3 Wheelchair Etiquette Tips and a Perspective Building Activity
Published: May 1, 2019
Want to help kids understand wheelchair etiquette? Use these activities when you’ve got extra time.
3 Wheelchair Etiquette Tips
Wheelchair Etiquette Tip #1: Always ask a friend before pushing a wheelchair, because it’s part of his personal space and should be respected.
Help kids understand this by having kids form pairs. One child in each pair will try to walk across the room while his partner holds his ankles and tries to guide his steps. Talk about what it felt like to have someone trying to help you do something you can easily do on your own. Discuss why pushing someone’s wheelchair without asking could be disrespectful.
Wheelchair Etiquette Tip #2: When a friend in a wheelchair enters the room, remove a chair at the table or the end of the row so he can feel included in the group.
Help kids understand this by playing a game of musical chairs around your craft table. The child who can’t find a seat must sit on the floor. Talk about what it felt like not to have a place at your table, and how they can make sure to include everyone in your church.
Wheelchair Etiquette Tip #3: Be careful to avoid leaning on someone’s wheelchair for safety reasons and to protect equipment that may be attached to the chair.
Help kids understand this by setting up several books like dominos. Have kids take turns leaning on the first book and watching all the others fall. Talk about what harmful could happen if you lean on someone’s wheelchair.
Perspective Building Activity
Teach kids how to respect people in wheelchairs by giving them some perspective with this activity.
Form pairs. Have partners decide who’ll be low and who’ll be high. Then have the low person kneel on the floor as the high person stands on tiptoe. Have kids talk about anything they wish for two minutes.
Then stop and discuss:
- How did it feel to not be able to talk eye to eye?
- How is that the way someone in a wheelchair might feel when having a conversation with a standing person?
Encourage kids to follow this guideline when talking to someone in a wheelchair: Stoop or sit down so you can make eye contact and talk on the person’s level.
For more tips on wheelchair etiquette, check out this helpful guide from Smart Chair. Want more articles regarding children with special needs? Check out these posts!
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