Sunday, 28 August 2016

Accessible Days Out.

As a fairly new wheelchair user I am becoming increasingly aware of places I can and cannot visit easily. Accessibility is something you don't really think about until you are in that situation. I guess the closet I've come to thinking about it in the past is when I've had my children in their pushchairs. Times when you can't get across a road for all the parked cars, or you are faced with a big flight of steps, or even public transport although that has improved over the years. When my older children were born you couldn't take your pushchair on the bus, you had to fold it up and put it in the holder and carry baby or toddler on your lap.

Things are changing for wheelchair and pushchair users though, over time I'm seeing so much more accessibility. There are also places that you normally wouldn't think of visiting with a wheelchair that are surprisingly accessible, like castles and museums. It makes such a difference for all with mobility problems, but it's so exciting when a wheelchair bound mum, like me, can take their child to visit these places. Here is a fantastic infographic showing just some of the places you can now visit in a wheelchair, and a pushchair of course.
Scroll infographic to view it all.

This week I am getting my especially adapted car so we will be able to get around a lot easier. It makes a big difference to those with disabilities to be able to get around without having to relying on public transport. Do you know, if I want to get a train I have to phone ahead at least 24 hours in advance to tell them. I can't just turn up and jump on a train like I used to. Even when I go by bus I often wait while bus after bus goes past because there is no room for my wheelchair. Taxi's are also a problem, first you need one that is big enough to carry your wheelchair, then you need someone willing to help you. If we go as a family we have to order a extra large taxi, which of course carries extra expense. Having a car is going to make such a huge difference. I am lucky because I can transfer from my wheelchair to a car but some disabled people need wheelchair accessible vehicles so they can get in while still in their chair. I'm not sure yet if I will be able to cope on my own, I can't put my wheelchair in the boot or get it out by myself so I'll have to have someone with me. Being able to drive my wheelchair into the car would make life easier for me. It's maybe something I will think about in the future for even more independance.

So, where will I visit when I get my car? Somewhere accessible of course!
I wish I lived more north, I'd love to visit Scotland, going back to my infographic, can you imagine climbing a mountain in a wheelchair, I'd love that. I'd also love to visit The Falkirk Wheel or Edinburgh Castle. There are accessible castles a little closer, like Caernarfan Castle in Wales. I've also been to the World Museum in Liverpool in the past, when I was mobile. I'd love to go back knowing that it is possible to do so in my wheelchair.

If I wanted to travel further afield it's refreshing to know that their are sites like Disabled Holidays at hand to help find accessible holidays. Disabled Go also provides information and accessible places to visit including restaurants and hotels.

Sometimes, when you are wheelchair bound it feels like going out is such a hassle and staying at home is the better option. I know I've felt like this a lot this past nine months. It need not be so bad though, there are options you just need to look for them, from transport to places to visit and even holidays abroad, being wheelchair bound should not be a drawback.

Infographic suppplied by Mobility Nationwide.
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