All communities should be inclusive of all of their members. This is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good economic sense. When everyone feels welcome and included, they are more likely to feel welcome and participate in the community. Creating change always begins with the efforts of the few in raising awareness and calling for action. Hence, if you’re a passionate individual who wants to make a difference in your local community, here are some ways you can make it more inclusive for wheelchair users:
Helping Them Access Needed Assistance
Helping wheelchair users in your community to have access to their needs is essential for creating an inclusive environment. Here are some of them:
Some wheelchair users may find it challenging to work because of their condition. This is especially true if they need to use a wheelchair for an extended period. They still need to live independently and be able to afford necessities such as medicine, food, or utility bills. But without employment, this can prove to be challenging for them. In this case, they must have access to financial assistance. To do this, you can offer to find legal services that can efficiently help them manage their social security disability applications and appeals. This will help ensure they have the budget they need to live independently and care for themselves.
Wheelchairs can be expensive, and not everyone can afford one. That’s why wheelchair users must have access to medical assistance, whether it’s through insurance or a government program. This will help them get the care and treatment they need to maintain their health and live a full life. For example, if they need surgery, they can get it done at a hospital with the necessary equipment and staff to take care of them properly. This is important because even if there are smaller and closer medical facilities to their homes, small clinics or doctor’s offices may not have the equipment or staff to properly address specific health concerns of wheelchair users.
Ramps and Handicap Accessible Entrances
As individuals with limited mobility, wheelchair users will face daily challenges that others never consider. For example, they may have difficulty getting into a building because it doesn’t have a ramp or a wider entrance that fits their wheelchair. This is why it’s important to ensure that all public places in your community, such as businesses, schools, and government buildings, are wheelchair accessible. Everyone should be able to easily enter and exit these places, especially in cases where there may be a need to evacuate the premises in an emergency, such as a fire.
Handrails in Public Bathrooms
Handrails help those with disabilities, such as wheelchair users, to get in and out of the bathroom more easily. This is because they can hold onto the handrail while transferring from their wheelchair to the toilet and vice versa. Handrails are also helpful for older adults or pregnant women who may need extra support when using the restroom. This will make it easier and more comfortable for them to use the restroom without feeling like they are going to fall.
Providing Inclusive Recreation and Social Opportunities
Recreation and social activities are essential for everyone, but they’re crucial for people with disabilities. They provide a much-needed outlet for social interaction and physical activity. This includes adaptive sports, sitting exercise classes, and wheelchair-friendly nature trails. It’s important to offer a variety of activities so that everyone can find something that interests them.
Educating Yourself and Others
Educating yourself and others about inclusion and the need for everyone to feel welcome in the community is also essential. This includes learning about the challenges that people with physical disabilities face daily. Additionally, you can talk to friends, family, and co-workers about the importance of inclusion. You can also share your knowledge with others through social media or other online platforms. This will help raise awareness among your peers and connections so that you can all work together to create an inclusive society.
Volunteering or Donating Your Time
Another way to make your community more inclusive is to volunteer or donate your time to help create an inclusive environment. This can be done through organizations that provide services to people with physical disabilities. You can also participate in activities that promote inclusion, such as fundraisers or awareness events. By actively offering your services, you are not only helping out these organizations for their cause, but you are also helping to spread the message of inclusion.
By making it easy for wheelchair users to access these places and resources, you are sending the message that they are welcome and are valuable members of your community.