Issues, events, products and other news relevant to people with disabilities, accessible travel and more. Founded in 1997, MobilityWorks is a national chain of wheelchair accessible van providers - serving the disabled community with wheelchair accessible minivans, full-size vans with lifts and commercial fleet vehicles.
People are not the only ones that face mobility challenges. Animals too can face a wide variety of troubles which lead to encountering mobility challenges. Old age, degenerative diseases, injuries, infections, paralysis, arthritis, and dysplasia are amongst the many things which are very common for animals to be affected with. Most families have grown around their beloved pets, and it can be very difficult to see their furry friends undergo such conditions. Instead of letting their animals’ ailments prohibit them from leading their best lives, many owners may opt to fit their pet with a mobility device. While this is most common for dogs and cats, other animals such as ducks, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, pigs, and even horses can benefit from a new set of wheels. For them, it is a necessary step in their lives as it allows animals to remain active and healthy.
In addition to wheelchairs, there are other mobility aids available. When it comes to actually picking out their new device, it can be difficult to sort through the options available to find what suits them best. There are multiple kinds available on the market, so you need to consider the needs your animal has. Keep in mind their future needs as well, as mobility can degenerate over time resulting in the need for a more substantial device.
Carts and Wheelchairs For animals who have lost their limbs or their mobility completely, a wheelchair can give them freedom by restoring their mobility. Two wheels are attached to a harness which is fitted around the animals’ body. There are companies which offer custom-made carts based on several different measurements, but the most common kinds are adjustable ones which fit a size range of animal. Because of the amount of options available, and the great impact it will have on your animals’ life, it is best to consult with your veterinarian.
Harnesses and Slings For animals who have difficulty or tire from standing but have not lost mobility completely, these are often times good options. These wrap around the hind or front legs of the animal and attach to a leash for the owner to hold. This allows assistance for the animal to stay in the standing position.
Ramps Stairs can quickly become very difficult for animals to climb up. Placing a ramp over the stairs they commonly encounter can do a lot to lessen the amount of effort which is necessary.
Boots and Splints If your pet has a temporary injury or is in recovery, these may be their best option. These can aid in the healing process by protecting their legs and reducing the pressure that is put on them. They are often temporary and can also help with their ability to grip surfaces and walk.
Whatever the reason may be for a mobility device, they can make a huge difference in the life of your animal. They can restore their levels or mobility and independence keeping them happy. They’ll also make a huge impact in their health, as exercise is necessary to keep them healthy for years to come.
With the transition from spring into summer, wedding season is here. With the amount of people in attendance of the big celebration, there is likely to be people who need accommodations to meet their mobility needs. Whether it be for the bride and groom or for a guest who uses a wheelchair, there are several things to keep in mind when planning the arrangements. Below are some tips and ideas to help begin planning a fully accessible wedding.
Ask your Guests Ahead of Time
Making phone calls or adding a space on your RSVPs for people to make note of their accessibility needs or food restrictions allow you to be fully aware of everything before the day of. Take care to not assume that you’re aware of everyone’s needs without first asking. When you’re looking at venues or deciding on food, you will know far in advance what to look for to make sure everyone is able to enjoy their experience.
Pick a Planner with Experience
While many planners have most likely planned weddings making certain accommodations, checking to see if they’ve met more challenging needs can be very useful. If they know what to look for when scouting out venues or reception halls, it can save time, hassle, and disappointment in the long run.
Choose Accessible Locations
While this may seem like an obvious step, keep in mind that meeting ADA standards does not automatically guarantee the success of a venue. Visit all locations ahead of time to be certain the entrances, pathways, seating, and ceremony arrangements will suit everyone. If your guests are the ones in need of certain features, take them with you to view the venues! For the bride or groom who may need an accessible aisle and altar, it can take a little extra time to find someplace with these accessible features. There will be that perfect location available, just keep in mind when building your schedule that it may take longer than anticipated to find it.
