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Redefining ‘Going Mobile’ – A 40 Year Retrospect

Wireless Providers Cloud the Use of ‘Mobility’ 
 

Pete Townshend and The WhoForty years ago this coming August, The Who came out with their ‘Who’s Next’ album featuring one of their all-time greatest hits ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Also on the album was another chart-topping favorite ‘Going Mobile’ written by Pete Townshend. His lyrics were about the ability to keep moving and living free. To go where you want to go, when you want to go:

I can pull up by the curb, I can make it on the road… goin’ mobile.
I can stop in any street, invitin’ people that we’d meet… goin’ mobile. Keep me moving!
Out in the woods or in the city, It’s all the same to me
When I’m drivin’ free the world’s my home… going mobile.

Pete Townshend and The WhoLittle did Townshend know back in 1971 the importance (and impact) the word ‘mobile’ would have on the world with the invention of the cellular phone and other ‘mobile devices’. A 70’s era Webster’s dictionary simply stated that mobile meant:  ‘capable of moving or being moved’. There was no mention of technology. The closest thing to a mobile device back then was a walkie-talkie two-way radio tranceiver, mostly used by the military.

Motorola Dyna-TacIt wasn’t until 1973 that the first prototype mobile phone was introduced (known as the Motorola Dyna-Tac). Today, pocket-size gadgets that can communicate across the globe have redefined its primary usage in the English language.

In the last two decades, the wireless technology industry has pretty much taken over the word mobile. By the time today’s child becomes an adult they will have heard the term ‘mobile’ thousands of times over – having little to do with one’s physical abilities. Its Latin origin ‘mobilis’ meant movable, but I doubt the early Greeks were thinking about smart phones and i-pads. Word meanings however can and do evolve. So they can use mobile, cell, cellular, apps, i-this, i-that and wireless infinitum. No problem. What is a little more troublesome is that they’ve also started to commandeer the word ‘mobility’.  Researching the etymology of mobility (vs. mobile), it is generally referred to as a condition of one’s movement and the ability to physically move.

Examples of this wordsmith takeover include Motorola changing its name to Motorola Mobility, Inc. (now trading on the NYSE as MMI).  Bell Cellular, a division of Bell Canada, changed its name to Bell Mobility. AT&T now offers ‘enterprise mobility services’ to help manage your business. That would be fine for a business with hundreds of wheelchairs and scooters.

The encroachment of ‘mobility’ by the wireless mega-corporations has providers of true mobility products and disability-related websites sharing space with them on the Internet. With billions of ad dollars spent each year by the ‘phone’ guys, Internet searches for ‘physical mobility’ issues and products can get a strange mix of irrelevant blurred results. And that’s not good for the disabled community. Mobility should be reserved for use in helping an individual to keep moving. A phone service provider shouldn’t be calling you to upgrade your mobility plan, as an example.

On the other hand, how long will it be before scooters have built-in Bluetooth devices?

So Pete — here’s to you and the anniversary of Going Mobile. If you were writing the song today, the lyrics may have been much different.

Note: Townshend recently provided the initial funding for a non-profit hearing advocacy group called H.E.A.R. He now suffers from severe hearing loss due to his extensive exposure to loud music over three decades of live concerts.

On the Move…

MobilityWorks Showroom in Albany New York Moving, New Location Announced for Pasadena California

MobilityWorks Albany NYThe MobilityWorks Albany NY service and showroom location (currently in Scotia NY) is ahead of schedule to move into its new location at 1615 Central Ave, Albany NY 12205. Originally scheduled for early June, it looks like they’ll be up and running as of this Monday, May 23rd! The new location will allow for an expansion of our service bays and van showroom area, in addition to being closer to more of our customers in the Capital Region.

NY residents will be receiving a postcard with the announcement and a coupon for discounts on new wheelchair vans and preventative maintenance. Clients can call General Manager Dean Pells or Mobility Consultant Bill LaChapelle at 518-346-9059 for details. Congratulations to Dean and the entire MobilityWorks team on this exciting move and expansion. Visit our Albany store page

Pasadena Here We Come!

