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MobilityWorks Launches New Emergency Roadside Assistance Program for Its Wheelchair Van Clients

ProtectionWorks™ Includes Accessible Transportation to a Safe Destination

For most of our clients who use a wheelchair for mobility, dealing with an inoperable vehicle or bring stuck in a snow drift is a much more stressful situation than for an able-bodied person. That’s because if the vehicle needs to be towed, getting to a destination may mean not having access to an adaptive vehicle equipped with a wheelchair ramp or lift. Getting stuck “inside” the vehicle is also a real concern. That’s why MobilityWorks developed a unique roadside assistance program, with the help of its business partner Mobility Support Solutions™, to address this very need. Anchor has over 35,000 tow providers in their network to offer quick roadside assistance in every state of the country.

With ProtectionWorks™, the trade name created for the program, clients are covered with traditional roadside emergency assistance such as towing, out of fuel, flat tire and battery jump-starting assistance. The difference is that they are also covered with getting accessible transportation to a safe destination for up to 25 miles from where their vehicle had to be towed. The program will also dispatch technicians to address the needs of a lift or ramp not deploying — or a technician to help with a mobility device not working properly, such as a power wheelchair or scooter. Clients now purchasing new or used handicap vans will be offered the program, in addition to clients that have purchased a vehicle in the past.

“ProtectionWorks provides peace of mind for our clients to know that should something go wrong, it will be easier for them to get the help they need” — Bill Koeblitz, MobilityWorks President/CEO.

MobilityWorksTV – the Place to Go for Informative Videos

A video highlighting the features of the new program can be seen on the ProtectionWorks web page. Go to www.mobilityworks.com/roadside to watch the video and to get more information on becoming a member. To view all of our videos, including product demonstrations and client testimonials in our “Reel Stories” series, go to YouTube MobilityWorks TV here.

 

 

Kyla Gets Her Wheelchair Van!

Kyla Hartigan celebrates with her new Chrysler Town & Country accessible minivan at the MobilityWorks of Plainfield store.

She didn’t win the contest but she won a lot of hearts

Eight year old Kyla Hartigan was born 12 weeks premature, spent 16 weeks in the NICU and fought every day to stay with us. As a result of her prematurity, she was diagnosed with Quadriplegic Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. Her family had been using a hoist-style lift in their van to pick up and transport her 240 pound K300 Permobil power wheelchair. Her mother Margie would pick up Kyla to get her transferred, seated and buckled in. This solution worked for a few years, but as Kyla kept getting older, their need for a wheelchair accessible van kept getting greater.

In May of 2013, the family learned about the National Mobility Awareness Month Van Giveaway contest by NMEDA* where three lucky winners would be given a van. Kyla entered the essay contest and made it as a semi-finalist in the online voting process.

Margie Hartigan wrote in her first essay:

“What most people take for granted, like a quick trip to the store, is so time consuming for us. Sometimes her chair can’t even travel with us and she has to be carried. A wheelchair accessible vehicle would be life-changing for this little girl who inspires so many others.”

Unfortunately, Kyla did not when the van. The family decided to hold off one more year to find another solution since mom could still pick up her daughter. Not to be deterred, they decided to enter the NMEDA sponsored contest in 2014. Again, they made it as a semi-finalist but were not chosen not win a vehicle. Ugh!

During this time, they were making a lot more connections within the community. Margie “liked” a Facebook page about a clothing company that uses kids with disabilities to model for their clothing. The owner of the company contacted Margie and asked her to bring Kyla to their farm. The owners immediately fell in love with Kyla and spent hours talking to her about everything under the sun. After they found out about her not winning the contest, the clothing company owners wanted to help Kyla and her family. They were so in love with Kyla and her family that they decided to purchase her a new van.

Not knowing where to start, they first contacted a Dodge dealership to purchase them a new minivan and wheelchair lift. The Dodge dealer then contacted MobilityWorks to get pricing on the lift. Nick Cortino, the General Manager of our Plainfield store got the call. He immediately spoke to the dealer about making sure that we could get Kyla to our facility so that we could do a full “needs analysis” to find the right solution for the family, one that fit her specific type of wheelchair, the family’s travel requirements and ramp or lift preferences. The Auto Dealer agreed and Nick was able to reach out to the clothing store owners and to the Hartigan family. He was able to determine that the best long-term solution would be a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country Limited with a VMI Northstar in-floor ramp conversion. And they love it!

Congratulations to Kyla and the Hartigan family! We were so glad to be a part of making your life a little easier.

*Editor’s Note: NMEDA stands for the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. MobilityWorks is an active NMEDA member and a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) provider.

“Patriot” Theme Ford Raptor Raises $250,000 at Mecum Auction

Congratulations to The MobilityWorks Foundation on the results of its Ford Raptor sale at the Dallas Mecum Auction. A bid of $250,000 was the highlight of the day. Thank you again to our sponsors: Ford Motor, West Coast Customs, BraunAbility, Magnaflow, Bully Dog, LM Tire & Wheel and BDS Suspension.

Watch Our Ford Raptor Video Here

Bill Koeblitz, MobilityWorks President/CEO is shown with some of the veterans on hand at the Mecum Auction.
A Marine Corps Color Guard led the Ford Raptor to the auction stage.

Youngster Doesn’t Win Van Giveaway Contest Then Gets a New Van!

A Role Model to His Peers, Aaron Negrete Receives a Brand New Wheelchair Van Donated by Sacramento Auto Dealers

Ten-year-old Aaron Negrete was born without arms or legs. But that hasn’t stopped him from living life to the fullest and inspiring others. A local television station reveals the wonderful news about a van donation to a surprised Aaron and mom.

The following is the essay submitted to the National Mobility Awareness Month Van Giveaway Contest back in May, which Aaron didn’t win. After seeing his story on Good Day Sacramento, the Greater Sacramento New Car Dealers Association, their foundation partner Shriners Hospitals for Children, and other generous donors worked together to provide his mother Juanita with a brand new Chrysler Town and Country van from MobilityWorks. The modified minivan has a VMI Northstar in-floor ramp conversion perfect for their family needs and the ramp requirements of Aarons’ power wheelchair.
Watch his story and van presentation here on Good Day Sacramento.

From the National Mobility Awareness Month contest website…

A hero is someone who deeply influences our lives; someone who faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles with superhuman resilience; a role model — someone we deeply admire and wish to emulate. Aaron Negrete is one such person.
Aaron is 10 years old. He was born with Tetra-Amelia syndrome, leaving him without arms or legs. Every day presents new challenges for him, but he is determined to not let his disability interfere with his life. With relentless dedication, Aaron has learned to do many things by himself. He can now maneuver across a room, write and draw using a pencil in his mouth, and even swim. Last year, he played the lead in the school play, and will play the Lion in “The Wizard of Oz” this spring.
Aaron’s strength, optimism, and sense of humor make him a role model to his peers. He helps other students overcome their fear of being different. As he explained in second grade, “It really doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, or if you have any arms or legs. Because inside we’re all just kids or people. We’re all the same inside even if we look different on the outside.” Watching Aaron overcome his limitations inspires other students to overcome their own. His compassion, empathy, and thoughtfulness for others are truly inspirational, to adults and students alike. Volunteers who have worked with him have become so impressed with his capabilities, compassion, and wisdom that some have actually gone to Congress to push for more laws to help the physically challenged.

Aaron has many dreams for the future. One of his dreams is to design cars. He cherishes his independence, and strives to accomplish as much as he can by himself. His electric wheelchair gives him the freedom of mobility most of us take for granted. To use it, he needs a special wheelchair-accessible van. His current van is almost 20 years old, and requires constant maintenance. Aaron’s mom works two jobs to support their family, and cannot afford a newer, reliable van — or one of the better used handicap vans for sale. Without the opportunity to explore his world and have the same life experiences as an able-bodied child, Aaron may not be able to accomplish his many dreams.

Aaron has a promising future. He is our local hero, our inspiration. Assisting him to have the independence he so greatly deserves would make a world of difference in his life.

Congratulations Aaron!

MobilityWorks of Huntsville Opens Its Doors

We are happy to announce the officially opening of our newest store location in Huntsville, AL

Huntsville is located 100 mile north of Birmingham close to the Tennessee and Alabama state border.

Huntsville is our 31st van showroom and service center to open and the second in the state of Alabama. Its sister location is in Birmingham, approximately 100 miles south. 110 miles to the north is our Nashville TN van showroom.

Leading the store’s operations will be General Manager Tiana Garner, who had previously been in charge of our service team in Akron, Ohio and has had significant experience in different administrative roles with MobilityWorks. The Huntsville location will primarily serve the counties of Madison, Limestone, Jackson, Marshall and Morgan, in addition to southern portions of Tennessee.

Huntsville has new wheelchair accessible vans for sale on its lot, in addition to pre-owned vehicles, rental vans, preventive maintenance and repair services, scooter carriers for sale, hand control installation, financing and more.

Free Mobility Consultations

As always, MobilityWorks provides free Mobility Consultations and Needs Analysis so that we can find the right solution for an individual or family. Scheduling an appointment is recommended. Click here to learn more about MobilityWorks of Huntsville.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL

Visitors can view and take pictures of several different rocket ships outside of the Marshall Visitor Center in Huntsville Alabama.

Huntsville is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where much of the U.S. space program began over a half-century ago. At the facility, NASA engineers and scientists develop and test rocket engines with an emphasis on propulsion and space transportation.

Marshall became a NASA field center on July of 1960. Today, it remains a vital resource for NASA and the nation. Visitors are welcomed at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, which serves as Marshall’s Visitor Information Center. Interactive exhibits provided by the Marshall Center demonstrate how Marshall performs a broad range of activities with developing complex space systems and conducting scientific research projects.

Home of U.S. Space Camp and the site of the NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge, the Space & Rocket Center has one of the greatest collections of rockets and space memorabilia anywhere in the world. To learn more about the Marshall Visitor Center and hours of operation go to the Marshal Visitor Center website here.

In addition to being the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville is also home to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal. Covering nearly eight square miles, The Redstone Arsenal contains extensive wetland areas associated with the Tennessee River and several local springs, much of which is maintained by the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.