These past couple of years, accessibility awareness is undeniably growing. That’s good news, but it’s also obvious that there’s still a long way to go. Practically it will also take many years before all permanent infrastructure is able to play “catch-up” with ADA regulations. In the meantime, you’re left with the risk of finding yourself entering spaces unable to meet the demands of providing easy, and safe access to a wheelchair user.
But that’s exactly what life hacks are for! Life hacks are things that a person comes across that has the potential of making their life a little easier.
Hence, in an attempt to make life a little bit easier for you, we have compiled a list of 5 life hacks that might make you enjoy life more while rolling across the globe in your wheelchair.
1. Safety Pins
Never underestimate the simplest things in this world! Safety pins are a life-changing disability hack. These can be used to attach your shirt to your pants which will prevent your shirt from riding up your back throughout the day. Furthermore, large quilting pins work best. We recommended you to move your armrests up while someone else secures the safety pins to ensure they are low enough where they are not visible.
Aside from that, safety pins will help you accomplish basic tasks in your everyday life. You can use them while compiling office papers, keeping important receipts and notes, or seal a bag of chips!
2. Touch Lamps
Touch lamps just make it that much easier for those with spinal cord injuries, especially those with limited hand function. Adapting your lighting at home by using touch lamps can both give you an opportunity to freshen up a room but also make it so much easier to turn the lights on! Energy saved at every turn by some smart choices – it’s a win-win!
3. Bed Assist Strap
Disclaimer: Everyone has different mobility needs. This hack may not be applicable to those who are unable to use their arms and trunk. This is for people who have some upper body control but perhaps limited mobility everywhere else.
Hence, if you are one of those individuals, then there’s no reason for you not to get one of these! Sometimes, rolling over and getting out of bed can pose some challenges — especially in so many different beds in so many different hotel rooms. But worry no more! This assistive device is a nylon strap that has several built-in handles like a rope ladder. One end of the strap loops around the leg or frame of the bed and clips to attach with an adjustable length. Then you leave the ladder portion next to you while you sleep, and you can use it to pull yourself up into a sitting position or help yourself change position while in bed. It’s that simple!
4. Ultralight Travel Ramp
The Dunslope Lite ramp is made of carbon fiber, which makes it very strong – capable of supporting 600 pounds – and extremely light. It’s really ideal for international travel to help you get up that curb when there are no drops, or into that store or restaurant that just has one step to enter. You can also get a carry bag for it so you can hook it onto the back of your wheelchair. Although quite expensive, retails for about $480 for the smallest version, having smooth and handy equipment like this could be a real lifesaver and a great investment.
5. Backup battery/power bank.
Probably the worst power-based thing you can have die on you during a trip is your wheelchair. However, the second-worst thing is likely your cell phone. You don’t want your battery to die right before you book for a wheelchair-accessible-taxi on your way home late at night. But more importantly, your cell phone is your lifeline if you need security assistance or medical help. There are a variety of power banks with different capacities and different prices. It would be recommended to stick with 30,000mAh or lower because there are airline restrictions on what capacity power banks you can bring on the plane.
Do you have your own life hacks? Share them below in the comments!