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  1. Krishna
    Krishna November 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm | | Reply

    It’s Krishna the blind ballet dancer from Harlem. Yo, fight for your seat. Some people genuinely don’t know that your cane means you can’t see. Tell ’em.

    If ever you want to chill in Upper Manhattan, you have a friend here.

  2. Krishna
    Krishna November 16, 2013 at 12:08 am | | Reply

    Oh, and here’s a documentary about me.

  3. Brian
    Brian November 16, 2013 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    As somebody who rides the subway with my head in a book, my phone, or a book on my phone, I’d say that yes, you do have to ask for a seat to get one on a full train. New Yorkers believe the first rule of being polite is to not pay attention to other people. I have had people offer me seats when my prosthesis was visible, but I have a disability (BK leg amputation) that is as legible as my impairment is (usually) mild.

    If you ask for a seat and somebody turns you down (it might be me! I look able-bodied) I would bet that somebody else will offer you a seat before you have to ask again, if only for the pleasure of making the 1st person look like a jerk.

    Also – check out this conversation with Bill Shannon , who has some interesting ideas about claiming disability in public space. A student tells him that she’s upset that people give her the hairy eyeball for taking a disabled seat on the bus because they can’t see her pain. His advice is the “blow up” method — sprawl across all the disabled seats, theatricalize her pain.

    I don’t know that I’d ever recommend doing the same thing, but Bill is a great provocateur, and his ideas are great to chew on.

  4. TTG
    TTG November 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm | | Reply

    I agree with the commenter above. As someone with low vision, I’ve found that most people need nudges. Definitely ask for the seat if you need it. Most people will give it up (gladly) and the few who won’t will end up getting stink-eye from everyone around them.

    I’ve found that older people have no qualms about demanding seats. I think they’ve reached that awesome point of not caring what others think and then just demanding what they need. When I see those instances, I think about how I should embrace my inner “old person” and do the same thing.

    I’m sorry you had a bad day. 🙁

  5. TTG
    TTG November 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm | | Reply

    Ugh, I just wrote a response, but forgot to answer the spam question, so it was erased. >_<

    A shorter version–I'm young-looking too, and I think it's a paradox for most people to meet "abled"-appearing people who also have a disability, especially one that might rank "severe" to an abled-person. They have a hard time juggling those two sides of being capable and also being disabled.

    From my experience, most want to make the good choice, and are embarrassed when they mess up. Most abled-people I meet are very afraid of assuming a disabled person's capability level. So offering guidance about how best to act is usually appreciated. It's tiring though to always be in "educate-mode" and to be a walking commercial for tolerance and understanding. It would be better if everyone could just "get it" without us prompting them, but most just don't understand or "see" the same things that we do because of their lack of experience and exposure. Hopefully with more guidance and knowledge, they'll understand more.

    Keep fighting the good fight. 🙂

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