October 23, 2015 | 8:30 am | By Pants Up Easy
When you first begin to adjust to life in a wheelchair, it’s natural to be overwhelmed by your limitations. There are many normal, mundane activities that you’ll no longer be able to perform without assistance, and while that’s a shame, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll find that many wheelchair users are actually quite optimistic and happy; these individuals tend to focus on what they still can do, instead of worrying about the things they can’t do.
These folks also realize that we live in an inclusive society now, where we don’t discriminate against anyone for things like disabilities. In fact, in the United States, there are plenty of ways society makes life easier for wheelchair users.
The most important law in your world: The Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA was passed decades ago to make the world a little more accommodating for the disabled, and it’s really made the world more manageable for wheelchair users. The ADA is the reason that businesses have to make accommodations for your wheelchair with things like automatic doors and entry ramps. It also prevents employers from discriminating against you for your disability. So even if your dream is to work as a performer at Disneyland, you can do it, thanks to the ADA.
There are some perks to this lifestyle, too, you know
So you’re familiar with the downsides to being in a wheelchair, but what about the benefits? There are actually a few places that will make extra special arrangements for wheelchair users. For example, speaking of Disneyland, Disney theme parks are actually very accommodating to wheelchair users. Not only do most rides have wheelchair access now, you can also ask for a Special Assistance Pass that will allow you to use shorter lines where available. In fact, virtually every theme park will have a similar program.
And when travelling, always be sure to ask your hotel about accessible rooms. Most large hotels will have some available, but you will likely need to inquire – they don’t really publicize them. These rooms will be equipped with helpful features like automatic doors and a shower you can roll you wheelchair right into.
Any other assistance needed? Just ask!
Many places are reasonably accommodating to those in wheelchairs, as long as you ask for some assistance. Many wheelchair users are fiercely independent, so some folks are scared to ask if they can offer help. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for yourself. Especially in places like the workplace, where the ADA actually requires your employer to make reasonable accommodations.