In August, MobilityWorks of Santa Clara hosted its first Mobility Expo. The goal of the expo was to bring consumers and providers together for a day of learning and fun. The Expo featured over 15 exhibitors and 10 guest speakers. "MobilityWorks is more than the nation’s largest QAP certified mobility dealer. MobilityWorks is an advocate for people with disabilities, and uniting providers and those with unique needs is just one of the many ways we serve the community," says Tony Bandermann, Client Relations Manager for Northern California.
Exhibitors were on hand to provide information on everything from Veterans and Regional Center benefits to power chairs and robotics. Speakers presented on topics such as the latest features and benefits from Braunability, VMI and AmeriVan.
"As a provider, I found this event very useful because I was able to speak with a lot of people who benefit from the solutions I have to offer," said an exhibitor.
"Living with muscular dystrophy, it was helpful to talk with the MDA's Health Care Service Provider and learn about their support groups and clinics," said a consumer.
Steve Riffle is the General Manager of the store and a strong advocate. “What we do here at MobilityWorks is extremely important to our clients. Our entire staff come to work every day to help people, and that is a good feeling. The Expo gives our clients the opportunity to come to a friendly, no pressure atmosphere where they can learn and get help with all sorts of different aids to their everyday lives. It is a great help to them. And, it is fun.
Providers connected with clients and customers; consumers gained new solutions and support for their unique needs; the food was good; everyone enjoyed the door prizes; and sales/ service and rental specials were given out. Everyone had fun!
Pictures of the event, including links to providers' resource sites, can be found here: Expo pictures.
Customer Testimonial Speaks from the Heart About Living with Progressive MS While Battling Breast Cancer
Every so often we get a client testimonial that we love to share. In her letter below, LeeAnne Lapum shares her struggles with Progressive MS and Breast Cancer. She came to MobilityWorks to find a wheelchair accessible van to meet her travel needs. Thank you LeeAnne!
We were a very active, young family. We had been blessed with two children. We owned and operated a small business. We enjoyed going places and doing things as a family. When our children were in kindergarten in fourth grade, I began having balance problems. The results of two MRIs changed our lives forever.
I was diagnosed with Chronic / Progressive (untreatable) MS in 1992. As time passed and my condition worsened, I went from doing what I call “ furniture surfing “ to being bedridden or in a wheelchair. At first I was able to transfer into a vehicle.
Years later I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and was scheduled for a mastectomy. My surgeon told me that I would not be able to raise my arm in order to be transferred following my surgery. With the help of our church, family and friends we were able to purchase our first mobility van.
It has been one of the best purchases we ever made. Because of our mobility van with an EZ Lock system for securing my wheelchair I am able to easily go to Dr. Appointments or make other necessary trips. I cannot recommend highly enough to anyone dealing with a disability how vitally important and life changing purchasing a mobility van can be.
The staff at MobilityWorks is well informed about the needs of those who are wheelchair bound. Their facilities are ADA compliant and easily accessible both inside and outside. They told us about laws and regulations that we didn't know existed. They made the whole experience enjoyable. They are well informed, polite, courteous and efficient. A real pleasure to work with.
— LeeAnne Lapum
Just Along for the Ride - Triumphing Over Multiple Sclerosis and Breast Cancer
LeeAnne published a 127-page book in November, 2011 titled "Just Along for the Ride" that was written to be encouraging to those facing serious health problems. Whether it is Multiple Sclerosis, Breast Cancer or any other illness, it can be overcome. LeeAnne is a true inspiration and we thank her again for sharing her story. For more information about her book, please go to Amazon.com.
Edwards AFB Disability Employment Awareness Month Committee (DEAM) Launches New Initiative
On October 9th, the Disability Employment Awareness Committee of Edwards Air Force Base held its first annual abilities expo at the Oasis Community Center. The companies invited to attend, including MobilityWorks, represented a variety of tools to assist individuals living with disabilities represented solutions for: communication, mobility and recreational aides. Though many of the resources are for daily living, the over-arching theme was helping people with disabilities procure jobs at Edwards.
"We feel, candidates like wounded warriors, would be the prime candidates to bring their experience back to work in a test and evaluation environment," said Darcy Painter, 412th Communications Squadron, DEAM Committee member. "They have that key experience that we can bring to bear on improving the next generation of systems."
Nicole Carter, an Independent Living Center of Southern California case manager, was born with cerebral palsy. During the expo, Carter visited the MobilityWorks booth in the parking lot, where she sat behind the wheel of a 2012 Chevy Silverado truck. The truck was modified to include a platform lift and hand controls allowing an individual to drive sitting in their wheelchair.
"This is a really liberating experience and it makes me really excited for the possibilities for the future. I haven't really ever felt this degree of independence before," said Carter. "I've been in a wheelchair my whole life. I've never had the experience of sitting in the driver's seat in my chair; it's extremely liberating and I haven't even driven anywhere. Just to know that I can is great."
Tim Russo, Mobility Works Certified Mobility Consultant, said the technology has been around for years, but the real draw is having options.
"Most of the vehicles that are available to them are minivans, now you open up the doors for them to have a truck," said Russo.
People with disabilities want to work if they are able to get around on their own. The right kind of wheelchair van and adaptive equipment can also be used to pursue hobbies like hunting and fishing. We are glad to be a part in helping people to get back to working in a job they love – or to pursue a new journey in life.
For more information about upcoming DEAM events, call 661-277-7527.
Named by Bicycling Magazine as the “Best Cycling Getaway in NJ”, the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride is one of the best cycling experiences on the East Coast. Participants choose from several routes ranging from 25-150 miles and/or bike over either one or two days.
MobilityWorks was a Finish Line Sponsor of the event, and in addition, also had a cycling team; Team MobilityWorks. Team MobilityWorks chose to cycle over two days (75 miles per day). In addition, they also chose to do the “Extra Century Loop” which added another 30 miles to their course---for a grand total of 180 miles!!!
Team MobilityWorks raised over $19,000 to help support cutting-edge research, programs and services for individuals impacted by MS.
If you’d like to support Team MobilityWorks, it’s not too late----you can visit their site.
Theme for 2014 "A Salute to the Men and Women of our Armed Services"
MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh will be hosting its annual Mobility Expo, this Thursday, October 9th from 11AM - 7PM. There will be over 20 exhibitors on hand representing a variety of organizations, including: vocational rehabilitation, veterans, advocacy groups, adaptive equipment, driver training programs, home modifications, accessible vans and much more. Enjoy a day of fun and live music performed by The Chain Gang, raffle prizes and food — catered by the Steel City Steakhouse. Valet parking will also be provided.
MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh is located at 1090 Mosside Blvd, Wall PA 15148. CALL 412-824-8091 for information.
Aardvark Adaptive Modifications
Adaptive Driving Program, Center for Assistive Technology
Bayada Home Health Care
B&D Independence , Inc.
Brant's Driving School
CLASS-Community Living and Support Services
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Keystone Paralyzed Veterans Association
Laurel Medical Supplies
Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
REZK Medical Supply
TRCIL Services, Inc.