People with disabilities and injuries can have many struggles, but thanks to assistive technology (AT), getting where you need to go shouldn’t be one of them. There are a wide variety of options, depending on what your transportation needs are.
There are wheelchair acceptable vehicles, adaptive vehicles, mobility scooters, and children’s specialist car seats that are all available to people with injuries and disabilities that can make it easier to drive or ride in a vehicle.
Wheelchair Adaptive Vehicles
Wheelchair acceptable vehicles can mean a variety of different accommodations. Wheelchair lifts are available in both side-entry and under vehicle lifts, making it easier to get in and out of your mode of transportation. There are a number of wheelchair securement options as well, ensuring that a wheelchair stays in place while the car is in motion. Pictured is the Kenguru wheelchair-adapted car that allows a wheelchair-bound individual to roll right in through the back opening and drive. The car is very small, and also, electric.
Adaptive vehicles offer a wide variety of options designed to help people with injuries and disabilities drive. There are left-foot accelerators, steering aids, hand controls, ring accelerators, and rotating seats available to help with driving concerns. In addition, there are approved driving instructors that will help to teach people with disabilities and injuries to drive with these accommodations.
For those with mobility scooters, there are mobility lifts for cars. There are both swing arm and platform arm styles of mobility lifts.
For those without mobility scooters, they’re definitely worth looking into. There are many varieties on the market, so you can choose what is right for you. There are portable mobility scooters for those who only need them sometimes. Also known as travel scooters, they can often be folded up and easily stored when you don’t need them.
There are other options, such as outdoor, three-wheel, four-wheel, all-terrain, and two-person scooters, depending on what your preferences are and where you need to go on a daily basis. For those who are over 300lbs, there are also high weight capacity mobility scooters available.
Specialized Car Seats for Disabled or Injured Riders
If you have a disabled or injured child in your life, there are a number of car seats on the market that can offer various types of protection, depending on the needs of the child. Most of these come with a head rest, side impact protection, and a five-point harness. They range in sizes to accommodate children from infants to young adults sizes. Some offer a booster for those smaller in stature while others offer positioning features for those that are not able to sit upright for long periods.
Specialized car seats also boast some bells and whistles such as trays, cup holders, speakers, seat extenders, turning plates, foot rests, laterals, and abductors. There are also seats designed for children with more extreme needs, such as those who must lie down while riding and those who have omphalocele, a birth defect of the abdominal wall that requires special riding equipment.
In short, disabilities and injuries shouldn’t stop you from being able to drive or ride in cars. There are a lot of assistive technologies available to help you. New adaptive equipment and devices are being created every day.
Contact Us for Assistive Technology Help
Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.