One size does what? If you think so then jump right in and give these ladies a hand proving it.
I’m open to the concept of one-size-fits-all. I just haven’t had the opportunity to see it at work, and I’m fairly played out on all this one size fits all crap about wheelchairs. It is at best a misguided concept and at worst a conspiracy by funders.
I’m sure that the two ladies up there in the picture would make a strong argument regarding how many sizes it takes. Yet, when it comes to wheelchairs, a large number of Americans and a staggering number of elected officials think that a wheelchair is a wheelchair is a….. seen one seen them all, four wheels and a seat, just another pimped out shopping cart, or one more free ride on the taxpayers and premium payers.
In the case of the full figured lady above, she will pay for the size misconception with the squeeze being put on her butt, bladder, and guts, and I’m sure she will have to red face it through a few rounds of muffled guffaws when she bends over and splits her pants. That’s getting off much easier than a wheelchair user who winds up with the wrong wheelchair.
In the wheel world, one-size-fits-all refers to more than just the physical size of the wheelchair. It’s a concept that refers to standardization, all the same, in configuration and in price, and it is supposed to work for any person with any disability, regardless of differences in physical ability and function. Regardless of the user’s physical size or the type of terrain they must traverse.
It’s perfect, and made to order for funders such as Medicare, Medicaid, and insurers who are guided by unknowing and uncaring elected officials who would pass laws that equate to even more standardization.
Unlike the two mis-sized ladies, wheelchair users risk health and independence when one-size-fits-all mentality makes the scene. There is a long list of hazards related to using the wrong wheelchair. Use your imagination for now and we’ll work out the details another time.
I don’t blame the average walker. They’re out of it when it comes to wheelchairs because there is no reason for them to be into it. I don’t blame wheelchair users for being in the wrong wheelchair. They are often tossed into whatever a funder will pay for, whatever a provider wants to get rid of, or just rolling with the results of a wheelchair clinic gone bad.
I’m also cool with standard off the line wheelchairs. They have a place and work well for many people. But what of those who can’t use the standard configuration? Do we declare them oddballs and misfits and banish them from society?
You don’t have to answer that. It’s a done deal. We are already creating shut-outs and reverting back to the dreaded days of “housebound”. And all for lack of the right wheelchair.