Having handicap accessible accommodations are standard in our modern world, fortunately. Bathrooms, hotel rooms, door ways, side walks and parking lots all are equipped with ramps for wheel chairs or extra support bars in restrooms. It’s a beautiful concept for everyone to be able to get out and be active and social. Sometimes though, mode of transportation can be the deciding factor in a persons ability to go places. When buses or other public transportation options aren’t ideal, friends, family and loved ones are left trying to figure out how to safely transport someone.
The Need For More
As reported on Time.com, companies that provide rides through independent drivers using their own vehicles, have found themselves in the middle of a lawsuit. Claims that they discriminate against people with disabilities due to the lack of equipped cars or vans will lead to the need to quickly and inexpensively alter everyday passenger vehicles.
Whether you give rides to strangers or have a friend or loved one that requires alterations to your vehicle, buying a new vehicle fully equipped for such needs probably isn’t in the budget. So what can be done? I have found several options to make your current vehicle accessible that won’t break your budget. Different options will apply depending on the riders ability to safely go from wheel chair to the original seat of an automobile.
A ramp can be set next to the car and go up to a front or rear seat. A ramp can be used to walk up if the person is able, or ride up in a wheel chair. You can certainly purchase a ramp from a medical supply store or website, or for a money saving options, one can be made. A ramp is a mobile choice that won’t require any alterations to your car.
A wheel chair lift isn’t something most people would probably be able to make on their own, unless you are or know a good fabricator. They can be purchased and installed on vehicle though and would be cheaper than buying a van already equipped with one.
Wheel Chair and Scooter Carriers
Another issue you may run into when driving a person with a disability is where to put the wheel chair, scooter or other equipment needed to keep mobility. If your car is too small to accommodate these things, you can consider adding a holder on to the rear of the car, similar to bicycle racks you may have seen, but strong enough to secure a chair or similar equipment. Again, this option allows you to work with the vehicle you already own.
Less is More
Something else to consider is the removal of a seat from your car. This will allow your rider to sit in their own wheel chair comfortably in your car. You will have to be sure to add the proper seat belts and chair securements, which can be done cost effectively.
Something to Hold on To
Perhaps the only apparatus needed would be handles. An extra handle near the door and/or seat would greatly assist in getting into a car. Think of the extra handle bars in accessible bathrooms. The handles could be added anywhere needed, as long as it was a secure location. Even if outside help was used for installation, this job would still save money.
Hopefully in the near future, automobiles will come standard with, or have inexpensive options, to allow them to be purchased at a reasonable price fully ready to accommodate all passengers. Until then, you can keep up with laws, changes and everything important to those with disabilities at the ADA (American with Disabilities Act). They can be found on the internet at ada.com or called. Remember stay safe, active and healthy, all while saving money where possible.