Accessibility: from Family TIES of Massachusetts
By Laura Noble, Project Director, Family TIES of Massachusetts
Accessibility refers to the design of environments, products, devices, or services for people with disabilities. Many Family TIES Regional Coordinators as well as the children, youth and parents that they serve, have faced issues of accessibility both in terms of devices and also access into and within the home. Wheelchair accessibility and accessibility within the home environment are two issues of critical importance facing children, youth and their families.Transportation in a non-accessible vehicle can not only be challenging, it is dangerous for individuals who need a wheelchair for mobility. It is much safer to travel and transition in and out of an accessible van.
There are many different wheelchair accessible vehicle options to choose from. Research the different options online, attend conferences or resource fairs and talk to other families. Dealerships that specialize in wheelchair accessible vehicles are a great resource. They can show you different options and may offer an option to rent, to allow you to try before you buy.
One important thing to keep in mind when determine funding options is the type of wheelchair your child uses. Many funders do not offer assistance if a portable wheelchair is used, one that is able to be folded and placed in a trunk.
Call Family TIES for assistance with research and ideas for funding: 800-905-TIES | www.massfamilyties.org
Information and Resources
MA Department of Public Health:
State Agency Programs:
- Department of Developmental Services, Flexible Funding Supports
- MA Commission for the Blind
- The Home Modification Loan Program