Creating Wheelchair Awareness Through Photos

For someone who uses a wheelchair, there are barriers and hazards everywhere – things that others may not see. But how do you raise visibility of the issue? One of our longtime MS members, gamma, decided that a photo essay of the obstacles that exist in her neighborhood (considered a wheelchair-friendly community) and others would the best way to illustrate the problem. “My hope is that when this presentation is completed I can get it into the hands of people that can use it to raise awareness about unsafe situations for the wheelchair or stroller user,” she says. What’s an example of a hazard or barrier? Wheelchair users at PatientsLikeMe – who number more than 1,300 and use both powered and manual wheelchairs – report having difficulty with potholes, cobblestone entrances, uneven sidewalks, narrow aisles, yellow bumps on ramps, heavy doors and more. But it’s easier to “see” these hazards and barriers than just list them. That’s why gamma is calling for photo submissions. Have you encountered something in your neighborhood that would pose problems for a wheelchair user? Snap a photo to aid this grassroots patient project. Then send it to shalegamma@aol.com along with your full name for credit. …

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