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Are you driving in a wheelchair accessible vehicle?

After dealing with a major workplace accident, some individuals experience long-term or permanent disability. In extreme cases, your disability could leave you in a wheelchair for years or even the rest of your life. We know that this can be an enormous change in your life and it's common to feel depressed or think that your freedom is gone forever. While we can't tell you that life hasn't changed in a huge way, we do know that modern technology can help you stay mobile.

May is Mobility Awareness Month, and manufacturers of wheelchair accessible vehicles launch campaigns to bring awareness about such options to individuals. If you aren't using such a vehicle, then this month is a great time to find out more about your options.

A wheelchair accessible vehicle makes it easier for you to either drive or ride while in your wheelchair. In some cases, the vehicle is outfitted with special controls that let you drive it without use of your legs or feet. Sometimes, a ramp lets you get in place in passenger locations or the driver's seat while in your wheelchair. In other cases, you might transfer yourself from the wheelchair to the driver's seat and place the wheelchair in the passenger seat or on the floor -- this, of course, requires you to be able to fold and pick up the chair from a seated position.

As with anything in life, getting into and operating such a vehicle takes practice. Often, therapists can help you with the exercises needed to master such skills after an injury. If you are dealing with expenses and medical bills following a workplace injury that left you disabled, it's important to understand what workers' compensation might cover and how to file a claim.

Source: Automotive Mobility Solutions, "Handicap Vehicle Tips for New Wheelchair Users," accessed April 29, 2016

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