View Full Version : What is considered legitimate wheelchair use?

02-23-2001, 12:03 PM
I don't want to start a debate but I want to know what justifies a wheelchair/ecv rental. I severely sprained my ankle 3 weeks ago & I leave for Disneyworld in 20 days. I just got off crutches & I am able to walk but tested out my ankle at the grocery store the other night & was in pain after an hour. I just don't think I can do 5 days of Disney. We thought about cancelling the trip because after all the debates I've seen & how people judge I really don't feel comfortable renting one. I would just hate to get nasty looks or comments. I'm the type of person that would probably cry over it. Can we say hormonal? Hahaha =) Our daughter knows we are going though & I'd really hate to cancel at this point if I can work around this. I called the hotel and requested a building close to the foodcourt/busses so I hope I can get that. I considered bringing my crutches just to give my foot a break in line or when it's in pain. But eventually my arms would kill me. It's just a mess all around. Frankly, I enjoy walking the parks & I often skip around like a fool while there lol :D In addition to this question, any tips on how to shorten the time spent walking or on foot in case I opt against using an ecv? Any information would be greatly appreciated.


"Yeah, they're going to Disney AGAIN...they go like every other day" -- My Teenage Brother

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02-23-2001, 12:43 PM
Please use the wheelchair!

I am a therapist and husband is a quadraplegic. So we know quite a bit about chairs! They are meant for people who can not walk and those having difficulty due to pain, endurance, strength, etc and you currently qualify!

Your trip will be better and more enjoyable due to all the walking around disney. Many of the families I work with don't need a chair at home BUT I often try to convince them that trips to the mall, zoo, or a Disney trip has so much more walking they should take advantage of having a backup chair.

As for the cheaters -- we all know they exist but you are not one and don't give it another thought!

Sometimes in the rain or cold weather I will go after the van, which is parked in the handicapped spot and move it to pick up Dan at the entrance of where he is. WELL I have gotten an ear full about not looking disabled. I used to try to defend myself and a few times felt quilty. Now I just ignore and if they choose to follow me they will see I parked there appropriately.

I will also add one trip my mom sprained her knee the day before we left. She used Dan's manual chair and it made all of us enjoy the trip more.


Car. Beach '89,
FW cabins 94,95
Joined the DVC 95 !
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02-23-2001, 01:23 PM
You qualify. Use the wheelchair. No need to be in pain. And don't feel you need to explain to anyone. It isn't their business and if the are asking they are rude.
You might want to consider using an ankle support for the trip. A little stalization never hurt.

Pooh Bear

02-23-2001, 03:25 PM
If trying to walk around parks causes you discomfort in any way shape or form, use the wheelchair or EVC!!!! You're on vacation to enjoy yourself. If walking long distances fatigues you or causes you pain, you owe it to yourself. YOU QUALIFY!!!! I think the "judgemental people" are far and few between. For every jerky person I've come across, I've meet 10 wonderful people. Don't let the possibilty of someone being rude make you cancel your trip. You'll enjoy yourself so much more if you use a wheelchair. After you're back you'll think, why did I hesitate using one!! LOL


<font color=purple>1st WDW trip OKW-Oct. 2001

02-23-2001, 05:20 PM
I agree - use the chair! When we were there last August my knee gave out the first night - on the way to the bathroom at 3AM! I wound up crawling there. Had I given in & not felt "guilty" about getting a wheelchair earlier in the day when it first started ... well, anyway using the wheelchair saved our trip. I did have surgery in Oct. & the surgeon said he didn't know how I could have walked on the knee at all. It's 'better' now, but still not good. When we go in May, we'll get the wheelchair on the first day.

02-23-2001, 05:20 PM
Who has a better right. You go! You owe it to yourself and your family to go and have a wonderful time. Don't you dare worry what other people think. You worry about yourself. Now go and have fun!!!!!! ;)

SueM in MN
02-23-2001, 09:28 PM
I agree with everyone else whoposted. You are exactly why they rent wheelchairs at WDW; for people who don't need to own one for their everyday life, but will not be able to do WDW without pain or problem.
There are people who look and stare, but most don't. The ones who do are not very observant or they would see that you are waiting with them in the very same line that they are waiting in.
If you decide to rent an ecv, you will be able to bring the ecv in many of the lines with you. The CMs will tell you if you can't (you'll also see they are marked with a symbol of an ecv and a person moving to a wheelchair on the park map). If you need to leave the ecv outside, there is usually a wheelchair for you to transfer to if needed..

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

02-23-2001, 10:28 PM
Bridget, I had a similar concern before our last trip to WDW. Reading this board helped me decide to get a permanent handicapped parking permit & to rent an ECV while we were at WDW. I have a knee condition which is not always a "visible" disability. The ECV was a wonderful way for my family, friends & I to better enjoy WDW. I encourage you to do whatever it takes for you & your family to go to WDW & have a great vacation.

