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A day at college

Kwame is charging his car for the day at college

Watch Kwame’s story

Watch and listen to Kwame’s story in this short video, or read Kwame’s story below.

Read Kwame’s story

Arriving at the charge point

Kwame is studying graphic design at a college in south London. He has arrived at college early today as he has an assessment first thing, and he is distracted by his high pain level.

He reverses his car into the space so that his vehicle’s charging socket is close to the charging unit and to limit how far he must carry his charging cable which he keeps in the back of his car.

Preparing to charge

Kwame sets up the charge using the app on his smartphone, then opens his driver’s door fully into the yellow hatched space next to his car and swings his legs out.

He reaches across to the passenger seat to retrieve his crutch, and slowly stands up while leaning on the car. He pauses to get his balance, as he is still adjusting to his recently changed prosthetic leg.

Starting to charge

Kwame walks the few steps to the back of his car, gets both his charging cable and his design portfolio out of the boot to save walking back to the boot a second time, and stands where he can reach both the charging unit and the socket on his car.

He props his crutch against the walking-stick holder on the side of the charging unit and leans against the car with one hand. He uses his free hand to plug in both ends of the charging cable, following the voice instructions on the charging unit.

Kwame deliberately chose the voice instructions this time, as he knows that they help when he is distracted by his pain. Using the voice instructions also means that he doesn’t need to turn around to look closely at the charging unit and risk losing his balance.

I’m glad my college chargers are so simple – I have enough else to worry about today

Finishing up

At the end of a nerve-wracking but successful day, Kwame has passed his graphic design assessment and spent the afternoon working on his next assignment. He returns to his car and stops his car charging using his smartphone app. He puts his phone in his pocket, then checks the charging unit to see whether the cable is ready to unplug.

Kwame is tired after a long day and knows that his balance and pain are worse than this morning. He waits until he hears the charging unit say “ready to unplug” before pulling on the connectors. He is keen to avoid repeating a recent experience where he slipped and fell in a car park after the connector, that was locked into the charging unit during charging, was suddenly released while he was pulling on it.

Kwame opens his car boot and puts his portfolio in. He props his crutch against the side of the charging unit, and leans his body against the car. This leaves both his hands free to coil up his charging cable and put it into the boot. He closes the boot, picks up his crutch and walks down the side of the car and gets into the driver’s seat, pulling his crutch across onto the passenger seat after him.

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