There is a growing awareness of the need for social inclusion in the UK, and a drive to meet the needs of people with disabilities of all kinds. A new world of possibilities is opening up, including greater access to tourist attractions, theatres, cinemas, shops and parks.
The aids and opportunities available to enable people with mobility issues to enjoy a productive and pleasurable lifestyle include wheelchair accessible vehicles.
What are wheelchair accessible vehicles?
These are usually small vans or cars that have been modified to make it possible for people with mobility issues to ride in comfort. There are also versions that make it possible for some people with disabilities to drive themselves around.
Technology is advancing all the time, and the range of vehicles that can be adapted for wheelchair access is widening to include sports models and even small trucks. There are certainly plenty of makes and models to choose from, to suit individual preferences and needs.
The starting point is a discussion with a company that specialises in wheelchair accessible vehicles. You need to chat with a company that knows the ins and outs of the national mobility scheme and the grants available.
They can also look at the ergonomics of vehicles, to find the one that best suits your needs. They can ensure that your particular type of wheelchair can enter and exit the vehicle smoothly, and ensure that you can travel in comfort and safety. This includes making sure that the vehicle has places to carefully stow any medical equipment you need, and good travel features for your caregiver too.
Travel in safety and comfort – including getting in and out
Using a wheelchair accessible vehicle is far better that having to be lifted in and out of standard vehicles, which in some cases can be uncomfortable if not painful. For some people with mobility issues, getting in and out of a vehicle puts them at risk of injury. The whole process can be stressful for both the person in the wheelchair and their caregiver.
More social and hobby opportunities
The opportunities that open up to you when you have a wheelchair accessible vehicle to drive or ride in are entirely up to you. There is internet information available to help you to find wheelchair friendly venues, cafes, tourist attractions, community centres and shops.
Ramps and ground floor disabled access toilets are becoming far more common in buildings of all kinds. Businesses, retailers and other places are also making lifts available. Some entertainment providers offer early, assisted access to events for guests in wheelchairs. This all means that having a wheelchair accessible vehicle is not just a way of getting out of the house for a drive or visiting friends. You could go for more days out and go much further afield.
It doesn't have to just mean exploring new places in the UK either. You could even go abroad on a car ferry and explore Europe in your wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Putting you in control
Another benefit of owning or leasing a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair is far greater freedom over when you go out, where you go, and for how long. You don’t have to wait for local mobility bus services and fit in with their operating times and boundaries. You don’t have to wait for taxis with wheelchair access either. If you decide to go out, you can simply get in your vehicle and go.
Coping with everyday tasks
Having a wheelchair accessible vehicle is not just about being more spontaneous and having more access to entertainment, hobbies and days out. It can also make daily life easier. You can take a trip to the doctors or get some shopping done in your own time, at your own pace.
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I recommend paying cash for the cabs! They tend to add a surcharge if you're paying with credit card. Also, there's this amazing low-key place that sells amazing pan roast (lobster is my favorite!) called Oyster Bar. It's 24/7 but only allows a bar seating for up to 13 people at a time (so it's a pretty long wait). I think the best, money-saving trip to have is to grab a fat tuesday and walk down the strip at night! Catch the water show at the Bellagio, play some penny slots at Caesar's Palace, and grab a slice of "Secret Pizza" at the Cosmopolitan. Hope you two have fun! :)
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Hi Alisyn! Thank you for being here! What are your top pieces of advice for those who want to be journalists?
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