Being reliant on a wheelchair is not always easy, but there’s no reason to let wheels stop you from getting out and having a good time. Modern technology and increased accessibility have opened doors. Museums, movies, and walks through the park are just a sampling of activities available to everyone.
Two weeks ago, my dad visited me in Washington, D.C., and my power chair did not stop us from taking in much of what the city has to offer. D.C. has a rich museum scene, and we were able to experience two of them — the National Geographic Museum and the Museum of the Bible — without any accessibility issues.
Museums are a ticket to learn
At the National Geographic Museum, we donned 3D glasses to view an interactive exhibit about the tomb of ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti, smelled perfumes worn in Egyptian culture, and wrote our names in hieroglyphics.
Most museums that I visit serve people of all abilities and are wheelchair accessible. They also provide an excellent opportunity to continue learning outside of school.
Magic of the big screen
These days, movies often are viewed on a phone, computer, or TV. Actual movie theaters can seem like a thing of the past. However, with a wheelchair you’re almost certain to get good seats for you and your friends. Watching a movie on the big screen with your friends and fellow theatergoers somehow increases the magic of film.
A walk in the park
I wrote about this in an earlier column, but a simple drive through the park can be a great way to get outside without physically exerting yourself. At home, there’s a wetland preserve and I’m able to loop around the entire bay in my chair because of the paved road.
The summer after my freshman year of college, my friends and I went on a trip to Zion National Park. Not all of it was accessible, but I was surprised by how much of it that was.
I don’t always utilize these opportunities as much as I could. Many times, it is more convenient to stay home and not deal with the logistics. But I guarantee that you will not regret the times you spend out of the house, learning about the world around you, seeing beautiful art, or rolling through a park and talking about life with friends.
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