This is a very good question!
One way or another, more of us have to speak up when we see barriers that shouldn't be there.
To be clear, it doesn't matter what people say. The problem is the presumption by total strangers that it's okay engage with us in a way they wouldn't with other strangers. It's much the same with men catcalling women. "Smile, honey!" is friendly on paper. In person, tossed at you by a total stranger, it's creepy at best. So is, "Hey, little man!" from someone you've never met or even seen before.
- In general, I support discussing how systemic failures and economic injustice can partially explain some individual violent crimes, including murders and suicides. But it seems like the only widely accepted context for such discussions is with the murder of disabled children. Similar discussions involving other kinds of people and situations … such as gang violence and school shootings … are generally despised as excusing and coddling criminals. Somehow, though, killing disabled people is in some way "understandable". How can that be anything but galling and scary for people who have disabilities?
"Billinghurst’s ‘invalid tricycle’ gave her the mobility she needed to become an active member of the suffrage movement. Her ‘invalid tricycle’ was a makeshift wheelchair consisting of a modified tricycle with hand controls. Billinghurst attracted public attention by appearing in processions dressed in white and wheeling along with her machine decked out in colored WSPU ribbons and “Votes for Women” banners. Billinghurst rose to prominence as a recognizable public figure and became known as “the cripple suffragette.”"