Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Recreational Activities for kids with special needs

“There are so many opportunities in life that the loss of two or three capabilities is not necessarily debilitating. A handicap can give you the opportunity to focus more on art, writing, or music.” -- Jim Davis

Physical activity is important for all kids, particularly for those with disabilities, because it helps them reduce their chances of developing high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. According to experts, disabled children who are encouraged to remain physically active have better motor control, are more social and less likely to suffer from emotional issues such as depression. San Mateo offers a range of activities for special needs kids to help them develop and grow into self-sufficient citizens.

Dance for change:

Located in Palo Alto, this program has been specifically designed for kids suffering from autism and related developmental issues.  It is to help these kids make friends, develop stronger bodies and have fun.

E-soccer:

Exceptional children’s soccer takes place every Saturday 11:00-12:00 pm, at Booth Bay Park, Foster City. The program caters to disabled kids from ages three and above. Although free of cost, parents have to enroll their kids in time to avoid the waiting list.

Quest therapeutic instruction & recreational camp:

With its campuses in Fremont and Danville, this treatment program combines behavior modification, group therapy, and camp activities for kids with mild emotional and social behavioral problems.

Wheelchair athletic program:

These programs have been designed to cater to wheelchair-bound kids. Enthusiasts can enroll in wheelchair sports teams, swim teams, soccer teams to learn a new sport while indulging in physical activity.

Foster City Library:

The library offers several disability services including, ADA computers with large screens, accessible restrooms, service desks and handicapped parking spaces. Librarians are trained to be patient with the special needs kids.

Special Needs Aquatic Program:

Located in Palo Alto, SNAP strives to assist kids with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, developmental problems, autism and sensory integration dysfunction. The program tries to instill a sense of pride and self-confidence while helping them build stronger bodies.

Classes are held by skilled and experienced staff and every child receives personal attention while having the opportunity to socialize and learn with peers.

Gymboree Play Center:

Located at San Mateo, the play center offers a large, soft-padded area where kids can play and roam free. It is a great place for children to learn and stay active.

Non-medical transportation vans:

One of the services that has really helped kids with disabilities and special needs is the non-medical transportation service. These vans are extremely spacious and designed to cater to the requirements of children who may need special attention while travelling. The vehicles come equipped with wheelchair rams and other equipment that makes the ride comfortable. Parents can hire non-medical transportation to take their kids to attend activities, doctor’s appointments and even for a trip to another city.

Enjoyable and creative pastimes have a big impact on the lives of special needs children. Physical activity gives them a positive outlet for expending their energy and helps them improve their agility, confidence and strength. Creative activities offer these kids a safe platform to express their emotions and thoughts.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Wheelchair vans FAQ

Have you been wondering whether wheelchair accessible vans are right for you or a loved one? Below are few of the most commonly asked questions about these vehicles that should help you end your dilemma:

What is a wheelchair accessible van?

Wheelchair accessible vans are vehicles especially designed for people with temporary or physical disabilities. Wheelchair vans come in a variety of sizes- from full-size vehicles to minivans.  Minivan conversions have their floors considerably lowered and have a lightweight ramp. The kneeling system decreases the ramp’s slope by lowering the rear suspension. Seats are also removable that enables wheelchair users to ride in the passenger seat.
Full size vans, on the other hand, offer the same comfort and ease of use, but have a full dropped floor and either a raised door or a raised roof, to offer space and capacity that many people require.

I can't afford hiring wheelchair accessible transportation.  What should I do?

The good news is most providers offer discounts to their customers to make renting easy. Also, to make sure you get the best price research about these companies online. Shortlist at least three providers and then ask for a quote. You are sure to get a good price.

Why should I hire a non-medical transportation?

Buying a wheelchair accessible van is only wise if you have a long term need. If you only have temporary requirement, you should avoid the extra cost by simply calling for a wheelchair accessible van.

What are the hours of operation for such pickups?

Most reputed providers, like Serra Medical have a 24/7 service. The dispatch team is there to help you at all times, day or night. They register your requirement and send in a van immediately.

Where can I take these vans to?

You can call for a wheelchair accessible van if you want to go grocery shopping, attend a social gathering, take an inter-city trip, and visit your doctor. These vans are at your disposal 24/7 for almost any reason.

Are there special drivers for wheelchair accessible vehicles?

Yes, since wheelchair accessible vans require their drivers to be better trained in handling, they have to undergo training. These drivers are also taught to be patient with the client and respectful towards their limitations. There are GPS systems attached to the vehicles to make sure the passenger reaches the destination on time.

How do I pay for the services rendered?

There are a variety of ways to pay for the service. Most vehicles have CC machines. Hence, you can pay with your credit or debit card while on the go. Apart from this, you can also pay with hard cash or company vouchers. Some providers also have online system of payment, wherein you can book and pay for the vehicle by visiting the provider’s website.

Am I allowed to take a family member with me?

Yes, depending on the capacity of the van you hire, you are allowed to take your family members along.

What services should I expect from a wheelchair accessible van provider?

Here is a list of features that almost all good providers offer:
  • Air conditioned vehicles
  • Accessibility products
  • Fully insured
  • Event standby
  • In-built GPS system
  • 24/7 service
  • Trained drivers

Some even have medical staff on board just to make sure your journey is safe and comfortable.

Wheelchair accessible vans are one of the best innovations for people with physical limitations. However, it is important to choose your provider wisely. Analyze their credentials, price and service before making your decision.