Helpful Tips for Living With a Recent Disability

Helpful Tips for Living With a Recent Disability
  • Opening Intro -

    There are countless routes that might lead to this place: health conditions, car accidents, military service.

    However it happened, the moment you find yourself without full mobility can feel like a sharp, final ending to what you thought your life would look like.


But even though a sudden disability can seem like an ending, it can also be the beginning of a new stage of your life. And that stage does not have to be tragic. These helpful tips for living with a recent disability can help you take on the mindset you need to live life to the fullest.

Come to Terms With Your Limitations

This may be the most challenging part of learning to live with a recent disability. Processing the loss of our mobility often looks like the process of grieving a loved one, which can send us swinging between denial and despair.

Because we tend to fixate on these things, it’s helpful to take the time and look at your limitations frankly. Recognize what things will be difficult for you. This will help you learn not to push yourself too hard and give you a chance to fully grieve your loss.

See How You Can Continue Doing What You Love

Once you’ve accepted what you can’t do, it’s time to focus on what you can. Having limitations does not mean that everything is impossible. Here are just a few things you can still do from a wheelchair or other mobility aid:

  • Get married and have a family
  • Play sports and do physical activity
  • Cook
  • Drive a car
  • Get a job
  • Travel
  • Take part in the arts

Doing the things you love may require some accommodations. For example, driving may require you to invest in a side-loading wheelchair-accessible van, but you can still do it. Learn what it takes to do what you love, then do it.

Know Your Rights

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 protects your rights, but it’s only of value if you know what your rights are. Here are a few key rights to keep in mind:

  • Employment: Employers cannot discriminate against you based on your disability during the hiring, training, or firing process. Employers can’t ask about your disability during an interview and must provide reasonable accommodations to help you do your job.
  • Transportation: You cannot be refused access to public transport based on your disability, and public transportation is required to provide you with the option of priority seating.
other related articles of interest:
  • Civic activities: Federal buildings must be accessible to those with disabilities. Polling places are also required to be accessible, and you should be able to use polling machines without outside assistance.
  • Commercial facilities: Private “places of public accommodation” cannot discriminate against those with disabilities. In other words, doctor’s offices, retailers, restaurants, hotels, schools, and similar places should be accessible and cannot refuse you service.

A disability doesn’t have to be ending. When you know what you can do as much as you know what you can’t, your world becomes open to myriad possibilities.

Image Credit: living with a recent disability by

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