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10 Life Hacks for People With Disabilities


Living with a disability can be a challenge for many. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four people have a disability. This means everyday tasks such as getting dressed, taking a shower, or even making dinner can be more difficult and time-consuming. But, beyond that, people with disabilities often go the extra mile to get things done, especially when situations or environments aren't optimized for them.

Fortunately, some clever life hacks can make everyday activities more accessible and enjoyable.

Assistive Mobile Apps

With so much of life centered around mobile devices, access to the right apps can make a huge difference for individuals with disabilities. There is no shortage of helpful tools out there designed specifically to cater to those with physical or cognitive impairments, and here are just a few must-have apps for people with physical disabilities:

  • Access Now: Provides immediate access to services and businesses that accommodate guests with mobility impairments.
  • WheelMate: Helps users find accessible places by mapping out wheelchair-friendly locations worldwide.
  • FuelService: Allows drivers to locate nearby gas stations that have pumps equipped with disability access features, such as swivel joints, lower nozzles, and other amenities.
  • Google Voice Access: Enables users to control their Android devices through voice commands.
  • AssistiveTouch: Ideal for those with limited motor abilities due to disabilities like arthritis or muscular dystrophy, this app helps simplify interaction with your device by providing single-tap shortcuts for commonly used tasks.

With these kinds of tools creating greater accessibility than ever before, getting the most out of your mobile device is now easier than ever, regardless of your ability level.

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is revolutionizing how people interact with their living spaces — controlling lighting, temperature, music, and even security from a single device.

For older adults, these smart home safety devices can bring much-needed peace of mind by allowing family members and caretakers to conveniently set up home safety measures such as remote monitoring systems, so any changes in routine or hazards can be quickly identified and addressed.

  • Smart lamps: Can detect when someone has fallen or left their bed during the night, prompting an alert on your smartphone.
  • Smart speakers: Can be programmed to play personalized announcements, such as reminders to take medication or alerts to family members if assistance is needed.
  • Cameras: Security and in-home cameras equipped with facial recognition software are great for older individuals living alone who may need help remembering names or faces.
  • Smart locks: Ideal for individuals with limited mobility or dexterity, these locks allow you to remotely open and close your doors using your smartphone.

By providing an extra layer of protection and convenience within the home environment, smart technology makes life easier for everyone — especially older adults.

Grip Cases for Electronics

Whether you're using a phone, tablet, or laptop, having a good grip case can make a world of difference for those with limited dexterity. These cases have been specially designed to provide extra support and cushioning so that users can securely hold their devices without fear of dropping them.

For instance, a padded foam grip can provide extra cushioning while also doubling as a stand, or a ruggedized case with reinforced corners and rubberized bumps helps protect devices from accidental falls. Additionally, some cases are equipped with built-in buttons so that users can access the most commonly used controls without worrying about difficult finger placements.

Anti-slip Mats and Tape

When you’re considering wheelchairs or other mobility devices, wheel size, durability, and tread is essential. However, for areas with slick surfaces, anti-slip mats and tape can help increase grip, eliminating the risk of slipping or sliding. These mats come in multiple sizes and shapes and are designed to adhere firmly to any surface without leaving residue behind when removed, making them perfect for indoor and outdoor use. They can be used on:

  • Carpets;
  • Hardwood floors;
  • Concrete;
  • Stone;
  • Tile.

This provides extra traction so users don't have to worry about their wheels slipping out from under them. Some tapes also come with reflective elements that can help make wheelchairs more visible at night.

Portable Ramps and Carriers

For those who use wheelchairs, scooters, or other mobility equipment, portable wheelchair ramps and lifts and carriers provide a convenient way to take devices anywhere with a car. You can easily fold these ramps and store them in the back of your vehicle, providing quick and easy access, wherever you need to go. Some carriers are even designed to fit onto tow bars so they don't take up extra space inside the car.


While pockets may seem like an obvious storage solution, they are often overlooked. Individuals with limited mobility may have difficulty reaching into their front or back pockets to retrieve items, making a pocket organizer, fanny pack, or money belt essential. These items provide easy access to everyday necessities like keys, wallets, and phones without worrying about bending over or stretching too far.

Likewise, wheelchair ramp bags and baskets are popular options for those in wheelchairs since they provide a secure way to store items without any extra hassle. Additionally, there are even specially designed wheelchair ramp baskets available, which can help make it easier to transport essentials like groceries or shopping bags.

Electric Cookers

While cooking is part of everyday life, it can be difficult for some older adults or those with disabilities to operate traditional kitchen appliances like stovetops or ovens. Electric cookers provide an easy and safe solution by allowing users to easily prepare meals without dealing with complicated instructions or messy cleanup.

For instance, slow cookers make it possible to prepare food overnight, while rice cookers are perfect for making fluffy and delicious grains in minutes. Meanwhile, air fryers allow users to create healthier versions of their favorite fried foods. Likewise, electric kettles make brewing tea and other beverages quick and convenient.

Lazy Susans

Lazy Susans are a must-have in any kitchen. These rotating trays make it easier to store and access items without stretching, reaching too high, or bending over. They can store spices, condiments, and other small kitchen supplies, providing easy access for those with limited mobility.

Pedal Exercisers

Regular exercise is essential for everyone including those with limited mobility. Fortunately, numerous pedal exercisers are available, providing a low-impact way to exercise while seated. These devices can tone muscles, improve circulation, and help you get some gentle cardio from the comfort of your home.

For added stability and support, look for pedal exercisers with adjustable straps or armrests, which can make them more accessible for those who have difficulty maintaining balance. Some models even come equipped with digital displays so you can track time and reps.

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports are organized activities designed to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to take part in recreational or athletic activities. These activities may range from something as simple as adapting regular fitness equipment to more involved initiatives like adaptive sports leagues.

Here are some types of adaptive sports to explore:

  • Community-based and nonprofit organization programs;
  • Disability-friendly parks and recreation association outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, water skiing, and canoeing/kayaking;
  • Physical education classes and school-based sports adapted for students living with disabilities;
  • Colleges and universities with adaptive sports programs that offer scholarships to top athletes, such as wheelchair basketball or track and field;
  • Paralympic sports for athletes with disabilities, providing athletes at all levels of function the opportunity to compete.

If you're interested in participating in adaptive sports, check out local community organizations or contact your state's department of education for information about available programs near you.

Ultimately, living with a disability doesn't mean you can't live an active and meaningful life. By investing in the right adaptive equipment, you can make everyday tasks easier — and have some fun too.

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