Support Systems and Resources for Wheelchair Users
It is sometimes hard for someone who is wheelchair-bound to feel independent, much less discover mobility solutions and obtain adaptive equipment without help, including financial assistance and support. There are many barriers for wheelchair users, but there are also many tools, systems, and resources available to help users gain their independence. We hope you are able to find some assistance in the following online resources.
Government Agencies & National Disability Resources
This is a U.S. Government site that provides numerous links to information and resources on various disability-related topics: benefits, civil rights, community services, health services, and more. Their site also includes a state and local resources map which allows the user to locate disability-related information/services in their area.
A monumental milestone, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. The act was one of America’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else. A great resource with a lot of information not only on the act but also how it can benefit everyone.
Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for paying disability benefits to qualified individuals and their families. Here is a quick link for more information on the program.
ODEP develops and influences policies and practices to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
NCIL assists with the development and enforcement of the rights of those disabled who live independently.
NCD is a federal agency that acts as an adviser to the President, Congress, and any other federal agency in regards to policies, programs, practices, and procedures that ultimately affect people with disabilities.
NINDS provides information, research, resources, and guidance to those families affected by someone with a neurological disease.
NHTSA helps those with a physical disability strive for independence through driving a motor vehicle. They provide information and resources for driver evaluators, programs, and the technological capabilities available on the market today.
HUD is a federal organization that addresses housing rights and needs for everyone, including the disabled. This agency works to protect your rights, provide housing program assistance, and numerous other resources.
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an industry-created non-profit organization that advocates for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users, and their right to drive despite their challenges. NMEDA is not only an organization that balances professionalism and organizational processes, but it also ensures its members all adhere to set standards that provide a higher level of service in their business dealings.
AARP is a non-profit organization that was developed to assist seniors as a cohesive unit in reducing healthcare, employment dealings, and all aspects of retirement.
The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists is the supporting organization that represents the field of driver education, driver training, and transportation equipment modifications for all persons with a disability.
ILI works to set policies for the disabled and focuses on ensuring all are treated equally with self-respect and the dignity they deserve.
CAN is one of the nation’s leading family caregiver organizations that works to improve the quality of life and care of loved ones with chronic conditions and disabilities.
(NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR.). They provide access to articles, reports, guides, etc. on issues such as technology, health, independent living, etc.
This resource site assists those with disabilities with their personal finance skills so that they can manage their money more effectively and live a comfortable, fulfilling life.
CPIR provides information and resources related to youth disabilities and rare disorders.
The resource provides tips and information on how to increase physical activity for wheelchair users. It’s a known fact that adults with disabilities are three times more likely to have health issues which many are avoidable with a regimen of physical activity.
Another resource that provides tips on how to safely exercise if you have limited mobility.
This resource provides advice for people who are wheelchair users-bound on how they can eat better and live a healthier life despite limitations in physical activity.
Here is another resource that discusses the benefits and importance of staying active despite a disability.
Let’s face it, coming to terms with an illness of a loved one is no easy task. Here you will find resources that work to assist you with the sudden changes life has thrown your direction.
Here you can find more about service dogs and the types available.
This resource is designed to assist college-aged/enrolled students with disabilities on their educational path and road to employment.
This guide assists those with a disability in the search for employment.
Have a disability and looking for employment? Check out this list of 34 careers that are ideal for your situation.
This resource is designed to assist you in making your home handicap accessible for wheelchair users and m. Learn tips and tricks to making sure the modifications you are considering make sense for both your current and future needs.
Here is another guide to home modifications for the disabled.
Do you know your rights when it comes to housing? Find information here from HUD on what you should know.
Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice. This resource is here to provide a comprehensive discussion on how you can ensure your home is made as safe as possible if any of the occupants are disabled.
Here is a resource that provides information to the disabled on acquiring grants to help pay for needed home modifications.
Many people think of Medicare as a program for people who are 65 and older. While this is true, some may not know that a younger person with a disability can also qualify for Medicare coverage. Not every disability is a qualifying one, so it’s important to understand if you meet the requirements before you take the time to apply.
Cause-Specific Agencies & Grants
The PVA across the country fights for equality for disabled veterans and is a great resource and social organization.
Muscular Dystrophy Association is one of the world’s largest nonprofit health organizations. They sponsor research for effective treatments for neuromuscular diseases, provide resource assistance and support groups for those affected by this condition.
The National MS Society works to eradicate Multiple Sclerosis. The link above provides resource information, local chapters, and support group information for those affected by this debilitating disease.
