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5 Accessible Activities in Norfolk

Norfolk is located by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay in the southeast part of Virginia. It was chosen as one of the top 50 Places in the world to travel in 2017. The city is full of a wide range of art, food, and culture that all make for an exciting travel destination. Below are 5 accessible places to visit in Norfolk!

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Wheelchair Accessible Tiny Home

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There’s a new trend happening all over the country with individuals and couples downsizing to “Tiny Homes”, some of which are less than 100 square feet! Now, there’s a company building one that is wheelchair accessible.

Wheel Pad, based out of Wilmington, VT, is the first company to build an accessible tiny “home”. The 200 square foot eco-friendly living space contains a bedroom and a bathroom. It is designed more to be an accessible addition to an existing home rather than as a stand-alone tiny home. The vision at Wheel Pad was to create a “transitional” space for people who have just started using a wheelchair or are facing other mobility issues.

Like many tiny homes, it is built on a trailer frame so that it can be easily moved and attached to a “host home” via a back door or window. Wheel Pad is designed to be manufactured, delivered and installed within two months by Wheel Pad approved contractors. The entire project is overseen by a Wheel Pad Project Manager. Ideally, the installation is completed while a client is receiving inpatient rehabilitation so that it’s ready when they come home.

The inspiration for Wheel Pad came from a young man named Riley, who spent several months bouncing around between hospitals and rehabilitation facilities after an accident left him paralyzed. This was shortly before his 26th birthday. When he was ready to start living on his own again, he wasn’t able to find an accessible apartment. For eight months, his only option was to live in an accessible hotel room.

Check out the additional photos below or visit www.wheelpad.com for more information:

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The restroom comes equipped with grab bars and a wheel in shower

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Appliances and features are installed at the perfect height for a wheelchair user

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A track for a Hoyer style lift spans the length of the entire house

‘All photos are courtesy of Carolyn L. Bates’

2018 National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Photo is from the 2018 PVA Buckeye Games held this past April in Ohio.

From July 30th – August 4th, veterans from around the country will compete in Orlando, FL at the 38th annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG). The event is co-presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and takes place in a new city every year.

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Vehicle Shopping with a Twist

Below is an article originally written by Fran Joyce for her blog This Awful-Awesome Life where she discusses her wheelchair van buying experience with our MobilityWorks team in Pittsburgh.

By Fran Joyce
Getting a new car is exciting. After 14 years of nursing my adapted minivan along, it was time for a new one. For anyone who is physically challenged or lives with a physically challenged family member, the decision to buy a vehicle or replace an existing one can seem daunting. I’m using the term “handicapped” in this article because I will be discussing parking and other considerations for purchasing a vehicle. I dislike labels, and I apologize to anyone who may be offended.

The type of conversion you need is dependent on whether the person with physical challenges will be a driver or passenger.

In my case, I have a son in a power wheelchair who will be a passenger not a driver. With a power chair, there are height requirements for the converted vehicle that may not apply to manual chairs. Head room is a safety issue when entering and exiting the vehicle. For this reason, a manual ramp which is least expensive might not be the best option.

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Kate is Living the Dream

Kate Mellor is an incredibly ambitious young woman, who recently fulfilled her dream of traveling across the United States. She flew from London to Los Angeles, where Kate rented an accessible vehicle from MobilityWorks and drove all the way to New York City!

When Kate was 11 years old she watched the show “Friends” for the first time and immediately knew she wanted to visit America. From that day, it became her dream to travel to the United States and for the next 12 years she planned and researched. Late in 2016, Kate started a GoFundMe that ultimately reached her goal of 10,000 euros to help cover the cost of her adventure.

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