Despite recent developments in the law which have made strides forward in ensuring that wheelchair users and other individuals with disabilities have equal access to transportation, and that they are given the facilities that they need, there are still a number of challenges that disabled mobility pose. In this blog post, we’re going to go through a three-step process that can help you combat the challenges that disabled mobility pose.
What kind of transport is the best fit for you?
This depends entirely upon your environment. If you live in an urban environment which has a large number of public transportation options, owning a private vehicle might not be the best option for you. The two main public transportation options in an urban environment are buses and an underground subway. Buses, although slower than an underground system, tend to be an easier option for wheelchair users. All UK buses are fitted with disabled access ramps and designated wheelchair spaces. As all bus access is from street level, access is easy and straightforward. The underground is slightly more complicated, as there isn’t uniform no-step access from all stations, but many stations in larger cities, such as London, are taking steps towards that direction.
If you live in an area that doesn’t have regular or easily accessible public transportation, or if you have a family, then owning a private vehicle is a very sensible option. A private wheelchair accessible vehicle allows a wheelchair user to travel as either a passenger or driver of a vehicle. Depending on your needs, there are a variety of different options of wheelchair accessible vehicles.
Research ahead of time
Whether you’re using public or private transport, researching any trips or travel that you’re planning on doing can help your day out – or holiday – run smoother. Depending on the nature of your trip, different research is necessary. Say you’re going to check out a new supermarket, or shopping centre, checking their website and ensuring that they have a ramp or lift from their carpark to the facility, and where they’re located, is an essential to guarantee a hassle-free trip. Additionally, if you have a flexible time-frame, it can be worthwhile to call the customer service hotline to an establishment to ask what the peak traffic times are. It can be especially difficult to navigate in a wheelchair if the establishment where you are is extremely busy.
Make a back-up plan
No-matter the nature of your planned trip – whether it’s going to the cinema, the shopping centre, or any other trip, planning an alternative destination is great idea to make sure that your trip can go ahead, even if your first choice of destination ends up not working out. It only takes an elevator being out of service, or a facility advertising itself as step-free, but actually involving plenty of stairs, to derail a planned day out. If you research the surrounding area and ensure that there are other options available that also have disabled access facilities, so that if the worst comes to the worst, your trip can still go ahead.
If you’re considering purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle, please check out the range of vehicles that Nationwide Mobility have to offer, or don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.