Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Coping With Short Term Mobility Problems

Dealing with short-term mobility issues can be very taxing.  Those who have lived with disabilities have accepted the challenges they face and have found ways to overcome them as much as possible. But when the mobility problem occurs suddenly and is expected to last for a few weeks or months, the individual is caught between 2 worlds - there is no need to get used to the disability but at the same time movement and mobility is limited.

Common Causes of Mobility Problems

The most common causes of short-term mobility problems are broken bones and torn or damaged muscles and ligaments. These are often caused by falls or accidents. With proper care, these will normally heal and the patient is able to return to normal life. In the interim, however, mobility can be severely affected. For example, a broken leg can leave a person unable to walk, drive or get to the office. But that does not mean that the person cannot sit at a desk and work. Finding a short-term transportation solution for this not only allows the patient to continue to work, staying occupied, but can help to speed the recovery as well.

Overdoing Things Can Be Dangerous

A major problem with injuries that affect short-term mobility is that besides the limitations to movement, the patient feels fine. In such cases, it is easy to unintentionally overdo things and either exacerbate the injury or slow down the natural healing process. A person with a spine injury may feel okay at home but experience pain when trying to drive or even to be a passenger in a car. This pain is obviously not good, but the frustration of being stuck at home and feeling okay while there can cause people to do what they should not just to get out of the house, if nothing else. Even a necessary trip for treatment can make the condition worse if the transportation is not done correctly.

Friends And Family Can Help But……

Family and friends are there to help people get through their mobility problems. From helping out around the house to ferrying them to where the patient needs to go, they do it willingly. But they are not professionals with experience in transporting the injured. Their help, with the best of intentions, can at times result in the problem worsening. Unless the doctor has said that traveling in a normal car is okay, it is better to avoid it.

The Travel Solution
Investing large sums of money into buying a specially equipped vehicle that the patient can drive or be driven in does not make sense if it will only be required for a limited period of time. With public transport and taxis not suitable, non-emergency medical transportation offers the best and most cost effective solution. Professional companies have a range of vehicles designed and equipped to cater to people with all kinds of mobility limitations. The drivers are also specially trained to assist the mobility impaired. At what is usually a reasonable cost these services can be used to take the mobility impaired where they want or need to go in comfort and safety. The ability to continue with as much of normal life as possible until the recovery is complete makes the suffering less and often speeds the healing.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Key Issues In Transporting Special Needs Students

The safe transportation of students to and from schools is one of the most important services a school district provides. In case of special needs children, the service is even more complex.  There are a number of federal requirements for the transport of special needs children that parents need to know. There are also state laws which vary across the country. For information on these laws parents should contact their school districts.

Federal Laws

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that related service such as transportation be provided to those who fall under that act. The act specifies that this includes:


  • Travel to and from school and between schools
  • Travel in and around school buildings
  • Specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps), if required to provide special transportation for a child with a disability.

In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that a school district must provide non-academic and extracurricular services which includes transportation.

Entitlement

Normally, if a school district provides transportation to students without disabilities, it should also provide the service to those with special needs, irrespective of the distance to be covered. However, if a school district does not provide transportation to general education students, then the issue is complicated. The authorities must then decide if on an individual case basis if a special needs child requires a “related service” such as transportation in order in order to receive free appropriate public education. If such transportation is deemed to be necessary, the school district must provide it, irrespective of whether is if provided to general education children.

The Type of Vehicle

Typically, it is the school that will decide on what type of vehicle is best for transporting a special needs child. These generally include minibuses, cars, minivans and if required, specially equipped vehicles to suit specific transport needs. Unless there are special circumstances, the parents do not have a say in the type of vehicle that will be used.

The Need for Special Equipment

The need for air conditioning is a common one with special needs children. According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended), a vehicle with climate control is not required to transport a special needs child.  However, if the relevant authorities, upon examining a case, find that a child requires climate controlled or other specialized transportation, the school district is required to provide it at no cost to the parents.

The Time Spent In School and Travelling

The length of a school day is not within the purview of IDEA or any other relevant legislation. That is left to the state department of education to decide. It is generally accepted that a school day for a special needs child should be the same as for other children, neither longer nor shorter. However, if the special needs demand that the school day should be longer or shorter, appropriate modifications can be made to the child’s school hours. This will normally include time spent in travelling.

