Archive for August, 2015

Tips For Getting Out In The Countryside This Summer & Autumn

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 by morethan

For disabled people the countryside may seem daunting but Great Britain has some breath-taking scenery and some of the most fantastic countryside, from mountains and valleys to rolling hills and scenic coast. There are thousands of miles of public footpaths, bridleways, green lanes, trails and tracks and the UK disability discrimination legislation has gone a long way to help ensure that holiday accommodation owners provide access for wheelchair users and cater for other needs of disabled customers.

There are many types of holidays available for wheelchair users and people with disabilities. However, please bear in mind that it is important to check on the accommodation owner’s web site or contact them to ensure that the holiday accommodation meets your needs.

The Fieldfare Trust

The Fieldfare Trust works with people with disabilities and countryside managers to improve access to the countryside for everyone. Fieldfare have recently created a new website www.phototrails.org.

Phototrails is an innovative concept that allows users to view countryside routes through a series of photographs and descriptions of the path features, taking in surface, path width, gradients, barriers and amenities such as seats, disabled parking, and accessible toilets, all of which, to some, is important information to know before making the decision on whether to visit a site or not. It is hoped that the website will be particularly useful to people with disabilities and will allow disabled people make up their own mind if a trail is accessible to them by using the information provided.

Camping

You might want to pick a campsite with jumbo tent pitches, camping pods or tipis, yurts or wigwams instead of normal-sized non-wheelchair friendly tents, or with caravans for hire, or alternatively one with facilities on-site such as an indoor swimming pool or an on-site restaurant/cafe.

Once you’ve found a campsite you like the look of, call or email them to double-check the facilities, and be as specific as possible about what you need. Most campsite owners who list their site as disabled access do mean well and don’t realise it might not be fully accessible in all areas – a bar or clubhouse could have a bar downstairs but the evening entertainment might be on an upper floor, for example, or a set of steep steps mightn’t have a handrail. You might also want to check specific things related to what you want to do on the site once you’re there, such as being able to get in and out of the pool or being able to get down to the lakes for fishing if you’re using your wheelchair. Also check bathroom facilities if you need help with showering, such as confirming that the disabled access bathroom is big enough for two people, or that there’s a bath if you can’t stand up in the shower.

Major festivals such as Glastonbury or V Festival are also a good bet for camping if you’re using a wheelchair or have another disability, as they’re more than likely to have disabled access than the smaller festival. You get to rock out as well, which is always an advantage!

More Than Mobility have mobility products tailored to make your travelling life easier. The TraveLite Travel Transit Wheelchair in a Bag folds up and is perfect for taking away on holiday.  Check out some of our other travel products here.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com

Guidance on Getting an Electric Wheelchair/Powerchair

Thursday, August 6th, 2015 by morethan

The consumer research charity Rica, has published a new guide called “Getting a Powered Wheelchair: a guide to help you choose” – available free online and in print. Between April and July 2014 Rica surveyed 374 disabled people, asking them for their views and experiences of choosing, funding and maintaining a powered wheelchair.

This guide provides unbiased and practical information about:

  • paying for a powered wheelchair, including funding options
  • getting assessed for and how to find out about products on the market
  • types and features of power-chairs and electric wheelchairs

It also provides real life stories by electric wheelchair & powered wheelchair users and a list of useful organisations that can provide further information and support.

Rica asked disabled people about:

  • getting information and advice on choosing a powered wheelchair or electric wheelchair
  • the assessment process
  • funding for a powered wheelchair
  • maintenance and after-sales service
  • any barriers they experienced

Dr Phil Friend OBE and Rica Trustee said: “As an experienced wheelchair user, I know that choosing and buying a powered wheelchair is a crucial decision and it’s important to get it right first time. There are no independent product tests, meaningful reviews or simple guidance to help people through this daunting and often confusing process. Services and support vary depending on where you are, what you need and what funding is available. With more than 300 models available, getting the right one to suit individual needs is vital and this where the new Rica guide can help.”

The survey of 374 powered wheelchair users found that disabled people and their families often struggle to:

  • Locate relevant information about funding options – 48% didn’t get the right information
  • Make an informed choice about provision – over a third (37%) get no assessment
  • Get value for money when buying and maintaining their powered wheelchair – 32% had to fund their own powered wheelchair completely themselves with a quarter (26%) being turned down for NHS funding.

Rica’s report follows a few recent developments in wheelchair services:

  1. My Voice, My Wheelchair, My Life is an online campaign which aims to transform wheelchair services for users and their families
  2. The Right Chair, Right Time, Right Now campaign aims to raise awareness of issues in wheelchair services: “There are around 1.2 million wheelchair users in the UK, roughly two per cent of the UK population, and whilst some people receive a good service too many have to wait too long for a wheelchair or to receive a wheelchair that is suitable for their needs”
  3. CECOPS, an independent social enterprise that aims to raise the standard of wheelchair services has introduced comprehensive standards and accreditation guidelines.

More Than Mobility understand how powered wheelchairs have the potential to help many disabled adults to be moreindependent and the correct supportive seating can reduce the need for future medical interventions. We currently have offers on our power-chairs with savings of up to £200!  Do take a look at our electric wheelchair & powerchair range.

Best wishes

More Than Mobility Team

www.morethanmobility.com