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How to Use a Wheelchair

Congratulations on your new wheelchair! I’m sure by now you’ve already heard the entire speech about always locking your brakes before transferring and to avoid the stairs, so I’m not going to worry about that. I’m here to cover all the stuff that PTs, OTs, and PCPs often leave out.

House Buying Tips for Wheelchair Users

Buying a house is daunting for everyone. But for wheelchair users, it can be extremely difficult. Here are a few tips specifically for wheelchair user that will hopefully make things easier.

How Do I Hug My Partner From My Wheelchair?

No matter what you decide to do, I recommend you talk to your partner about what works or doesn’t work for both of you. Don’t be afraid to actually set aside time to practice physical closeness and intimacy while using your wheelchair. It never hurts to have a plan and be on the same page.

How Do I Use a Cane on Ice?

When walking over ice, you want to keep the force you apply to your cane or crutch as perpendicular to the ground as possible. This will reduce the risk it slipping on ice and kicking out in front of you.

A Wheelchair User’s Guide to Getting a Massage

If you’ve been considering getting a massage for either pain management, as supplement to physical therapy, or simply for relaxation, this guide show you what to expect for your first massage and guide you through the process of choosing the right type of massage for your needs.

A Manual Wheelchair User’s Guide to Flying

Unless you own the plane, flying is pretty terrible. For manual wheelchair users, flying really sucks. Here’s a guide about what to expect and how to pack, plan, and de‐plane so that your journey sucks less (it’s still gonna suck).

A Manual Wheelchair User’s Guide to Clothing

Clothing is complicated and you’ll need to spend time trying out different styles and fits to figure out what works best for you. Take your time and choose and wear pieces consciously. Learn what brands work best for your body and stick with them.

Crip Tip: Sandal Safety

Sandals work well for wheelchair users: they’re easy to slip on and off and are fairly comfortable. But, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind if you want to wear them safely.

How Do I Apply for SSI/SSDI?

SSI/SSDI seems to be really geared towards folks whose financial situation is consistently bad and isn’t going to change in the long term. If that’s not you, I would stay away from it.

How to Safely Use an Oven While in a Wheelchair

Despite ovens being less “active” than a stovetop—you’re not actively stirring boiling hot liquids inches from your face—there’s still several hazards you’ll need to be aware of.

How Do I Navigate Tight Spaces in My Wheelchair?

The key is to slow down and take your time moving through your house. Not only will this help you navigate better, but it’ll give you a chance to spot small, temporary changes you can make to improve your situation.

How I Exercise

When I first tried to solve this problem, I did some research online for things like “seated cardio” or “wheelchair cardio” and the results either involved a lot of precise and repetitive leg movements or were so mild there was no way they were going to be effective.

A Guide to Grocery Shopping in a Wheelchair

I only recommend using a cart when you’re going to be loading your groceries into a vehicle. Otherwise, you run the risk of buying more than you can carry with you when you leave.

How Do You Cut Your Toenails With Cerebral Palsy?

One of the tougher aspects of having cerebral palsy is the lack of flexibility. The tightness it creates in the hamstrings makes it really difficult to lean forward and reach your feet. Here’s here’s a couple of ways you can cut your toenails without asking for help.

How Do I Keep My Wheelchair Clean and Hygienic?

There’s really no good way to keep your chair clean while you’re using it. When you’re outside, the ground is touching your wheels and the wheels are touching your hands. But, there are ways to keep yourself clean while you are in the chair.

Use Meal Prepping to Save Time and Energy

Having a disability or chronic illness can make eating healthy an insurmountable challenge. Weekly meal prep let’s you spend the rest of your week focusing on your health instead of on what’s for dinner.

Always Be Able to Transfer

For those of you who are able to transfer: do everything in your power to keep this ability. Being able to transfer yourself in and out of your chair not only opens up areas that may otherwise be inaccessible

The (Almost) Complete Guide to Buying a Wheelchair

If you’re wondering how to go about buying a wheelchair, here’s a (mostly) complete guide to buying a chair. Please note that this guide assumes you’re working within the American healthcare system and have some form of insurance.

How to Read a Sidewalk

Analyzing a sidewalk for hazards before your chair hits them is an important skill for any wheelchair user.

Check Your Reflection for Safety

When moving about any kind of urban environment, take the time to glance at your reflection in shop windows or any other reflective surface to make sure no one is trying to come up behind you and touch you, your chair, or your service animal.

Cripple Survival Skills: Pop a Wheelie

The first step in being able to lift the front of your chair is to lift the front of your chair in a safe and controlled environment. Feel free to grab a friend who’s willing to spot you if it makes you feel safer. 

Protect Your Superpower

Many of us have a superpower: an often small but significant thing that we’re not supposed be able to do given the extent of our disability but can somehow still pull off. Maybe you’re a quadriplegic who can juggle (I know a guy) or your a paraplegic who has greater access to their core muscles than is deemed possible. 

Driving With Hand Controls, A Cripple’s Guide

If you can manage to get in and out of your vehicle without moving the steering column, opt to have it locked in place when your hand controls are installed. This gives you a lot more flexibility when choosing the positioning of the hand controls and steering knob.

Self‐Care Advice For the Physically Disabled

Self‐care has been talked about a lot lately. While there are a lot of posts out there that can help you discover ways to manage your mental and physical health in times of crisis, I wanted to create something that was geared towards folks with limited mobility.

Make Your Daily Life More Accessible By Being Consistent.

Improving the accessibility / wheelchair friendliness of our lives can be tough. Every little thing can be a struggle: doing the laundry, getting in and out of the car, shopping for groceries, purchasing something large and figuring out just how the fuck you’re going to get it into your car with your wheelchair.

Cell Phone Stores are a Great Place For Emergency Repairs

A while back, the footplate on my chair came lose and fell to the ground as I was heading home from work. While it was still attached to my chair, it was giving me literally no ground clearance and was making the loudest and most horrific noises as it ground against the concrete. There may have been sparks.

Crip Tip: Use a Tool Wrap

City streets can be hell on your chair. I’ve had screws rattle loose, foot plates drop, and tires pop. The last thing you want to do is be caught unprepared when something on your chair fails.

Crip Tip: Use a Travel Mug

We’ve all been in this situation: you’re out with a friend when they suggest you get coffee (or some other to-go beverage).  “Great idea!” you say, not realizing that “let’s get coffee” means “How about I carry a beverage for you and you awkwardly ask me to hand it you every few minutes lest you seer your crotch with scolding hot coffee?”