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To expect a seat on the train/tube with obvious disability?

(72 Posts)
Polarbearflavour Tue 04-Oct-16 21:47:40

I have a temporary obvious disability (using a crutch) and have to commute to work every day (London) AIBU for expecting to be offered a seat? I don't like to ask in case people become aggressive as I have read that that happens to ladies with the 'baby on board' badges occasionally. Also, people may have hidden disabilities and not be able to stand.

Transport for London is currently trialing this badge and card which I think is a great idea for those of us with hidden disabilities too! Do you think this is a good idea and would you apply for one or happily offer somebody wearing one your seat?

redexpat Tue 04-Oct-16 21:51:06

Yes I would give up my seat if I saw a badge. If i saw someone with a crutch i would offer. If I saw them. Sometimes I'm engrossed in my kindle. If I am in the priority seat then im usually more aware of my surroundings for this very reason.

RazWaz Tue 04-Oct-16 21:58:59

YANBU. I've got a visible disability as well as a hidden one that causes a lot of pain when standing. I've actually had people telling me to move out of the disabled seats for them when I am obviously holding a walking stick. I also get people with prams expecting me to hop out of my wheelchair so they don't have to fold it up.

People generally only care about their own comfort first. Nice needs are only done when it doesn't inconvienence them.

MrsNuckyThompson Tue 04-Oct-16 22:01:40

I asked for a seat several times during my last pregnancy and it was given up with no issue. People are not great at offering but I don't think the world has turned to such shit yet that they'd be rude or aggressive if someone asks!!

Yes there are bad people out there but the vast majority are decent people. You have to trust people in this life, so I'd say just politely ask.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 04-Oct-16 22:05:09

I think if you have a visible, mobility-impairing disability, it's appalling that you even have to ask.

But yes, get the badge and I hope it helps!

KoalaDownUnder Tue 04-Oct-16 22:05:40

(Ask for a seat, I mean!)

FleurThomas Tue 04-Oct-16 22:08:29

I have severe heat intolerance and will faint really quickly when it gets even the slightest bit hot. As I commute in at 5am I've become a familiar face on my route, and am often pressured to take a seat even when I don't want to lol.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 22:09:21

I'm so sorry you had a rotten time.

But, I think you should ask. Not everyone will see your badge or crutches, and people who do see them, may feel shy asking you about them incase you're electing to stand (just as you feel shy asking people sitting down, in case they have hidden disabilities).

ThinkPinkStink Tue 04-Oct-16 22:12:00

I'm super pregno, I've been commuting through London (from zone 2/3 to zone 1 and back twice a day, at rush hour (often on the dreaded Northern Line)) and I always ask for a seat.

Out of 100+ journeys only one person was mildly rude about giving up a seat (a bit huffy, I still got the seat and he got an earful from the rest of the carriage).

I guess what I'm saying is, if you legitimately need a seat and you ask brightly and pleasantly, a vast majority of people are only too happy to help.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 22:15:58

The badge seems like a good idea except maybe it wouldn't be obvious to everyone that it was the official hidden disability badge. It would probably need some signage on the trains and buses as well.

Polarbearflavour Tue 04-Oct-16 22:16:33

A woman with two teenage daughters saw me and they all just stared at me for some reason but didn't offer a seat. I think I need to be more assertive.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 22:17:47

And yes, obv if I saw a badge like that I'd offer my seat.

Polarbearflavour Tue 04-Oct-16 22:18:23

ErrolTheDragon - it's been in the London press and there are posters up at some stations. smile Hopefully the results of the trial of 1000 users will be positive and they will roll out the scheme properly.

OfaFrenchmind2 Tue 04-Oct-16 22:19:56

I have always seen disabled and pregnant people being offered a seat in the underground. I find that having the badge is great, because you can offer your seat without risking offending people that have just a little paunch, it keeps you from assuming and staring awkwardly at people and trying to figure out if they are okay or shy about asking. I travel daily on the busiest bits of the Central Line, and I have to say i am impressed by the politeness of Londoners. I am sorry you had such a bad experience.

