STILETTO – a high pointed HEEL on a woman’s shoe or a small dagger.
WHEELS – a medieval instrument of torture or a vehicle for personal mobility.
I paid a deposit last month for a new, my first, wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) – a Kia Sedona from the WAV-Evolution guys. I should be happy but … guess what? I’m not. I have hated making this decision. I hate all of the options available to me and I hate having to make compromises. The product offer in this market epitomizes everything that riles me about the lifestyle choices available to those of us who are wheelchair users, in particular:
Do I want to sit up front or as a rear passenger?
For real? I find it totally shocking that around ninety percent of WAV’s carry the wheelchair passenger in the back. How many adults want to sit in the back of their car? I, for one, do not!
Having only MPV’s or transit vans as a vehicle choice
Most cars do not have the physical dimensions to accommodate a seated wheelchair in the front. The demand for WAV’S is relatively small. The process of complying with rules and regulations is onerous and expensive.
The consequence of this is restricted choice for the consumer and little industry competition. I was left with a choice of transit van – ugh! For a London driver – double ugh! - or an MPV – Chrysler Grand Voyager, Kia Sedona or a Fiat Multipla .. or a couple of vehicles I cannot discuss without being truly offensive about them!
You know you’re in big trouble when you’re trying (and failing!) to convince yourself that a Fiat Multipla might be quite funky…
Choosing the rear or side entry or WAV-Evo option
Am I the only person whose choice here is predicated by ensuring my girlfriends do not break their nails helping me? I have tried all the options…see items on Cars here…and my – single - critieria was satisfied only by the WAV-Evo. How sad is that?