Wheelchair: Top Priorities for Managing Risks

May 2021


Having a disability is tough enough without the added stress of figuring out how to get around. Wheelchairs are essential to many people with disabilities, but they are expensive and some people can't afford them. In this post, we'll talk about how wheelchair demand and challenges affect those who need them. 


If you're looking for the right wheelchair for you or someone else, read on! After reading this article, you would know what to look for in a chair, where you can find support if needed, and more importantly that there are people out there who want to help make sure everyone has access to their needs. 


This article isn't designed to be a long, drawn out post. Rather, it will focus on how wheelchair demand and challenges affect those who need them. I won't go over much detail about how someone with a disability can get a chair, or the various programs available where people who can't afford an accessible vehicle can get one for free. This is simply an overview of what we know at present and aims to provide more information on the topic if anyone wants to me more. 


I'm going to talk about wheelchairs as they exist today in the US and Canada right now, but for most of this article I'll be speaking in generalities because there are different things happening at play in different countries. 


The Problem 


The problem is that growing numbers of people with disabilities need wheelchairs for everyday activities. If you have a disability, you want the very best wheelchair for your needs. Even if you don't need a wheelchair, it's better to have one in case of emergencies or if injuries do occur. Unfortunately, new wheelchairs aren't being created quickly enough to meet demand and people who are buying wheelchairs are older than they used to be. 


In the United States and Canada, there is over three times more demand than there are accessible vehicles available. This is not only a problem in these countries, but many other areas of the world are facing similar problems. 


Sadly, a large percentage of those who need wheelchairs cannot afford them. In order to cover the cost of accessibility-related expenses it can take even more than half of their entire household income. Some people buy used wheelchairs. Some sell their homes to pay for wheelchairs. Some simply borrow money from family members or friends to make up the difference between what they can afford and what they need. Regardless, there are significant numbers who cannot afford a wheelchair that meets their specific needs and requirements. 


Wheelchairs are essential for some people to get around in their day-to-day lives, but they come with a surprising number of challenges. In this article, we're going to talk about the demand for wheelchairs, and the difficulties associated with them. 


Wheelchairs are often called "a heart and soul of independence" and rightly so. The accessibility industry has never been more lucrative than it is today thanks largely in part to our society's push for increased wheelchair accessibility. Demand for wheelchairs has steadily risen in the last few decades; experts predict that up to 6 million new wheelchairs will be sold by 2021 just in North America alone. That's a lot of wheelchairs. 


It's clear that people in the world need wheelchairs, but there are also plenty of difficulties associated with them - both for the manufacturers and those who need them. For anyone in need of a wheelchair, their first step is to seek out an accessible vehicle. Public transportation almost always has wheelchair ramps or lifts to accommodate those who need them, but private businesses less so. Wheelchair ramps are expensive to install (around $2000), and many businesses simply can't afford them. 


Even beyond this challenge though is another one: people with disabilities often take a long time to shop at traditional shops like grocery stores due to the amount of time it takes to load and unload wheelchairs.

Leave Comment