I was wandering through the mall the other day looking in shops, you know “window shopping” and out of the corner of my eye I saw a gentleman in a wheelchair trying desperately to reach a drink off of a counter. He was in a coffee shop and his drink had been put on the hand off station, but the station was too high. Luckily the clerk noticed and helped him get his drink, and put it in the holder he had on his wheelchair. However this got to me to thinking: Have you ever thought about what it might be like to have your surroundings restrict only you from “normal” life? What about if you were the only one out of 10 people that couldn’t get into your favorite coffee shop, let alone get your own drink off of the counter? This is what human beings with disabilities experience on a daily basis, because the world around them caters to the “majority” instead of everyone. Given that over the past twenty years many parts of the world have made accessibility a matter of basic human rights, I can’t even imagine what that gentleman’s experience would have been twenty years ago. Would he have even been able to get into the mall?
My name is Vanessa and I currently work for Garaventa Lift. We are a manufacturer of accessibility lifts, home elevators and portable wheelchair lifts that are sold all over the world. I got involved with this company in a large part because I believe very strongly in making the world more accessible.
I have had a lot of personal experiences in my life seeing how inaccessible many places are given the fact that both my best friend and my grandmother are handicapped.
I am excited to participate in this blog as a resource for those who are frustrated by barriers which can hamper access to wheelchairs on a daily basis. I am also going to blog about the different advancements in accessibility equipment globally.
Caitlin (one of my greatest friends) has cerebral palsy and for the most part spends her life outside of her parents’ home in a wheelchair. While she can walk with a specially designed cane, she feels much safer in her chair. I have, countless times, carried her wheelchair up or down stairs so that we can get from point A to point B. Lucky for me she can walk while holding onto a railing, and her wheelchair isn’t too heavy!
My grandma has been struck by a bit of unfortunate luck in her right leg, and can only walk with a walker. I say unfortunate luck because she broke her knee cap running into a store to tell one of her friends that I had been born twenty five years ago. So as a kind of penance, and well because I just plain love her; I carry her walker wherever we need to go if there isn’t an accessible option.
Having recently graduated from university, I am looking forward to providing a resource for those who are looking at the different types of devices needed to make buildings or areas accessible for everyone.
If you have a question about the different types of accessibility lifts available on the market today, please send me a note and I will do my best to provide you the information to help you decide on what type of lift is best for your situation.