I haven’t done much pretending other than the supermarket pretending you have a bad foot pretending with their “economical” wheelchairs. From that I haven’t gained much more than what I perceive to be the obvious. However the site needs content, so I will list what I have learned.
Don’t be too afraid to ask for help. You are pretending after all, and unless they can read minds, it is quite hard to tell who is and isn’t disabled. Most people will probably be too embarrassed to ask anyways.
Always have a story. It’s good to have a story no matter how rough, just in case someone or their child asks. You don’t want to get caught off guard. Although it is pretty easy to just say I had a car accident a few years ago, and leave it at that.
For men: Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket and go out pretending. You will look quite foolish and fake trying to pull it out. Embarrassed!
When at all possible avoid paying the special lowered fees, and other such benefits of appearing disabled. It’s more of a common sense and common courtesy thing.
Remember to adjust your position in your chair every once in a while. I had a teacher who was a paraplegic, and he would constantly lift himself up by pushing down on the armrests, and reposition himself in the chair. It creates more of an authentic look.
Practice: Especially with things like lifting your legs, and transferring. I’m sure we’ve all seen some bad actor try to make their legs look paralyzed, but just look fake. Study the videos in the Yahoo groups to perfect your technique.
Practice 2: If you are planning a long outing, make sure that you are up to it. For some people it is quite tiring pushing yourself around all day, and you run the small risk of looking too new at it by not being physically ready to pretend.
Practice 3: Make sure you can manoeuvre your wheelchair with some manner of skill. Again you don’t want to seem like you are fresh out of the hospital, more like fresh out of rehab.
Fanny Packs and Backpacks. I’m sure we’ve all seen the handy little trick of hanging a backpack over the back of your chair. This or a fanny pack placed a bit higher than usual can be great for storing all sorts of things that a pretender/para may need. i.e.: Wallet, extra diapers, pills, sunglasses, keys, etc.
Clothing: It is a good idea to create some pretending clothes, for your outing, partially out of personal comfort, and also for added authenticity.
Many paras cut the back pockets off of their jeans because (iirc) they are useless, and increase the risk for developing pressure sores. Also, wearing shoes that are not prone