Lifelong training sessions are intensive training periods for new wheelchair users. During the training periods participants learn the correct use of the wheelchair and basic techniques in self-service.
Traineeships for independent living include both seminars and practical sessions addressed to both adults and children with motor disabilities. Adults, children and their parents learn about wheelchair handling, personal hygiene, sexuality, medical complications, social and school integration. In a typical independent life training program, recovery activities are organized and discussions are held on previously established topics, as well as leisure activities, encouraging student contact with non-community members and participation in Different activities and events.
An essential role in the training for independent living is the active recovery instructor, who is himself a wheelchair user, and is an example of success for participants in training sessions. He guides them at every stage and makes sure they manage correctly and safely. Together with the independent life instructor, wheelchair users learn more about how to discover their abilities and bring them to their service and other members of the community. The learning process starts from elementary things like transfer to and from the wheelchair, clothing, personal care and hygiene, etc., and finishes with guiding them how to adapt a car and get a driving license or to get a job.
Lifelong learning sessions are complemented by access rights information and assistive technology adaptations / tools that can act as facilitators in wheelchair users’ operation.
Training for independent living is complemented by physiotherapy, counseling and wheelchair sports – components of the active recovery process.
The aim of the independent life training sessions is to help overcome psychological barriers, reduce the isolation at home of wheelchair users and encourage their participation in community life as active members of the wheelchair users.