Thanks to all of those people who stopped by to see us!
MobilityWorks truly enjoyed participating in the 2014 Abilities Expo- NY Metro, held last Friday; May 2nd-Sunday, May 4th at the NJ Convention Center in Edison, NJ. Our team had the opportunity to speak with many great people—some of whom we already have the pleasure of knowing and working with, and many new faces too! We were able to answer questions on wheelchair accessible vehicles, rentals, hand controls and more!
The three-day event was filled with a wide variety of educational, informative and FUN activities. Among the highlights were guest appearances by the Sundance Channel’s Push Girls’ Chelsie Hills’ Walk & Roll Dance Team, and Push Girls’ Tiphany Adams; who is an inspiring speaker and dedicated advocate for disability awareness.
In addition, exhibitions on wheelchair ballroom dancing and martial arts therapy were held, as well as a presentation on the amazing ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton system which helps enable people with lower limb disabilities to walk again.
Thanks to all of those people who stopped by to see us!
Experts emphasize that proper equipment selection and installation are critical to stress-free use with transporting mobility devices.
From compact cars to minivans, trucks and SUVs, transport solutions for light and heavy-duty assistive devices are now providing many more options for those with a physical disability or health condition. But having the wrong lift added to a vehicle, not designed for the type of scooter or wheelchair, can have costly consequences.
“Our biggest fear is that someone will buy a used or improper lift off the internet and it ends up causing major damage to the mobility device or the vehicle or both,” said Guy Hanford, Director of Marketing for MobilityWorks.
“Everyone in this industry has either heard of, or seen first-hand, horror stories of bad decisions and backyard mechanic installations. I’ve heard of hitches breaking, cars bottoming out, wheelchairs falling off the back and so on. Your heart goes out to people because they’re just trying to save a little money, but in the end it costs them much more than doing it right the first time.”
Doug Curtis is the Director of National Sales for MobilityWorks and has over 25 years of experience with the sales and service of stowage lifts. According to Mr. Curtis, having a Certified Mobility Consultant to help with the selection of the lift — and having a manufacturer approved technician do the installation is critical:
“There’s an old saying: you get what you pay for — and unfortunately that’s especially true for scooter lifts. First, they are not all built with the same quality design and materials. A quality lift will last longer and be safer on the road. Second, they absolutely need to be matched to the vehicle and the chair or scooter being transported… for weight, size, and functionality. And then finally, each device has to be installed by an experienced, trained technician that’s been certified by the manufacturer.”
Peace of Mind and Safety Considerations
To get the right stowage lift for your vehicle and mobility device, contact a Certified Mobility Consultant (CMC) at a quality mobility dealer. Having a lift installed to the manufacturer’s specifications provides peace-of-mind and a longer lasting solution. You will enjoy your freedom and independence more knowing that your mobility device and vehicle are safe to travel… no matter when or where you want to go.
In addition to the 30 MobilityWorks locations in 12 states found here, you can also find a reputable mobility dealer by contacting the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Look for a NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealer that adheres to the highest level of product quality, service and technician training practices in our industry.
This past fall, The MobilityWorks Foundation and our Pittsburgh Team participated in helping an anonymous donor with providing a little girl and her family a wheelchair accessible van. The little girl’s name is Maya Torres. It is our pleasure to tell you that Maya will be turning eight years old this January 8th! …and… as part of her birthday celebration she wants to help others by “Paying it Forward”. Her and her family have organized a fundraiser at a local restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Waterworks Mall that will donate 20% of all the food orders on that day back to The MobilityWorks Foundation.
“The physical burden of lifting Maya’s 100-pound power chair into the car is a thing of the past. With the new van, we simply push a button and the ramp automatically extends from the van. We push Maya in, strap in her chair, buckle her up, and off we go. Not only does having this van eliminate the physical stress we used to endure, but it allows our family to focus on Maya’s other needs. She’s an amazing girl with places to go – thank you for knocking down one more barrier for her.” — Abby Torres
We want to thank the Torres family for their kind gesture – and especially to Maya – a very happy birthday celebration!
