If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Shouted at by disabled passenger in priority seats - what to do in these scenarios?

Options
teasweetly
teasweetly Scope Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hi all, I have an invisible neuro cardiological condition that means I can't stand for very long so I use priority seating on busses. 

On 2 separate occasions I have had elderly disabled people have a go at me for not giving it up. 

The first was tense then funny as the 82 year old turned to me after I said I was disabled too and said : sorry for being a miserable old C**t 

The second was very irate after explaining my condition they shouted "so you have treatments, I don't have treatments!!!" Then shouted at every one else on the bus sat in priority seats. 

What is the best thing to do in these situations? 

I start by saying "I am disabled too" which often diffuses it a little....

Please share your own experiences and advice, thank you :)

Comments

  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Community member Posts: 456 Empowering
    edited May 2023
    Options
    I’m sorry that happened to you. It sounds like you handled it well. Sadly some people are just rude. They should accept it that you need to be sat there and shouldn’t make you feel bad about it.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Championing
    Options
    Hi @teasweetly and thanks for posting, I'm sorry to hear about your experiences on the bus lately, sadly you're not alone with this. 

    I have similar experiences of being judged this way myself, as a wheelchair user who is younger than pension age. It helps to reaffirm sometimes: Young disabled people exist, and that's okay!

    The people you mention who shouted are reacting due to a lack of awareness and understanding, and it's not a reflection on you, or your right to a priority seat on the bus. 

    It can be hard to manage these sorts of negative reactions when you're just going about your day, I completely get that. It does sound like you're doing a good job of trying to diffuse things, and if someone else is still angry, that's on them!
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,806 Championing
    Options
    You could use a sunflower badge or lanyard while on the bus, just to make other people aware of your hidden disability.

    Sadly, 'normal' people take advantage of things like this too often.  Priority seating, disabled parking, accessible toilets, etc.  If disabled people never challenged it, they'd have no reason to stop.  Of course, the flip side to that is that people with hidden disabilities end up getting challenged incorrectly.
  • teasweetly
    teasweetly Scope Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Options
    Thanks everyone for your responses so far. It's hard as I want to say that it doesn't bother me but it is hard to ignore someone shouting in your face. 

    I carry the "please offer me a seat card" ( I have the badge too its just one more thing to remember to bring and pin on each time I travel) and my Access Card which I can take out of my wallet when I am challenged. On the majority of journeys they go absolutely fine and this has happened twice so far in 6 months. When I have my walking stick I get treated so well and go unchallenged, yet I don't really want to wear a sunflower or a badge every time. 

    Confrontation is never pleasant, the best line I have heard used instead of challenging someone is "If you are able to stand please may I have your seat". 

    Does anyone have any other good phrases? 
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.