Life, Loss, Limitation: The Life and Death of Stephen Hawking

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Frederick Schmidt column March 22

The phrase "confined to a wheelchair" occurs in your story. I would suggest that writers instead use the phrase "uses a wheelchair". The chair is a mobility device. No person is "confined" 24/7/365 to a wheelchair. I know this because my adult daughter uses one, and she exits it to sleep, to bathe and attend to personal care, and to do her exercises. I urge us to focus on "the person who uses a wheelchair", and not the device itself. I also urge us to avoid terms like "confined to a wheelchair" or "wheelchair-bound".

Jeanne Devine more than 3 years ago