Driving with a disability?

Hello everyone.

I’ve been posting a lot on this forum recently and I apologize if this causes any inconvenience. I’ll try to limit my posting in the coming days to give others a chance to focus on other topics.

There is something that has been bothering me for years now that I’d like to get off my chest. I completely understand my options in solving and/or dealing with this situation is pretty limited, so I’m fine with not getting much help with this particular issue.

Still, I’ll use this forum to discuss the issue at hand, especially that the community is called CARTALK.

Ever since getting licensed to drive for over 2 decades ago I’ve been battling with negative attention on the street from other drivers and bystanders to the point where driving, for me, though it’s necessary for me to drive, has become annoying.

People won’t stop stare!

And although staring is not necessarily something to worry about or get annoyed over, laughing, taking pictures, and mocking in secret do make driving experience an unpleasant thing.

My vision acuity is 20/15 in both eyes but it fluctuates to 20/10 at times. This means I can see pretty far and clear around me. I can see someone pointing their phone camera at me from a good distance and laughing at me as I struggle to walk towards my car. Or look in the corner of my eyes to see two to three people mocking. When I turn around to let them know I am seeing what’s going on, they would shift their eyes away lightning fast.

My disability is visible and it draws for attention. I get it. I completely understand and accept the downside of being disabled. It’s hard to go unnoticed. However, If you have a disability and experiencing the same negative attention out there on the road, how do you deal with it?

I have to wonder about your age.
I ask because most people–me included–don’t particularly care about what other people think of us as we get into our “older” years. By contrast, “younger” people tend to be very conscious–and very much affected–by the attitudes of others. I am guessing that you fall into the “younger” category, but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong.

Yes, it really hurts when others mock you, but they are really displaying THEIR personality problems when they do this. All I can suggest is that you try to develop a thicker skin, and take comfort that when you get a bit older, you probably won’t be bothered as much by the inconsiderate actions of others.


I also wonder if your imagination is working overtime. You said you had one vehicle ( a Camry ? ) that had all kinds of stickers on it and this one you have has illegal tinted windows . Maybe you are not the focus as much as you think .


A sincere question: Do people laugh at tint?

I agreed. I wondered at times if I could be the problem, like caring too much. I’ve been working hard on this.

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After reading this post all I can think of is The Hunchback of Notre Dame…
I am familiar with Scoliosis as my daughter has twin 11" bars in here back with lots of screws, her spine was at a 45 degree angle before surgery… That being said young people can be/are just mean… She never let them bother her…

I’m going to guess you are in your late 30’s which like others said things still bother you… But sometimes it is yourself being over sanative about your situation… It will get easier with age…

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Well I’ll say a couple things. Depending on where you are and if a particular type of person is generally in that area, maybe just ignore them. A post I read last night said that we have raised a generation of entitled brats, educated in a failing system who have little knowledge or concern about the world around them. On the other hand I see lots of good kids depending on what town or section of town you happen to be in.

Im embarrassed to tell the story again. I don’t know how old we were but there was a guy with side burns, slicked back hair and a black leather jacket, etc. hood material. He would drive by with his decked out 58 Chevy wagon with wheel spinners and all the other doo dads you could put on it. 4 or 5 of us viciously point and laugh at him whenever he drove by. Once his wife even gave us a dirty look so the message was clear. In junior high I noticed he had a very beautiful but shy daughter. I think by that time we had found other means of entertainment.

So in the summer after my freshman college year, I had a job at a local factory. Just summer help so they would shift me around. To my utter shock that guy was working in the shipping department or more accurately was the shipping department. I tried to hide my face hoping he wouldn’t see me or recognize me. One day I was assigned to help cliff out in the shipping department. I was shaking in my boots. Same side burns etc. when I talked to him I discovered he was the nicest, most mild mannered person you could ever hope to meet. I think I grew up about ten years that day and it has been a life long lesson. When the plant closed he cleared at the truck stop so I had a chance to talk to him a lot more. I came to understand why he had such a nice daughter.

I see other people avoid people with maybe dirty and greasy clothes but I will talk to them instead. It might help some of those people if you just went up to them and talked about your challenges. Might help them grow up.

Another instance comes to mind. We were out boating and a boat pulls up to shore with a very large man sitting in it. He stayed in the boat while they loaded it on the trailer with some effort. Of course we thought it was inconsiderate of him. Then after loading, one of the guys came over to us an explained that he was paralyzed getting a boat ride was one of his few means for entertainment. He’d ride in the boat to his nearby farm where they would hoist him out. Geez, what fools we can be.

Got a little longer than I though.


While waiting at a stop light on my motorcycle the lady in a car next to me was fluffing up her hairdo. Flipping front to back and brushing it. She noticed I had my black full face helmet turned towards her car. She looked surprised at first… I gave her a thumbs up and she broke out laughing.

People forget they can be seen inside their cars. If you think people are looking and laughing… give em a thumbs up and laugh too. You have no need to feel embarrassed. Just be you.


I had to get out of the van by pushing against the driver’s seat. People would blow the horn a lot when they saw me bent over. Teens would always shout something if I was walking. I can remember being the same way.

Folks using cell phone cameras to spy, capture minor offenses, report to city code enforcement or police to hassle neighbors, this has all become a very big problem in my area. Recently witnessed an encounter in public place, lady complaining loudly someone she didn’t know was taking her photo using a cell phone camera. Lady solved problem by leaving. A few minutes later she came back with her own cell-phone camera … lol …

In some ways, cell phones, both with the constant & loud talking & photo taking, sound volume bordering on caterwauling, have made life less pleasant. I don’t see any changes though. It’s likely to get worse before it gets better.

As far as how to deal with this sort of thing

  • ignore it, if it is a every once in a while problem
  • report problem to police if more than once in a while
  • take problem to elected officials, city councils, county councils, state elected officials, federal elected officials. As a US citizen (presumably) you have as much right to advocate for your positon as anybody else.
  • & thanks to Bob Dole, we have the Americans with Disability Act, something that often is very good at getting attention to a problem that should be mitigated as a reasonable accommodation quickly

Post as much as you like. Had a bud with symptoms from polio, had an oil change done, they had moved the seat back and he could not reach the brake petal, and ran smack dab into a utility pole. Let it go, blind in one eye so your vision is better than mine. I do not know your issues, but would give a wandering eye to a guy getting in to drive while using a white cane to get to the car, but he probably could not see me anyway.

Was just long enough, and worth the wait till the end! Thank you for that.