According to statistics, some 20% of the population suffers from some sort of physical disability and sometimes this can make enjoying the great outdoors difficult or even impossible in some cases. But rest assured RV’s, along with some added accessories can provide some safer solutions to our differently-abled friends, family or even ourselves in some of these situations.
For example, an autistic boy in Colorado recently made headlines for his family’s use of an RV to transport the boy to a nearby hospital instead of using expensive emergency services, in his case, an ambulance. When twelve-year-old William Lofland suffers from unpredictable and uncontrollable autistic episodes, the RV provides him with “a need for sensory input” when making these journeys afforded by driving their motor home over rolling hills or bumpy roads.
A Family’s Neighborhood Battle
Sadly for this family and their troubled little boy, the head of their neighborhood’s Architectural Control Committee, Jim Cassidy, states the RV violates the neighborhood’s covenants by staying in the family’s driveway for more than 48 hours. But on a happier note, Paul Temaat, the man who heads all eleven of the architectural control committees throughout the neighborhood doesn’t agree. He told FOX31 news, “I want to make it clear that (the neighborhood association) does not support what he (Jim Cassidy) is doing.”
The Loflands have filed a Federal Fair Housing Act complaint with The Department of Housing and Urban Development as this seems appears to be violating the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) that offers, “reasonable accommodations” be made for the disabled.
Thankfully they are receiving much more support since their struggle has been made public. The boy’s mom Hannah says that she has received hundreds of emails supporting her family after the story aired and said, “90 percent of the people said this is not us, we’re great neighbors, we welcome you, what can we do to help?”
Another Man’s Journey
Over at the RVShare blog, David Sherrer tells his own story about how he’s campaigning for some simple changes in the RV industry that can make a big impact on his life and for others with disabilities. Sherrer, who was shot three times and rendered a paraplegic, knows how hard it is to enjoy the great outdoors when struggling with his handicap.
Although there are very few companies that make specialized units for the disabled, makers of the Newman Canyon Star model of mobile homes, offers a unit that has a wheelchair accessible floor plan with power chair lifts, along with handrails for extra safety and support.
From Sea to Shining Sea
It’s Sherrer’s mission to not only change the travel trailer industry itself, but he’s also on a journey to travel from coast-to-coast and visit campgrounds, RV manufacturers, and suppliers in search of more support for his cause. He would like the RV builders to consider options like twist style door handles instead of lever style handles that would allow people with disabilities to enter and exit their rigs with greater ease.
He’d also like to see more help with those in wheelchairs that can use a ramp inside their toy hauler, which would make the door between the garage and the living space much wider. He wants to show us and the travel trailer industry that there are many business opportunities for RV suppliers who are willing to think outside of the box and market to the other 20% of our population that is disabled.
Adding these types of accessories to RV’s can make them more accommodating for everyone, especially the handicapped. Extra safety features, like harnessing exterior lighting can also make your RV, mobile home or travel trailer safer and more comfortable.
Please contact us today if you have lighting, safety or security issues about your travel trailer or mobile home. We’d be happy to help you accommodate your mobile unit to be brighter and better for your family.