Adjusting to life with a mobility impairment is one journey that’s impossible to plan for. It’s also one of the toughest journeys you, or your loved one, may ever face. The good news is that you don’t have to go at it alone. We’ve put together a list of resources you’ll find useful as you begin reorganizing your lifestyle to accommodate your support needs. From great magazines, to organizations you can contact when you need a helping hand, find it here!
Find your adaptive technology fit
You’ll be making adjustments to your living space and travel logistics, and access to the right adaptive technology is key to helping you maintain your independence.
- The Mobile Stairlift (patented design) is one example of a portable stair chair that would ease one of the most common mobility challenges — taking the stairs. And because it’s transportable, it means you can use it at home or when going out or using public transport.
- Alternatives In Motion is a Michigan-based organization dedicated to helping people gain access to mobility equipment. If you don’t have insurance, or have been denied adequate coverage they’ll be a great support. If you live outside of Michigan state, they may be able to put you in touch with similar organizations in your own area.
Bookmark resource and research hubs
If you’re looking to keep your finger on the pulse of the disability rights movement and the quest for universal design, these resources are a great place to start.
- The World Institute on Disability focuses on work and partnerships that build an inclusive, equal society for people with disabilities. Explore their site for links to their latest news on Accessibility Consulting, Health Access, and even Climate Change! They’ve also got a great resources section that shares their publications on these topics.
- DO-IT, or the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology Center manages a global effort to empower people with disabilities through technology and education. Check out their page for online content and resources for students with disabilities, and news on their advocacy to promote the application of universal design principles to public space.
Join a support network
There’s more to adjusting to a mobility impairment than simply taking care of practical access. The emotional impact also needs to be given space to breath. Joining a support network can be the difference between staying motivated, or losing heart before achieving your lifestyle goal.
- Disabilities-R-Us is an online community created by, and for, people with physical disabilities. Make online friends from around the world through their chat room, engage in community forums, and access legal and general resources through their page.
- Facing disability.com is specially aimed at supporting families facing spinal cord injuries. It connects people who suddenly find themselves adjusting to one, with those who’ve already had that experience. Their extensive video library is packed with everything from an introduction to these injuries, to testimonials from members of the community.
Understand your Social Security benefits
Knowing what Social Security you’re entitled to can lighten the strain you may be facing from the uncertain financial future as a result of mobility impairment.
- The Social Security Administration page on benefits for people with disabilities is your starting point. From here you’ll be able to access guides to how much support you’re entitled to, how to apply and how working may affect your benefits.
Getting your daily dose of exercise, and indulging your love of adventure travel are two things that definitely don’t have to stop just because of a mobility impairment. In fact, exercise is more important than ever as part of your rehabilitation journey, as is maintaining your social connections.
- Adaptive Sports USA makes sure that people with disabilities maintain their access to competitive sports opportunities. Become a member to access their network of athletes, chapter organizations, and events. If you’re interested in competitive archery, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, or table tennis, they’re the ones to call!
- Accessible Journeys is a tour operator and vacation planner exclusively for wheelchair users, and their family and friends. Whether you’re planning on traveling solo, or with a group, they’ve got a range of tour packages that open up the world.
These resources are a beginning. You’ll probably find yourself dealing with unexpected challenges every day, and that takes a few more hacks than a list of links can give. That’s why we’ve put together a resource page for that dives a little deeper into the details of adjusting to life with a mobility impairment. From tips on getting back into a home routine, to maintaining your social life, find it here: