Wheelchair Blog from AMS Vans

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A physical disability presents unique challenges for the individual, the family and the caregivers. Our wheelchair blog is here to empower all of you with tips, trends in wheelchair technology, wheelchair news, inspiring stories, insightful interviews, medical breakthroughs, helpful links, the latest in adaptive products, disability news, upcoming events and, of course, information about AMS Vans' wheelchair accessible vehicles. We focus on anything and everything that enriches your life and makes it easier.

Buying a handicap accessible van is a defining moment in the life of an individual who wants manageable mobility beyond the wheelchair. We have handicap vans for sale, and we want to ensure the process—from the moment it begins—is as smooth as possible. When you purchase a wheelchair van from us, the process never truly ends, because you become part of the AMS family. Just like family, we stay in touch and care about your happiness.

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5 Important Questions Answered About Uber & Lyft Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Uber and Lyft have become an exceedingly popular alternative to public buses and taxi cabs. Both of these companies are most notably known for allowing riders to choose their ride preferences and certain customizations. What about options for those who require wheelchair accommodations? Let’s take a look at the 5 most frequently asked questions when it comes to Uber and Lyft’s services to those who need wheelchair accessible vehicles.

What is a WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle)?

A wheelchair accessible vehicle, known more commonly as a WAV, is a vehicle which has been modified to easily accommodate a wheelchair. Typically, the interior is adapted in order for a wheelchair to fit as well as either a wheelchair ramp or a power lift for convenient access.

Does Uber or Lyft Have Wheelchair Accessible Vans?

Uber offers UberWAV which connects riders to drivers with vehicles which can accommodate wheelchairs. UberWAV drivers have completed a special training course in order to help you or a loved one safely enter and exit the vehicle. It is important to note that in areas where WAV services are not available, Uber will send alternatives directly to your phone.

Lyft offers Access Mode, which puts riders in need of a WAV in touch with drivers who have a WAV. As with Uber, in areas where this service is not available, alternative transportation methods will be sent to you.

How to Request an Uber or Lyft WAV?

Requesting a WAV with both Uber and Lyft is quite simple. For Uber, you will simply use UberWAV to schedule an on-demand ride that meets your needs, schedule, and location. When utilizing Lyft, users will need to enable Access Mode, by tapping ‘settings’ on the app and making sure the ‘wheelchair access’ toggle switch is green. Next, you will type in your destination and access wheelchair mode to find your perfect ride.

Does Uber or Lyft Offer Any Discounts?

From time to time Uber offers promotional discounts for both first-time passengers and loyal customers. The type of discount and expiration dates are constantly being updated, so be sure to search for any eligible promotions before you pay full price.

Lyft offers a few different kinds of promotional discounts. These include:

  • Percentage discounts – Receive a certain percentage off of your ride.
  • Fixed discounts – Remove a certain amount from the total cost of your ride.
  • Flat rate – This means a set fare for rides that would typically cost up to a certain amount.

Lyft credit is a system in which Lyft users earn credit each time they take a ride. These credits can then be applied to a qualifying ride.

How Do I Identify an Uber or Lyft Driver?

Both Uber and Lyft take safety very seriously and have measures in place to ensure you are able to confidently identify your Uber or Lyft driver. Once you have been assigned a driver by Uber, you will be sent information about the make and model of the vehicle, name of the driver and a photograph of both the driver and the vehicle. Upon arrival of your Uber ride, verify the information and pictures match the approaching vehicle.

Lyft offers similar safety measures by also sending passengers detailed information and photographs of both the driver and the vehicle. Passengers can verify the vehicle that pulls up matches the information received.

For both Uber and Lyft, thorough background checks are conducted before they are allowed to become drivers for either company.

The Possibilities are Limitless

When it comes to transportation. It’s all about convenience. Wheelchair accessible vehicles are specially designed to allow for comfortable and convenient travel. With the WAV services of Uber and Lyft, transportation is easier now than ever. AMS Vans understands the needs of those who require wheelchair accessible accommodations and have over 20 years of experience in the industry. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Type of wheelchair used in The Upside

What Wheelchair Does Bryan Cranston Use in The Upside?

The film The Upside has been the first sleeper hit at the movies in 2019 so far, earning over $76 million at the box office. In the film, Bryan Cranston plays a disabled billionaire named Phillip looking for help with his day to day functions. He hires a man named Dell Scott (played by Kevin Hart) as his caretaker.

As a quadriplegic, Cranston’s character’s wheelchair plays a pivotal role in the film as it is featured in nearly every scene. Let’s take a look at an overview of the film’s plot, what kind of wheelchair Cranston’s character Phillip Lecasse uses, and also what the film’s real message is.

What is The Plot of the Upside?

When we meet Phillip at the beginning of the film, it doesn’t seem as if he’s been confined to a wheelchair for long. He’s deeply depressed at the outset, clearly not adjusting well to his new lifestyle after a tragic hang gliding accident he suffered and his ex-wife’s passing. He’s looking for an assistant with the help of his caring and kind executive Yvonne, played by Nicole Kidman.

Enter Dell Scott. A down on his luck parolee who’s estranged from his wife and son, he’s bouncing from job interview to job interview without as much as a callback. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to get hired, he shows up at Lecasse’s swank penthouse apartment, desperate just for that signature that proves he’s actively looking for work.

