When asked, “How many U.S. presidents used wheelchairs?” many of our followers answered that there was only one U.S. president who was wheelchair-bound, but there were actually two. The majority of the public knew that Franklin D. Roosevelt used a wheelchair, but few knew Woodrow Wilson used one as his condition was kept from the public until after his death. In honor of Presidents’ Day, we will cover a few more interesting items about these two presidents in wheelchairs.
32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) was thought to be the first president with a significant physical disability, which he contracted just over a decade before he became president. FDR served for 12 years, while using leg braces and a cane in public, and a modified wheelchair in private. Despite the fears of his advisors, FDR’s disability was never brought up as a problem during his campaign or presidency.
“Franklin’s illness proved a blessing in disguise, for it gave him strength and courage he had not had before. He had to think out the fundamentals of living and learn the greatest of all lessons – infinite patience and never-ending persistence,” described Eleanor Roosevelt in her autobiography.
28th President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson served two terms as president, with the last three years of his second term being spent in a wheelchair due to a massive stroke. Unlike FDR, Woodrow Wilson went into isolation and hid his condition from the public eye while his wife was said to have made many presidential decisions for him. When news of his condition went public, the newspapers expressed the public’s view that he was not fit for presidency; however, there was no mechanism in place to remove him.
When researching these two accounts, we are reminded of how far we have come, and how far we have yet to come. Today, in honor of Presidents’ Day, think about these two wheelchair users and other wheelchair users who have paved the way for users today. Think also about how you can make a difference and make the world more accessible for future wheelchair users.
This week, while we prepare for Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to list the things we love about one of our favorite products; the Passport Vertical Platform Lift. There’s just something about the Passport Vertical Platform Lift, displaying the perfect marriage of accessibility and advanced technology that makes us all warm and fuzzy inside. Here are 5 reasons why you’ll love the Passport Vertical Platform Lift, too!
- Lightweight Frame – Our beloved Passport Vertical Platform Lift weighs less than 400 pounds and is considered the lightest platform lift of its kind on the market. This lightweight design makes the Passport Vertical Platform Lift easier to transport and install.
- Low Maintenance Install – Our installers AND customers love how low maintenance the Passport Vertical Platform Lift is at the point of installation. The Plug-N-Play feature offers a prewired gate and tower, allowing you to simply plug in the electrical components and start using.
- Safe and Stable – The Passport Vertical Platform Lift offers many safety features for added stability. Explore the endless safety options such as the safety rail, top landing gate, interlock system and much more.
- Weather Any Storm – Another safety feature of the Passport Vertical Platform Lift is the Weather Guard which helps protect the base of your lift from rain, snow and other outdoor elements.
- Comes When I Call – Yes, the Passport Vertical Platform Lift always comes when you call, using the convenient Call/Send Control. You can even add up to two additional stations that are available with a mounting kit and wireless remote!
These are the reason WE love the Passport Vertical Platform Lift, but we’d love to hear what you’re reasons are. Share with us what you love about an EZ-ACCESS product!
At EZ-ACCESS, our top priority is safety. Since 1984, we have been looking for ways to improve the safety and usability of mobility ramps, platform lifts and mobility accessories. For this reason, we want to put the warning out there that not all mobility ramps are created equal and even safe mobility ramps can be unsafe if incorrectly installed. Hopefully, talking about unsafe ramps will get people thinking about how to make their community more accessible.
Requirements of Mobility Ramps
First, let’s cover the important characteristics of a safe mobility ramp. The five specifications listed are requirements that businesses must meet in the United States, and residential customers should use as safety guidelines:
- Slope – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that all mobility ramps must have a 1:12 slope ratio or an inch of rise for each foot of wheelchair ramp length.
- Flat Areas – ADA also requires a flat surface of 5’X5’ at both the top and bottom of the mobility ramp.
- Width – ADA requires mobility ramps to be at least 36 inches wide across the full length of the mobility ramp.
- Handrails – ADA requires there to be handrails on both sides of mobility ramps.
- Turns – The ADA allows for no more than 30 feet in a single run without a turn or resting platform.
Now that we know what to look for in a safe mobility ramp, let’s see if we can pick up where these businesses went wrong in their decision to be more accessible. Visit https://www.facebook.com/Wheelchairrampsandaccessfromhell to see if you can identify which of the five mobility ramp safety guidelines were not followed in the construction of these mobility ramps.
If your business is in need of an ADA compliant mobility ramp, check out our Titan Modular Access System. If you need a safe mobility ramp at home, check out our PATHWAY Modular Ramp System.