Did you know that 10% of the world's population -- which amounts to around 650 million people -- has a disability of some kind? Disabilities can cover everything from blindness to paralysis. However, many people with disabilities do use a wheelchair at one point or another, and some are what could be referred to as "wheelchair bound", which means that they spend the majority of their time in a wheelchair and find it difficult or impossible to get around without one. The population of people who use wheelchairs isn't just limited to those who suffer from paralysis. Many people who use wheelchairs do so because they suffer from a chronic illness, and find it easier to use wheelchairs; obesity can also cause a necessity for wheelchair usage. Lots of senior citizens use wheelchairs because they find using a wheelchair to be more efficient than walking. But even when using a wheelchair is more convenient than walking, the world isn't necessarily easy for wheelchair users to live in. Disability laws have made life simpler than it once was for the disabled, but they still face daily challenges. Fortunately, certain types of wheelchairs and features like off road wheelchair tires and wheelchair side guards help users get around accessibility issues. Let's look into some of the things that can make life more enjoyable for wheelchair users.
1. Physical Activities
People who have grown up using wheelchairs and people who begin using wheelchairs later in life, particularly if they're using them due to a traumatic event, often view wheelchairs differently. It can be difficult for some to adjust to wheelchair usage, because they believe that using a wheelchair will keep them from maintaining the active lifestyle they're used to. Fortunately, thanks to additions like off road wheelchair tires, this is not the case. Off road wheelchair tires, in particular, can help wheelchair users enjoy physical activity outside. There are varying levels of tires--many use off road wheelchair tires to go on hikes, but there are less heavy duty tours used for less strenuous activity. Wheelchair users shouldn't feel limited, and in this day and age there are many sports option for wheelchair users, with many taking part in rugby and basketball.
As unfair -- and in fact illegal -- as it is, it can be difficult for wheelchair users to get jobs. It's estimated that those with disabilities annually earn about 70% less than those without disabilities. Certainly, today's competitive market still favors the able-bodied in some fields. However, as previously mentioned, there are legal protections in place for wheelchair users, to ensure that they can work if they want to. Some wheelchair users need to work -- it's not a choice. But if staying home is an option, especially when a person with a disability is just getting used to using a wheelchair, it can be easy for that person to slip into periods of depression and lack of activity. They may feel self-conscious about working, and could be hesitant about getting out there to pursue a job. Nonetheless, they should be encouraged to do so, as working even a part-time job can help not only engage a person in the outside world and earn money, but build up their self-esteem. While this may not be an option for everyone who is in a wheelchair, if it can be done it should.
Again, as much as we're working to make it possible for people with disabilities to live lives totally equal to those of without disabilities, we aren't quite there yet. Adjusting to a disability, or living with a disability you've had all your life, can be difficult psychologically. It's important for those with disabilities to feel that therapy or counseling is an option. In fact, it often comes highly recommended from doctors -- even if you don't feel like you need help to cope with your disability, you should feel like you can access it if need be!