The wheel dean
The Perks of Paralysis:
While all of these things added up couldn’t equal the freedom of being fully able-bodied, I’m going to list the “Perks” that come with the life we now live.
Handicap Parking Spaces. For those of you like me who live in AZ, you can click here to get a placard or file for handicap plates. Note: Last year (2019) when I was on the ADOT website to renew my handicap plate registration, I decided I wanted to “personalize” the plate. It wouldn’t let me do it online!!! How ass-backwards is that?!? An able-bodied person can personalize their plate online, but the disabled person has to go in to the department office and do it in person. (Hopefully that changes if it hasn’t already!)
Window tint exemption. Yes, you can legally tint your windows as dark as you need them to be without fear of getting ticketed for it. I’m not saying that this exemption will stop you from getting pulled over for it, but at least the cop couldn’t issue a ticket for it. This exemption applies to your vehicle or any vehicle you are regularly a passenger in. Click here to learn how to be legally exempt! I’ll have to find out if the cop is aware of the exemption once he runs your plate, hmm.
Full service pumping at gas stations. You may notice that most pumps have a wheelchair button to push for help. Usually the button is out of reach. You can call the station on your phone (most stations have their phone number above their door), and ask for help. If their phone number isn’t on display, just go on your GPS and you’ll get your current location info with address and phone number. My girlfriend and I drove cross-country and never had a problem getting gas this way. You may have to wait a little while if they are understaffed, but not usually.
Free Access to National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands. To get your card, check for a place in your state/city by opening this PDF file.
Skip the Lines at certain tourist places like amusement parks and sightseeing sky scrapers like the Empire State Building. Speaking of Amusement Parks, did you every hear of the “Ultra Accessible” one in San Antonio Texas called Morgan’s Wonderland?
Vocational Programs that may pay for your tuition & books for college as well as assistive devices such as wheelchairs, certain adaptive gear you might need for class, etc. To find out more check out Department of Economic Security.
Disability Benefits such as Social Security. It won’t give you a life of riches, but if you can discipline yourself enough to live on a tight budget, you may qualify for enough of a monthly payment to cover your bills. Check them out at SocialSecurity.gov
Expensive Footwear because when you are a wheelchair user your shoes and sneakers last a real long time! So go ahead and splurge if you can afford too! Joking aside, I wear Jordan’s mostly because I always felt they were the most comfortable sneaker (before my injury) and those of you who can’t feel your feet, you need something comfortable that will not cause any pressure sores and/or Autonomic Dysreflexia. I’d also suggest wearing one size bigger than what the Brannock Device calls for (that foot measuring device thingy).