Book Accessible Transportation
If your guests are travelling at all during the day, look into options for providing accessible transportation if they do not have their own. If they are staying overnight at a hotel, check if they use an accessible shuttle, or alternatively provide your own by renting a van for the day so everyone is able to get where they need to be.
Set up a Video and Speaker System
If your ceremony or reception venues are larger, if you’ve invited a lot of guests, or if people in attendance have audio or visual impairments, set up a speaker and video system. After putting in so much work deciding what will be said and played during your ceremony and reception, it’ll be nice to know everyone will enjoy it.
Make the Ceremony Accessible
There are several things to keep in mind to ensure the ceremony is accessible. For members of the bridal party, the path from the aisle to where they will be for the vows needs to be considered. Make the aisle plenty wide enough for a wheelchair and cover it in something that is easy to glide over. Plywood or similar thicker materials can cover sand or grass to prevent getting dirty or stuck, while still looking elegant. If the bride or groom is in a chair, decide if you wish to be at the same eye level at the altar. If so, placing a bench facing your guests can be a great option. For the rest of the people in attendance, make sure the seating options available are accessible, or that there is designated space for guests in chairs. Also keep in mind the total distance guests will have to travel, so that it is not too much for anyone.
Be Creative While standard options and ideas may not work best for your wedding, there are plenty of ideas from couples who have had completely accessible weddings. Look for blogs and articles from some who have shared their ideas and incorporate your favorite into your plans!
Planning a wedding can be a long and stressful process, especially when factoring in specific desires or needs. Don’t forget to remember during the process the meaning behind them- to be with the ones you love to share during the happiest time for a couple! Whether you are attending a wedding or having your own, we hope the big day is filled with fun, joy and happiness.
During the next few months, children and adults alike will be making a new home away from home at summer camps around the country. While most camps may not be ideal or accessible for people of all abilities, there are several that have adapted to meet the needs of everyone who wishes to go. While accommodations vary, most camps offer a wide variety of accessible games and activities as well as trained nurses or staff who will teach children the best ways to complete daily tasks. They will also be in an environment where their fellow campers understand the challenges that are presented every day, offering the opportunity to create unique friendships. Below is a list of just a few accessible camps offered around the country to begin your search.
Easter Seals just celebrated their 100th anniversary and today serves over one million families and people annually with a disability. They focus their camps on meeting the needs of children and adults with disabilities through trained counselors who push them to their limits.
SeriousFun Children’s Network Founded by Paul Newman over 30 years ago, these programs are offered free of charge to children to get away from serious illness and the accompanying stigma. There are 30 camps around the world which focus on creating independence and boosting self-esteem in children.
Camp No Limits This camp was founded in 2004 and focuses on supporting and empowering those born with limb differences. Several locations across the country offer camps during several months throughout the year, offering both summer and winter sporting activities.
National Ability Center The National Ability Center is only located in Utah, but is a global leader in adaptive recreation and sports. They offer a 26-acre fully accessible facility, more than 12 adaptive recreational programs, and have accommodated over 100 different disabilities. In the last three years alone, participants and their families completed over 37,000 lessons at their outdoor center. Every year, 1,700 volunteers contribute more than 32,000 hours, many of whom have disabilities of their own and are able to connect to the participants.
Camp Greentop This camp is for children or adults with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities. They offer several options for their camps, including weekend retreats for families as well as overnight, winter, sailing, and travel camps. They help more than 2,000 people every year achieve independence through the variety of programs and services offered.
Breakaway Summer Camp Hosted by Lift Disability Network, this summer camp is meant to pamper families impacted by a variety of disabilities. In addition to their camp, LDN offers monthly events and services for the families of those whose loved one is impacted by a disability.
There are dozens more options located throughout the US and Canada, many open to only residents of the states they’re located in. While some are only open to individuals with specific disabilities, many are open to accommodating everyone. Regardless of where you choose to go, they all offer an incredible chance for people to spend time with campers and counselors who understand their needs and will work to ensure they have a safe and exciting experience.
