Wheelchairs are designed to make a person’s life easier and more independent, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still struggles that wheelchair users face on a regular basis. If you are looking to find out more about what issues wheelchair users often come up against either to understand what someone you know is going through or as a wheelchair user yourself, here are four of the most common struggles.
Despite the leaps in technology and awareness around disabilities, very few buildings around the world are fully accessible for wheelchair users. While some provide ramps or elevators to assist people with mobility difficulties, they are still designed mostly with non-wheelchair users in mind. This means that even trying to do the simplest activities takes more planning for someone who needs to factor in their wheelchair. For example, booking a restaurant means finding out online or calling the establishment to ask how accessible the building is and whether a wheelchair might struggle to fit in the space. These types of considerations are rarely on other people’s minds, but for wheelchair users this can take up a lot of their time.
Of course, the whole point of using a wheelchair is to improve a person’s mobility. The complications of a person’s physical condition can mean that using a wheelchair offers far more mobility than not. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only way that people with disabilities struggle to get around. Wheelchairs are often large and heavy, making it difficult to get them in an out of cars. This is why wav cars are one of the best ways to feel more independent in a wheelchair. A wheelchair accessible vehicle can make it much easier to travel with a wheelchair, offering more convenience and independence. Whether the wheelchair user can drive the car themselves or can be safely driven as a passenger, this option has opened opportunities for many people.
Being in a wheelchair often makes communication with non-wheelchair users more difficult. This can be for a number of reasons, including that the non-wheelchair user has underestimated the wheelchair user’s abilities and has assumed they can’t do anything for themselves. This is hugely frustrating and unhelpful, since on many of these occasions the non-wheelchair user adopts a different tone of voice and posture, often talking to the wheelchair user in a way that they wouldn’t speak to anyone else.
4. Feeling Invisible
Attitudes towards people who use wheelchairs can vary drastically. Wheelchair users often report that they feel invisible when out in public as if everyone else is uncomfortable interacting with them. While this usually has far more to do with the non-wheelchair user’s own sense of embarrassment, it is unfortunately the wheelchair user who feels the brunt of this discomfort. This can increase feelings of being ignored or unseen which in turn lead to loneliness.
There are plenty more ways that being a wheelchair user complicates a person’s daily life, but these four are the most prevalent.