Issues with mobility can be found in the legs, arms, hands and/or neck. Most people associate mobility accessibility with wheelchairs and canes. These are two valuable devices that come in a variety of options. I will briefly discuss these options and expound in some related areas.
Canes & Walkers
Canes are fairly simple. Bases are usually rubberized, or made with a durable material that offers some grip on slick surfaces. Lately, canes have been developed to include a wide base that articulates to bumpy terrain and adds greater stability. Some canes come with a second handle which adds support and stability for sitting down or standing up.
People tend to picture walkers as the basic aluminum, tri-fold devices with tennis balls on the ends that old people push around. While these types of walkers still exist and are used, new models exist that include brakes, fold down seats, and attachable baskets. They fold up easily and can fit in just about any vehicle for transport.
Wheelchairs can be very basic and manually operated, or they can motorized with variable speeds and reclining features. Some will not need motorized cars and prefer the option of a manual chair. Others will either need the motorized option or prefer the ease and added options motorized chairs bring.
Aside from manual and power wheelchairs, specialty chairs exist. One such example is designed for basketball. There are also other chairs designed for racing. One company has created a chair that can help individuals lie completely upright or “stand,” thus relieving tension and pressure typically found in sitting all day.
Accessories for wheelchairs are critical and sometimes overlooked. Brackets and trays are needed for eating, reading, or operating a personal tablet/computer outside of the home. Braces and custom headrests are great for easing back pain and allow individuals to sit more upright. Furthermore, not all individuals in wheelchairs will have complete mobility in their arms or hands. Choosing a chair that has comfortable control access is needed.
Operating a wheelchair or walker is not as easy as it may sound. Some individuals will need help learning how to apply brakes, attach baskets and/or fold/unfold a walker. Individuals in wheelchairs may need some help learning how to steer at different speeds, how to navigate through small spaces and door ways, how to back up and how to inch forward to a table. Professionals are needed to help individuals learn controls and maneuvers in order to increase success at independent operation (pro tip: wear closed-toe shoes; your feet will appreciate it).
Not all areas of mobility were covered in this page. For more information on mobility–especially computer accessibility for limited mobility–visit these Websites.