Independence is something that most of us take for granted. This is because it’s so ingrained into the lives of able-bodied people, it’s the sort of thing we rarely appreciate until it’s gone. For people living with disability though, independence is everything. For them, being able to access the resources and information required to achieve and maintain independence can often feel like an uphill struggle.
Access to Information
Perhaps the most important concern for disabled individuals is that they are able to access any and all resources necessary to facilitate an independent lifestyle. Simply improving mobility is in itself not a comprehensive enough solution for people who struggle with independence. It’s often the case that additional services, such as help with the costs of using public transport, are available but not immediately accessible without recourse to advice and information services.
Many such services are offered online; usually on behalf of various government branches and independent charities. However, if you are finding it difficult to access such resources, you may find it easier to first make contact with the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Acquiring a Vehicle
Travel is an unavoidable aspect of everyday life and it’s often the case that disabled persons are as keen to avoid over-reliance on public transport as are abled-bodied individuals. In fact, it’s a common misconception that disabled people aren’t able to operate vehicles. Actually, many individuals find that they are able to easily operate vehicles which have undergone only minor alterations such as the fitting of a specialised hand controls.
There is a large number of vehicles that have been specifically designed for disabled drivers whose requirements necessitate the provision of more comprehensive modifications. A common example of this type is that of a car which has been designed to allow wheelchair access. These vehicles are sometimes also able to be driven by the wheelchair user themselves. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of accessible mobility vehicle hire and purchase companies, these types of vehicles are now available in a much wider range of designs than they ever have been before.
Support and Advice
Are you concerned about the welfare of someone close to you who is struggling with their independence? Perhaps the best thing you can do is to offer them as much support and advice as possible. It may be that they require a hand with filling out a form or attending a meeting, or it might be that they simply need some emotional support during a difficult time. Help, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is always appreciated. If you need any support yourself there are plenty of resources available to assist disability carers.