Esprix (esprix) wrote,

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On new friends and proper etiquette

Just posted this in heatermcca's LJ, but thought I'd throw it out here, too.

The guy who is organizing the new local gaming group is mobility challenged (not sure of the specifics, but I'm sure it's unimportant). He walks with the aid of two walking sticks, and his legs are all but immobile (used mostly for balance, from what I see). This past weekend I picked him up to drive him to gaming (he doesn't drive, and we couldn't have it as his place that night), and when we left, while walking back with him to the car, he slipped and fell (it was raining all night Friday).

Now, I've always been under the impression that it is impolite to immediately render aid to a person with a disability if the person is not obviously injured (he wasn't); instead, I said, "Do you need help?" and he said, "No, I've got it," and I said, "OK, just let me know if you do," and then I waited for him to get up and we continued. A few steps further and he fell again, but this time one of the other gamers ran up and immediately pulled him upright by grabbing him from behind around his chest.

Now, I certainly wasn't going to get into a discussion about what was or wasn't proper behavior, but a part of me now feels like a dolt, and also thinks the other person may now view me as a dolt for not helping our mutual friend when he fell the first time.

Any advice? New ground for me (which is odd, now that I think of it, because up until a few months ago my job was working the ADA advisor on campus, so we had a few disabled students in and out of the office, although most were of the ADD/ADHD variety - only a couple were otherwise impaired, i.e., vision impairment, wheelchair, etc.).

Anyone have any insight they can share? The only other reference point is way back when Steve used to have seizures (to which I was never witness), but his advice was, "Just leave me alone and make sure I don't crack my head open on anything." :)

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