A special needs child may require specialized transport facilities for school and other activities. A medical transport service is the best and safest way to ensure that the child travels in the maximum safety, security and comfort.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Importance of Mobility for the Elderly

One of the biggest problems with aging is the effect it has on a person’s mobility. Travelling for important appointments or for social and other commitments is not something that can be stopped. But driving can become progressively more difficult with age and the risks to both the senior who is driving;the passengers and others on the road will increase. Among the many factors that contribute to this are:

  • Vision weakens with age but it provides over 80% of the information needed to make the right driving decisions.
  • A person over 60 needs 10 times more light to drive safely as compared to a 20 year old.
  • The reaction time of older drivers can be twice as long as that of younger drivers.
  • Deciding that one is too old to drive safely is difficult. Being told so by others is hard to hear and accept. But the need to stop driving will arrive sooner or later. So what are the alternatives?

The Alternatives

Staying at home and cutting oneself off from the outside world is neither healthy nor safe. Busses and subways are not advisable. Getting to the bus stop or subway station is not easy and boarding the transport can be difficult, especially if there are mobility limitations. Taxis are not always available when they are wanted. As a matter of fact, a recent survey says that half of Americans over the age of 65 do not have access to public transportation.

If driving is not safe and public transport is either difficult to use or simply unavailable, what is left? The answer lies in non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). NEMT can be defined as a type of transportation service that is available to those who are not in an emergency situation and are in need to transportation but are not in a position to use taxis or public transport. Depending on the needs, vehicles which are equipped to transport those in wheelchairs, on stretchers or with other special needs are available. Drivers are specially trained to assist users enter and exit the vehicles, to drive in a manner that suits their special needs and to provide other assistance that may be required.

Finding the Right NEMT

When choosing an NEMT, ask the following questions:


  • Are the vehicles suitable for wheelchair users and those with other disabilities?
  • Will the driver assist with bags and other items to be carried?
  • Can family members or friends come along as escorts?
  • Is the service door to door?
  • If the rides are not available 24/7, what are the timings?
  • What are the charges?
  • How much advance booking is required?
  • What are the payment options?

Finding an NEMT that is professional, caring and suits the needs of the passenger will allow for mobility and by doing so, improve the quality of life.

If you or someone you know is facing the problems in moving around town, making use of an NEMT service is the best and safest option. A professional service will go the extra mile to transport people in safety, comfort and get them to where they need to be on time.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Five Situations When Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Becomes Indispensable

Non emergency medical transportation companies came up to with a unique purpose to help individuals who cannot drive due to a momentary illness or a permanent disability. These services can be further availed by those who don’t have access to transportation but need to make regular journeys. Generally NEMT companies provide their services at reasonable rates. However the comfort and safety that they assure are unmatched beyond doubt.

The one thing to remember before contacting any NEMT agency is that they don’t cater to emergency situations. The article offers information about five circumstances when you can explore the non-emergency medical transport option.

When You Need Regular Transport

There are patients who visit their therapists or healthcare centers on a daily basis. Hiring a private taxi in such cases can prove to be expensive. On the other hand waiting for a public transport may mean difficulty in keeping the appointment time. The NEMT provider can come to your rescue in such scenarios. Many of them offer special packages to clients who need regular transport.

When You Need to Travel Odd Hours

Your physician is extremely busy but somehow you manage to get an appointment late evening. Then you remember that your personal car might not be available at such odd hour. The same holds true for patients who have their therapies or treatments scheduled early morning. A call to any reliable non-emergency medical transport provider will help sort out the situation. They will make sure that you reach your physician or clinic in time, no matter how odd the hour is.

When You Travel Alone

Those with physical disabilities, medical conditions or behavioral problems might not feel comfortable traveling along. Generally public transports or private taxis don’t have adequate infrastructure, and facilities to ensure safe, clean and comfortable transportation for such individuals. In contrast NEMT companies can provide highly skilled and polite drivers who know precisely how to handle such patients with care and compassion. This means a lot to the family members too, who remain assured of the patient’s safety during the journey.

When You Travel Long Distance

Individuals in poor health or disabilities often find it a lot more stressful travelling long distance to reach the hospital or healthcare center. However the long ride becomes a bit bearable when it is done in a clean and properly maintained vehicle with adequate space to make you feel comfortable. The professional and courteous driver further ensures the patient gets necessary attention as and when needed.

