In the world of health and disabilities, conferences occur on a regular basis. When conference topics are relevant to our readers, we’ll bring you a summary of the discussions and the decisions or actions that result.

1 Billion with Disabilities Face Substantial Financial, Health Barriers

One Billion with Disabilities

The World Health Organization (WHO) –-the UN’s international public health agency– and the World Bank –-the international financial institution whose official goal is the reduction of poverty-– have recently estimated that more than one billion people with disabilities are not receiving adequate access to mainstream services or specialized programs, with between 110-190 million of these people encountering significant difficulties. The organizations’ plea is for governments to increase efforts to improve their response to the needs of those with a disability. Few countries have even an ‘adequate’ mechanism in place.

World Health Organization & the World Bank

Director-General for WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, says, “Disability is part of the human condition… Almost every one of us will be permanently or temporarily disabled at some point in life. We must do more to break the barriers which segregate people with disabilities.”

Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, adds, “We need to help people with disabilities to gain equitable access to opportunities to participate and contribute to their communities. They have much to offer if given a fair chance to do so.”

World Report on Disability

To that, the authors of this first-ever “World Report On Disability” are hoping to raise awareness and inspire action. The WHO and the World Bank recommend that governments and their development partners provide their citizens who have disabilities:

  • Access to all mainstream services;
  • An investment in specific disability programs and services;
  • A national disability plan of action strategy;
  • An increase in public awareness and understanding;
  • Support for further research and training;
  • An open forum for discussion, design and implementation of these efforts.

World Health Organization

The report positively cites many countries’ disabilities programs efforts thus far, including Uganda’s Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project, which improves detection and rehabilitation of children with clubfoot by raising public awareness that clubfoot is correctable, improves the provision of foot orthotics, trains primary health personnel, and subsidizes transport costs, and Vietnam’s pursuit to make its buildings handicap accessible, allowing children with disabilities to learn in mainstream schools, and to provide specialized support for individual students, with training for administrators, teachers and parents. Nearly 150 countries and regional organizations have signed on, committing themselves to removing barriers so that people with disabilities may participate fully in their societies.

Stephen Hawking Presenting the World Report on Disability

“We have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation for people with disabilities, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock their vast potential,” said renowned theoretical physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking, welcoming this report. “It is my hope this century will mark a turning point for inclusion of people with disabilities in the lives of their societies.”

How do you feel your local community, state and country can improve accessibility?


Join AMS Vans at the Chicago Abilities Expo 2010


Join us at the Chicago Abilities Expo located at the Schaumburg Convention Center from July 9 – 11th.  This event focuses on the latest in technology and improving the lives of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, and health professionals.

Experience new and exciting products for the disabled along with workshops, wheelchair sports, kids entertainment, and so much more.  Every year is filled with new things to see.

AMS Vans will be attending this year with our latest fleet of handicap vans including the AMS Long Channel Van, the Honda Odyssey, and our other side and rear entry models including the Dodge, Chrysler, and Volkswagen.  Visit us at the Chicago Abilities Expo and save up to $2000 off select vehicles in our inventory.

To get directions and learn about the rest of the events happening at the Chicago Abilities Expo, visit:

Abilities Expo and Family Cafe

AMS Vans traveled to Anaheim, CA May 29th through May 31st to attend the Abilities Expo. The Abilities Expo is the biggest event in the US for the disability market and gives AMS the chance to show off our line of wheelchair accessible vehicles. The Expo attracts over 6,500 attendees who come to see new products, learn about advances in technology, and attend special events and seminars. AMS Vans had the opportunity to meet with many new customers (and catch up with some of the existing AMS Vans family!) to show them our new vehicles, and discuss why AMS Vans is different than other wheelchair accessible vehicle companies.

Anaheim was fantastic, and the team (Diana, Kip, Dallas, and Dennis) had a great time meeting new customers and absorbing all of the other interesting products and events. There was even an appearance by Aaron Fotheringham, who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for performing the 1st wheelchair back flip! We’ll be posting video of him on the ramp at the Expo soon, so stay tuned!

The second conference that AMS Vans attended this past weekend (June 5-7th) was the Family Cafe Conference in Orlando, FL, which was held at Disney World. Diana Conte was there to talk with participants and show them the van she brought along from Atlanta. We were really excited to participate for the first year, and although attendance was a bit off, the AMS products were well received. Consumers definitely liked the idea of saving thousands on our vans!

In the end, AMS Vans not only wants to sell our wheelchair accessible vans, but we really want to keep in touch with you – the disability community – and your wants and needs. We’re building a community for you on the internet (here on our blog, Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, etc), so that no matter where you might be, we can still keep in touch. We feel that the community will become a great place to find and share information to make living with a disability easier. We hope that you will become a part of our family, whether you own an AMS van yet or not.

We will keep you updated with our schedule and which shows we will be attending next. Hopefully, we’ll be at the same conference soon.  Our team would love to meet you, and you must experience our amazing vans for yourself!