Today is the 1st of March, which is also known as International Wheelchair Day.
Some people see wheelchairs as being a negative thing. I don’t agree with this, I have been using a wheelchair practically all of my life.
My chair has given me independence and freedom to go where I want when I want. The only thing preventing me doing this, is when the environment around me is inaccessible.
I see my chair as being a functional piece of equipment that replaces, as best is possible, my legs. Without this piece of equipment I would be able to go nowhere, I wouldn’t even be able to cross the room.
Some people name their chairs and pimp them up with flashy accessories such as flashing lights, music systems, even just with seating that has been re-covered and matching bags created as well.
As much as I am grateful for, and love having my wheelchair. I see it as machine, an amazing machine, but a machine nevertheless.
I add extra lights in the winter and when the evenings start to get darker and a functional bag on the back, other than that I try to ensure that my chair is a as minimalist as possible. This keeps it as late as possible and the smallest possible that’s enabling me to get two more places whilst using it.
I am lucky enough to have two powerchairs, one of which is pretty basic but suits me down to the ground for day-to-day life.
The other has more electrical options (and goes faster) which help me when I am out and about or trying to do things around the house. This chair has the elevating seat with a tilt and recline, that might seem a bit fancy and unnecessary, but the tilt and recline are great when I’m out and about on different terrain.
Whilst the elevating seat allows me to do simple things, such as get something off a shop shelf, or use a cash machine. In my basic chair I am unable to use a cash machine on my own, and obviously for security reasons, I don’t want anyone else helping me.