"Nice, but, what's the cost? What will medicare and insurance cover, into [sic] which I have paid thousands of dollars over my working life" reads a comment on an M.C. Mobility Systems blog post about a new wheelchair accessible van conversion.
"We get this reaction all the time," says Ann Bransom, Marketing Manager for M.C. Mobility Systems and freelance disability writer. "There is a misconception that if you are disabled the government or insurance will pay for everything you need to return to a normal daily life. Unfortunately, that is not case."
With more than 14 million Americans now living with a disability, 6 million of whom are veterans, the number of people facing mobility obstacles is staggering.
"As an able bodied person, we don't tend to think about how we would transport ourselves if we were suddenly injured or developed an illness that affected our ability to walk or drive,” says Bransom. “That is becoming a reality for more and more Americans. We’re aging; we have veterans returning from war; we have parents who are living longer. We have to start thinking about mobility as a national crisis and not just an individual’s obstacle.”
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) has had May designated as National Mobility Awareness Month, in an effort to bring attention to the mobility issues facing the disabled community. As part of Mobility Awareness Month, several manufacturers have stepped forward to donate wheelchair accessible vehicles for a Local Hero Contest. People with disabilities across the country will enter videos and bios, family and friends will vote on the stories, and the winners will get a customized wheelchair accessible vehicle in May.
M.C. Mobility Systems, a local Ohio wheelchair van dealer, is one of the contest’s sponsors.
“We know so many people in our Ohio communities who deserve a wheelchair accessible vehicle, but can’t afford one,” says Bransom. “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the national Local Hero Contest for Mobility Awareness Month, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t a little biased. We really want someone from Ohio to win.”
The company is reaching out to all of their social media contacts to encourage people to enter, vote, and promote the stories they feel deserve a vehicle the most.
“Throughout the submission period, we will be offering free promotion to contestants from Ohio on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels,” says Bransom. “I’m just glad that I’m not the one having to pick the winner, because there are some amazing individuals competing for one of these vans.”
The Local Hero Contest is taking submissions until May 13, which is also when online voting closes. At least 3 wheelchair accessible vehicles will be given away. More information is available on M.C. Mobility Systems’ website.
“We’re talking about the country’s second largest minority here,” Bransom points out. “It’s time to start taking care of them.”
M.C. Mobility Systems is a wheelchair van dealership. In addition to wheelchair accessible van sales, the company also sells other mobility equipment related to transportation, and performs accessible housing modifications. The mission of M.C. Mobility Systems is to provide quality solutions for every housing and transportation need in the disabled community.