Seen and heard
When it comes to efforts to preserve access to wheelchairs, industry stakeholders are being seen and heard.
One indicator of this: A post by Ann Eubank on the NRRTS listserv this week. Eubank and the Users First Alliance had a story and an ad published in an insert of The Washington Post that commemorated the 20th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The theme of the story and the ad: Having wheelchair-accessible parking and restrooms is great, but it means nothing if consumers don't have the appropriate seating and mobility equipment. See page 3 of the eight-page insert!
Another: I found out on Friday that Sen. Arlen Specter is circulating a "dear colleague" letter to delay the elimination of the first-month purchase option for standard power wheelchairs. There's already a letter being circulated in the House; it has about two dozen signatures (including eight from Pennsylvania!). The deadline for signers to the Senate letter is Sept. 23. The deadline for the House letter is Sept. 22.
One more (this one isn't a direct result of the industry's efforts , but it can only help stakeholders): I received a press release today announcing the 17 "innovations" selected as the 2010 da Vinci Awards finalists. The awards were created by the Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society to celebrate "innovations" that provide "equal access and opportunity for all." This year's "innovations" include an all-accessible county park and a "freedom" kayak. Winners will be selected Sept. 30.