Being a manual wheelchair user was challenging for me. I experienced an inability to reach things and my arms would become tired from propelling myself. One area that I really struggled in was social interactions. Now, don’t get me wrong. I may have said “I” in terms of struggling, but I really mean how the rest of the world seemed to treat me and my struggles because of that. People treated me in a variety of ways, whether directly or indirectly, that would cause me to become uncomfortable.
Directing Conversation About Me to My Partner
One example is how people would look at me in my chair, look at my able-bodied partner standing next to me, then direct questions about me to my partner. Of course, I would quickly speak up, in a passive-aggressive way like, “Hey, I am a person too and I am right here, talk to me directly please.” Yet, there were many times where I was too shocked to speak up.
Looking Down at Me
Something else that would happen to me a lot was people hovering over me, very closely. I absolutely hated that, as I’m sure a lot of wheelchair users do! People felt the need to talk to me by practically standing on me and looking down over me. This really didn’t feel the best and it kind of made me feel like I was being talked as if I was a child.
How people converse with me in my manual wheelchair
How people converse with me when I’m elevated at iLevel
The Differences with iLevel on My Power Chair
While I loved my manual chair and still do, I absolutely do not miss these experiences. With my Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology, life has changed for the better in so many ways. Those who know a little bit about iLevel technology but don’t use it may only think of the uses that grants wheelchair users greater independence.
iLevel Directs People to Speak to Me
As someone who uses the technology daily, there are many uses for it, whether I’m by myself at home or in places like stores. Most importantly, iLevel has helped me overcome all the social situations I mentioned above. When I am elevated in my power wheelchair, people now tend to look at me more and address me directly, if we’re meeting for the first time.
iLevel Ensures People Give Space
Plus, when people see me elevated at 12 inches, they give me space! I love not having people practically standing on me when we have a conversation. Constantly looking up at people frequently did a number on my neck. Conversing with people while elevated is easier and more comfortable.
I have noticed a huge difference for me socially since I began using my Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel. People whom I haven’t met before, seem to view and treat me as more of a person now. This is one of the main reasons why I absolutely love iLevel on my power chair.
About Chrysanthemum: Chrysanthemum is an award-winning cosplayer and Quantum brand ambassador. She enjoys fashion, cosplay and music and has a TikTok channel with over 380,000 followers. Click here to learn more about Chrysanthemum.
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