Page 16 - Mobility Management, February 2018
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Automotive Access: Update
BraunAbility Documentary Shows Lack of Access in New York City
The  rst documentary  lm by BraunAbility suggests that accessible transportation in New York City is still just
a dream for many wheelchair users.
Access Denied is a short  lm by Reid Davenport, a  lmmaker who has cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair.
During the documentary, Davenport demonstrates the realities of being a wheelchair user trying to navi- gate through New York City. Discussed in the  lm are the city’s supposedly accessible taxicab  eet, ride-sharing systems, ferries, buses and subways.
This is the kind of soft discrimination that people don’t want to identify as discrimination
— Jim Weisman
The  lm shows what happens when Davenport and
a friend try to get onto the subway at a supposedly accessible station (only 24 percent of city stations claim to be accessible). Davenport attempts to use UberWAV, the ride-sharing app’s accessible vehicle system. Other wheelchair users tell Davenport about trying to use other
forms of public transportation.
While New York City is often held up as an example
of American freedom, “not enough has been said about how that freedom is  eeting for people who use wheelchairs,” Davenport says in the  lm, pointing out that the city has a half-million residents with disabilities.
In a message to industry stakeholders, BraunAbility explained why it sponsored the  lm and was helping to distribute it: “While it wouldn’t be fair to say we don’t have a dog in this  ght, this documentary was created from the recognition that the political opposition to providing accessible transportation for people in wheelchairs in New York City was hurting the people we care most about: wheelchair users. Access Denied isn’t about selling accessible taxis. It isn’t about a company at all. It’s about the idea that every effort should be made to ensure America’s great cities are accessible to everyone.”
View the  lm at watch?v=Hgvd6-Vw5uw.
“This is the kind of soft discrimination that people don’t want to identify as discrimination,” said Jim Weisman, president/CEO of United Spinal Association. “I thought by now we wouldn’t be having these conversations.” m
   Ability Center Acquires Accessible Mobility Center of Santa Rosa
Ability Center has acquired Accessible Mobility Center of Santa Rosa in northern California.
With the acquisition, announced Dec. 28, Ability Center expands from seven to eight locations in
California. In all, Ability Center has 14 branch of ces selling, installing and servicing mobility equipment, wheelchair-accessible vans, driving aids, turning auto- motive seats and wheelchair lifts.
Ability Center CEO Darrell Heath said in the announce- ment, “Our 14th location allows us at Ability Center to help more people in the disabled community with an expanded footprint in California. The North Bay has been on our radar for a couple of years, as it helps  ll the gap between our Sacramento store and our Central Coast and Central Valley locations. The Accessible Mobility Center of Santa Rosa is a welcomed addition to [the] Ability Center family.”
Accessible Mobility Center’s tenured staff will join the Ability Center and continue to work with clients in the Santa Rosa area. m

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