National Stroke Association’s mission is an organization out to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke through educational programs, research, and resources.
The Spina Bifida Association (SBA) serves to benefit both adults and children who live their lives with the challenges of Spina Bifida. Look here for research, support groups, local chapters, and much more.
SMA is a rare genetic neuromuscular disease that is generally characterized by muscle atrophy and weakness. The goal of the SMA Foundation is to assist in funding research for the development of a treatment.
CPF is everything Cerebral Palsy you may be looking for. This resource provides a comprehensive and compassionate voice for assistance in caring for a child with cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions.
CPG is another great resource that assists in providing parents and caregivers with information on cerebral palsy causes, symptoms, and the treatment options that are available.
The Cerebral Palsy Group is a dedicated resource of information on caring for children with physical disabilities caused by CP.
The HIE Help Center is a support provider with vast amounts of information for families and loved ones of children diagnosed with conditions from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Find many links to other websites through this portal, all providing large amounts of research and assistance.
ES was created to provide exceptional services, education, and advocacy for those living with autism and other disabilities. Easter Seals has been helping individuals for over 90 years live, work, learn and play regardless of their condition. Easter Seals is a great resource for those needing job training, rehabilitation, etc.
UW is an organization providing various assistance with nearly 1800 community-based locations across 45 countries and territories that assist individuals and their families achieve their potential through education, health, and financial difficulty.
The ALS Association is leading the way to treat and cure ALS through various global research programs. The ALS Association is also a tremendous resource and support to those affected with Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families. Click for links to local chapters in your area for more information.
Steve Gleason was a professional football player that played for the New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. After his career, in 2011, Steve was diagnosed with ALS. Steve and his wife, Michel formed “Team Gleason” to assist those with ALS fight for research, live with ALS, and provide the support and resources to help others accomplish their goals and much more.
Team Joseph’s mission is to help fund research around finding treatment and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is our goal that when a parent hears a diagnosis of Duchenne, it is simply a manageable condition and no longer terrifying news. We also provide family assistance to those fighting the fight.
The AAPD is the nation’s largest disability rights organization that promotes equal opportunity, economic stability, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities.
RMHC was organized to provide resources, assistance, and support to directly improve the health and well-being of children across the nation.
SSPF is a leader advocating for a cure for paralysis by assisting with the funding of research, treatment, rehabilitation, and technological advances. This support is provided through the quality of life grants to numerous organizations that work to benefit people with paralysis and other life challenges.
NCOA is a national leader that helps those aged 60+ with the challenges of aging.
NOD is a non-profit organization that promotes the participation and contribution of over 56 million people with disabilities. NOD focuses on increasing employment opportunities for those Americans with disabilities and not currently employed.
AC is one of the nation’s leading organizations on limb loss and is dedicated to not only improving the quality of life for amputees but also to improving patient care to limit limb loss.
BIAA works to prevent brain injury through education and research opportunities while also working to improve the quality of life for all individuals affected by a brain injury.
Services and Funding for Veterans
The DAV works as advocacy for the men and women who have served our country. Find information on services and programs for disabled veterans here.
VA is a government organization that provides benefits and resources to veterans and their families. The VA has numerous benefits available.
The Semper Fi Fund was created to provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to those 9/11 survivors who were wounded or are critically ill, as well as other injured members of all military branches and their families. They also have programs and resources to help with transitions back to civilian life, etc.
NMCR is a partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps to help financially, educationally, as well as helping with other need-based assistance to active-duty and retired Sailors and Marines and their eligible family members.
OFF is a private, non-profit that is committed to ensuring that all of its available resources are used to the maximum to assist all eligible members, their caregivers, and the families of military and civilian personnel who have been severely disabled as a part of Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
OHF assists all military families during difficult financial times. They help provide food assistance, vision care, auto repair, home repair, travel, and transportation assistance, moving assistance, essential items for the home, and even rent-free transitional housing for all wounded veterans and their families.
WHF is for veterans and their families who have had their lives affected by the war on terror. WHF makes decisions on financial assistance on a case-by-case basis.
WWP was created to provide services and free programs to our military disabled vets by helping to fill the gaps in our government programs.
Open to all veterans, the NCOA VB helps veterans during their retirement years by providing assistance and resources unannounced to members.
Mobility Equipment Manufacturers
BraunAbility is a worldwide leader in developing automotive mobility products. From wheelchair vans to handicap lifts to mobility seating, look to BraunAbility.
