When you have a disability, you get really good at reading people — you kind of have to. Most of the world doesn’t like being around us. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. It’s the human condition. People just don’t feel comfortable being around other people that are different. You know it when you’re around someone who feels this way.

I first felt what it was like to be a misfit after becoming disabled at age 14. Suddenly none of my friends, much of my family and a lot of my acquaintances felt uncomfortable around me. Before my accident, I was already overly-concerned with the emotions of people around me, and now being in a wheelchair, I could sense so much more;