When You Travel With Wheelchair or Walker

The one big advantage of availing NEMT company service is that it knows exactly how to accommodate special needs of physically disabled patients. You can request special cars that can comfortably accommodate wheelchair, walkers and even service animals. Mostly these cars provide enough legroom so that you don’t feel restricted in limited space.

To conclude, always figure out your specific needs and assess your particular circumstances before resorting to non-emergency medical transportation. A discussion with your healthcare provider, insurance company and family members is also suggested before you take the final decision.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

How does non-emergency medical transportation help?

Access to medical transportation has been an issue for many people. Especially if one needs to go to medical appointments. Patients who have to go for checkups get late or have to postpone appointments due to lack of adequate commutation. Keeping this in mind, many private and public providers have come up with non-emergency medical transportation. These vehicles take people to their designated hospitals, clinics or other appointments faster, safer and on time.

1. Caters to people with disabilities

People with physical disabilities have a hard time using public transit. Having medical transportation helps in making their lives easier. Providing such a facility is also a great step towards acknowledging different sections of the society and making them feel valued.

2. Brings patient to the hospital and then back home

Since public transports or private vehicles are not built to accommodate patients with all kinds of physical disabilities, it gets difficult for such people to commute. This program offers a solution to the problem. In just one phone call, the patient can book a non-medical transportation vehicle to travel to the hospital and back home.

Customized software drives non-medical transportation companies, automating virtually all processes to ensure adherence to every customer’s specific protocols. A hi-tech phone system connects to the customer service center, making sure no call is dropped. Additionally, websites offer clients convenient access to resources, registration and information.

3. Affordable and cost saving

Using ambulances and other emergency services can cost a lot. As budgets tighten and need for transportation keeps on rising, non-emergency medical transportation helps customers do more with less. It offers fair rates and ensures the most cost-effective form of transportation.

Often delay in treatment can make the patients’ problems worse. The road to recovery requires being regular and being checked by the physician on a regular basis. Any complications can lead to delay in recovery and increase in overall costs. With this facility, all patients irrespective of their economic background and age, can stay more independent and meet their social and medical commitments easily.

However, when choosing a non-emergency medical transporter, make sure you opt for someone who thinks outside-the box to offer personalized solutions that cater to your unique needs. Some of the things to look for in a provider are,

  1. Air Conditioned Vehicles
  2. Condition of the vehicles
  3. Emergency and drop-In Care
  4. Event Standby
  5. Completely Insured
When reading reviews make sure you choose a provider that maintains industry-leading customer satisfaction and must be available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, throughout the year.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Why is safe transportation important during injuries?

Injuries such as fractures, serious bruises, ligament ruptures and the like, need time and effort to heal. However, many injured individuals travel for their doctor’s appointment and social commitments in unsafe modes of transport such as, taxis, unaware of the possible dangers to their injury.

Travelling in private cars during the initial stages of injury can cause various complications. The vibrations and jolts of travel may lead to separation. When travelling in crowded public transport vehicles you may expose the injury to unwanted harm that may delay recovery, or worse, cause irreparable damage.  During such times, using a well-equipped non-medical transportation vehicle can ensure that you reach your destination scratch free and on time as well. The trained drivers make sure you are sitting in a safe position when travelling. Safe travel for injured individuals is vital for preventing health issues.

Qualifications of non-medical transportation staff:

Non-medical transportation staff is trained to handle all sorts of patients. The vehicles are equipped with first aid kits and medication in case of an emergency, besides the basic instruments to monitor the heart rate to ascertain good health. Companies offering non-emergency medical transportation have a fleet of specialized medical automobiles, or other types of vehicles to cater to individuals of discerning transportation and medical needs.

Normally, when you call a provider to schedule a ride, you are asked a few questions by the customer care executive. The information helps them determine the best transportation mode for your appointment. The questions will generally include your address, name, phone number, type of injury, and the like. Just mention them where you want to be picked up, and at what time. Once all the information is collected, the executive will tell you the kind of vehicle they have arranged for you and schedule the appointment.

Injuries can be uncomfortable and may restrict you from performing the most basic life chores such as driving, taking a bath, hopping onto a public transportation. However, it is important to understand that some injuries take time to heal and if precautions are not taken, you may end up making things harder than they already are. Sometimes a little carelessness can leave a limp, a scar and at times a more serious disability. Therefore, do not take chances. If your doctor has warned you about being careful, make it a point to hire a non-medical transportation vehicle for your transportation needs.     