VMI is one of the largest manufacturers of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and lifts for both consumer and commercial customers.
Bruno Independent Living Aids is a major developer of handicap accessible lifts for wheelchairs, powerchairs, and mobility scooters. Products are available for your home or auto.
Harmar provides a large portfolio of wheelchair, scooter, and power chair lifts for your home or auto.
Q-Straint provides the world’s most effective wheelchair restraint systems used today in both public and private transportation.
EZ-Lock is an automated wheelchair restraint system designed for those who remain in their wheelchair for seating inside an automobile.
Veigel is an engineering partner of the automotive industry providing driving hand controls and mobility aids for those with physical disabilities.
Electronic Mobility Controls, LLC designs advanced electronic driving controls that are used to operate motor vehicles so that individuals with comprehensive disabilities can have the ability to drive and remain independent.
MPS is a leading manufacturer of mechanical hand controls used in operating various aspects of an automobile.
CCI is the nation’s premier manufacturer of assistive mobility equipment for your vehicle.
Adapt Solutions was the first seating manufacturer to participate in the FMVSS Compliance Review Program in the industry! They design and manufacturer numerous assistive seating devices to aid individuals with disabilities with safe transfer in and out of their vehicles.
Alternative Funding Resources
GoFundMe is one of the premier crowdsourcing websites where anyone can create a fundraiser for a particular event or need. A great option for those needing assistance in paying for much-needed mobility equipment. To learn more visit their site and be sure to check out their Fundraising Guide.
Indiegogo is another crowdsourcing website that works to help users create and obtain funding/assistance for various needs.
Help Hope Live provides one-on-one fundraising help and assistance through community-based fundraising for people with unmet medical and related expenses due to catastrophic injuries and illnesses.
Looking for a ride different from wheelchair-accessible vans? Check out our list below for a few alternative types of vehicles to meet all your mobility needs.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The fifth-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is packed with new safety equipment, including a surround-view camera, parallel and perpendicular park assist, active lane management, and blind-spot monitoring. It’s also one of the top wheelchair-friendly vehicles so you can have it fitted with tie-downs, lifts, running boards, and other adaptive equipment.
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
If you want the peace of mind a truck can provide, like 4×4 capability in the winter, the 2021 Silverado is at the top of the list for wheelchair-friendly vehicles. You can have the Silverado modified with plenty of extras, including a wheelchair or scooter lift, transfer platform, swivel seats, and hand controls. Plus, General Motors offers up to $1,000 in reimbursement for modifications.
Ford makes it easy to drive its 2021 Mustang sports car whether you want the more economical (but still quick) EcoBoost, or the much-loved Mustang GT. You can have each model fitted with just about any equipment you need for a safe, comfortable drive. Choices include hoist lifts, hand controls, and power assist brakes.
No one said an adaptive car has to be large or clunky. Kia’s sporty, funky Soul has a roomy interior thanks to its tall profile. And the low floors and oversized doors mean you don’t struggle to enter or exit. If you want something a little more stylish, opt for the GT-Line which includes sporty exterior accents, a sunroof, wireless charging pad, and heated seats.
Subaru’s name is synonymous with safety, so perhaps it’s no surprise that every Subaru can be modified at the factory with accessible features including hand controls, steering devices, lifts, and ramps. We like it for several reasons, including the Subaru EyeSight technology that includes pre-collision throttle management, pre-collision braking, lane departure alert, and sway warning.
Accessible Travel Information
Here is a list of 32 vacation destinations that cater to those with special needs. At these destinations, accessibility is the name of the game.
Here you will find a list of 15 US and Canadian airline companies and their accommodation guidelines for wheelchair users. This information has been provided as a courtesy by cheapflights.com.
Travelers that use wheelchairs have dramatically increased over the last ten years, but so has the landscape related to accessibility. Look here for tips and suggestions on what to look for in your travels.
Adaptive skiing is a great getaway that provides people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of snow sports at resorts and facilities throughout North America. This resource informs adaptive skiers of all levels how they can access and enjoy programs at many of the major resorts in the US and Canada.
Morgan’s Wonderland is the first, fully accessible water park designed for those with physical disabilities and every day, every guest with special needs enjoys free admission.
About Redman Power Chair
Redman Power Chair has been manufacturing the top Group 3 CRT power chair designed for individuals living with mobility limitations for over 35 years. For further information and more useful resources, we invite you to continue exploring our website and contact us if you are interested in learning more about our standing power wheelchair!