Atlanta is the capital and biggest city in Georgia, known as the peach state. The city itself offers an incredibly diverse range of activities, from music venues to restaurants to landmarks. The warm climate makes it an attractive city to visit all throughout the year. The upcoming weeks will kick off the summer with dozens of festivals of music, arts, and food. Below are 6 accessible activities that will make your trip to Atlanta amazing!
The Coca-Cola Museum This museum has several different exhibits teaching about the history, variety, and culture surrounding the famed drink. You can experience the different advertisements and products offered in countries around the world. They also offer an app which can be used to enhance your experience as you tour the museum, offering things from extra facts to unique photo opportunities.
Zoo Atlanta This zoo offers an incredible combination of exhibits, activities and research, making it a great place for animal lovers and families. They offer the only LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit in the world, twin pandas born in 2016, animal encounter experiences with more than 1,000 different animals, and one of the largest populations of great apes.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens These gardens are home to incredible and unique flowers, gardens, and topiaries. The campus is home to the Fuqua Orchid Center which boasts a rare display of high-elevation orchids, not often seen in that part of the country.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History Home to a variety of both permanent and rotating exhibits, the Museum of Natural History offers an incredible range of topics to excite everyone who walks through their doors. Experience and learn about dinosaurs, the environmental and cultural history of Georgia and the world, seashells, and wildlife.
CNN Studio Tours Take a tour through the studio of the world’s first 24-hours news network, whose world headquarters are still housed in Atlanta. Join the 300,000 annual visitors in gaining access to the studios and newsrooms used by CNN on a daily basis while learning about the history of the network.
College Football Hall of Fame Established in 1951, the Hall of Fame pays tribute to the best players and coaches in the history of college football, only .02% of those eligible make the cut. Ten augmented reality offer information on all of the inductees and 50 interactive exhibits are set up to engage visitors.
With the variety of activities available in Atlanta, it is the perfect place to rent an accessible vehicle from MobilityWorks. During the month of May, we are excited to offer 10% off Accessible Van Rentals * at our Atlanta and Marietta locations. All of our rental vans come equipped with easy-to-use retractable tie-downs and are available for a day or weeks at a time. You also have peace of mind with our 24-hour emergency hotline in case of emergency.
The 8th Annual Buckeye Wheelchair Games hosted by the Buckeye PVA will take place this year from April 25th-27th. Held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, OH, the games will feature some of the top wheelchair athletes from around the state. Several sporting events will be held, including track and field, bowling, slalom, billiards, boccia ball, and table tennis. The games will be held from 8 am-8 pm Friday and 8 am-4 pm Saturday, followed by a banquet until 9:30 pm.
The Buckeye Chapter is one of 32 chapters of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, a veteran’s service organization that assists veterans faced with spinal cord diseases or injuries. Since 1972 the organization has worked to advocate for veterans’ rights and benefits and has improved their quality of life through research and assistance programs. The BPVA strives to include all chapter members in their sports programs and is working with organizations throughout the state to provide them with funding and sponsorship.
The SPIRE Institute is an international sports and education academy for high school and postgraduate students. It is part of an event complex which is recognized as an Official US Olympic & Paralympic Training Site. It is in part home to Olympic-level swimming, volleyball, football, basketball, track & field, and soccer facilities.
Every year kids of all ages look forward to searching for hidden Easter Eggs filled with toys or candy. While traditional Easter egg hunts may not be easy for everyone to participate in, there are simple changes that can make the hunt accessible for everybody involved. Below are 7 simple changes that can create accessibility in your egg hunt this year.
Adjust the Height of the Eggs While you may typically go to hide an egg under a bush or up in a tree, make sure that they are within reach of everyone participating.
Use Magnetic Eggs Fixing a magnet to the end of a stick of fishing rod can make for an easy way to pick up eggs which have a magnet inside. This will prevent having to lean over and reach down to the ground to get the eggs, and it will add an extra element of fun to the hunt.
Tie Balloons Around Them Tying balloons around lightly filled Eggs will help them to easily be found and picked up. Children will be able to go right up to the egg and pick them up from the balloon string instead of having to reach all the way down to the ground.
