3 Essential Items for Students with Mobility Issues
I hope that you’re all continuing to stay safe and enjoying the last of the summer.
With the start of term 1 fast approaching, I thought that I’d take the time to talk about three items that I think are key for students with mobility issues at university, whether you are new or returning. These items should help you whether you live in accommodation/have a care plan or commute on a day to day basis. This is obviously not a sponsored post, I just love the products that get a mention in this piece.
I feel as though if you are considered ‘high functioning’, once you hit 18 the majority of the disability related support that you received throughout childhood stops immediately. It’s almost as if the professionals think that you become miraculously cured on the day you get your final grades. Anyway, on with the list…
1. A non-spill water bottle
Due to my Cerebral Palsy, I have tremors in my hands. Not only does this make the act of picking up a cup very challenging, but it can also be a very embarrassing (and wet) process. I’ve struggled with this problem for years but finally found a solution- the Miracle® Hydration Bottle 360° Cup (24 oz) by Munchkin. This bottle is great because its technology is based on Munchkin’s sippy cup for toddlers. This sounds embarrassing, but it has actually saved me so much embarrassment. To get the water to come out, you simply press your lips against the rim and drink as normal. When you finish drinking, the rim closes back up. You can literally tip the bottle upside down and nothing comes out. It has made my anxieties around taking a drink decrease 10 fold.
2. A pair/s of trousers that are easy to wear
In a ‘normal’ day on campus, I’ll probably need to go to the toilet about three times. The act of doing so can prove to be rather tricky when you have extremely poor balance. This is why every pair of trousers I own are elasticated. I currently frequent a couple of pairs of Paper Bag waist jeans from the kids section of Marks and Spencer, because finding comfortable, elasticated trousers is actually rather difficult. In the winter months, I wear jogging bottoms. I’m waiting on a few pairs of denim style joggers from Next, so hopefully I’ll have more options in term 1! Having this criteria does mean that my choice of trousers is limited, but when you’re sat in a wheelchair all day you’ll take whatever works!
3. A bag that you can manage
It will be important for your physical wellbeing to have a bag that you are able to haul around quite easily. In one sense, I’m quite ‘lucky’ because I can use my wheelchair to carry my bag. I clip it to my seatbelt and let it rest on the foot plates, which take the majority of the weight. When I was in school, I used to put it over the handlebars, but now I don’t have any physical support I wouldn’t be able to reach it. If you’re not a wheelchair user but have issues with balance/walking, I would recommend a lightweight bag with padded straps. I would also recommend not overpacking it- think carefully about only including the things that are vital for your day at university.
I hope that these tips were useful for some of you. Let me know in the comments if you have any more essential items that help with your mobility issues. I’m all ears!