Hi, my name is Seeking123! I'd be embarrassed to use my mobility scooter at work. Any advice? — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is Seeking123! I'd be embarrassed to use my mobility scooter at work. Any advice?

Seeking123
Seeking123 Member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi. I have recently become disabled and will shortly get my Motability car. I have a mobility scooter but am hoping to return to work. I'm only 48 and can't afford a power chair but am embarrassed to use my scooter at work. Any advice please? Thank you.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 13,344 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    You might want to look into access to work they help provide equipment and ways to ensure you can remain in work 


  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 796

    Scope community team

    edited January 14
    Hello @Seeking123 and welcome to the forum, I'm sure you'll find it a friendly and supportive place. 

    Congratulations on your Motability car, that's great news, are you looking forward to getting it? 

    I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling embarrassed about using a scooter at work, what about it is concerning you the most?

    It can take some time to get used to becoming disabled, not only for yourself, but those around you too. Often as disabled people, we have to deal with many types of barriers in life, these can be physical (like steps into a building), or attitudinal (discrimination or lack of understanding around different disabilities), to name a few. We also have to manage changing our own attitudes about ourselves, as these are often based on previous perceptions of disability, or what we've been taught from childhood.

    Have you spoken to your work about how you're feeling? As janer1967 has mentioned, Access to Work might be an option worth pursuing. Perhaps they can also look into some training for the whole organisation, or Disability Equality, or Disability Awareness if you think that would be useful? If you were interested in training, I'd advised this is led by someone with lived experience of disability.

    If you do have further questions, or need help with anything, let us know :)

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • Seeking123
    Seeking123 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi. I am looking forward to getting my car as I have been stuck inside for 7 months but it's a big change going from a normal manual car to a hand adapted automatic. I am going to have lessons though so just nervous I think. 
    Work are pushing me to retire due to ill health and I think they will use my scooter against me saying that the doors aren't wide enough or it will be a safety hazard. We are a huge organisation but I have yet to see anyone there in a wheelchair. I have just started a claim for ESA and they have told me not to retire due to ill health so I feel torn as I know my business doesn't want me there. I have worked there for 20 years.
    Thank you Alex for saying it will take me time to adjust because currently I just feel about of a burden. I take from this things will get better?
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 914 Pioneering
    Hi @Seeking123

    Welcome to Scope's forum. It is great to see you have joined us. I am really glad to see you have already found the courage to reach out for support. 

    Unfortunately, this is not my area of expertise. However, I am really glad to see the wonderful support already offered by @janer1967 and @Alex_Scope. I am wishing you all the best of luck with your car! It sounds like it will enable you to go out more often which would be great for you.

    Accessibility is super important! I am just wondering if you have heard about Access to Work? Access to Work ensures reasonable adjustments are put into place to enable you to do your job the best you can. If you are interested in finding out more information about this, you can find it at https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work

    I have faith that things will get better. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to reach out to us  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities, and assistive technology. Pronouns: She/her.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 796

    Scope community team

    edited January 14
    I think you'll wonder why you haven't been driving an automatic car all along @Seeking123 I've always needed to drive automatic (with a left foot accelerator), but by all accounts it's much easier than a manual car :) I hope you enjoy getting back to driving soon. 

    I'm sorry your work aren't giving you a positive impression, that's frustrating to hear! You are entitled to decide on your own when you'd like to retire, if you find they are pushing that 'ill health' equates only to your using a scooter then that's discriminatory. There's no reason you can't do the job you've been doing for 20 years just because you happen to use a scooter to get from A to B.

    Your employer is required under the Equality Act to ensure you don't face discrimination, and to provide you with any reasonable adjustments you feel you need. 

    I think they will use my scooter against me saying that the doors aren't wide enough or it will be a safety hazard.

    Have work said this to you directly? If you feel comfortable doing so, it might be worth visiting work with your scooter to test the space, see what's possible for you and what isn't working, make notes about any changes or adaptions needed and let HR know. Is flexible working or home working an option for you? Scope might be able to offer you support with your next steps with the Support to Work scheme.

    And I have to say, you are certainly not a burden. You have a right to work, drive, go about your daily life etc., with the same rights as everyone else- without having to face barriers and discrimination. 

    Things will get better, and we are here to support you through this :) Let us know if you need anything, and I hope you find all the links/resources helpful. Have a lovely evening, and keep us up to date with things as they progress.
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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