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More about wheelchairs or scooters. - helen-louise
baratron
baratron
More about wheelchairs or scooters.
Re: my last post, I've made a list of pros and cons of various mobility devices. It's long, so I'll cut it to spare your friends page.

Manual Wheelchair
+ I have a wheelchair already.
- It sucks.
+ I should almost certainly be able to get a Personal Assistant to help me at College under DSA.
- I don't want a Personal Assistant to help me – it's patronising, I feel anxious having a person hanging around who I don't know, and I feel guilty making the person wait around for me to need something.
- I'm uncertain of security implications of giving a PA access to locked rooms/swipe-card areas that they would not qualify for by themselves.
+ Can take it on trains. Don't have to book use of a ramp if I have someone to lift the wheelchair onto the train.
- Can't get to the station without someone else to help me.
+ Can take it on buses. Apparently buses are free if you're in a wheelchair even without a Freedom Pass.
+ Can get it in pretty much any London Taxi.

Electric Wheelchair
+ Don't need a Personal Assistant, just training in how to use it.
- Don't have one already, and probably won't be able to claim for one under DSA as it's a "mobility-related" expense.
? Might be able to claim rental of a wheelchair under DSA only on days when I have college? Difficult due to the lack of formal timetable with a PhD.
? Although I don't have one, I don't need to buy one as rental is possible – but there will be few choices in rented electric wheelchairs. Most rental places have one model.
+ Can get to the station by myself.
+ Can take it on trains as long as it is no wider than 700mm, no longer than 1200mm and no heavier than 300kg (including the weight of the passenger). Will have to book the use of a ramp (which is probably only possible until some stupidly early time of night, need to check).
+ Can take it on buses with the same size restrictions. Buses are still free.
+ Can get it into some London Taxis (apparently, the newer, wider TX4s). This may mean booking a cab rather than using the first one that comes.
- People think you're faking it if you get out of an electric wheelchair to walk around. (Though I suppose this depends on the presence or absence of sticks/crutches on the back?).

Scooter
+ Don't need a Personal Assistant, just training in how to use it.
- Don't have one already, and probably won't be able to claim for one under DSA as it's a "mobility-related" expense.
? Might be able to claim rental of a scooter under DSA only on days when I have college? Difficult due to the lack of formal timetable with a PhD.
? Although I don't have one, I don't need to buy one as rental is possible. Several different types of scooter are available to rent.
+ Can get to the station by myself.
+ Can take it on trains as long as it is no wider than 700mm & no longer than 1200mm if 3-wheeled, no wider than 650mm & no longer than 1120mm if 4-wheeled, and no heavier than 230kg (including the weight of the passenger). Will have to book the use of a ramp (which is probably only possible until some stupidly early time of night, need to check). Need to apply for a special "Scooter Card" on South West Trains, don't know about other train companies.
- Can't take it on buses.
- Probably can't take it into a London Taxi, I haven't been able to find out details.
- This would seriously screw up me getting to college, because I don't have the energy to cope with "driving" myself 2 miles on the pavement.
- Am stressed about lead-acid batteries in something that can topple over.
- Probably can't get it into at least one of the libraries that I commonly use - narrow doors and not enough space.
+ People are generally used to the idea that scooter users *can* walk.
+ Some scooters look nifty!

Really, it's looking like I either need a PA for my manual wheelchair (UGH UGH UGH, oh, do speak now if you're looking for a job!), or an electric wheelchair. There are non-horrible electric wheelchairs on eBay for ~£300, but most of them are for sale because the previous owner died!

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Comments
From: jinian Date: 7th April 2011 16:01 (UTC) (Link)
It's not like the wheelchair is cursed if the previous owner died. :) In my experience plenty of people think you're faking if you get out of a manual wheelchair to walk around, anyway, so that doesn't seem like a big difference if you go with electric.
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