Posted on December 26 2018
The good news is that accessibility awareness is growing, but it’s also obvious that there’s still a long way to go. Practically it will also take many years before permanent infrastructure, like buildings, are able to play “catch-up” with ADA regulations. In the meantime, you’re left with the risk of finding yourself entering spaces unable to meet the demands of providing easy, and safe access to a wheelchair user. These tips make forging out into the world that much easier.
Mods Mods Mods
Youtube is awash with videos that share stories of wheelchair users who’ve customized their wheelchair to suit their lifestyle. Why not make your wheelchair suit yours? It beats waiting for a company to roll-out a ‘chair that will never be as custom-designed as you can make it. Using inspiration from social platforms like Pinterest and Youtube, begin with low-risk mods that are 100% removable, like adding a wheelchair side pack, and gradually build up your unique collection of add-ons. Whether you’re in an electric or manual wheelchair, they’re a host of options that will turn your ‘chair into a mobility machine as unique as your thumbprint.
Let form follow function
As a wheelchair user, you know that simple activities most people take for granted can leave you feeling exhausted by the end of the day. Conserving your energy at every opportunity is one of the best hacks yet, and there are a few things you can do to keep frugal when it comes to spending effort. Being practically-minded in your choices for clothing, tools and tech means you’re less hampered by anything in your environment that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. This doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your taste — it’s the difference between choosing between five low-quality sets of pants that will easily stain and tear, and one set of hiking pants that looks virtually the same, but that’s so durable you end up being more consistently comfortable in a range of weathers and replacing and repairing it less frequently. The severity of your mobility impairment obviously affects what kinds of clothing is most practical for you, but the point is not the pants — it’s the thinking behind the decision-making that counts.
Capitalise on knock-on effects
Let’s take the hiking pants example a little further to explain another hack that helps conserve your energy. With a wardrobe that’s more durable, you’re better prepared for a greater range of unexpected weather conditions, you’re saving time and money, and also saving energy by doing less laundry. Think like a warrior — consider how you can make the biggest impact to your lifestyle with the smallest changes. Adapting your lighting at home by using touch lamps can both give you an opportunity to freshen up a room but also make it so much easier to turn the lights on! Energy saved at every turn by some smart choices (such as a functional wardrobe and home design) can then be spent on other things, such as preparing for your next adventure.
Focus on portability
Today, agencies like Spin the Globe make it easier to plan your holidays and travel as a wheelchair user. Part and parcel of making travel possible is investing in portable gear. This switch in mindset, to making purchasing decisions that favor nomadism also incidentally makes day-to-day living more energy efficient. From technology to crockery — portable gear is often smaller, lighter and less complex than gear designed to stay in one place. Take camping gear, for instance: they’re often more compact, lighter and more durable than they’re traditional counterparts. And thanks to trends like “glamping” you don’t have to worry that investing in that set of camping glasses leaves you feeling you’re living on safari for the rest of your life. The cool thing is, the minute you do travel, you’re already set up with a portable set of gear that others usually have to buy especially.
Exploit existing technology to the max
Integrating assistive technology into your daily life will help ensure you stay as independent as possible. This can mean anything from configuring the accessibility settings on your mobile to investing in a chair lift for stairs. You don’t have to solve every accessibility challenge yourself or in a unique, DIY way — falling back on work done by others leaves you free to focus on matching what exists already to suit your unique style and demands. For example, Google Maps now allows users to select wheelchair accessible options when planning their routes, and investing in a mobile stairlift means you’re able to take your ability to climb the stairs with you wherever you go.
Often the biggest obstacles to accessing space are the simplest ones — no need for planning epic adventures overseas when it’s nerve-wracking to face a flight of stairs in your own home and neighborhood. Investing in a mobile stair chair like the Mobile Stairlift is one sustainable way to lighten the load. With one purchase you gain an easily transportable, easy to use stair chair that doesn’t need tracks installed. Regaining your social life is much easier when you know you bring everything you need to get up and down the stairs with you. To learn more about The Mobile Stairlift download the brochure.
Wanting a normal life after mobility impairment?
The Mobile Stairlift will help both you and your loved ones assisting you with just that! From your home to the shops, this portable chair lift helps you navigate stairs, regaining your freedom at an affordable price.