A Day in the Life of a Wheelchair User

closeup of man on wheelchairWhen someone needs to start using a wheelchair, whether temporarily or permanently, their perspective shifts dramatically. This has literal implications as well as figurative ones. Learning to navigate the world using mobility aids, like lightweight wheelchairs, is a skill that each user has to learn when they start out. There are things they are likely to have to consider that they will not have thought of before.

Choosing the right mobility aid from a company like Karma Mobility, is often the first step towards successful adaptation. Each has different qualities. Lightweight wheelchairs, for example, are often good for indoor use and transportation while powerchairs offer increased mobility and the ability to traverse greater distances.

Terrain

Most people walk abound not really noticing the shifts in terrain that take place under their feet. Wheelchairs users do not have this luxury and a set of steps or steep incline can become a challenge. Many users choose to use powerchairs when they are out and about for this reason. They can take on some low kerbs and inclines without a problem. People who choose lightweight wheelchairs, who want to self-propel, often need to check for dropped kerbs on their route and avoid areas where there are steep inclines.

Entering and exiting

Accessibility legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010, exists to ensure that disabled persons have the same ability to experience the world as those without mobility challenges. This applies to workplaces and other places of business such as shops, office buildings and restaurants.

Businesses are required by law to make any reasonable adjustments to ensure that their premises are accessible to disabled people. This might mean installing a lift or ramp or having a portable ramp that can be used to negotiate low steps.

Some businesses and buildings are exempt from these laws. This might be the case if there is no way to make reasonable adjustments or if the building is particularly old or listed. It’s always worth someone checking ahead of their visit to see if the building is accessible. Businesses will often state on their website if they have limited access or someone can call ahead and see what, if any, assistance is available.