Advances in technology provide people with disabilities with a wide range of options on how they can go from one place to another. Beyond being mere passengers, handicapped people can even have control over motor powered vehicles like vans, cars, and other similar modes of transportation. This is made possible with the introduction of vehicles equipped with adaptive devices allowing the disabled to drive. At times, it can be quite difficult and outright frustrating but somehow, the introduction of transportation and mobility equipment for people with disability is making things a bit easier.
There are currently a number of transportation options open to handicapped people. Aside from the traditional wheelchairs, there are handicap accessible vans, public buses with wheelchair lifts and platforms, shuttle service with creative controls for added mobility, and other types of vehicles fitted for senior & handicap citizens. Let us take a look at some of the most common transport alternatives for the disabled.
1. Modified vehiclesThis refers to commercially available vehicles (usually from minivans to buses) which are installed with adaptive transportation and mobility equipment based on the need of the handicap. These vehicles are commonly installed with portable ramps allowing them to transform into wheelchair vans. The adaptive driving controls allow the person with disability to drive the vehicle by himself or sit comfortably in the front passenger seat. Vehicles that undergo the conversion process need to conform to the requirements of the ADA law of 1990. One of the more established names in this field is Braunability. A side note to van conversions, check with your insurance provider if they will cover the installation of mobility systems in your vehicle.
2. Paratransit serviceThe paratransit system is an alternative to the local transit authority. This is normally put in place whenever there not enough carriers and transfer systems equipped with handicap friendly equipment. This demand responsive, curb-to-curb system sends out vans to meet people with disabilities at their front door. This is done on a scheduled trip basis taking into consideration the home of the handicapped as well as the destination. It is advisable in this kind of system that trips are scheduled at least a day ahead to ensure the availability of driver services. In some areas, this type of transportation arrangement is handled by civic groups like the Lions Club.
3. Wheelchair Transport ServiceThis is a type of specialized modified vehicle with mobility equipment for people with disabilities. It has a rear-entry design with a platform lift. It has medical equipment and a volunteer driver to deliver a safe and caring transport to mobility impaired people in an affordable manner. This family owned business responds to the needs of the handicap in a courteous, accommodating and fast way. They are capable of delivering advanced mobility based on cutting edge technology. Their state of the art services is backed by a team of professionals who manage all the requirements of clients. Their services however are confined in the West Coast of Florida area.
4. DARTSThe Disabled Alternative Road Travel Service implements recreational and educational programs within the Sydney area. This allows persons with disability to join social activities and daily trips like normal people. They even extend their services to those who are living with assistance. Some of the activities that they organize include barbecues, picnics, yoga classes, and river cruises among others. They are composed of volunteers who help wheelchair bound handicaps in their daily activities. People in wheelchairs have the chance to live as part of a normal community environment within their area.
5. Mobility motoring programThis program undertaken by some of the major automotive manufacturers allows for the adapting motor vehicles to handicapped peoplesí needs. The program carried out across the United States is implemented in activities like the Toyota Mobility Program, GM Mobility Program, Ford Mobility Motoring Program, Saturn Mobility Program, Chrysler Mobility Program, and Volkswagen Mobility Access Program among others.
In this program, cash reimbursements of up to $1,000 are given to every eligible and original retail customers. This covers the cost of purchase and installation of qualified adaptive passenger or driving equipment used for the transportation of the person with physical disability. Some of the models covered by this program include the Lexus, GM cars (as well as vans and trucks), Lincoln, Mercury, and various Chrysler and Volkswagen models. The reimbursement covers aftermarket equipment installation like steering knobs, additional hand grips, wheelchair or scooter lifting equipment, hand controls, mobility aids, alerting devices, and installation of ramps on minivans to full-sized vans.
6. Wheelchair accessThe most commonly seen mode of transportation for persons with disability remains the wheelchair. This simple device has undergone some drastic changes during the past few years. Handicap people now have a wide variety of wheelchairs to choose from. Aside from the conventional manual wheelchairs which are self-propelled, you also have the manual transit wheelchair which has smaller rear wheels that do not have push rims. These are commonly found in hospitals and airports used by porters and attendants.
There are also the motorized wheelchairs or electric wheelchairs. These are equipped with a motor and navigated with the use of control systems. This type of chair is ideal for handicaps that are not strong enough to maneuver themselves manually. The wheelbase chair or sometimes called the scooter consists of four small wheels connected to a low platform. The mounted chair may vary depending on the type of disability and need of the user. Sports chairs or recreational chairs are fit for athletes with disability. They are commonly made of lightweight materials, do not fold, and have angled wheels for better stability during sudden turns. You can see other types of wheelchairs when you visit The Wheelchair Experts or the Power Wheelchairs.
Unlike before, when persons with disabilities were relegated in their homes or hospital beds, there are now a number of alternative transport systems to allow them to enjoy a normal life. You simply have to evaluate your needs to select the best possible handicap transportation alternative for you.