Is It Really Accessible Or Just Another Money Racket?
I’ve been a wheelchair user my whole life. I never asked to be disabled, it’s just what happened. This comes with me needing things accessible and I’m not just talking about a ramp in every building or automatic doors – this goes so much deeper. My wheelchair alone has to be fitted to suit my individual needs.
Accessible At A Price
If you were to ask everyone who uses a wheelchair if their chair is unique to them, they’d tell you it is. With this in mind, we’ve been looking at ways to make Cmpsr accessible to all. This includes looking into several different types of joystick toppers as these play a vital role into how people use Cmpsr.
When researching, I was horrified to discover how much people want for a joystick topper! A standard golf ball topper that I use can cost between £10 – £80, and for a more secure, stable joystick it can be between £60 – £1000! This might not seem like a lot of money to some of you, but it can be a lot to others. Why should disabled people have to pay so much money just to drive their chairs in whatever way works for them?
So, it raises the question: has accessibility become a money racket instead?
What Can Be Done?
In an ideal world, to be truly accessible, Joysticks should be sold at a fair price no matter what the shape or size. If you were to collect every spare golf ball that golfers no longer use and recycle them, you would find that we would all be saving a lot of money. Research from Google shows that.
As it turns out, many golf balls are recycled, but there are still an estimated 300 million golf balls that are lost or discarded in the United States every year. Sadly we can’t do much about the lost golf balls, but if we were to save the ones that get thrown away, it would result in a lot of money saved. We should come together and come up with ways to make things cheaper.
Personally, I would go to the source of the people who make the products to figure out why they charge so much – because they definitely don’t cost this much to make! It’s about time the world stops making life more difficult, especially for those that are already up against some difficult barriers.
Ways You Can Help
Someone used recycled tires to make ramps more accessible. Wheelchair users are no less busy than those who are able to walk, juggling careers, families and social lives. Nobody has the luxury of time, but this is even more precious for those in a wheelchair as we have to make extra allowances in case of challenges like inadequate entryways and slippery surfaces. Crumb rubber, a byproduct of recycled tyres, strengthens ramps and increases their safety, eliminating cracks while adding friction and shock absorption.
On an individual level, you can donate and recycle used disability equipment when you no longer need or use it. Sometimes, if your equipment has been supplied by a support service, like the NHS, they may want it back, so it’s always worth checking. Specialist pieces are also often accepted back by the original manufacturer. Other than that, there are numerous charities that collect used disability equipment. Find out more here.
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