DINE & DONATE Pay It Forward Fundraising Event
When: Wednesday, January 8th (Dine at Anytime: 11AM to 10PM)
Where: LaCappella’s Italian Kitchen
1041 Freeport Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
In The Waterworks Mall
Phone: (412) 449-0200 www.lacappellapgh.com/
Thank you to the Torres family for your efforts to help others!
The Pay It Forward Movement
Pay it forward is an expression used for repaying a good deed to help others. Its concept dates back to 1784 and the writings of Benjamin Franklin. In 2000, Catherine Ryan Hyde published her novel titled Pay It Forward which was later made into a Warner Brothers film. On April 24th, 2013, people from 65 countries participated in “Pay it Forward Day” with individuals working on proclamations in 36 states & 41 cities. The goal of Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) was to inspire over 5 million acts of kindness around the world.
Advanced Materials Provide a Smoother Transition, Improved Maneuverability and Cleanup
Without proper maintenance, prolonged use of heavier power wheelchairs and scooters can begin taking their toll on a minivan’s carpeted flooring materials. Road salt is also a major concern in cold-weather areas, with salt residue increasing the potential for carpet deterioration. These issues can lead to problems with lifting, carpet tears and general cleanup. For newer van owners, however, those concerns are becoming a thing of the past. In many of our 2013 models, and now almost all new 2014 side entry make and model conversions, rubberized flooring has become one of the more popular options being asked about.
Over the last few years, wheelchair minivan conversion companies, such as Braun and VMI, have been experimenting with alternatives to carpeted flooring. New advanced, longer-lasting rubberized materials have been introduced in most of the newer vans – with great success and appreciation. The response from our clients to this improved feature has been extremely positive. Our repeat van buyers immediately notice the new rubber flooring and recognize its many benefits. With rubberized flooring, L-track for wheelchair tie-downs are also pre-installed for improved durability and a smoother floor. Removable front seat-bases are also more easily rolled in and out of the vehicles. And cleaning the floor is now a breeze.
Rubberized floors are now available (as an option) in 90% of the brand new side-entry and rear-entry accessible minivans being sold at MobilityWorks. Anticipating its popularity, many of our pre-ordered stock units available for sale at our showrooms already have them installed. With newer features and improvements being added every year, including step-up flares (below the front doors), reduced noise, and fold-down foot rests for the rear bench, people with a disability and their families are able to enjoy a more enhanced, perfected vehicle.
If you haven’t seen the newer vans lately, stop in at one of our 30 locations for a demonstration. Even if you’re just looking and want to ask questions, we’d love to have you come in and meet with a member of our team. Call us toll-free at 1-877-275-4907 to schedule a demonstration and test ride.
Got Any Improvement Ideas? Get a Free Gift!
Let us know your ideas on improving vehicle conversions so that we can make them better for everyone. Write your ideas to email@example.com. Please include your name and address so that we can send you progress notes on your suggestion. The first 10 people with realistic suggestions will get a FREE copy of Ralph Braun’s 200-page biographical hard-cover story called “Rise Above”. Ralph Braun (1940-2013) started The Braun Corporation creating wheelchair lifts and van solutions for his own mobility needs after being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at a very young age. He was a pioneer in the mobility industry and his story is an inspiration to all Americans, with or without disabilities.
Congratulations to long-time MobilityWorks Commercial customer Bud Williams for being named the 2013 National Paratransit Operator of the Year by the Taxi, Limousine & Paratransit Association (TLPA). Bud leads his family-run company, Wheelchair Transport Service (WTS) of Clearwater, FL, with integrity and customer service that goes beyond most companies in the industry. He has been with WTS since 1981, starting as a driver and dispatcher, and working his way up.
Al Legasse, CEO of TLPA, said “This family-owned business is truly one to be emulated.” During the past year FEMA was in need of assistance from WTS, and Bud and his team immediately sprang into action deploying 10 vehicles to hard-hit areas.
It is so good to know the vans MobilityWorks builds with such care and quality are doing such good, not just in an emergency, but to transport those in need every day. You can find out more about Bud Williams and WTS at their website www.wheelchairtransport.com.