BRB, someone’s cutting onions.
Maybe someone can help explain this to me, but… why is this at all necessary?
Could you not just lift a person out of their wheelchair and sit them down on a regular swing?
I’m replying because you’ve asked a very legitimate question in a non-jerk way (which I appreciate, especially since someone else asked the same question and was a total jerk about it). You deserve a good answer:
The short answer to your question is “No.” The longer answer is a bit more complicated, and revolves around two things.
1) The students in this photo can’t use their legs. We really take for granted how important that is, and not just for the whole walking thing. They help provide stability and balance while we sit. They help keep us in our chairs. This is why most wheelchairs have sides (so you don’t fall out). These kids don’t have that type of advanced balance because they have no use of their legs, which as a result almost literally function as anchors. If we were to take these students out of their wheelchairs and plop them into a traditional swing, they would just fall off. They don’t have the ability to balance in them, and their legs would literally be pulling them down and off the swing. Not to mention the fact that their legs would hang down and drag along the ground since they couldn’t lift them up like we can. This is also why handicapable buses don’t take people in wheelchairs out of their chairs and put them into a bus seat. Rather, they strap them and their wheelchair into a special mount or space on the bus so that it doesn’t shift during the ride.
2) One of the most important things to do with any person (not just a student) who has accessibility needs is to treat them like a normal person as much as possible. Why? Because they’re still people. People with similar goals, dreams and motivations. And what they tend to want is to be treated normally. No, this isn’t a traditional swingset. But it gives these students the chance to experience something their friends with usable legs take for granted. It’s really, really incredible. And the thought that someone took the time to build a reinforced frame to mount a swingset so that a child in a wheelchair could take part in one of the most common childhood experiences…that’s just really meaningful to me.
I hope that all helps, and just to repeat: Thank you for asking a legitimate question and not being a jerk about it. [Internet high five]
Reblogging for the wonderful commentary.