The COVID leash slackened just in time for summer. And like caged birds, many of us have joyously flown the coop—headed for parks, beaches, eateries—anywhere outside in the fresh air! All, that is, except the disabled who have no way to get around. For thousands of disabled Americans “lockdown” has an entirely different, and seemingly permanent meaning. Yet all many of these good folks need are wheelchairs: chariots of freedom!
The ripple effect of COVID
The pandemic created an unprecedented mental health epidemic in America. First came the misery of suffering from COVID-19 and the fear of contracting the disease. Then came the domino effect of business failures, rampant unemployment, foreclosures, and evictions. And for those who still had jobs and homes came the new normal of homeschooling and remote work assignments.
The emotional fallout from the subsequent lockdown: alienation, isolation, loneliness, and stress. Now imagine living on lockdown all the time. Long before anyone ever heard of COVID, millions of disabled people were stuck at home feeling isolated and lonely. And all because they couldn’t get around on their own.
American wheelchair users
Physio-pedia.com reports that in the U.S. “… there are an estimated 3.3 million wheelchair users, with estimated 1.825 million of those users aged 65 and older, and the number increasing every year with an expected 2 Million new wheelchair users every year….and many children and adults need additional postural support in their wheelchair. Wheelchair users include children, adults and the elderly; both men and women who have a wide range of mobility impairments, lifestyles, life roles and backgrounds; living and working in different environments including rural, semi-urban and urban areas.”
And for kids with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, or other disabilities, their wheelchairs must change or grow as they do.
The world on wheels
A wheelchair may not seem like such a big deal—until you need one. That’s when you realize what a wonderful difference it can make to your quality of life. So what, you may ask, can having a wheelchair do? Well, the answer is not what the wheelchair can do so much as what it enables the owner to do:
Wheelchairs really are chariots of freedom to do all kinds of things. There’s swimming, for instance, or the other pool party, aka billiards. And if you strike out at the billiard table, there’s always bowling. Boating, fishing, basketball, and dancing—wheelchairs enable the disabled to savor the pleasures of life like the rest of us!
That’s because they are like the rest of us! And a lot of venues around the world take this to heart! Here’s a short list of the places that welcome wheelchair users with open-arms:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art [aka The Met] in New York
- The Louvre in Paris
- Disney World
- Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio TX-which was designed specifically for the disabled
- The Smithsonian Institution in our nation’s capital
- Legoland—every single one on the planet!
Enabling the disabled
How would you like to help a few of your housebound neighbors get out and see the world? Magnovo’s WheelCharity Team Building Workshop is the perfect vehicle for you—pun intended. That’s because afterwards, your team will be on a roll—personally and professionally!
To start, Magnovo will help you identify the disabled veteran, child, social service organization, or other recipient in your community who needs a wheelchair. Then you’ll spend the day building it yourself. That’s right! Every nut and bolt will be assembled by your team.
And with the completion of every section, you’ll find yourselves growing closer as colleagues and friends. Each step along the way will require communications and collaborative skills that will help you understand each other better. That’s how strong teams are built.
Wheelchairs: chariots of freedom for the disabled and extraordinary team building vehicles for your company.