Top 5 Problems When Travelling With A Wheelchair


Issues that may occur whenever a disabled person travels are pretty much the same issues faced in a normal day to day setting. There might be problems with accessibility, plane travel, wrong attitudes people might have towards the disabled and many more.

Here are 5 top problems a disabled person might face and how to deal with them:

1. Language Barriers

This is true for everyone who is about to take a trip and embark on a journey, whether disabled or not. Once you reach your destination, there is always the question of how you’re going to communicate with the local people if you don’t understand the local language.

One super useful thing to do is to learn a couple of useful phrases in case you get to be in a sticky situation. You might not remember them all by heart, and therefore you could write them on a piece of paper with the needed translation.

When you need to converse, you could navigate to the appropriate phrase and let the local person read in their language what it is you are trying to say.

2. Carrying Medical Supplies

There are many travelers who would not be able to travel if it wasn’t for the medical supplies and the equipment they could take with them. For some, the equipment they need might include things such as catheters, hand sanitation and such.

Finding these supplies in a foreign land is almost next to impossible, and therefore it is wise to make sure that you pack enough, which might increase your luggage considerably. Equipment could also come in the form of a shower apparatus, as some disabled people require that to shower efficiently. But each to their own.

3. Attitudes Towards Disability

This is a big one. It’s probably fair to say that some countries around the world are not exactly at a level of acceptance as the rest of the Western world is.  There are countries that are quite prejudiced against people traveling with wheelchairs.

Much of this prejudice merely comes from a place of ignorance, and from not understanding a disabled person and how disabled people live life. However, there are those countries where one would not expect any level of acceptance for the disabled, but where surprisingly you find the most compassionate and hospitable people. Countries that come to mind are places such as Malaysia and Thailand.

4. Accessibility

When you decide to go off to explore the world, and you are disabled, there are so many factors that come to play an important role on your accessibility needs. In some not so developed nations accessibility or wheelchair access is not a top priority.

This might be due to lack of education, funds or a general lack of desire to make a difference. In some countries navigating around the streets is difficult as the sidewalks are completely inaccessible.

Therefore, traveling in these countries bring along with it a whole suite of complexities. Since each disabled person have different needs, there is no rule on what is classed as accessible for all.

5. Dealing with Airplanes

Although some have never experienced anything traumatizing or bad whilst traveling on and off an airplane, there are those who have told horror stories of where wheelchairs were broken beyond repair by baggage handlers uneducated about dealing with the safe transportation of wheelchairs.

Not only is that type of ignorance prevalent and can be extremely uncomfortable but it can go so far as the airplane staff not being ready for you, and where you could be left seated long after everyone has left and the cleaning staff has arrived.