We see, hear, and read about individuals with limited mobility all the time. However, we don’t often educate ourselves on the best way to communicate with someone who uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter. While you should talk to them just as you do everyone else, EZ-ACCESS wants you to know there are things you need to consider when interacting with someone who has limited mobility.
It is always important to respect the personal space of those around you and this includes an individual using a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Don’t push someone’s wheelchair unless they ask you to. Some people may take offense to this gesture while others may be grateful. If you are talking to someone in a wheelchair for a long period of time, take a seat or kneel down so they don’t have to crane their neck throughout the entire conversation in order to see you.
Never park in handicapped parking spaces. Parking in a space designated as accessible for those with limited mobility is not only selfish, it’s illegal. Accessible parking spaces are very valuable and forcing someone using a wheelchair to park far away from the door is rude and a major inconvenience.
It is important that you do not just see a disability when you look at an individual. Everybody has different abilities but each person is still who they are. Individuals are not defined by the challenges they may or may not face. Interact with each person based on their thoughts and feelings instead. Individuals living with limited mobility do not want to talk about it all the time. This is not the sole thing that makes them who they are and they are not looking for your pity.
All people, no matter what their abilities are, have something to contribute and deserve to be treated with respect. It is important to understand that, and try to find knowledge about things you aren’t sure about. EZ-ACCESS understands that seniors and individuals with disabilities live independent and mobile lifestyles. We work to provide these individuals and their families with the proper knowledge and equipment to live an active life.