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14 Ways to Make Flying More Worry-Free

airport-travel-tips

Traveling by air can be challenging for anyone. Thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act and stricter rules to remove obstacles, flying has become easier for people with disabilities. If you prepare in advance with these 14 tips, you’re more likely to have an easier, less stressful flight.

Before Boarding

Plan Ahead. This may seem simple, but be sure that you have your reservations in order as far in advance as possible. When booking, be sure to notate any special requests. It’s never a bad idea to call the airline to speak to someone regarding your mobility needs. In addition, you should organize travel information so that you have it easily available throughout your travels.

Call the Doctor. Make sure that flying will not affect your health. Be sure to get prescriptions filled-you will want to pack those on your carry on. Ask your doctor if they have recommendations for emergency contacts in your destination. If your doctor does not know any, it’s worth searching online and asking friends so that you have someone to reach out to should a situation arise while traveling.

Charge Your Phone and iPad Ahead of Time. Make sure your phone and tablet device is fully charged before you leave for the airport.  Write a note to remind yourself before going to bed the night before. Have ear buds with you in your carry on.

Confirm, Confirm, Confirm. You can’t talk to too many different airline officials to confirm that your needs will be met and ask any questions you have. You can call the airline directly at the number listed on their website.

Prepare Your Weelchair. Be sure that your chair is in good shape for travel, and have an emergency repair kit just in case.

At the Airport

Arrive Early. On the day of your flight, you should arrive extra early to go through security and be sure that all necessary equipment is in order. Any equipment that will be taken from you in flight should be tagged with your contact information.

Obtain a Luggage Claim Receipt. Your wheelchair will be checked with other luggage, so be sure you have a receipt to claim your wheelchair.

Work with the TSA. If you cannot walk through a metal detector, be sure to notify a TSA agent so that you can be hand wanded. If you have any sore or sensitive areas on your body, be sure to alert the agent. You are allowed to have a private screening with a companion of your choice there.

Make Boarding Requests Known. Right before and as you board, be sure to notify crew members of any special needs or requests you may have during the flight.

Remove Pads as You Board. Padding like seat cushions and leg supports don’t tend to travel well with other luggage. Bring a bag with so you can remove these from your wheelchair as you are boarding and your wheelchair is taken.

Ask about the Lavatory. It’s a good idea to use the restrooms before you board as many lavatories marked as accessible are still quite small and difficult to maneuver in. Ask the desk attendants at the gate for more details.

Prepare for Layovers. If you are going to have a layover, ask that your own equipment is returned while you are in the airport. This will keep you independent and mobile, and lessens the risk of damage to your equipment.

In Flight and After Landing

Speak with the crew while in flight. Remind the flight attendants that you need your equipment brought to the gate. If you do this before you land, the crew can communicate with gate officials ahead of time to make those arrangements.

Communicate. If something goes wrong during the flight, you’ll want to be sure to speak up so that you and other travelers hopefully don’t face the same difficulty again. If you experience inaccessibility during travel, ask to speak to a Complaints Resolution official. You can also file a written complaint within 45 days of the incident. The airline is required to respond within 30 days.

If you have any questions, you can always contact your airline. Each airline needs to follow the Air Carrier Access Act, which covers access on all flights to and from the United States. In addition, you can call the US Department of Transportation with any questions related to transportation.

Plan Ahead for Accessible Transportation

Most airport and hotel shuttle providers, such as SuperShuttle, will have wheelchair accessible vans equipped with a lift (but not all in their fleet). Make sure to let them know ahead of time that you are using a wheelchair and will need to have an accessible van when getting picked up.

MobilityWorks offers rentals in many states. During Holiday  seasons, these vehicles are often booked weeks (even months) ahead of time. Plan ahead by contacting us as soon as you know your travel schedule. The sooner the better! For more information about our accessible rentals, click here.

Paying it Forward—and Paying it Back—A Heartwarming Story!

Liz Woodward

After working tirelessly for 12 hours to put out an intense fire; firefighters Tim Young and Paul Hullings of New Jersey stopped at a small café for breakfast.

The waitress at the cafe; Liz Woodward, overhead the firefighters talking about the grueling fire.

When it came time for the firefighters to leave; Liz gave them a note on their Guest Check, letting them know that their breakfast was her treat—as a show of appreciation for their courage and bravery.

The firefighters were touched by Liz’s compassion and generosity. To show his appreciation, Tim Young shared Liz’s note on Facebook—encouraging people to visit the café—and to tip Liz well!

The story would be touching enough even if it ended there—but it doesn’t.

The firefighters learned that Liz’s father, Steve, has been a quadriplegic for the last five years. Liz had set-up a donation page to help her father raise money to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

Liz Woodward 2

Tim Young encouraged everyone he knew through Facebook to help out Liz in her efforts to raise money. Within just a few days, she had received donations of more than $70,000—far more than she had even initially requested.

Liz and her family could not be more grateful to the firemen, and to all those who contributed to her fundraiser.

Paying it forward—and paying it back. With kindness—much can be achieved!

Liz Woodward 1

—Credit: www.boreddaddy.com for story content and photos.

Experience Accessibility in Los Angeles

Ocean Front Walk at Venice
The Venice Beach Boardwalk (also known as the Ocean Front Walk) along the Pacific Ocean is famous for its many different street performers that provide free entertainment and fun.

Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States and a very popular tourist destination. You can spend days discovering all sites the City of Angels has to offer. When you or a loved one is traveling with a wheelchair or scooter, it’s important to plan ahead so that your travels are smooth and stress-free. Read on for MobilityWorks’ guide to experiencing Los Angeles in an accessible way, and don’t forget to book your wheelchair van rental in advance.

What to See

Venice Beach’s Boardwalk offers a full day of amusement and great accessibility. The flat walkway is easy to navigate, and the boardwalk features performers, unique food and drink and beautiful views. The weekend’s are a virtual sidewalk circus that can’t be missed.

Hollywood Boulevard and Universal City features several famous landmarks like the Chinese Theatre and Walk of Fame. The streets are teeming with tourist shops, fortune tellers, and more. You can even take a tour of the nearby homes of celebrities.  Experience plenty of accessible tourist attractions in this area-don’t forget your camera!

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a world-famous museum you can gain access to with your donation. Conveniently located elevators make exhibits easy to see. Enjoy sculptures, photography, cultural art and more.

What to Do

The Walt Disney Concert Hall houses the Los Angeles Philharmonic. There are plenty of great seats in the house for wheelchair users and companions in every section. You can even borrow devices that help you listen to the show.

Enjoy the day at one of California’s beautiful beaches from the comfort of a beach wheelchair. Additionally, several locations may offer motorized chairs which can be propelled by the user. From Venice to Santa Monica to Hermosa, experience the California coastline with ease.

Disneyland is a top theme park in Anaheim, close to Los Angeles. The Walt Disney Company is known for accessibility, and even has a guide and policies in place for guests with disabilities. This year, Disneyland is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary with extra fun for the whole family.

The Los Angeles Farmer’s Market has many shopping options from homemade candies to international eats. The walkways are very wide and many accessible parking spots are available.

The Grove Shopping Center is conveniently next to the Farmer’s Market. While the center features many well known stores, there are also performers and you can even take a trolley ride. You can plan a day to visit both the Farmer’s Market and the Grove.

How to Get Around

The Los Angeles Metro Transit Authority accommodates any type of wheelchair or scooter. Passengers with disabilities can ride for a reduced fee. Hearing, mobility and visual aids are available.

The Trolley between the Grove and the Farmers Market is wheelchair accessible with a slide out ramp. While it runs seasonally, the ride is meant more for the experience than transportation. The trolley is a popular attraction so be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds!

Visit the  Discover Los Angeles Tourism website for more accessible getaway information.

Wheelchair Vans for Rent by the Day or Week

Make your trip completely worry-free with a wheelchair van rental from MobilityWorks. We have two convenient locations in Pasadena and Van Nuys, and we can even deliver the rental vehicle to you. Give us a call at 1-877-275-4915 to reserve today!

 

Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom Now Part of the MobilityWorks Family

Ride-Away-Freedom-blog

East Coast and TX Showrooms Add 22 More Locations for People to Find the Right Accessible Van or Rental

MobilityWorks is growing once again with the merger of HASCO Medical, Inc.  They are the parent company of Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom accessible van dealerships.

With Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom’s sales, service and van rental centers, MobilityWorks will now have a combined 57 locations in 21 states. What this means to our clients is that they will have more locations to get service and rentals… and there will be a lot more options toward the selection of a vehicle. We will also be looking to learn and improve upon all of our operations for a better client experience at all of our stores.

“They are a great group of dedicated and experienced people with really good reputations for serving the client. We are glad to have Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom on our team” said Bill Koeblitz, President/CEO of MobilityWorks.

For more details on the merger, go to the PRWeb Press Release titled Merger Between MobilityWorks and HASCO Medical Completed.

Ride-Away and Mobility Freedom Locations

CT

East Hartford, Connecticut

FL

Bunnell, Florida

Clermont, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Largo, Florida

Miami, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Tampa, Florida

MA

North Attleboro, Massachusetts

Norwood, Massachusetts

MD

Beltsville, Maryland

Parkville, Maryland

ME

Gray, Maine

NH

Londonderry, New Hampshire

NY

Long Island City, New York (Commercial Sales)

PA

Norristown, Pennsylvania

TX

Waco, Texas

VA

Norfolk, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

VT

Essex Junction, Vermont

These showrooms will soon be added to the MobilityWorks Locations page. If you have any questions or need to contact one of these stores, please contact one of our Client Care Center representatives.

 

 

Hands Free Prototype Wheelchair Moves by Leaning Forward or Side-to-Side

ogo-wheelchair-photos

Wheelchair of the Future?

After four years of research and development, Kevin Halsall has finally unveiled his incredible new invention. The New Zealand native has created a hands free prototype wheelchair for his friend Marcus Thompson, who was paralyzed after a skiing accident. The OGO is a mix of a wheelchair and a Segway that balances on two wheels, adjusting and moving as the person sitting in the chair leans forward, backward, or side to side. Halsall, who is an engineer by trade, purchased a Segway, disassembled the device and then reconstructed it around a wheelchair.

“It’s one of the life affirming things that this machine does, it puts you in touch with your whole body again,” Mr. Thompson said.

The OGO has a top speed of 12 miles per hour and the wheels can even be swapped out for off-road capabilities. Its’ heavy duty battery gives it an expected range of almost 18 miles and the lightweight frame makes it easy to transport. The OGO is a finalist in the National Innovators Awards and is in the process of being made available for purchase. A price has yet to be determined, but Mr. Halsall wants to keep it as low as possible so the OGO is affordable for those who need it.

Watch the OGO YouTube Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgat4a1TrEM

 To learn more about the OGO, visit their website at //ogotechnology.com.

 

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