80schild Tue 04-Oct-16 22:25:38

I would always offer my seat to someone with an obvious disability and think the badges are really good for people with less obvious disabilities. Sometimes you can't telk and I wouldn't like it if someone felt the need to ask.

crashdoll Tue 04-Oct-16 22:29:04

My first though was "yes YABU to expect anything from the general public" but I'm cynical, having being disabled (visibly) for some years. I just cannot face public transport anymore. I'd rather not go somewhere. I seem to just become invisible when I'm on my crutches. It's sad really. Of course, YANBU to expect people to be kind and curteous but people live busy, selfish lives and you do have to ask.

minipie Tue 04-Oct-16 22:36:27

I saw someone with that badge the other day. About three people got up to offer a seat.

I think it's a great idea and hopefully if it becomes more known and more common then people will know what it means and will jump up.

gintymarlowe Tue 04-Oct-16 22:50:40

YANBU. i do wonder though if so many people are engrossed in their phones books or ipods though that they don't always notice when people get on. but i don't believe that is true of everyone. some people seem to resent giving up seats to those that need them and the mind boggles. my disabilities are mostly invisible and are to do with balance primarily and muscle spasms. in my own case i wouldn't expect people to know i need a seat. but i get very annoyed when i do tell people i need that front seat (especially when train or bus is moving off and i can't move further down for a seat without falling)and they argue and tell me they don't believe me. that gets my goat. but no one has nay excuse really when someone has a visible disability.

gintymarlowe Tue 04-Oct-16 22:52:16

wish i lived in London now so i could get one of those badges! we don't have a system like that where i live. wish we did. i get so sick of struggling on public transport

sentia Tue 04-Oct-16 22:57:23

I think that badge is a really good idea, it means people know exactly what to do, which takes the guesswork out of the whole weird social non-interaction that is public transport.

That said, I've found people to be very quick to give up seats while I've been pregnant. I've only had to use my non-confrontational seat request strategy (stand near the priority seats and ask in their general direction if they all need the priority seats) once or twice.

roasted Tue 04-Oct-16 23:52:11

When I was on crutches, I didn't always get a seat. Standing on a moving train with crutches is just horrible, there were some times I struggled to keep my shit together, I was in so much pain. If people are determined to ignore crutches, they'll ignore a tiny badge.

FWIW, I will always offer my seat to someone who looks like they need it more than me, badge or not badge.

Leeds2 Tue 04-Oct-16 23:59:39

I would always offer my seat to someone wearing such a badge. Assuming of course that I saw it! If I didn't, and you asked me, I would give my seat up with apologies.

Medicaltextbook Wed 05-Oct-16 00:25:51

I don't currently live in London but I think these badges are a great idea. I have a disability that isn't always visible and not obvious at all once I have sat down. I sometimes need a seat, sometimes it will make it easier.

The age I am now (40s) there isn't much expectation that I should get up if I am sitting down, though I do if I think someone else needs it more.
It would have been great to have a badge I could show when I was younger and living in London. On one occasion a lady said to me "can't you see this is for the elderly, get up!". The other a couple of older women stood beside me, nodding at me and talking over me to each other about young people being very rude, who do they think they are taking up seats that are for disabled and elderly people. Both times I got up and stood the rest of my journey. I suffered depression me I was humiliated and then very low. The second time I started crying in the bus because my depression made me decide I had actually been rude. (I was mid 20s)

gintymarlowe Wed 05-Oct-16 00:35:18

Medicaltextbook i have had that a lot. and a couple of times i have been screamed at, threatened and sworn at. it made me feel very shaken. i am fat so when people look at me they think my disabillty is just a weight thing, rather than a separate issue entirely. mind you even if it was, that shouldn't make a difference. how someone got disabled doesn't matter- they still need help

gintymarlowe Wed 05-Oct-16 00:38:48

once a man who was using a cane got upset with me because i had got on the bus and used the spare disabled seat next to him. he glared at me and said "i got my disability fighting for my country, how did you get yours then?" he was glaring at me in disgust. i normally respect war veterans but that man made me feel sick. disability shouldn't be a competition.

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