Weather Protection for power wheelchairs..?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by pixel_pusher, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. pixel_pusher

    pixel_pusher Mouseketeer

    Jun 24, 2009
    Hi all,
    This will be our first WDW trip with my son using his power wheelchair(he's 7 and before now we used a medical stroller). Something that I suddenly realized is, how do you stay dry/keep your chair dry when it rains while you're touring the parks?

    I'm hoping some more experienced wheelchair users and families of wheelchair users can point me in the right direction. Thanks!
  2. Tiggerish

    Tiggerish DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 1999
    I always have a clear, plastic shower cap with me to put over the joystick if it starts sprinkling or is lightly raining. For harder rain, I have a heavy duty rain poncho (NOT one of the cheap dollar store/walmart kind) that I put on and then drape the back over the back of my chair and the front side over the arm and joystick, leaving on the shower cap. I have a brimmed canvas hat that I put on over the hood of the poncho. It is not glamorous but keeps the hood in place. Be careful not to go through any deep puddles if you can avoid it because the motors and batteries are under the seat and getting them too wet can cause trouble. If it starts a torrential downpour, I head the best cover I can and wait it out.
    mamabunny likes this.
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  4. serenitynow

    serenitynow DIS Veteran

    Mar 10, 2005
    I have a clear plastic shower cap I put over the joystick and I drape a Disney poncho over chair before I sit down in the seat. The sideways blowing rain are the toughest to combat. My medical supply place told me that the most important thing to keep dry is the joystick control and not to worry about the rest of the chair, weather wise.
    mamabunny likes this.
  5. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2012
    I know they are spendy, but the clear Disney ponchos are rugged enough to stand up to touring in the rain, and I have one for me, and one for my personal mobility device!

    You *can* wash them; they are just like a shower curtain liner in that respect - cool/cold water, gentle cycle and then drip dry. So many people throw them away, but they are (at least when we last bought some, about 2 to 3 years ago during hurricane Gaston!) sturdy enough to wash, dry and bring back for more adventures!
  6. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
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    Check your owner’s manual or the wheelchair tech for instructions on how much protection you need to have for the joystick.
    My daughter is her third power wheelchair; with all of them, we were told we didn’t have to do anything special as long as it was not pouring rain. The most important thing is that the protective sleeve over the joystick (the thing with the red arrow pointing to it in the picture) is intact without any tears or holes. The rest of it should be pretty well sealed, but a shower cap or poncho would not be a bad idea, as long as you can still drive with it.

    It’s also important to avoid rolling thru puddles and keep in mind that stopping distance is going to be longer. Traction will not be as good and you could skid, especially when going up or down hills or turning.

    We have used the Mickey ponchos, but last Spring I bought some nylon waterproof ponchos at IKEA (they were Friends and Family deals for about $4 each at the time). That poncho worked really well and dried quickly.
    One issue with using a poncho is that the water that rolls off the front dumps right onto the rider/driver’s feet and footrest. I’m going to make some kind of extension/foot cover before our next trip.
    mamabunny likes this.
  7. Disneygal27

    Disneygal27 Mouseketeer

    Jul 25, 2009
    Instead of a shower cap, my dad discovered he prefers a ziplock bag over his joystick. He can seal it up either with his hand inside, or he prefers to seal it over the end and use it over the bag. He also has a heavy duty poncho that worked great in mod-heavy rain and dried faster than our Disney ones. We also put a plastic Disney poncho over the back since we weren’t sure if there were motors under the plastic cover lol. In light rain he just used a bag on the controller and my mom walked with a golf umbrella over both of them, didn’t need a poncho. Just avoid the puddles and splashing underneath the chair
  8. BethCPTSD

    BethCPTSD Mouseketeer

    Mar 4, 2016
    They also make specific "wheelchair ponchos". I bought one last year on Amazon and it's been fantastic with my powerchair. I've gone out in light to semi-normal rain in it and it drapes completely over every angle of my chair without touching the ground or coming too close to the wheels. That includes covering the joystick, and I'm warm and dry underneath, able to control the chair as usual. It may be worth checking out! Have fun!
    mamabunny likes this.
  9. ZJ5/9D47

    ZJ5/9D47 Earning My Ears

    Jul 24, 2018
    Ziplock bag & rubber band to keep the controller dry, Buggy Bag (made by a Canadian woman and sadly no longer produced but you can do a Google image search and see how awesome they are) to keep everything waist to feet dry, and a poncho plus wide-brimmed hat to keep everything above dry. To keep the chair dry, a friend designed and sewed removable arm and seat covers of PUL fabric (the same fabric used to make reusable homemade diaper covers). The PUL fabric covers are also great at keeping sweat off the chair seat and keeping it cooler in the hot Florida sun.
    mamabunny likes this.

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