Mobility Supercenter partnership goes Live

Partnership marries accessibility, technology
Monday, February 25, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. – A mobility van company and a home theater system company may seem like an odd couple, but provider Kaye Crenshaw says it’s been a “good marriage.”

That’s because the two Richmond, Va.-based businesses, Mobility Supercenter and Livewire, can provide services to make a person’s home accessible and safe. While Crenshaw provides stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, ramps and other home medical equipment to make homes accessible, Livewire CEO Henry Clifford uses technology to help people with accessibility needs control the electronics in their homes.

“What (Clifford) does really complemented the things we do for our clients,” said Crenshaw, CEO of Mobility Supercenter.

Livewire has had a mobile kiosk and an employee stationed at Mobility Supercenter’s Richmond location since the provider moved into its 40,000-square-foot facility in early 2012. So far, Livewire has put systems into about a dozen homes. Each solution is completely tailored to the client, so it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000, Clifford says.

Livewire offers a chance for Mobility Supercenter’s clients to control their TV and computer, doors, thermostat, security, lights and communication systems through technology, including sip-n-puff, iPad and a wheelchair-based controller.

“We listen to clients and understand their challenges so we can use technology to simplify the lives of people who are already challenged enough,” said Clifford. “It’s incredibly rewarding.”

Crenshaw says having Livewire at Mobility Supercenter allows the provider to offer well-rounded solutions that clients can appreciate. She gave the example of a client who uses a patient lift to get from his wheelchair into his bed, then realizes he’s left the doors unlocked. What might be a 20-minute process to get back up and lock the doors can now be done with the touch of an iPad.

“The future is here,” said Crenshaw. “This is like things you saw on ‘The Jetsons.’”