"Over my 20 years of experience with wheelchair users, I have encountered countless frustrating and even dangerous situations where people who need wheelchairs are unable to get them. Users First Alliance is trying to DO something about that. If you are frustrated with the limited choice, quality or service of your mobility equipment you are not alone. Unfortunately, your voice is not being heard by the people who set funding policies for the very equipment you need to live your life.
The disability movement has been successful in improving environmental accessibility, yet access to wheelchairs and wheelchair cushions has eroded as government and private health care policies have decreased coverage for these essential items. One of the reasons funding for wheelchairs has decreased is that nobody speaks out. Although there are many disability advocacy groups, not one focuses specifically on access to wheelchairs. Users First Alliance seeks to unite the voice of the wheelchair user by creating a community of people who believe quality wheelchairs and cushions enable people to live more fulfilling and productive lives. It is ESSENTIAL we illustrate to the policy makers that access to quality equipment, service and product choice ultimately decreases health care costs. And, more importantly, improves your quality of life.
You have a right to appropriate equipment that allows you to live your life. And, you have the power to make a difference! Tell your story about how your equipment makes it possible for you to participate in life AND tell how not getting the correct equipment has negatively affected your life. You HAVE to let the policy makers know what you need, why you need it and how you feel!
Get creative, have fun, tell your story through video, photos or writing. But speak out!!! It is your voice, your words. If you do not speak out - NO ONE can do it but you. The policy makers and insurance companies do not want to hear from health care professionals or equipment suppliers - they want and need to hear from you.
You are the only one who can do this!!!!
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org your story.
Please share this with others, if we do not have a voice with policy makers, funding for wheelchairs will eventually disappear, regardless of the ADA. Visit www.usersfirst.org."