July Is National Wheelchair Beautification Month

July Is National Wheelchair Beautification Month


Have you checked out your wheelchair lately? July is the month to make it beautiful to match your personality, because it is National Wheelchair Beautification Month. Time to show off your style along with your unique taste.

Illustrator and wheelchair-user Horace Knowles had the idea to Velcro a florist’s water tube to the top of his wheelchair to display flowers. His goal was to show his happiness and put a smile on the faces of others who saw him. Knowles hoped that other people also would use creativity in an expression of their wheelchairs.

Over the years, the concept of decorating one’s wheelchair took off with people all over the country. Contests, parades, and decorating competitions are held in different communities, especially during the month of July. If you don’t want to decorate with glitter, balloons, and such, you can get the job accomplished several other ways. You can add a bandana to your armrest, a flower on your joystick, or color wheelchair seat covers — whatever makes it originally you and comfortable.

To those who do not need to use a wheelchair, the cosmetics of it might be trivial. However, try to think of it like this: Your body helps you to get where you need to go. Do you care what your body looks like? Do you try to keep it in good health and shape so that you will be around for years to come? I am sure that most of you said yes. People in wheelchairs use them as an extension of our bodies to get where we need to go. Therefore, having a wheelchair that looks good, feels good to be in, and stays in great working order are all important.

People who can walk sometimes get confused that a wheelchair is much like a car. No, a car and a wheelchair are two very different things. A wheelchair simply helps us to be mobile, like someone walking around. I and other people who use wheelchairs cringe when we hear people ask, “Do you want to race?” I’m not using a car so there is nothing to race, and it wouldn’t even be fair on the off chance that I would ever agree to race.

When I received my first motorized wheelchair, I felt thrilled with my newfound independence. However, I didn’t like how the wheelchair looked and felt like it stood out — and not in a pleasant way. Nowadays, there are so many options to choose from when picking out a new wheelchair. Not only can you pick the color of the base, but sometimes you can order fabric colors as well. Being able to pick your wheelchair color allows you to express your personality a bit and is pleasing for you to see each day. One day I’d like an easier way to change wheelchair colors and not be stuck with the same one for up to eight years.

You can also buy an array of accessories for your wheelchair. Cupholders, water bottles, umbrella holders, decorative bags, and cellphone holders are a few things you can get. These options help make life easier, healthier, and more enjoyable.

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Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.

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