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The Mysterious Empty Wheelchair

Where could they be?
By Kimberley Barreda
So moody and evocative... the sun flare adds nuance to the setting, the long shadow hinting at the dawn of a new day free from disability. Someone has overcome. Do you feel it?
We don't. This type of imagery has the completely opposite reaction when marketing to disabled people. The lack of any context at all is the issue. Adding realistic context is the solution.

When I see images like these, the only thing I wonder is if they're lying on the ground somewhere and their chair rolled away. It's anxiety inducing.

The same applies to using it to imply accessibility. An empty wheelchair in the middle of a kitchen or bathroom has the same effect.

The picture on the right also has empty wheelchairs and a completely different vibe. The trick is to show an empty chair from the point of view of the wheelchair owner, with the location of the empty chair owner known. When a disabled person transfers from their chair, that is the view they have. It creates ownership and a sense of identification.

Kimberley Barreda

Kimberley is an award-winning writer, actor, model, disability lifestyle and business marketing specialist, helping businesses reach disabled consumers. Principal at Specialty Casting featuring international disabled talent. See more at Unlimbited

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