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5 things you must know about wheelchair users

Being on a wheelchair can change your life in many ways. But that definitely does not mean you cannot have fun or look out for new things to explore. People without disabilities think that those with disabilities are incapable of doing most things, especially day to day activities. But clearly, that is not the case. They have fun and experiment new stuff!

Thanks to assistive technology and mobile apps, things are much easier now. Wheelchair users can travel, drive and do things independently without any hassles.

Priya Bhargava is a wheelchair user and winner of Miss Wheelchair India 2015. She has also won many awards and is a motivational speaker too.

Most of the times, wheelchair users are not very visible in public because they are hesitant to get out. Some of the main reasons are inaccessible places and perceptions about people about disabilities. Disabled people have to seek help only because our places are inaccessible. People think that those with disabilities are not intelligent. That is just sheer unawareness.- Priya Bhargava, Miss Wheelchair India 2015

Check out these 5 things that you must know about wheelchair users

  • They love to travel - Gone are days when wheelchair users were not able to travel due to mobility issues. There are many international and local travel destinations that are disabled friendly and accessible. This makes travelling easier and tension free for wheelchair users. So whether it is air, road or rail, wheelchair users can travel without any hassles. No doubt that there are certain challenges attached to travelling. But there is no fun without some unforeseen challenges!
  • Wheelchair users work - Of course, we all need a job that pays well! Most wheelchair users prefer working from home. Some of the jobs that wheelchair users do from home are graphic and web designing, writing, and arts. Some of them even run their own businesses from home. But there are many others who prefer going to offices to work. With the help of assistive technology, work is also made easier. No doubt that certain sectors show discrimination at wheelchair users, especially when it comes to paying salaries. Did you know that it is illegal to do something like that! Company heads can be put behind bars for showing discrimination to disabled people at work place.
  • Wheelchair users do not need special assistance - Most of the time, people without disabilities believe that a wheelchair user would appreciate some extra help. But most of them don't. So if you spot a wheelchair user at a grocery store doing some shopping, you need not ask them for help unless they request you to for some assistance. Wheelchair users are independent and able to take care of their own needs. Offering them help unnecessarily will only make you look awkward.
  • They drive - Yes, they do. So if you thought that driving is only for people without disabilities, time to change your perception! Wheelchair users drive specifically modified cars. We know many wheelchair users who do long trips in their cars. Technology is a wheelchair user's best friend. Most of them utilize it to the maximum. Same in the case of driving as well!
  • Wheelchair users make great companions and friends - If you connect or find a great vibe with a wheelchair user, do not hesitate to take it to the next level. Who knows, maybe you just found your best pal for life. A disability does not determine the person. It is true that they have a physical disability. But they are great in bonding too.

Dhanya Gopinath is a wheelchair user from Kerala, who teaches abacus.

"Many people have misconceptions that people on wheelchairs cannot do most of the things. I conduct abacus classes, are part of a music troupe for wheelchair users and also does ornament making at home. Initially, these are things that I thought I will not b able to do. But everything is possible", says Gopinath.

ALSO READ: Here are four things you must never tell a wheelchair user

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