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Guide by Room: Outdoors

Posted by Mike Phipps on December 10, 2018

Inside a bar – various people sitting at tables and drinking

Travelling and getting out and about with a disability

This article was updated on 23/04/2024.

Getting out and about, whether you have a health condition, long-term disability or simply want to remain active as you get older, is a great way to maintain independence and lead a healthy lifestyle.

With many different factors to consider when out and about - from the changeable weather, to how accessible the terrain is - we’ve compiled our best advice and handy products to make getting out and about much easier for you.

The benefits of getting outdoors

  • Healthy mind - A change of scenery helps to break out of a routine and boost your mental wellbeing, even if it’s something as simple as taking a different route to your local supermarket or going to a different park to your usual one.
  • Healthy body - Going outdoors, and especially in nature, is beneficial to your physical, with studies showing that spending time with nature can improve blood pressure and even decrease the risk of cancer.
  • More independence - For individuals living with a disability, going outside can mean much more than just enjoying the scenery. Even a small journey down the road is a great way to maintain your independence and develop the confidence to start planning longer journeys.


How to make a journey accessible and easy

There are a number of ways to make getting out and about easier and more accessible, from being prepared and planning your outing, to keep your options open for the ever-changeable British weather. If you require one, choosing the right mobility aid is important for getting outdoors, as there are things to consider like the terrain, battery life and if the mobility aid can fit in your vehicle.

Plan your journey

Depending on the length of your outing, it’s a good idea to check beforehand what the accessibility is like. Online forums and Facebook groups are a handy way to get some more information about the places you want to visit, and public transport companies often have information regarding their accessibility on their websites. By being prepared and knowing what to expect, your journey can be made a lot calmer and stress-free.

Check the weather

Famous for being unpredictable, the British weather can definitely put a stop to any outdoor plans, whether it’s too hot or pouring down with rain. Wheelchair users can often feel the cold more due to sitting down instead of walking, so a simple product like a wool blanket is ideal to wrap around your legs and keep warm. A snug and comforting fleece lined leg cosy is perfect for keeping out the cold on long journeys, with waterproof material to stay dry in the rain. To deflect both the rain and the sun, a wheelchair umbrella can simply fasten onto your chair and protect you from the elements, hands-free.

Various wheelchair accessories

Products shown: Wheelchair Umbrella, Fleece Lined Wheelchair Cosy, Wool Blanket, Luxury Lap Blanket, Water Resistant Cosy Fleece Blanket

Use mobility aids and supports

Depending on your mobility, you may find it easier to venture out with the support of a walking stick, crutch or rollator, if you don’t require a wheelchair. A walking stick is ideal to provide balance if you have minor mobility issues, and you can choose from lots of beautiful designs or folding sticks to fit in a bag. If you’re looking for a bit more stability and a more ergonomic handle, try a crutch, as most come with a comfortable arm cuff and sturdy ferrule for support. Or, if you want a walking aid which combines stability, style and comfort, a four-wheel walker or rollator may be the answer for you.

Various walking sticks

Products shown: Folding Patterned Walking Sticks, Coopers Elbow Crutches, 4 Wheel Rollator, Kingfisher Tri-walker

Vehicle Aids & Travelling

If you’re travelling by car or another vehicle, you want your journey to be comfortable and relaxing, particularly if it’s a long trip. When venturing out, it’s important to start your journey by getting in your vehicle easily and safely with the help of a handy bar. Car transfer aids are ideal for providing stability and support when getting in and out of a vehicle, something which can be difficult to do with limited mobility, dizziness or back problems. For the utmost comfort whilst in the car, try a leveller cushion to support the coccyx and prevent back pain, or use a swivel seat cushion to make exiting the vehicle easier. If you’re a blue badge user, a stylish blue badge holder can keep the badge safe whilst looking fashionable and colourful.


Various mobility aids
Handy Bar Car Transfer, Car Seat Leveller Cushion, Swivel Seat Fleece Top, Leather Blue Badge Holders


Going outside is a fun and exciting activity for everyone, regardless of age and ability, and it can be made much easier with the help of a few choice mobility aids and careful planning.

More information:

Euan's Guide, a wealth of information about disabled access


Kate Makin, OT

Kate Makin, Ability Superstore's Occupational Therapist

Kate Makin qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2001 with a BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy. She is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT).

As a registered occupational therapist (OT), Kate is a science degree-based, health and social care professional, taking a “whole person” approach to both physical and mental health and wellbeing. This enables individuals, of all ages, to achieve their full potential and lead as independent life as possible.

Click here for Kate’s registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Throughout her career, Kate has worked in many different clinical settings, in both the public and private sector. Kate has been running her own independent occupational therapist business since 2009. She is passionate about disability aids and adaptations, with a specialist interest in postural management and seating.

As Ability Superstore’s resident OT, Kate is on hand to offer professional advice and answer any queries.