Navigating the world can have its complications. The world is not designed for wheelchair users, as much as we would like it to be.
An increasing number of places are learning what being wheelchair-friendly really means. And it’s not just the addition of an occasional ramp, here and there. But, we’re not all the way there yet. Users of both manual wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs still face their daily struggles.
Add in the fact that most wheelchair users need assistance from other people, or to use their own hands to get around. If all wheelchairs could be powered by thought, the way legs are, then things would be much easier. Instead, using a wheelchair often requires the sacrifice of free hands or independence.
The best wheelchair technologies and gadgets can make life a whole lot easier. Here are five that could make a difference to any wheelchair user:
This one’s simple and cheap, but almost guaranteed to make a big difference. A phone mount for a wheelchair can be fixed into place, allowing full view of a phone screen whilst the hands are busy with wheelchair navigation.
Install Skype to your device and you can have hands-free video calls on the go. Not the most private, but significantly better from stopping every time you need to call someone.
Electric Wheelchair Conversion Kit
Some people can’t bear to part with their manual wheelchairs. Perhaps yours provides comfort that no other wheelchair could. Maybe it has sentimental value. Perhaps the thought of depending upon electric wheelchairs is one that you really struggle with.
An electric wheelchair conversion kit could be the answer and is one of the best uses of tech for wheelchair users. It typically comprises a power pack and additional wheels or motors that can be fixed to your existing chair. If you decide that it’s not for you, or if the technology fails anywhere down the line, you can remove the kit to get your manual wheelchair back.
Many people will find it cheaper and easier to buy an electric wheelchair, but a conversion kit could be the answer if you need more flexibility.
Parents that use wheelchairs face many additional struggles. They can find it difficult to interact with their young children, especially. Wheelchair strollers can make things so much easier. They clip to the front of a wheelchair, allowing baby to ride in a parent-facing fashion.
The Cursum Stroller is one such attachment. It even includes an additional parenting convenience – a big basket for all of the shopping. Parents can take their child out and about, much more easily.
Mouth Controlled Stylus
If you have a smartphone or tablet mounted to the front of your wheelchair, how can you control it on the go?
In most cases, you will need to stop in order to initiate a call or do anything that requires manual input. Once you’re connected to your friend, you can start moving again. A mouth-operated stylus gives complete hands-free control to anyone that uses a wheelchair. You can tap the screen using an extended stylus controlled by your mouth, rather than your hands. This is also perfect for wheelchair users with very limited arm mobility, or with no arm mobility at all.
Touch Free Smartphones
If an extended stylus isn’t enough, why not instead opt for a completely touch-free smartphone? These can be entirely voice controlled, or gesture controlled using head movements, making them even more accessible than traditional touch-screen smartphones.
This article is written by Mobility Smart, an online retailer stocking products for wheelchair users. Items include manual and electric wheelchairs, accessories, covers and more.