Saturday, 1 April 2017

A Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles.

What is a WAV? Well, you’ve probably seen one in the carpark, they generally have a sticker on the back asking you to leave access for a wheelchair. So, yes, they are a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

I don’t have one right now but it may be something I’ll consider in the future. It would certainly be useful to get my wheelchair in the car. We did take a look at some of the WAVs on show at the Naidex Exhibition and they are very impressive. You can also get a WAV from Motability if you are in receipt of a disability benefit for mobility.

Having access to a wheelchair accessible vehicle has literally changed the lives of many wheelchair users, and their families or carers. Having a WAV allows a wheelchair user to enjoy a more diverse, safer, and more satisfying way of life.

The most common, and the cheapest type of WAV is one that can accommodate one wheelchair user, the driver and up to two other passengers. The vehicle is normally entered through the back doors via a ramp and the wheelchair user travels in the rear section of the vehicle. In most conversions, the floor level of the vehicle is lowered so that the incline of the ramp is gentle enough for the wheelchair user to propel themselves up and into position unaided, and to provide sufficient headroom. The ramp folds up and down quite easily and is normally hinged in the middle so that when it is folded up the driver still has a clear view to the rear.

This type of vehicle needs to be parked with enough room behind to deploy the ramp, and the wheelchair user has to descend from the pavement into the road, and vice versa in order to mount and dismount. For this reason, some people prefer a side-entering arrangement so that the wheelchair enters and leaves directly onto the pavement. These, however, are more expensive and not so common.

Instead of a ramp, some WAVs have a remote controlled lifting platform which can be operated by the wheelchair user or by an assistant. These require less operating room but are again more expensive and they require regular maintenance to ensure that they remain functioning correctly.
Once inside the vehicle, the wheelchair is firmly anchored into the correct position for safe travel. In most standard  WAVs the wheelchair user travels in the rear part of the vehicle. If the user is exceptionally tall this may be uncomfortable as there is not much headroom in smaller models and also all-around vision is sometimes restricted. Some WAVs are designed so that the wheelchair user can pass all the way through and into the front of the vehicle, either as the passenger, or as the driver, and some WAVs have interchangeable front seats so that the wheelchair user can accommodate himself on either side.

WAVs can be purchased new or used, rented or leased. To help you to decide which might be the best way for you to obtain a WAV visit the website WAV Compare which contains all the information you need about each of these different options. It also has listings of vehicles for sale, and registered converters if you need to have a customised adaptation done to accommodate your particular needs. The site contains loads of useful tips and information about things to consider before purchasing a WAV, and as it is written by a fellow wheelchair user, you will find that it covers many relevant points which will help you to make the right decision.

So as you can imagine, choosing the right kind of WAV is really important and it’s vital that you get the right information and help before you purchase one.

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay

Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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