I got this email:
"I'm new to using a wheelchair and just out of the hospital. I'm wondering how other women carry stuff around? When I push myself things fall off my lap. J.T."
J.T., thanks for stopping by! This is a great question and I'll answer it, but hope readers leave comments too because different folks do different things.
Many of my friends in manual wheelchairs use backpacks or wheelchair bags that attach to their chairs. There is a "down under" net that you can string under your chair too that holds many items. This is a great place to stow things instead of keeping them on your lap. (You can get these at sportaid.com and 1800wheelchair.com and other places by googling wheelchair accessories and bags).
The good news is that I've noticed more and more designs for wheelchair bags over the years, including really small ones now that hold things like your cell phone (and other bling).
I generally use a wheelchair bag rather than a pocketbook,mostly because the D rings are easier for me with my paralysis, but many of my para friends do carry handbags/pocketbooks.
I highly recommend the site Beauty Ability for fashion tips on wheelchair accessories. I've found that you don't need to buy "only" products made for wheelchairs. Most of the ideas I've learned from other people in chairs and each one will answer this question differently - so check out the comments left here too..