Dell’s desperation and lack of respect for the process trigger something in Phillip. He hires Dell mainly because of how incompetent he thinks Dell will be in the role, almost hoping he fails due to his depression. Dell is overwhelmed in the role at first, though he greatly appreciates the large paycheck and luxury, live-in apartment with state of the art amenities.

The two spend the majority of the film learning each other’s worlds. Phillip takes Dell to the opera. Dell takes Phillip out for hot dogs. They come to respect and even like one another. As Dell and Phillip grow closer, Dell also begins working his way back into his son’s life.

Late in the film, Dell learns that Phillip has a pen pal to whom he writes romantic letters. Due to Dell’s antics, he ends up agreeing to meet her in person. Though the dinner goes well at first, she ends up saying they should remain friends. A heartbroken Phillip goes into another sad spell and fires Dell in misdirected anger.

In the end, Dell gets a new job manufacturing wheelchairs and buys a new home for his family. He reconnects with Phillip and takes him hang gliding. Phillip rediscovers his passion for life and strikes up a romance with Yvonne. Phillip and Dell remain friends to the present day.

What Kind of Wheelchair Does Bryan Cranston Use in the Upside?

Phillip’s wheelchair is known as an F5 Corpus. It features fully independent suspension, a 14″ seat elevator, and lowered seat to floor height for improved accessibility. It also features enhanced tilt functionality, with optional 10º, 20º, and 45º anterior tilt. It maintains 50º posterior tilt.

The wheelchair plays a big role in the movie, as it allows Phillip to perform a number of functions he wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

What is the Film’s Message?

The film’s message was that no matter what life throws your way, it’s important to cherish it and try to roll with the punches. Phillip’s character had been dealt a tough hand, but by connecting with Dell and learning more about his predicament, he understood that everyone has their separate battles to fight.

While living with a disability is a challenge, it doesn’t have to stop anyone from living a rewarding life that includes recreation, fulfilling work, and deep, meaningful relationships.

Bird Box Explained: Is the Janet Tucker School for the Blind a Real Place?

The Netflix film Birdbox debuted earlier this year and was a massive hit for the streaming service. The film stars Sandra Bullock as a mother trying to transport her two children through a post-apocalyptic wasteland while unable to use the power of sight.

One of the most prominent features of the film’s final act was a location known as the Janet Tucker School for the Blind. Watching the film may lead viewers to question whether or not the film’s climactic location exists in real life.

Let’s take a closer look at what happened in the film Birdbox and whether or not the school featured at the end of the film actually exists.

Synopsis

The story of Birdbox unfolds in a non-linear format. Sandra Bullock plays Marjorie, a reluctant mom who’s expecting a baby. As her sister drives her home from a doctor’s appointment, an unseen monster begins causing people to immediately commit suicide upon seeing it.

The only way to avoid it is to not look at it – effectively blinding yourself. The survivors have to get creative to avoid seeing the monster. Some wear blindfolds or keep their eyes closed. Others black out the windows of a car when they have to travel.

Marjorie ends up barricaded in a house with multiple strangers. The story flashes back and forth between that and the present day, where Marjorie transports two children from their hideout to a place they’ve heard about through a transistor radio. Along the way we see her resolve tested.

The Janet Tucker School for the Blind

Marjorie is able to successfully shield the eyes of her and her children from the monster. They arrive at their final destination: Janet Tucker’s School for the Blind. The final irony of the film is that the differently abled are now advantaged in this new society in which these horrible monsters terrorize those with the ability to see.

It’s the closest thing a story like this could get to a happy ending. The Janet Tucker School for the Blind is a sanctuary for Marjorie and her two children. It’s full of flowers, grass, singing birds, and smiling, happy people.

It’s a somewhat upbeat ending for a film that up until that point had been unceasingly bleak.

Is the Janet Tucker School for the Blind a Real Place?

In the film, the Janet Tucker School for the Blind is depicted as being in the middle of a forest, near the end of a long and winding river. It appears to be significantly separated from society. There are no cities or major metropolitan areas anywhere near it, making it a great location for the story’s hero to rest after spending the entire film on the run or in hiding from the monsters.

The film never provides an exact location for Janet Tucker’s School for the Blind, though the film itself takes place in northern California. By all accounts, it is not a real school. It appears to have been invented strictly for the purpose of the film. It does not exist in the novel – one of the several major differences between the film and the book.

Summary

Birdbox was a major hit with a twist ending that portrayed the disabled in a positive light. While the film had plenty of scares leading up to that point, it ended happily with the main character and her kids seeking refuge at the Janet Tucker School for the Blind.

While the Janet Tucker School for the Blind depicted a positive, happy environment for the blind children to learn and grow and the school as it existed in the film was located somewhere in the forests of northern California, the school does not exist in real life. It was invented as a plot device for the film.

New Drug Gives Growth and New Life To Girl With No Bones

Janelly Martnez-Amador was given the gift of life just when doctors had prepared her parents for what the doctors believed was inevitable. The adorable little girl was born with a severe form of hypophosphatasia, a genetic disorder that prevents skeletal mineralization. When things looked hopeless, a clinical trial of a new drug turned her situation around.

Nurses prepared Janelly for a photo session at the hospital, removing her tubes and dressing her in a cute pink outfit so that her parents could have a keepsake of their baby girl without all the medical equipment that was sustaining her life.  Janelly’s rare form of hypophosphatasia meant that she didn’t have the ribs to support breathing, and her parents were faced with the decision of continuing life-sustaining intervention, or letting their little girl go.

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