Wheelchair users have different restrictions in life and work due to their physical conditions. If everyone can understand their general restrictions first, they can provide more suitable assistance.

Through this article, everyone can better understand the limitations and real examples that wheelchair users face every day, and understand the small details.

Limit 1: Height and space

Because of the wheelchair, the range of activities and the required space are quite different from those of able-bodied people. On the one hand, you cannot touch places that are too high or too low. On the other hand, you need more space for wheelchair activities and turning around. Therefore, we will face many difficulties in daily life:

Example 1: Shop shopping
  It is often the case that the passage inside the store is too narrow or there is no space for a wheelchair to turn, so it is not allowed to enter the shop
  Due to the relationship between the shelves are too high and too low, there will be situations where you cannot shop alone, which reduces the number of shops or products you can choose
  Goods pile up in the aisle, making it impossible for the wheelchair to move forward

Example 2: Dining in a restaurant
  There are often steps at the entrance that make wheelchairs inaccessible
  Often the passage is too narrow for wheelchairs to pass
  Sometimes it can’t be used when encountering tall tables or tables with fixed chairs

Example 3: Pick up items/trash
  Because I can’t squat down, I can’t lean over to pick up items and need help from others

Example 4: Cross the road
  It is difficult for drivers of large trucks to see wheelchair users passing by, so be careful when crossing the road
  The sight is often obstructed by parked cars, and there is a chance that passing cars cannot be seen, which is dangerous

Restriction 2: The restraint of going out

Wheelchair friends are affected by physical restrictions and cannot come and go as easily and freely as a healthy person. There are many times when they need assistance, such as reworking, eating, and going out.

Example 5: The wheelchair has no electricity or the car is broken
  Always make sure that the power is sufficient. Because each wheelchair model is different, the fork electric adapter is heavy and inconvenient to carry and cannot be shared. It is almost impossible to find a fork electric place on the street.
  If there is no electricity or a broken car on the street, the user can only wait for rescue on the street, such as on the road or in bad weather, it will be quite dangerous

Example 6: Slippery Road in Rain
  It’s best to wear a raincoat when you go out. Using an umbrella will be very inconvenient and dangerous.
  Electric wheelchairs and drives may get wet and fail
  The wheels may slip and get stuck, causing life danger

Example 7: When encountering a rocky, uneven road
  If the ground is uneven or dark, the center of gravity will be deviated when the wheelchair is walking, and there may be a chance of falling out of the wheelchair and injury, and long-term walking on too rugged and uneven ground will also increase the load on the spine
  If the road is steep, narrow and rugged, with only stairs, it is impossible to reach the destination

Example 8: Encountering road repair or finding new places
  Whenever there is a road repair project, it will make the road narrower and increase the flow of people, and even have the opportunity to become blocked, making wheelchair walking difficult and dangerous
  If you need to find a new place or route, because the map cannot fully show whether there are stairs or related slopes, there will be a good chance that you will not be able to pass and you will have to find another way out. It will take more energy and more than others Time, it’s an arduous task that tests courage and perseverance

Example 9: Door opening and entrance
  Due to the wheelchair, the movement of the hand is restricted and the heavy door cannot be opened. Pushing the door is more reliable with the driving force of the wheelchair. Some doors are only equipped with a higher opening system, and the assistance of others is required. Before opening the door
  Sometimes it is necessary to pass through several anti-smoke doors before leading to the toilet, but the distance between the door and the door is short, and there is no suitable space for wheelchairs to pass, which is very inconvenient
  Many times, shops and restaurants will have high thresholds, so you can only pass through

Limit 3: actual life package

In fact, Hong Kong can be regarded as quite barrier-free. There are related facilities for transportation and daily life, but for the time being, there are still various inconveniences that need to be resolved.

Example 10: Traffic
  You have to wait for low-floor buses, and there is only one wheelchair space for each bus, so there will inevitably be a wait situation
  Each train of the MTR can only handle one challenged wheelchair user. For example, if two wheelchair families travel together, it is often necessary to separate two trains
  Sometimes the elevator of the MTR station fails, so you can only take the next station and walk back

Example 11: Shopping mall
  Some shopping malls have few elevators or only freight elevators. When there is a lot of people or delivery, the waiting time will become very long.
  Freight elevators are equipped with smoke-proof doors, whose weight may prevent wheelchair friends from opening, and sometimes even have multiple smoke-proof doors, and the distance between the smoke-proof door and the smoke-proof door is so close that the wheelchair cannot move forward.
  Many shopping malls only have escalators and no elevators. You may arrive at the mall and find that you cannot go to other floors.

Example 12: Theater
  Many theaters have wheelchair seats in the front row of the theaters. If you have to raise your head for a long time, it will make your neck uncomfortable, and you will not even be able to watch the whole show.
  Some theaters only have stairs and escalators at the main entrance, and sometimes it takes time to wait for the security to unlock the back door, and finally take the elevator for cargo to enter.
  Sometimes the position of the ticket office is too high and the staff cannot see it or see the seating plan, causing the scene to be embarrassing

Example 13: Disabled toilet
  Some handicapped toilets are poorly designed and difficult to use. For example, there are thresholds at the door, lack of handrails, and the wash basin is too high. It must be taken care of by friends of the same sex.
  The emergency call bell is too far away from the toilet, and the user cannot press the bell at all
  Sometimes the disabled toilet is locked, and the staff must unlock it before using the disabled toilet

Example 14: Bank ATM
  Most ATMs are too high to reach the ATM or cannot be operated alone


This article is just the tip of the iceberg of various inconveniences in daily life of wheel friends. The actual encounters will be more diverse. Even in the face of various difficulties, I still hope that all sectors of society in the future can take more into account the needs of wheel friends and improve Hong Kong. Create a 'barrier-free city' to help solve all kinds of inconvenient situations for wheelers.

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