get another bus. . .

Listen to interview snippets:


[* She asked to use a pseudonym, without photos]

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