According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 3.6 million people in the United States, age 15 and older, use a wheelchair. While a wheelchair can provide independence for people with limited mobility, it also comes with a unique set of problems that non-wheelchair users may not understand. That is why it's so important to shine a light on some of the daily problems faced by wheelchair users like you.
1. Navigating Curbs
One of the biggest problems for wheelchair users is navigating curbs. Wheelchairs can easily get stuck on raised surfaces, making crossing the street or entering a building difficult. In some cases, wheelchair users have to rely on help from others to get over the curb. This may cause you to be frustrated and can be very time-consuming.
2. Accessing Public Transportation
Another problem faced by wheelchair users like yourself is accessing public transportation. Buses and trains are not always equipped with ramps or lifts, making it difficult for you to get on and off the vehicle. This can be a major barrier if you have limited mobility and rely on public transportation.
3. Going Up and Down Stairs
Many buildings, including homes, offices, and stores, are not accessible for wheelchair users. This means that you may often have to go up and down stairs in order to enter the building. This can be a difficult and dangerous task, especially if you are by yourself.
4. Finding Accessible Restrooms
Another problem faced by wheelchair users is finding accessible restrooms. Many public restrooms are not equipped with handicap-accessible stalls, making it difficult or impossible for you to use the restroom. This can be a major inconvenience, especially when traveling.
5. Dealing with Aggressive Drivers
Many wheelchair users have to deal with aggressive drivers daily. Drivers may honk their horns, yell, or even try to run them off the road. This can be a scary experience, making you have a difficult time feeling safe while out in public.
6. Obstacles in the Street
Finally, wheelchair users have to deal with obstacles in the street. This can include things like potholes, cracks in the pavement, and uneven surfaces. These obstacles can make it difficult for you in your wheelchair to get around, and you may have to go out of your way to avoid them.
These are some of the daily problems faced by wheelchair users. While some of these problems can be overcome with the help of technology or by making changes in the built environment, others are more difficult to solve. It's important to keep people aware of these issues, so that life can be made easier for people who use wheelchairs.