When it comes to traveling with a wheelchair, a lot of mishaps and hurdles can be encountered. Be it by air, road, sea, or train, it is best to ensure that wherever you want to visit offers inclusive travel for you. So, how can you successfully travel with a wheelchair?
Planning ahead for your trip allows you to do ample research regarding the destination, the travel options, and accessibility for those in a wheelchair. If you are planning on traveling by air, for instance, make sure you reach out to the airline and the Transport Security Administration's passenger support to find out how they ensure their disabled passengers are cared for. You will be able to learn how they can help you get through security lines and how your wheelchair gets stowed during a flight.
Know Your Rights
Most importantly, know your rights as a traveler in a wheelchair. Understanding the consumer protection rights for those traveling with a disability gives you insights into how you are protected when traveling with adaptive equipment.
Further, pack a repair kit for emergencies. While traveling, your wheelchair may need minor repairs every once in a while, especially after being stowed in cargo hauls for long periods of time. Have the tools and items you need for a quick repair should this happen. While you’re at it, ensure that you attach a manual to your wheelchair anytime you give it away to the travel crew. This allows the crew to prepare and store the wheelchair for you.
If you have a power wheelchair, turn off the control panel, switch off the brakes, recline the wheelchair's back and pull the joystick control panel inwards. This ensures that your power wheelchair is ready for inclusive travel.
Wheelchair Routine Maintenance
Although wheelchairs vary, here are a few common maintenance routine steps that you should observe. Always check tire pressure, brake condition, the backrest, the quick release mechanism, footrest, and other moving parts at least once a month. This ensures you keep the wheelchair in perfect condition, proper function, and safety. Remember to keep the wheelchair clean.
Seasonal Wheelchair Preparation
During cold, wet weather, get a good set of gloves. They give you a better grip on wet, cold, and muddy surfaces. Also, get some warm and comfortable winter wear and covers to keep you warm while in a wheelchair.
Preparing yourself by following the above tips allows you to be ready for that inclusive travel anywhere worldwide with a wheelchair.