MobilityWorks has begun preparation for our expansion in the Southern California market with a new Pasadena location scheduled to open in June. The new location will allow for us to better serve those customers living in the greater Los Angeles northeast area, complementing our Van Nuys CA store to the west.

Leading the Pasadena expansion with be Bill Brixon, a long-time MobilityWorks Certified Mobility Consultant working out of Van Nuys. The new showroom will be right off of the I-210 Foothill Freeway at 325 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena CA 91107. The local MobilityWorks phone number will be 626-584-8181. Congratulations to Bill on his new expanded role as General Manager in Pasadena!

GM Mobility Reimbursement Program

General Motors offers a program designed to help with the cost of installing adaptive equipment in the new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles. The  GM Mobility Reimbursement Program allows new vehicle purchasers/lessees to receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment. In the videos below, Rick Kristufek, a Mobility Consultant from our Detroit MobilityWorks location, discusses MobilityWorks and  the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program.

 

Transfer Seats are One of Many Options for Wheelchair Drivers

Wheelchair Transfer SeatPeople who use a wheelchair will often times have to lift themselves into another chair or over to a car seat. For those who drive with hand controls, totally removing the front seat to make room for the wheelchair is sometimes not a practical solution. The confines of an accessible minivan however make it difficult to pull the wheelchair close enough to transfer over to the front driver’s seat, not to mention that it’s in a fixed position facing forward.

So what’s the answer? Transfer seats allow for the person in the wheelchair to transfer from the wheelchair in the center area of a van to the front seat of an automobile. With a few easy-to-use controls, the electronically controlled seat can be moved back from the standard forward position by as much as 20 inches. The transfer seat can then be turned 90 degrees sideways, allowing for complete accessibility. After transferring over, rotating and moving forward, it can then be raised or lowered to a comfortable driving position. This type of functionality is referred to as a six-way seat: forward; backward; rotate left; rotate right; up and down.

Wheelchair Transfer Seat BaseFor new vans, transfer seat bases can be ordered and installed by MobilityWorks for either the driver or passenger side front seats. The original OEM seat may be used with the new base. If you happen to come across pre-owned (used) wheelchair vans for sale with a transfer seat already installed, it’s worth an extra look for the additional convenience this device can offer.

Additional Seating Options

Many wheelchair van models are now manufactured with rollaway seat bases, which mean that they can easily be taken out of the van with some able-bodied assistance to make room for a wheelchair in the forward area. All that is needed is tie-downs and the proper mounting track secured to the floor. A more permanent docking type device that locks the wheelchair in place can also be installed. Other custom seating solutions are available for helping drivers or passengers to get in and out of a vehicle using the front doors, such as lift-up seats and turning automotive seats (TAS by Bruno). These can be ordered and installed in almost any type of vehicle, including pickup trucks and SUVs. So what’s right for you? Ask your local Certified Mobility Consultant about transfer seats, lift-up seating, rollaway front seats and TAS seats that can be a valuable time-saver and convenient addition to your minivan.

Renting a Wheelchair Van for the Holidays?

MobilityWorks is One of the Largest Renters of Handicap Vans in the United States. Many of Our Vans for Rent Are Booked Weeks Ahead of Time During the Busy Holiday Season.

Wheel chair vans for rent

It’s that time of year when relatives and friends come home or to visit. I you’ve never had a disabled person in your family, then you may not have ever needed to find a wheelchair van that you can rent. The good news is that rental vans are available from many different providers around the country that serve most major cities. The bad news is that holidays are the busiest time of year for renting one, so if you haven’t gotten your reservation in already it may be too late.

If you want to bring someone home from a nursing home (for example), renting an accessible van is often the easiest way to get them out visiting with friends and doing holiday things, like shopping!

If you’re planning on getting a handicap rental van, call today! Don’t delay. If there aren’t any vans available, try to make reservations for the following week. Vans can be rented by the day, week, weekend, or even for an entire month.

The toll-free MobilityWorks rental hotline is 1-877-275-4915.