02-24-2001, 11:55 AM

Get the ecv then we can race "varoom" "varoom"



See Ya in Disney!!!!

02-25-2001, 11:17 AM
use a wheelchair! :) Your leg will thank you later :)

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02-26-2001, 09:05 AM
My mother is going to be 80, she has always refused to consider a wheelchair at WDW. Then I had a problem - knee surgery 4 weeks before our trip - the doctor said only if you use a wheelchair. Hey it was wonderful. No one say anything because when I tried to walk or due anything it was pretty plain that I could not blend my knee. Mother used it too, and decided it was something she could use.

The thing that got us mad and probably why you can't get the wheelchair free from the WDW resorts are the people you didn't need them. There was one couple that were even using the handicapped seats, but they moved when we showed up.

You have a real to use it so do.

02-28-2001, 06:59 AM
Trying to hike Disney in pain = Bad Vacation. Using an ecv instead of crutches = Great Vacation! Go have a wonderful vacation! :D

[This message was edited by Disneygal on 03-08-01 at 03:16 PM.]

Cheshire Figment
03-03-2001, 06:45 PM
My problem is not visible. Because of my size, Judy would have difficulty pushing a wheelchair, so I use an ECV. I don't need it all the time (for example when going into one of the hotels for a meal) but used it anytime I felt I was going to be on my feet a lot.

I have not had anyone acting funny toward me because of my use. However, on my last trip I was in AK and someone asked me: "Do you have to show a medical certificate to rent one of those?" My immediate thought was it was someone who was looking for their own misuse, so my extremely frosty and irritated tone comment was: "This was not rented from Disney!"

If you need it, use wheels!!

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SueM in MN
03-04-2001, 05:00 AM
I like your answer, Cheshire Figment. If someone had a legitimate need for an ecv, they could find out the information. If they were asking becasue they wanted to know if YOU needed one, shame on them and they deserved a frosty answer.
If they don't need one, they don't need to know (and the cost is high enough to deter a lot of people who COULD use one from getting one, so I hope it deters anyone who doesn't really have a need).

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

03-04-2001, 10:51 AM
I don't know how often someone looks at me in my power chair ( and I don't look sick) and tells me they would love to have that luxury. I just sake my head and tell that they really don't want it and I really wish I could trade palaces with them and be able to do the walking.
I wish someone could explain to me why someone wants to use a wheelchair when they don't need one.

Pooh Bear

03-05-2001, 08:04 AM
I just wanted to thank all of you for the comments. It is probably something I never would have given a second thought to if I hadn't seen the debates on some of the other boards and seen first hand in the parks a few of the comments made to my friend who uses an ECV.

Only 10 more days to go! WooHoo! <IMG WIDTH="15" HEIGHT="15" SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif" alt="razz">

"Yeah, they're going to Disney AGAIN...they go like every other day" -- My Teenage Brother

January 00' - Beach Club
September 00' - All Star Movies
March 01' - All Star Movies

:D MoseysMom :D

SueM in MN
03-05-2001, 02:37 PM
Last September, DH, myself and DD went to WDW. DD had a seizure in the middle of the afternoon at Epcot. We were a little too far to get to First Aid easily, so I used her back pack on my lap for a pillow and tilted her wheelchair back so she was reclined with her head on my lap. We got many people who were trying not to look, a couple of "sour" stares, one person who commented that DD "looks real peaceful", one who "would like one of those myself" and one person who asked if she should get a CM for us. At least those who said something were trying to be friendly and I responded back something to the effect of DD being exhausted, but we were OK. I think they at least got the idea that using a wheelchair is not a picnic.
One of the very worst was a comment I heard where one child asked his mom why my DD was in a wheelchair and the mom said she was "sick". She's not sick, she has a disability.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

Jcricket Fan
03-07-2001, 01:22 PM
This post helps me a lot. I will be taking my mom who had polio as a child. Mom no longer wears a leg brace but with all the walking we will be doing (slow & relaxed pace!)I won't hestitate to offer her a wheelchair if she needs it. I can't believe how people feel they have the right to be wheelchair police! There are so many reasons why someone might need the extra help of a chair...reasons not seen to the naked eye...maybe I am just sensitive to it from being around my mom so I don't ever question why someone would be using a chair.
Colleen :)

SueM in MN
03-08-2001, 05:17 AM
People need to think of wheelchairs for ambulatory adults in the same way they think of a stroller for a child (not meaning to be demeaning at all). People post that having a stroller for their child helps them to conserve energy so they can spend it on t he good parts of the park, not walking around. People don't question having a healthy child use a stroller because it's too much walking. Yet some say that an adult with problems walking or with health problems should not use a wheelchair or ecv. They see a stroller as a tool to help them and their child get full enjoyment out of the park, but somehow they can't see a wheelchair or ecv as a tool. It's not logical to say one is OK and the other isn't.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)