Thursday, 23 June 2016

How to Organize Transportation to and from the Hospital?

Non-Emergency Medical transportation services help thousands of people every year to move from their homes to hospitals and other important places. The service has been formed to ensure comfort and safety on road for people with disabilities, or serious injuries.

So, how should you organize transport to and from the hospital? Your choice should depend on:

  • Whether you require going to the hospital for an emergency
  • Your situation and medical condition if it is not an emergency

During an Emergency

In case of an emergency, call 999 and request for an ambulance immediately. A problem is considered a medical emergency when someone is in a life-threatening or critical condition. You do not have to pay to be driven to hospital during such situations.

Non-emergency visits to the Hospital

In case you're going to the hospital for a non-emergency treatment or test, you will be expected to arrange your own transport. Try to get a relative or friend to volunteer to take you to the medical center and drive you back after your appointment. Hospital parking is normally expensive or limited, and leaving your car overnight may not be the best of ideas. It is best to search for your local hospital online and check what type of parking facilities they offer.

You can claim a refund of the transportation cost incurred to hospital through the HTCS, if you:

  1. Do not have the funds to meet the expenses of travelling to the hospital
  2. Do not meet the eligibility criteria for PTS
  3. Cannot get a relative or friend to take you
There are certain conditions that need to be met to become eligible for a refund. You can research about this scheme online to determine your eligibility. 

Non-emergency Medical Transportation Services

One of the best forms of medical transportation is non-emergency medical transport services. These services offer 24 hour facility to and from the hospital for patients who have medical requirements. The van crew comprises of qualified medical staff, such as care assistants and nurses. Crews are trained in every aspect of emergency care and first aid. Non-emergency medical transportation vans are equipped with a range of care equipment and drugs to make sure the patient’s journey is safe.

Booking a vehicle from a non-emergency medical transportation provider is very easy. One can either log into their website to book a van according to their needs online or can simply call the service provider and request for a booking. However, before shortlisting a service it is important that their credentials are verified. Go through their reviews online and ask family and friends for recommendation. It is also extremely important that the drivers of these vans are well qualified. They should have undergone proper driver safety training and must know how to handle patients with disabilities.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Introducing iWheelchair: An Intelligent Wheelchair System

Scientists have come up with the most advanced and intelligent wheelchair system known as "iWheelchair." With just a tablet computer as the central operating platform, the system has integrated a range of functions such as safety, environment control, hygiene and health monitoring with automated alerts that cater to the requirements of users and decrease workload on the caregivers. 

By giving simple touchscreen commands, users can easily control any home device that is connected to the system, such as TV, electric curtains, electric beds and motorized projector screens. Those suffering from hand impairments can use a fabric electronic switch to translate thumb movements into touchscreen commands. In addition, a sensor fixed to the wheelchair constantly evaluates vital health signals like heart rate, and saves the readings into a computer for future record, while the fall monitoring system can activate instant alarm when the wheelchair or the patient falls.

The cushion seat and diaper wrap is made out of nano-treated fabric comprising of water repellent, dirt-proof, and antibacterial features. The seat also has fabric sensors that evaluate the user's posture and alerts the user of prolonged inactivity to avoid circulatory problems or bedsores. The entire system is also attached to a smart diaper containing sensors that can sense moisture levels and puts on a buzzer on the computer tablet when there is a need for a change. Apart from this, there are several optional settings available for sending SMS, email alerts to the concerned family members or caregivers in case of prolonged inactivity, a fall, wet diaper or abnormal heart rate.

The system makes use of Bluetooth to establish communication among all the sensors. Apart from this, the system can be personalized to cater to the requirements of individual patients. 

The research team working on the iwheelchair project will continue to work to make sure iWheelchair is able to cope with the daily challenges faced by those using a wheelchair. This is to make sure that the technology is able to help wheelchair users of all communities around the world.

The PolyU technologies that have been deployed in the iwheelchair system include:

  1. Integrated Control System (tablet based)
  2. System to Monitor Falls
  3. System to Monitor Vital Signs
  4. Fabric Sensor
  5. Smart Diaper
  6. Fabric Electronic Switch
Technology has come a long way and its certainly helping those with physical in capabilities.  iWheelchair is a revolutionary concept that will make living easier not just for the one using the wheelchair but also for the care givers. The project has even won a bronze medal in International Invention Fair in Seoul.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Reanimate Paralyzed Limbs through Implantable Devices

Within the next decade, individuals suffering from stroke or spinal cord injury can have their mobility restored or improved with the help of a new technology- implantable device. These machines can send out signals between areas of the nervous system or brain that have been disconnected because of injury.

