Archive for Wheelchair Accessible

Swivel Seats: Everything you need to know

Vehicle seating made simple

Swivel seats can offer a great alternative to wheelchair accessible vehicles, enabling both drivers and passengers to transfer into and out of standard vehicles more easily.

Free assessment service

However, they do not work for everyone – with only one in every three people making a viable candidate, it is vital that every client has had a full demonstration and assessment with us. This free-of-charge service enables us to determine which type of swivel seat will best meet a customer’s needs and the suitability of the vehicle being considered.

Click here for further information on our free assessment service.

Swivel seatTypes of swivel seats

Standard swivel seats

There are a number of variations of the standard swivel seat available, from fully manual to fully programmable. Semi manual and/or electric versions are also available.

Lowering swivel seats

These seats turn out 90 degrees from the vehicle, then electrically lower to allow easier transfer from a wheelchair, or from standing. Because they lower, these models are suitable for vehicles with higher seating positions (e.g. MPVs and SUVs).

The swivel function can either be manual or electric, or the seat can be fully programmable.

Swivel SeatsManual

Manual swivel seats are the base model, with a manually operated swivel and forward/backward movement. In many cases, this is all that is needed. However, if the seat has a lowering function, this will be controlled electrically.

Electric

These seats are available with an electric swivel function, electric forward/backward movement, electric lowering/raising or a combination of all three.

Programmable

Unlike manual and electric swivel seats, a programmable seat is fully automated. To maximise legroom our technicians will programme the seat’s movements for each vehicle individually. This allows these seats to be fitted in a wider range of vehicles than most other seat types.

Carony wheelchair systemThe Carony Wheelchair System

The Carony is a wheelchair system that is compatible with the majority of swivel seats. Designed for people who struggle to transfer from their wheelchair into a swivel seat, these systems feature glide rails that allow the car seat to slide onto a wheelchair base. The seat then detaches, allowing it to be used as an everyday wheelchair.

Models include Carony Classic, which operates with a manual wheelchair base, Carony Go, which is designed for use with an electric wheelchair base and Carony Kids and Carony GS, which are designed specifically for children.

Adapted vehicles – what are they and how can they help?

The freedom being able to drive affords us allows us to experience the world in a variety of new and interesting ways. From a simple trip to the local grocery store to that much-anticipated vacation, driving gives us the ability to accomplish and enjoy so much more of what life has to offer.

Whilst driving with a disability may seem scary and intimidating, perhaps even impossible, it’s doesn’t have to be. With advancements in vehicle adaptations, more and more disabled can discover, or rediscover, the independence offered by adapted vehicles, either privately or through the Motability Scheme.

What adapted vehicles offer

Adapted vehicles solve a wide variety of challenges for those with disabilities. Car Adaptations can range from simple steering balls to full Drive From Wheelchair customisations, depending on the needs of our customers. After a thorough assessment, Ergomobility will be able to offer the best solution to meet your needs, helping you to confidently operate your vehicle and opening up a whole new world of exploration.

Here are just a few of the adaptations available:Under-ring accelerator

Hand Controls

Hand controls allow people with limited lower body movement to control the adapted vehicle’s accelerator and brake with the use of paddles, rings or levers around the steering wheel.

Left Foot Accelerator

Adapted vehicles with an automatic gearbox and left foot accelerator are perfect for people who have limited movement on the right side of their body, allowing them to use the pedals with a single foot.

Radio RemotesDriving Controls

Radio remotes are particularly useful for people who find it difficult or impossible to drive with two hands and allows access to other in-car controls via a keypad on the steering wheel. These include the radio, air conditioning, windscreen wipers etc.

Radio remotes can also come with a miniature steering function or stick steering which allows you to control the movement of the car within a much smaller area.

Wheelchair Hoists

While driving is the end goal, you first have to be able to enter and exit the vehicle and sit comfortably enough to drive. This is the realm of the wheelchair hoist, which will help to lift either a driver or passenger from their seat into the car.

Swivel Seats

Another accessibility adaptation is the swivel seat, which allows the driver or passenger to unlock the seating position and turn the seat to the side, making ingress and egress a much simpler task.