Use Beeping Easter Eggs For those with vision impairments, using their sense of sound can be much easier. Buying eggs that talk or beep can be just as fun and much easier for kids to find. Once the eggs are opened, the sound shuts off making them easy to use for years to come.
Move it Indoors Setting the hunt up indoors can have several benefits. Depending on where you live, unreliable weather can pose a risk to the ground becoming inaccessible or difficult to navigate. There are also plenty more hiding places that are within reach of everyone.
Color Code your Eggs If you have children of different ages participating, assigning each child a color of egg to find helps to ensure that everyone will end up with the same number of treats. This will also help you to hide eggs in places with varying levels of difficulty, making it fun for each kid.
Replace the Candy Inside Many kids have allergies or intolerances to traditional candies, especially chocolates or those with dyes. If their favorite candy or food that’s safe to eat doesn’t fit inside their eggs, try hiding a piece of a riddle inside each one. At the end, they can solve to receive their treat or reveal it’s location.
There are lots of ways to make sure your Easter Egg Hunt will be a success for everyone involved. However yours ends up, we at MobilityWorks hope you have a safe and happy Easter.
As the largest city in Michigan, Detroit is located right on the Detroit River, which in part separates the US from Canada. The city has an incredibly rich history with ties to the automotive and music industries. It is home to the headquarters of GM, Ford, and Chrysler, and is the birthplace of Motown and Techno. Below we have listed 7 accessible activities to try during your next trip to Detroit!
Detroit Institute of Arts As one of the 10 top museums in the country, the Detroit Institute of Arts has a variety of arts ranging from modern to ancient times. They offer free augmented reality and guided tours to help explore your way through their exhibits.
The Henry Ford Museum The Henry Ford is home to the Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, the Giant Screen Experience, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. The museums are dedicated to providing inspiring and educational experiences based on the real history of America.
Detroit Historical Museum This history museum aims to record and preserve the past and present of the Detroit area to give residents and visitors an understanding of what shaped the city.
Motown Museum Since Berry Gordy established it in 1959, Motown has had a monumental impact on both the music industry and society. The Motown museum is in the home where Gordy himself lived, also home to his recording studio where dozens of famous musicians recorded their work. Today you can tour the apartment where Gordy and his family lived, explore the recording studio, and see countless artifacts and memorabilia from that time.
Michigan Science Center The live shows, 4D theater, 250+ exhibits, planetarium, and special exhibits are perfect for experiencing science and technology in one place.
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant Take a tour through the former factory, used by the Ford Motor Company from 1904 to 1910. The building looks very similar to its original appearance, with its original red brick, fire escapes, and windows. Throughout the museums you will learn of the plant’s history and see automobiles from that era, including the Model T.
Great Lakes Detroit is situated not far from Lakes Erie, Huron and Michigan, making it a short drive away from dozens of beautiful parks, beaches, and campgrounds.
With all the exciting things to do in and near Detroit, it is the perfect place to rent an accessible vehicle from MobilityWorks. During the month of April, we are excited to offer 10% off Accessible Van Rentals * at our Detroit location. All of our rental vans come equipped with easy-to-use retractable tie-downs and are available for a day or weeks at a time. You also have peace of mind with our 24-hour emergency hotline in case of emergency.
Being able to easily access the features in your home helps to keep an independent lifestyle. Whether you’re moving into a new home or your mobility needs are changing, there are elements of your home which may need adjustments over time. These changes, whether they are big or small, can make everyday life easier and safer. Below are several things which often need to be adjusted to maximize the level of mobility within your home.
Stairs While outdoor stairs are often replaced by ramps, a different approach is usually needed indoors. To safely get to the other sections of your home, platform or stairlifts can be installed. These can work with existing inclines or stairs to safely transport both the wheelchair and user to where they need to go.
