By Guest Blogger: Ellen Biggs
A wise person once said, difficult situations are put in our way, not to stop us, these are but a call to our strength and courage to overcome the adversities. Physically disabled individuals face many challenges on a day to day basis. However, this does not stop them from making the most of their lives. Just as physically disabled individuals deserve an equal right to education, employment opportunities, and athletic opportunities, they also deserve an equal right to lead a normal life just as anyone else.
Keeping this in mind many automobile manufacturers have designed their vehicles to make it easier for physically disabled individuals to operate them. This gives challenged individuals a great opportunity to manage their transportation without depending on anyone else for assistance. However, only design with modifications to suit the physically disabled individuals is not sufficient. There are many items that they may require while they are in transit to make their journey more comfortable.
Mentioned below is a list of items that physically challenged individuals may want to carry along to ensure a hassle-free journey. Items may also vary depending on the type of disability.
Medicines: This applies to anybody and everybody. Regardless you are a physically challenged individual or not. In certain cases, it is necessary to take the prescribed dosage of medication. Medicines are meant to help us stay in good health. Skipping a dose may hamper the way it is supposed to effect.
In order to maintain good physical as well as mental health, it is ideal to keep the necessary medication (if you are supposed to consume at regular intervals) at hand and also carry it along with you when you are traveling. You really would not want to be in a situation where you are feeling unwell and don’t have the one thing that could help alleviate the distress.
Coffee Thermos: Some consider coffee to be a magic potion made out of magic beans. Coffee is known to alleviate fatigue and put you in a good mood almost instantly. If you are on a long haul and feeling tired from all the driving, it is but natural that you will want to make a few stops to get a nice steaming hot cup of your favorite beverage.
While this may not seem like a big deal for most, it can tend to be a little cumbersome for those who are physically challenged. And especially so if they are traveling solo. They may need to set up the ramp to get out of the vehicle every time they want some refreshments. Carrying a great coffee thermos can help these individuals pour themselves a good cup of coffee while they are in the comfort of their vehicle.
Detachable ramp: A detachable ramp is a must carry for those whose disability renders them wheelchair-bound. If you don’t already have one and are looking to purchase it, then it would be advisable to look for the ones with a non-skid surface. The mechanism should be simple yet stable and sturdy in order to ensure safety. Select a ramp that can be retracted into a compact size when not in use, to facilitate easy storage.
Detachable ramps are ideal for wheelchair-bound individuals while getting on and off a vehicle. These are also ideal to carry where there may be an elevated pavement or a few steps. You may have fixed ramps installed in the house to facilitate easy movement, but detachable ramps are a must-have when traveling.
Location indicator beacon: These beacons were initially designed for those who have an affinity for the outdoors. Those who love going trekking or camping out in the wild where it is difficult to get any cell phone network signal. When such people are in a distress situation, all they have to do is sound the beacon, which will send a signal to a satellite. The satellite, in turn, will relay the signal to the ground center. Once the beacon sends the signal your location is triangulated, and help is sent from the ground center to rescue you.
These beacons are meant for single use only and therefore must be used in a truly life-threatening situation and not for minor inconveniences. For physically challenged individuals with mobility, speech and hearing impairment, these beacons can be life saviors when they are traveling solo and are involved in a road accident or have sustained a severe injury and they need to be removed from the situation immediately.
Mobile phone: As silly as it may sound, there are times we tend to forget our cell phones at home. And we are all well aware of the inconvenience that causes us. In the case of physically challenged individuals, this is a way of reaching out to their loved ones, when they are on the go. Having a cell phone at hand serves an even important purpose in times of an emergency.
This is no way meant to undermine the immense potential of physically challenged individuals to take care of them. But having a cell phone handy when you are on the go provides a sense of assurance that in case they are stuck; they know they can reach out to someone who they can rely on.
If you happen to come across a physically challenged individual, and they appear like they are struggling with getting something, avoid jumping right in to help them. Check with them first if they require assistance or not. Chances are that they are perfectly capable of accomplishing what they are trying to do, though they may ‘appear’ to be struggling.
If you are a caregiver or a family member of a physically challenged individual, you may want to encourage these individuals to look after themselves and do most of their tasks on their own. This will instill a great amount of self-respect in them and also serve as a confidence booster. After all, kindness and acceptance are what we are all looking for.