Washington, D.C., May 10 – I’m staring back at the wide eyes, nervous shoulders and fidgety hands of the hiring manager. As he interviews me for my dream job, those wide eyes flick down to my wheelchair, then back to my face. His eyes make that journey multiple times and ask 100 questions at once. None of the questions ever make it to the mouth. So, I start.
“And so, with my wheelchair…?” I leave the question open-ended, because I never know where someone’s mind is going to go.
Suddenly, whatever self-imposed seal there was has been broken. Questions come pouring out covered in nervous tension. “What about when we get deliveries, what will you do with then?” “Can you wear professional clothing?” “Is it okay if we have to travel; can you get in a car?” “What if you can’t reach a shelf?”