Monthly Archives: July 2015

5 Tips for the Teachers Working with Students in Wheelchairs

wheelchair teacher

Today, we’re calling out to all the teachers out there because, whether you like it or not, summer is almost over and the first day of school is right around the corner.  For many of you, this means getting to know a brand new group of students, some of whom may be wheelchair users.  This is why the team at EZ-ACCESS wanted to take this opportunity to offer suggestions on working with students in wheelchairs.

  1. Don’t assume assistance is needed.

Always ask if assistance is needed before helping the student.  Also, never assume this student can’t do something because of their wheelchair.  Focus on the fact that the wheelchair allows this student to participate, not prevent them from participating.

  1. Face to face discussions are important.

If you’re interacting with this student for more than a minute, be sure to get to their level and have a face-to-face discussion.

  1. Provide a clear path.

Evaluate the organization of your desks as well as access to each area of the school so that you can help direct this student to the ideal path for them to take.  Consider if you were to invite a wheelchair user to your home.  How would you plan to accommodate them?  Be sure to anticipate their needs.

  1. During transfers, keep wheelchair within reach.

Familiarize yourself with how your student will need to transfer for washroom visits as well as transportation.  If you’re helping the student transfer, it is important to keep their wheelchair within their reach.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the student’s history.

Our final suggestion is that you develop an understanding of your student’s physical and emotional needs.  Learn about your student’s history from his/her parents as well as outside agencies.

Using these five tips, you will not only help your student reach his/her full potential in your classroom; you’ll also set a standard for how the rest of the class is to treat this student.  Our hope is that your excellent example will inspire your students to go out and spark a change in how society views individuals with disabilities.  Thank you in advance for being the change we all hope to see in the world!

How to Stay Motivated During Tough Times

motivation tough times

In the mobility and accessibility industry, we are constantly reminded that life is hard and can change in an instant.  Whether you’ve recently become a wheelchair user, you are experiencing financial strain, going through difficult times in your family or having trouble in your career, it’s hard to stay motivated and keep moving forward.  At EZ-ACCESS, we learn about difficult situations in mobility daily, so we thought today would be the perfect day to offer suggestions on how to stay motivated during tough times.

Start Small

Looking at the situation as a whole can be intimidating, but breaking it down into small steps that are reached and celebrated will traditionally lead to greater motivation.  Some of you may be in too deep to even see the light at the end of the tunnel, which can make it hard to keep going, but with small achievements, you’ll find the will to keep moving forward.

Remember Why

While we just suggested celebrating baby steps, it is important to keep the final goal in your sights.  Keep in mind why you are cutting back spending, getting up early for exercise or continuing to dedicate time to a job that you dislike.  This way, when things get hard and you forget why you are begrudgingly completing this task, you’ll be reminded of the end goal and keep going.

Keep it in Perspective

When we are dealing with a difficult life situation, we can often lose sight of the aspects of our life that are going well.  Remember to keep the difficult part of your life in perspective and don’t let it the positive areas of your life such as family relationships.

Limit Yourself

Learn how to keep a healthy balance.  Some individuals tend to get lost in the difficult situation and forget to balance with breaks from the situation.  Take breaks to spend with family, with your hobbies or on your own with a good book.  When you return to the task at hand, you’ll be able to look at it more objectively.

Most importantly, find the good in your situation and try to witness personal growth, and also ask for help.  EZ-ACCESS works with vendors and customers to help find the best solution for mobile accessibility.  If you’re struggling to navigate your home as a new mobility user, reach out to EZ-ACCESS and let us know your situation so that we can help!

Keep Calm and Clean Your Wheelchair

clean wheelchair

Do you have the most beautiful wheelchair on the block?  If not, now it the perfect time to earn that title.  This month, we celebrate National Wheelchair Beautification Month by identifying the most effective ways to keep your wheelchair looking shiny and new all year long.  Come along with the EZ-ACCESS team as we describe everything from spot cleaning your nylon seat to maintaining ball bearings!

Wheelchair Cleaning

  • Wipe down entire wheelchair WEEKLY
  • Apply car wax to wheelchair frame
  • Use multipurpose cleaning on marks

Cushion Cleaning

  • Remove cover
  • Machine wash on warm/cold and gentle cycle with mild detergent (no bleach)
  • Air dry (do not tumble dry)
  • Clean cushion by following manufacturer instructions as there are many types out there

Spot Cleaning Nylon Seat

  • Place a towel under the wheelchair to catch drips
  • Spray multi-purpose cleaning on spot or spill
  • Wipe from outside in with microfiber cloth
  • Use clean cloth to wipe down after spot is gone
  • Dampen entire site for even drying
  • Allow to completely dry before use

Maintaining Your Wheelchair

  • Check for loose nuts and bolts MONTHLY
  • Check all function such as removable parts, tilt and fold mechanisms and locks
  • Check wheel tire pressure and tread
  • Pick and clean wheel axle completely
  • Check frame for cracks or breaks in metal and report problems to dealer
  • Lubricate folding mechanism YEARLY
  • Check wheel alignment MONTHLY

Wheelchair cleaning and maintenance is vital when it comes to performance, safety and reliability, and can greatly extend the life of your wheelchair.  Although EZ-ACCESS does not provide wheelchairs or wheelchair cleaner, we do carry wheelchair accessories such as covers, chair packs and underneath carriers as well as a full line of wheelchair ramps to help you safely get you where you need to go.   Contact EZ-ACCESS and see how we can help make your life more accessible!

Celebrate National Parks & Recreation Month with Accessible Outdoor Activities

accessible recreation

July is National Parks & Recreation Month and we at EZ-Access want to help you get out and enjoy your local parks, trails and summertime activities! From identifying easily accessible outdoor areas to joining a local adaptive sports team, EZ-Access is prepared to get you involved with Parks and Recreation Month.

Identifying Accessible Parks and Trails

In recent years, new guidelines have been put in place to help make parks and trails more easily accessible for those with limited mobility. Newer or recently updated parks will be your best bet when looking for a park that can support your mobility needs. These newer parks and trails should include modifications such as wider trails, smoother surfaces, a decrease in hills and major slopes, and accessible routes to campgrounds, beaches, picnic areas, etc.

Summertime Adaptive Sports

Many communities offer adaptive sports for those with disabilities. From golfing to kayaking, there are a variety of adaptive sports available in the summer months for both kids and adults. These modified sports can include adaptive equipment or rules, offer exciting exercise to get you active and can provide comradery and friendship by working with a team. Interested in trying a specific sport? Disabled Sports USA has resources for adaptive sports all across America.

Get Involved

If you are interested in getting outdoors, spending time in the park or joining an adaptive sports program, research what your community offers. There are many national organizations that help get accessible parks and recreational activities in cities across the United States. There may even be a local organization near you! Consider joining an organization that helps provide communities with accessible outdoor areas or an organization that helps develop adaptive sports programs for local communities.

EZ-Access hopes that you will join in the celebration of National Parks & Recreation Month and get involved with your community. As always, feel free to visit us or contact us today if you have any home or commercial accessibility questions!