Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Imagine Life In A Wheelchair

Molly Burke is a bubbly Youtube vlogger. At first sight, you may not notice anything wrong with her, and that’s because, as she puts it, handicap comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. However, Molly has been blind since she was a teenager. She is the voice and face of the blind community. She shares her struggles to make people aware that sometimes we take too much for granted. Molly even went as far as to blind a fellow blogger for a day to let him understand what her life is like. It was an emotional experience for both.

More importantly, Molly is inspiring. Could you imagine a day with a handicap? It’s a challenging exercise, but it can help you to grow as a person. Pick your favourite chair. Can you spend the day in that chair, the way an individual with mobility issues uses a wheelchair?

In terms of accessibility, little has changed since 2000

Most people in a wheelchair want to exercise

There’s a significant difference of mindset between your chair and a wheelchair. If you’re going to get active, you just need to get up. A wheelchair user, however, needs to find sports centres that are accessible. What do you do when the treadmill of your local gym isn’t an option? The choices are limited to wheelchair users. Some swimming pools offer accessible pool lifts to help them to get into the water safely. Swimming is especially beneficial as it is a gentle activity on the joints and muscles. Some gym clubs offer dedicated arms machines for individuals with lower mobility handicaps.

You’ve seen accessible toilets, but think again

How many times have you used the handicap toilets to avoid a queue? You might have wondered as well why the accessible toilet is always the most spacious cubicle. Imagine lifting yourself out of a wheelchair using your arms only. It’s not easy. Additionally, you ought to know that not every wheelchair user can use the toilet. Some need to rely on a urethral catheter instead. They need to regularly change the drainage bag at home or in public restrooms. Next time you consider using the handicap toilet to skip the queue, remember that wheelchair users don’t have the luxury of choice. It’s the only cubicle they can access safely to relieve themselves.

Travelling is so much more difficult

If you think accessible toilets are cosy, you’re probably wondering how wheelchair users go to the loo on a plane. Anybody who has been on a long haul flight knows that plane toilets are tiny! You won’t be surprised to know that for many wheelchair users, avoiding going to the bathroom for the whole duration of the flight is the best option. Public transport, as it happens, has still a lot to learn. It’s not only the facilities available; the accessibility of each location remains a problem. Did you know that in London, only 25% of tube stations are mobility-friendly. When a metropole such as London fails to make transport accessible, you can only dread the worst for the rest of the country.

The real question you want to ask is not whether you understand handicap better, but whether society is ready to give a chance to everybody. At an individual level, you can make sure you can apply what you’ve learned about mobility to your everyday freelance business. If you’re meeting a client in town, for instance, pick a wheelchair-friendly location.

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