The effort includes researchers from San Diego State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and several other partners. To encourage their efforts and to support development of this technology, the NSF or National Science Foundation has renewed funding for the center. Experts say there is a huge need for developing newer medical devices to assist people with traumatic or progressive neurological conditions such as spinal cord injury or stroke. The aim is to attain proof-of-concept demonstrations in the next five years. This should lay the foundation for eventual clinical devices that are approved by the government.

CSNE was instituted in 2011 with a grant of $18.5 million. Since then, the organization’s interdisciplinary team comprising of engineers, neuroscientists, computer scientists, ethicists, neurosurgeons, and industry partners has been able to come up with 'bi-directional' implantable mechanisms that send information to other areas. These devices decode and record electrical signals that are generated by the brain when an individual forms an intention, for instance, to move a hand for picking a mug. The devices can also transmit the information wirelessly, creating a new pathway (artificial) around the areas of the brain or nervous system that have been damaged.

Apart from this, CSNE is also working towards improving implantable technologies used today, including deep brain stimulators that are used for treating patients with Parkinson's disease. These transport electric pulses across the human brain at an apt frequency which is adjusted by the physician to attain the desired effect. However, this means that the human brain is bombarded constantly by electrical pulses even while the patient is resting. This can cause unwanted side effects and completely drain the battery of the implantable device, requiring recurrent replacement surgeries.

In contrast, industry partners and CSNE researchers are working towards 'closed loop' implantable devices that observe the brain and deliver any electrical stimulation only when it's required.

The funding initiated for CSNE will permit the experts to make progress in closed-loop neural interfaces and will help achieve this ambitious goal. Apart from this, NSF funding will also help the center to further expand its education programs for school teachers, K-12 students, veterans and undergraduates to other partner institutions. 

While the future looks bright for those with mobility impairment, the present is also not gloomy. Non-medical transportation facilities can be used to make travel easier and simpler for people suffering from temporary or permanent mobility impairments. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Self-driving cars: A brighter future for people with physical disabilities

Imagine a scenario where anyone could drive around safely and easily, irrespective of their capability?

A report released by the automobile sector claims that by 2020 there will be more than nine million driverless cars in the country. The cars will have an “autopilot” feature, which will work almost to the extent where the driver can completely take their hands off. This is definitely a boon for people with disabilities as self-driving cars will make them independent.

The process of dehumanization of transportation

The new transportation network, will know exactly how to get you wherever you want to go—cheaper, faster, and completely in control.  This may sound dystopian or amazing, depending on person to person, but it is definitely going to have a major impact on the transportation industry.

The commotion in transportation began a few years ago with the surge of TNC’s Transportation Network Companies such as Lyft and Uber. They started by crushing inefficient taxi providers; by using technology that takes most effort out of transportation. Phone based apps can connect drivers with riders, and do the direction-finding and billing for the driver. Some companies also use software to do: ride sharing and multi loading, automatic dispatching and route optimization. A few things that turn a small fleet of cars into an effective transport system.

These TNC’s still need drivers, but cars running on software instead of human judgment, is a completely different concept all together. These vehicles will process both sensor information and map to determine their exact location anywhere in the world. The vehicle will know which street it is on and the lane it is in. Sensors will assist in detecting objects around the vehicle. The software used will categorize objects based on their shape, size, and movement pattern. It will detect a pedestrian, a cyclist or a vehicle. Depending on what it senses, it will choose a safe speed and trajectory for the car.

Several companies are working toward building vehicles that can take you exactly where you wish to go at merely a push of the button. Most of these cars will have no pedals or steering wheel, and instead only sensors and software to handle the driving.

Aged or visually impaired individuals will no longer have to give up their independence. The time spent on the road commuting can be spent doing whatever you wish to do. Traffic accidents could be decreased dramatically. Self-driving cars are definitely the future of the car industry and a blessing for those suffering from disabilities.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Increasing need for non-emergency medical transportation - How is the state handling it?

The increased need for non-emergency medical transportation has led the state to devise new strategies to handle the demand more effectively. The governments in different states are organizing medical trips with other transportation providers who aim at serving similar individuals.

