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Old 02-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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We bring our daughter's manual wheelchair for a couple reasons.

1) Although Disney World has quite a few ride cars that wheelchair accessible, some are only manual wheelchair accessible, not accessible to power wheelchairs.
The usual reason is that something sticks out from the bottom of the ride car that would hit the bottom of the power wheelchair, the ramp to get into the ride car is too steep or the space is too tight. Those attractions do have a manual wheelchair at those attraction that a person could transfer into, but my daughter is not able to sit in those types of wheelchairs.

2) My daughter does not have the stamina to drive her power wheelchair for a whole day at Disney World. I can drive it from the side, walking along next to her, but it is tiring for me to do that for long periods (arm and back position).

3) My daughter doesn't mind being pushed and really enjoys looking around - its a lot of mental work to keep watching everything going on around and be alert and ready to stop quickly or move out of the way if someone suddenly steps right out inform of you - which happens often.

4) A power wheelchair is more likely to get damaged on the plane trip than a manual wheelchir because there are so mny more pieces that need to work correctly.

Another possibility that might work for them would be to bring BOTH wheelchairs. We have considered that, but decided travel with one wheelchair is enough for us.

Some of the ECV rental places also rent power wheelchairs for people who are already experienced using one. We did look into that, but our daughter's wheelchair is an unusual size (very narrow adult) and she has a lot of custom items, like her seating system, that would not work if we could not get a wheelchair the same size as hers. Plus, she has other things, like a special seatbelt and foot straps.
If your friend's daughter has a more 'plain vanilla' power wheelchair thn my daughter has, taking the manual wheelchir and renting a power one might be an option for her.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks again SueM. The young lady who uses the wheelchair is a young adult (early 20's). I know that she can transfer from her chair into ride vehicles so finding a ride vehicle that will be able to accomodate a power wheelchair is not a concern. It is good to have all this info. I will pass it on to my friend.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Great photo, Sue! A picture is definitely worth a thousand words, especially with access!

How old is your daughter now?
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sandra Bostwick View Post
Great photo, Sue! A picture is definitely worth a thousand words, especially with access!

How old is your daughter now?
Thanks.

That picture was from our last trip in late October 2012. My daughter is in her mid 20s, but looks about 15.
She can't stand or walk without total support, but can bear weight to do a stand and pivot transfer (at least some of the time). Because she has cerebral palsy and tends to have arms and legs flying all over when she is excited, we do a lot of lifting transfers at WDW.
Luckily, she is small - 5 feet tall and about 82 pounds - so is easier to transfer than if he was bigger. People who see her in her wheelchair are surprised how tiny she is because she looks taller and her legs look very long when she is sitting there.

Last edited by SueM loves WDW; 02-26-2013 at 07:37 AM..
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:35 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SueM loves WDW View Post
This is a picture of my daughter in her wheelchair secured in the DME accessible bus.
Each bus has at least 2 wheelchair spots ; seats can be moved to make a space for a wheelchair.

Seeing the picture made me think of a couple of things to point out.

You can see some yellow stars on the wheel spokes and some of the flat black parts of the frame. You can only see a few of them, but they are actually on both sides of all the spokes.
Those are glow in the dark stickers. They were actually part of a set to make glow in the dark constellations on your ceiling and have held up quite well on the wheelchair.
They glow in dark queues, dark rides and at night. They are not bright or obtrusive, but provide a nice 'there is something there in the dark' marking for the wheelchair.
We also have a set of lights that we put on - purple and aqua. Again not bright, but makes the wheelchair more visible.

The neon green duct tape is marking the safe points for bus drivers to attach the tiedown hooks and straps on the bus. My daughter's manual wheelchair does not have built in tiedown points (her power wheelchair does). We picked out safe spots when she got the manual chair and marked them with duct tape.
Safe spots are welded on parts of the actual wheelchair frame - not anything that is bolted on ( although some wheelchairs come with tiedown loops bolted on, those are attached with stronger bolts designed for that purpose). You want 4 spots - 2 near the front, 2 at the rear and you want them as high up as possible on the frame. In my daughter's case, anything that is bright fuschia paint is part of the frame. Anything black is not.

Marking them saves time and makes things safer. I can just say 'you can attach the tiedowns where ever you see green tape' - no need to do a lot of explaining about which cross bar you mean and if the driver tries to put the hook somewhere you know is not safe, you can direct them back to the green tape.
(I have had drivers who are used to the more standard folding wheelchairs try to attach hooks just below the push handles because it is a high up spot. Maybe safe on a standard heavy duty folding chair because it is part of the frame. Not safe at all on my daughter's custom chair where the seatback folds forward to fold.

The tape markings are also useful for CMs in attractions with tiedowns, like the Safari and Toy Story Mania.

Last edited by SueM loves WDW; 02-26-2013 at 07:38 AM..
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:09 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HollyH View Post
Thanks so much! She definately has a power wheelchair. I hadn't thought about how heavy it would be to lift and put under the bus. Her Mom (my good friend) is currently trying to decide whether it would be better to bring a portable wheelchair or her power chair. I'm trying to get as much info for her as I can. (I ordered Passporter's Open Mouse last night).
So glad you ordered the Open Mouse. I hope it helps! :-)
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