Drive From Wheelchair

Although one of the more complicated vehicle adaptations, wheelchair driving is also possible for several people. The ability to access the adapted vehicle’s full functionality from your wheelchair means that it will necessitate a larger vehicle with ramp access. However, the benefit is that you won’t need to transition to and from your wheelchair to go for a drive.

The Process

How difficult it will be to learn to drive with a disability is not an easy choice to make and the process can be difficult. Ergomobility is here to help you each step of the way and can provide information and recommendations for each step of the process.

Step one is to undertake an assessment to determine exactly what kind of adaptations you will need to safely operate your vehicle.

If you can find a driving instructor with a suitably adapted vehicle, you could start learning to drive a mobility car straight away. Alternatively, you will need to secure a car with the required changes first (which may take some months).

However, once you are proficient and have your licence, the freedom and independence your adapted vehicle will provide are priceless.

For more information about adapted vehicles, you can contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on 01444 882233 or info@ergomobility.co.uk. Alternatively, head on over to our contact page and fill out the enquiry form.

More accessible wheelchair transportation

VB full air suspension for wheelchair accessible vehicles

Wheelchair users want to experience a sense of security, comfort and confidence when they are taken to their destination. Wheelchair transporters, therefore, want to be able to offer tailor-made transport. Ensuring the safety and physical comfort of their passengers is of paramount importance to these carriers. This is what the passenger ultimately considers to be the most important. So what’s better than wheelchair users who choose to travel with you – just because your vehicle has that extra bit of comfort?

The problem facing wheelchair accessible vehicles

No one likes to feel all the road humps and bumps while travelling. Since the weight distribution in a wheelchair-loaded vehicle is usually not optimal, the journey for both the wheelchair user and the driver can become significantly less comfortable. This non-optimal weight distribution also has further adverse effects on ride comfort: the original suspension on the rear of the vehicle can become “stuck” when the weight of the wheelchair cannot be optimally distributed. The vehicle may also normally be too high – or too low – or the vehicle may have a too high approach angle. This would make it even more difficult to optimally assist passengers and would cause even more inconvenience.

How can Ergomobility and VB Airsuspension help?

A constant ride height is therefore essential for both the driver and the wheelchair user. This is easily achieved with one of our products. When using our air suspension – and electronic ride height control to achieve a constant ride height – ride comfort increases significantly. This means the passenger feels comfortable and safe, as well as you as a driver. Would you like to know more about the matching products – such as VB-FullAir – for this category of vehicles?
Take a look at the product leaflets here.

Discover the many benefits of VB Airsuspension’s wheelchair vehicle solutions

For more information contact us on 01444 882 233, email info@ergomobility.co.uk. or fill in our online Contact Form.

Why Motability have made Swivel Seat demos compulsory

Lowering swivel Seat - Turny EvoSwivel seats are the ideal solution for a person with a mobility issue. They enable a passenger or driver to sit comfortably in the front of a car and are often an alternative to sitting in the back of a wheelchair accessible van.

The only drawback with swivel seats is that they don’t work for everyone. In our experience, for every three people we meet looking at a swivel seat to help them access a vehicle, only one is actually suited to it.

For this reason alone, at Ergomobility we have only ever fitted a swivel seat if the person has had a full demonstration and assessment by us or, someone trusted by us.

It may surprise you to know that a common reason for an early termination or returned vehicle on the Motability Scheme is the selling of a swivel seat to someone who mistakenly thought it would solve their access issues; a belief that was unchallenged due to there being no demonstration, or the wrong advice given by their adaptation specialist.

So, it’s good news that under Motability it is compulsory for anyone buying a swivel seat on the Online Scheme to have had a demonstration carried out by the adaptation company. 

Although this is not necessarily your responsibility, it certainly puts you in a very good light if you can ensure your customer speaks to the right adaptation company; one with experience and expertise in the complex area of swivel seats. The last thing you want is a customer returning their vehicle because they weren’t given the correct advice.

Not all Adaptation Specialists have swivel seat expertise. We do, so don’t hesitate to give us a call for advice.

Please click here to see further product information on our website.

Ergomobility Sussex
Units 1 – 4, Crosspost Industrial Park,
Cowfold Road, Bolney,
West Sussex, RH17 5QU

Telephone: 01444 882233

Ergomobility Thames Valley
Tylorstown,
Caversham
Reading, RG4 7XW

Telephone: 0118 321 8193

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