Several private and public agencies have been set up to administer or refer clients to human service transportation programs. They receive funds from different places; each resource comes with its own set of restrictions and rules. The accountability and eligibility standards, operating procedures, vehicle needs, routes and similar factors vary greatly across different organizations.

The greatest challenge for the state is to curb improper utilization of resources, customer inconvenience, varying safety standards, and insufficient transportation service due to the big number, dispersion and diversity of coordinated transportation programs. Fortunately, development in coordination and mobility management technology has helped in maximizing resources by managing eligibility standards and shared rides with several funding sources.

Non-Emergency Transportation: Delivery Options

After passing the DRA or Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, states have been given more choices to deliver NEMT. The DRA allows flexibility to states in how they deliver non-emergency medical transportation, without having to put together a troublesome administrative waiver process. However, all states have to submit a plan to the Centers for medicaid and medicare services (CMS) explaining thoroughly how they intend to provide NEMT services and how it shall be reimbursed—as either a medical cost or an administrative cost.

Requirements for non-emergency medical transportation under Medicaid regulations:


  • Provided with reasonable timeliness to every eligible citizen.
  • Provided to every single individual in the same duration, amount, and scope.
  • Citizen should be given the “freedom of choice” to choose their transportation provider.

Modes of delivering the service:

Following the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, a lot of states chose to put in place a brokerage system, where either a state agency or a private company connects citizens with transportation providers in the most cost-effective and efficient way.

Public Brokerage

Some of the states in the country broker rides for citizens through state agencies. This does offer a unique challenge because if a public agency is brokering a ride using a public transportation entity, there are obstacles to providing the service.

Private Brokerage

States delivering non-emergency medical transportation through a private brokerage make use of a bidding process to acquire a private for-profit agency/business to work as an intermediate between eligible riders and transportation providers. States normally pay capitated payments to the intermediary for every eligible rider. This form of brokerage is actually the most popular as it offers financial certainty that the state only pays a set amount to the agency each year, rather than facing uncertain costs from using their own brokerage.

In some of the states that have thinly populated rural areas and concentrated urban regions, a mix of fee for service and brokered services models are used.

Conclusion

The state is continually looking for new technologies and NEMT programs to cost-effectively provide non-medical transportation services to attain better health outcomes.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Transporting A Special Needs Child

Transporting a child with special needs is a labor of love that is willingly and happily undertaken. But doing things out of love and doing them correctly and safely are two different issues. When transporting a special needs child, there are a number of specific safety factors that must be kept in mind. One of them is the type of wheelchair van that should be used.  Not all vans are the same and being sure that the right type is being used will ensure the child’s comfort and safety during the journey. Here are a few of the key considerations.

  • If a caregiver is required to be next to the child during the trip, or if the child and / or caregiver should be seated close to the driver, then a rear entry wheelchair van would be the better option.
  • If special equipment is to be transported along with the child, a side entry wheelchair van will allow for easier entry and exit as well as making storing the equipment safely for the journey easier. All equipments must be safely secured so that nothing moves. Shifting equipments could hit and injure the child.
  • If equipment that may be required for use during the trip is being carried, a self-contained power source that has a charge capacity of twice the duration of the trip (to account for any unexpected delays) should be carried. It is always preferable to power electric wheelchairs, other mobile seating devices and respiratory systems will dry cell or gel cell batteries and not lead acid ones. This will prevent the danger of the batteries leaking and causing injury other through contact with the acid or from the inhalation of the fumes.
  • Many children feel more at ease when a family member is sitting close to them in the unfamiliar surrounds of a van. Try to use a van that will allow a family member to be seated in a position so that the child knows that a familiar face is always at hand.
  • Some children are sensitive to sunlight or heat. If so, a van with tinted windows will be required.
  • If the wheel chair has a headrest, its size and position could affect where it can be positioned in the van.  Measure the dimensions of the wheelchair and try to use a van where the chair can be positioned as is best for the child’s specific needs – such as those mentioned above.
  • The driver is a key factor in any transportation arrangement. Talk to the van driver to see if he understands the needs of the child and is able and willing to tailor the driving to meet those requirements.

A special needs child should be allowed to travel as freely, safely and comfortably as possible. If this means using special medical transport services, you need to ensure that the company you are using has the experience, skills and special vehicles to do the job properly. When your child’s safety and your peace of mind depends on a service provider, never compromise. Always use a professional medical transport company.