Trolley or wheelchair? Most people think it doesn’t matter, because both are used by people who cannot walk. As a result, the choice of words is inconstant, causing a huge confusion in experts and in the people who use such equipment.
Considering, a trolley is something that needs to be pushed. It is a medical equipment, which cannot be used alone. The person sitting in one needs to be pushed by someone, this way handling certain situations is much easier and faster for the nurse. They are mostly seen in health care institutions, especially in american hospital series, where everyone is being pushed around in these, even if they are able to walk. You could also see trollies at airports, my mother was put in one as well, when she tried to communicate in hungarian in Switzerland. They asked her to sit in a trolley and pushed her to the correct gate, it was much more simple.
A wheelchair however, presumes activity, dare I say, it allows our main goal, independent living. They are used anywhere by the disabled in favor of their transport and access: when working, hiking, doing sports, taking a bus, going to the cinema, anywhere…. It is certainly smaller than a trolley. They could be moved by hand, motorized device can be put in front of it, or it could also be electronic, which however is a very heavy phenomena, approximately 100 kilos. There’s no need to push them by hand though, they have engines and they could be operated by various methods, even by our heads.
There is a separate category for the madcap people, who practice sports actively, so they have a special sports wheelchair. With these they can even play rugby, basketball or ride bikes – at a very high level.
All in all: a trolley presumes passivity. If you use this expression instead of a wheelchair, it is hurtful for the disabled who don’t live passively at all.
Wheelchairs are necessities for an active life, when due to disabilities you cannot run around on both legs, but you still live your life just like anyone else.