I was waiting outside the bank for my lift to fetch me and was using my symbol cane because I was alone. The security guard came up to me and said, “No hawker’s ma’am”. I was initially upset, but then realised that in his experience all people with white canes are beggars. I couldn’t blame him.
In my view (ha ha), the only down side of using an assistive device like a white cane (or wheel chair) immediately marks you as not ‘normal’ and often sparks off an “Ag shame, she struggles” perception, especially in people who really don’t know me. I understand that people don’t know how to respond and so it is easier for them to stand off or avoid you. I enjoy starting up conversations or asking kindly for help so that they can see that I am just a ‘normal gewone’ person who can’t see well……..and that it is not contagious!!
I suppose that is where it is up to the ‘differently-abled’ person to change public perceptions of disability. Go ama kroka kroka (crocs – for the non South Africans)
Go ama kroka kroka (crocs – for the non South Africans)