Doors There are several features of doors and doorways which can be modified to increase their level of usability. The size of the doorway itself may need to be enlarged to accommodate mobility devices such as wheelchairs or scooters. There are also sensors and automated door systems which can be installed, working together to open the door when someone comes near.
Bathtubs and Showers While most homes do not come standard with accessible bathrooms, there are several different types of conversions that can be made to existing showers and tubs making them safe for use. In-shower seats, grab bars, and detachable shower heads are just a few of the available features which can help to easily and safely take a shower. A contractor will be able to make a recommendation on what changes should be made, based on levels of mobility and desired features.
Sinks There are several options to create a sink which allows a wheelchair to easily roll underneath for use. When possible, sinks without a base can be hung on the wall to allow wheelchairs or scooters to easily fit underneath them. Existing vanities can be replaced with removable cabinets, which create a reinforced wall to rest the sink on. Vanity cases can then be removed when ready to be used, then replaced when done.
Shelves and Cabinets Existing shelving units or cabinets can be fitted with equipment that allows the shelves to be pulled out and down, making the contents easy to reach from any height. Cabinets on the ground can be converted to have shelves which roll out, making it easy to reach the items even in the very back. Drawers can also easily be made to be self-closing, simply by replacing the existing track they sit on.
Closets With so many available organizational options for closet systems, it is easy to customize your closet to fit your needs and style. Wall closet systems are almost always easier to use, as “walk-in” closets must be able to accommodate the turning radius of a wheelchair to fully use. To easily access clothes, automated or manual pull-down rods can easily be installed, eliminating the need to stand or reach up high.
Regardless of the aspects in your home which may need adjusting, it can be very helpful to speak with a contractor. Most have years of experience in converting homes to be fully accessible and know of the most up-to-date technology that exists. They can work with you to take into consideration not just your current needs, but what you may need in the upcoming years as well. They can work together with you to create a home that you can fully use and love for years to come.
How Much does it Cost to Rent a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?
The total cost of your rental will vary based on location and length of your rental term, however the standard daily rate is $130. Rates include 100 miles/day and based on pickup and return at same location 24 hours from time of scheduled reservation. Rate based on rental of Dodge Grand Caravans, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey or similar vehicle. Your rate and mileage fees will be provided before a reservation is confirmed. Vehicles rented cannot travel into Mexico. Rates do not include tax and delivery. Additional charges may apply for optional accessories. Vehicles must be returned with the same amount of fuel as they were checked out with or a $10/gallon charge will apply. Vans returned over the allowable miles will be charged $0.25 per mile. Rates are subject to change without notice. Click here for our Rental Policies.
What kind of vans do you rent?
Our most popular van is a minivan with a side ramp. Some locations also offer rear entry minivans, premium luxury minivans or full sized vans (additional charges may apply). Availability varies by location.
What do I need when I call and book a reservation?
1. Current driver’s license for all drivers.
2. Insurance card complete with agent’s name and contact information.
3. Flight information if applicable.
4. Pick up dates, times and location if pick up/ delivery service is requested.
5. Debit card or major credit card to hold the reservation (no deposit required on card)
6. Inform your rental coordinator if the wheelchair being used is exceptionally wide or tall.
How old do you have to be to rent a wheelchair accessible vehicle through MobilityWorks?
To rent a vehicle you will need to be at least 21 years of age with a valid driver’s license and full coverage insurance that will extend to a wheelchair accessible rental van. A copy of your license and insurance will need to be provided.
How long in advance do I need to make a reservation?
Our vans are in high demand and it is recommended that you make your reservations at least a couple of weeks in advance. The summer months and holidays tend to book up early, so it is best to call as early as possible.
If I am arriving at a local airport or can’t get to your location, can you deliver the van?
In many cases we can provide delivery of a van. Additional charges will apply. Please notify your rental coordinator at the time of booking your rental if you require this service so drivers can be scheduled and your coordinator can give you a price on this service.
What is the Cancellation Policy?
Full refunds are provided if a 24 hour advance notice is provided. For any notice under 24 hours, a $75 cancellation fee would apply.