The first of March is International Wheelchair Day every year, and the ‘international’ part is quite truthful. There are celebrations all around the world, such as in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia, among other countries. If you’ve never heard of this celebration, it’s a great time to get involved and promote disability awareness. Further, it is a good reason to celebrate with friends and family. Those who wish to celebrate should look for local events in their area as there may be a local wheelchair-accessible International Wheelchair Day.
What Are the Aims of International Wheelchair Day?
There are a few aims of International Wheelchair Day other than simply the promotion of disability awareness. This day allows those who use wheelchairs to share how wheelchairs have helped them with mobility and taking control of their lives again. There are many positive aspects that a wheelchair can bring to the user, and International Wheelchair Day is a great time to share stories with others. Also, this day is for caregivers, manufacturers, providers, salespeople, and anyone involved with the design, manufacture, and sale of wheelchairs. Their hard work has truly made the world a better place, and they are honored on this day in addition to those who use wheelchairs.
Beyond just disability awareness, International Wheelchair Day also wants to shed light on the fact that many people around the world could use a wheelchair or other medical products to help improve their quality of life, but because of financial or insurance reasons, they are unable to access one. International Wheelchair Day wants to see a world where every person who needs a wheelchair is given access to one.
Quick Facts About Wheelchairs and International Wheelchair Day
International Wheelchair Day was founded in 2008 by a British blogger coined “wheelchair Steve,” with the aims and purposes mentioned previously. In the United States alone, three million people use a wheelchair each day. This number doesn’t include the vast number of children and adults who need a wheelchair but cannot afford one.
The first known wheelchair was constructed by the ancient Greeks, and it was built in approximately 525 AD. One of the first “famous” people to use a wheelchair was King Philip II of Spain. However, these early wheelchairs were not very mobile and he required an assistant to push his chair. The first motorized wheelchairs came about in the 1950s to help disabled World War II veterans. As of 2018, there are many unique wheelchair designs that allow patients to be much more mobile than before.
Disability Awareness and More About Wheelchair Accessories
International Wheelchair Day 2019 celebrates all that there is about wheelchairs and disabilities. Some patients require more than just the wheelchair itself in order to have the best quality of life.
- Ramps – Installing ramps in the home is a wonderful way for those in a wheelchair to be independent when it comes to leaving and arriving at their own home.
- Eye gaze and AAC devices – Some patients, especially children, who use a wheelchair are nonverbal. Having an augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) device helps the person communicate with the world. Eye gaze devices are also available for those who do not have use of their extremities, allowing them to talk and communicate as well as operate the wheelchair.
One of the many aims of International Wheelchair Day is to bring attention to these other helpful devices as well as the wheelchair itself.
To learn more about how wheelchair accessories and mobility products, such as stair lifts and accessibility ramps, can help improve your quality of life, contact Williams Lift Co. today. We can offer a free estimate for over five different types of ramps, to help you regain control of your independence.