At ADAPTS, part of our mission is to advocate for legislation that saves lives and empowers people with disabilities.
All Wheels Up! founder and president Michele Erwin, whose son has SMA and uses a power chair, has been advocating for a wheelchair lock down on commercial airplanes for many years. “Being able to fly on airplanes from the safety of your wheelchair is something the disability community has wanted for years, but right now it’s a bad experience. Wheelchairs get damaged constantly and even sent to the wrong airport,” she says. “We are currently the only organization crash testing lockdown wheelchairs for use in commercial airplanes.”
The goal: For those who use electric wheelchairs, as well as properly modified manual wheelchairs to independently maneuver themselves onto the plane with dignity and safety. (Click on the video above to see the demo of our proposed solution.)
Erwin recently made breakthrough progress legislatively. Funds were allocated in the FAA Reauthorization bill (same one that requires airlines to report wheelchair damage) to crash test wheelchairs. More good news: I gladly accepted Michele’s invitation to join the Board of Directors as Cabin Safety Advisor. Looking forward to collaborating with AWU to make air travel more accessible.