These days, thanks to technological advancements, wheelchair users and those with disabilities have numerous options to retain their independence. The introduction of wheelchair accessible vehicles has meant that those with limited mobility no longer have to miss out on driving and getting to where they need to go.
Here, we’ll look at just some of the modern options for driving and travelling with a wheelchair or disability.
One of the major developments within disabled travel in recent times is the introduction of WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles). Specialist manufacturers such as Allied Mobility, are able to adapt standard models into wheelchair friendly vehicles.
There are a lot of different types of WAV’s on the market, designed to suit differing levels of mobility. You can either purchase ready-made vehicles or have them especially adapted to fit your individual needs. Some allow you to drive while you are still in your wheelchair, while others provide ramps to help you get the wheelchair in the boot.
So, whether you need to drive in your wheelchair, or simply store it in the boot, there’s a WAV to fit your requirements.
What adaptations are available?
As well as providing easy access for wheelchairs, WAV’s can also include numerous adaptations. Just some of them include:
- Steering aids
- Special seating
- Clutch conversions
- Hand controls for accelerating and braking
- Seat belt alterations
Whatever your level of mobility, there’s an adaptation which can be added to the vehicle to help. If you’re unsure what type of adaptations you’ll need, it’s worth undergoing a driving assessment with the DFW. They will spend time with you helping you to figure out which type of modifications and WAV you’ll need.
Using alternative modes of travel when you’re disabled has also become much easier. Airports for example, have made a lot of improvements over the years, adding technology and facilities to meet the needs of disabled passengers. While not all airports are disabled friendly, you should find most offer check in assistance, extra room for wheelchair users on the plane and if you’re visually impaired, you can take a guide dog on board provided you’ve given advance notice. Hotels also have great disabled facilities. From wider bathrooms and grab rails, to lower toilets – most hotels cater to those with disabilities.
As you can see, there have been significant improvements to ensure disabled drivers and travellers can retain their independence. As technology continues to improve, it’s only likely to enhance mobility for those with disabilities. Self-driving cars for example, could really help those with severe mobility issues which currently prevent them from driving. While they are still in development, they are expected to hit the mainstream within the next decade.