Tag Archives: devices for the disabled

The Experts?



I know, I know, I am just a poor slob who carries around my own stumbling blocks.  But I am intimately involved with those stumbling blocks.  I am in a wheelchair.  I have used a walker, canes and a scooter.  I think I am perhaps more aware of what the benefits and problems are with each aid than some of these ‘experts’ appear to be.  My scooter was wonderful.  It was comfortable, had a great basket for shopping and it is no longer available to purchase.  Why?  It is, was, the most inexpensive of all the scooters I could find, it is one of only a few scooters that has the basket attached to the body of the vehicle as opposed to the tiller.  If the basket is attached to the tiller then the weight of anything you put into the basket is transferred to the tiller.  As the tiller is used to steer the scooter, steering becomes very stiff.  Lack of control is simply an accident waiting to happen.  The ‘experts/designers’ must have realized this because the baskets are very small.  I could maybe get a carton of milk and a loaf of bread in some of them. I guess this means the users of these vehicles are not supposed to do any shopping.  Ah yes, another vote for independence.

I am now using a power wheelchair.  They do not have any baskets.  I have been told that I can put anything I buy in a bag on the back of my chair. If I were a contortionist that would be an option.  I am not.  On my first chair I developed a solution.  You see I may have a disability, but I am not without some intelligence.  There may be those that disagree but we will talk about them later, much later.  Back to the basket.  I took a bungee cord, a little one, and attached it to the chair just behind my footrests.  Then I took a basket and placed in on the footrest and on the bungee cord and voila! A shopping basket.  Now I can go shopping when I want or take it off and go without.  AND I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF!  Now that is independence.  Everyone told me that a power chair would allow me to remain independent.  They didn’t mention that as long as I had someone to do my shopping.  I just added that remark to the YEAH RIGHT column and deleted it with the rest of the garbage. My second chair was modified by a friend based on my designed and is even better. A small shelf was attached to the chair just above the footrests.  When not needed it tucks out of the way.

Are you getting the impression that there is a conspiracy to keep the undesirables down?  Silly thought.  There are those who may consider me an eyesore but I do not believe it is because of my disability.  I think it is just their inability to see.  They are not blind just really, really dense.   With the cost of everything for those with a ‘disability’ so expensive it is no surprise the makers of these devices want to keep the lucrative market to themselves.  If everyone were able to purchase items that were made to last and had all the right devices on them, the market would collapse.  Yep, my cynicism is just bubbling to the surface here.  I deal with a store that services my equipment and they have tried to explain problems to the makers and were rebuffed.  Even when the makers were wrong, they would not admit it and correct the problem.  How sad.  I am sure there are good people out there but it is sometimes tough to find them.  When I find something that works, I hang on to it.

That philosophy just never worked on men!