Wheelchairs and mobility scooters are life-changers for people with disabilities, restoring their independence. Navigating through homes and communities becomes easier, bringing joy and a better quality of life. These amazing aids are not just for convenience but open doors to new opportunities that might not have been there before. But when it comes to travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter, it can be a little overwhelming.
What to consider before buying a wheelchair or mobility scooter
When searching for the right mobility aid in Australia, rely on the expertise of retailers who can guide you to the best fit. Provide them with essential details, including your travel distance, destinations, public transport preferences, and the types of surfaces you’ll encounter. Also keep in mind the following criteria:
- The dimensions should fit within 1300mm by 800mm and be less than 750mm wide, with a total height under 1500mm when seated for accessible taxi travel.
- The combined weight of user and device must not exceed 300kg, and it should have four tie-down points for taxi use, meeting the manoeuvrability standards of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.
- If you need a medical oxygen gas or air cylinder, make sure it has been medically prescribed to you, is fully restrained to your device, and weighs no more than 5kg when full.
- For mobility scooter passengers using a wheelchair accessible taxi, they must transfer into a seat after dismounting from their scooter.
- Caution should be exercised when attaching extras like canopies or flags, as they could increase height and obstruct the driver’s view or inconvenience other passengers.
What to consider before you use public transport
Public transport is an inclusive option for all, whether you’re able-bodied or rely on a wheelchair or mobility scooter. Before using public transport, it’s essential to do some research and keep the following tips in mind:
- Ensure that your wheelchair or mobility scooter complies with the Transport Standards and is suitable for public transport. If you have any concerns, discuss them with the transport company.
- Familiarise yourself with the capabilities of your mobility device and consider travelling during off-peak times for your initial journeys to allow for easier navigation.
- Plan ahead before travelling, as not all public transport services may be accessible. When it comes to taxis, pre-book an accessible taxi and inform the company of your requirements.
- Motorised wheelchairs or mobility scooters should be registered to individuals or organisations, such as nursing homes or education institutions.
Travelling with a wheelchair or mobility scooter on public transport is becoming more accessible. If you’re unsure of anything, visit the Department of Transport and Main Road website to find out more. Before you purchase your mobility aid, make sure it fits the standards for public transport use. If you’re unsure, simply ask the retailer you’re going to buy from to assist you.
A disability should not limit your possibilities
At Equip U, we are committed to promoting independence and mobility for people with disabilities and we have some great options for mobility aids in Townsville. Unlike other retailers, we don't just offer standard products like mobility scooters and accessories. We also provide in-home trials to residents of Queensland, as well as maintenance and servicing for any mobility products. Our NDIS registration allows us to provide funding options so that access to these services isn't limited based on where you live. Our ultimate goal is to work closely with you to bring your vision for improved mobility to life.
If you have any questions about the types of products we offer or how they work, or if you would like to schedule a free at-home product demonstration, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us today.