Three Ways To Find Wheelchair-Accessible Transportation

If you or someone you know uses a wheelchair, you know it can sometimes be a headache trying to coordinate transportation, and that even simple outings require plenty of planning. There are more accessible options than before, but it's not always immediately evident where to find these resources. If you don't have access to dedicated medical transportation, here are three different ways you can locate accessible transportation.

Use A Rideshare Network

Rideshare networks have seen many improvements over the past few years, especially in terms of accessibility. Some of the big names in the business have even established features specifically for people with disabilities, which means that you can request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Since these are relatively new additions, you may need to try more than one app to find one that provides this service in your area, but there are plenty to choose from. Some of these apps will also let you plan ahead of time, so a vehicle will be ready at the time you need.

To use one of these services, you only need your smartphone and the app of your choice. If you don't have a smartphone or aren't able to use apps, many rideshare sites have mobile versions of their websites you can use to book a ride.

Use Accessibility-Specific Apps

There are a number of apps for your smartphone that are dedicated to helping people with all kinds of disabilities plan a trip. They include features like finding accessible bathrooms in your area, locating restaurants that deliver or have certain types of food available, and listing nearby medical services that may be necessary. These apps can help you find not just accessible transport, but all accessible locations in the area you're visiting, helping you plan your entire trip around your specific needs. They can also help navigate wheelchair-accessible public transportation routes if necessary.

When searching for one of these apps, be sure to check its ratings and reviews, and give it a test run before going on a real outing to verify that the information it's providing is correct.

Search for Volunteer Driver Programs

Volunteer driver programs are provided by various entities like churches and non-profits, and unless they are part of a nationwide chain, operate on a local level. These programs are often designed around providing transportation for the disabled or elderly, and so they are equipped for all kinds of accessible equipment. What's more, as they are volunteer programs, they are also affordable, if not completely free. Some will request an optional donation, but they are rarely mandatory. If you're concerned about cost, be sure to call ahead to ask what you can expect. With these programs, you will likely need to plan some time in advance rather than booking the day of, as vehicles and drivers can be limited.