Do you have reservations about going out on the town in a wheelchair? Dave, an independent C6 quadriplegic, has some advice to help those who might be hesitant when it comes to getting out for some social fun.
Be an Organizer
“I still go out a lot and always have from day one as a quad,” shares Dave. He lives in Australia and says that most, though not all, venues are accessible. And even though a venue is deemed accessible, there could still be potential issues with navigating it easily on wheels.
“It can be easier to go out with friends and colleagues, or attend social events, if you become one of the chief organisers in your friendship group. That way when it’s time to go out people naturally look to you to nominate venues, etc. This means you get to pick the accessible ones right from the start.”
Dave admits he’s had to pick up organizational skills and keep his eye on what venues are both popular and that his group of friends enjoys for this approach to truly work. Sometimes this means either phoning an establishment ahead of time, or even visiting in advance to check out the accessibility. But putting in that extra effort has paid off for Dave and has allowed him to fully partake in hanging out in a social setting with friends.
Have Confidence in Crowds
Dave knows what it’s like to be in a crowded area with a wheelchair. It can be intimidating and not to mention difficult to move to where you need to be. He’s developed a technique that works for him.
“I start moving slowly in to the crowd, when I reach someone who doesn’t move I reach out and touch their elbow, they usually look around then down at me, I say excuse me, or gesture if its noisy, and they move. “
Dave has found that touching people on the elbow is generally accepted by most, and not seen as rude or offensive. In fact he says “the elbow works so well that I now lead my friends through crowds rather than getting them to clear the way.”
These are just a couple of Dave’s tips to help you feel more confident in getting out and about with friends. So what are you waiting for?
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