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Mobility Terms and Definitions

Mobility Scooter Terms

Anti-tip - Mounted in the back of the scooter, this mechanism stops the scooter from tipping over backwards.

Shock Absorbers - Installed in the Breeze is an advanced shock absorption system, as used in motorcycles. The system uses both spring and hydraulic absorbers for keeping your ride safe and smooth.

Automatic Brake - An electric brake installed in the motor stops the vehicle automatically whenever the driver releases the throttle.

BatteryGauge - Displays the status of your batteries at any given time and how long you have left on your journey.

Power Unit - This unit incorporates the motor, gear, and differential into one strong, chainless unit, giving your scooter more reliability and safety.

Hand Brake - An emergency brake designated for use in case the automatic brake has stopped working unexpectedly.

Turn Radius - Every mobility scooters vehicle has a different distance between its four wheels. It is this that determines a vehicle's turn radius. The smaller the radius is, the easier it is for the scooter to maneuver tight corners.

Chassis  - A sturdy metal frame that contributes to the scooter's stability and safety.

Ergonomic Design - Our scooters have an ergonomic design, taking into consideration the driver's physical condition and his motor capacity. This is to ensure our customers a user-friendly vehicle no matter what.

Stairlift Glossary of Terms

Stairlift jargon made easier – a complete guide to understanding all things regarding stairlifts.

Stairlift Track – The stairlift track is fixed in most cases directly to the stairs and not the wall. The stairlift unit is then fixed upon the track enabling the stairlift to move up and down the stairs. Stairlift tracks are usually around 4-5” wide and are made from aluminium.

Powered / Manual Swivel Seat – A swivel seat is a device that enables the top half of the stairlift (where the user would sit) to be rotated away from the staircase so that the user is facing another direction. It’s designed to make getting on and off the stairlift easy and safe. It’s main use is usually at the very top of the stairs for direct access to the landing area. They come in two options, manual and powered. Manual swivel seats are the standard option on most current stairlift models. Powered swivel seats are an upgraded feature.

Width When Folded – The majority of stairlifts come with folding arms, seats and footrests. “Width when folded” measurements are to give the user an idea of how much room will be available on the stairs once the stairlift is folded away after use (arms, seat and footrest all folded together against the wall).

Diagnostic Display – Most stairlifts now come fitted with a diagnostic display as standard. This enables the user to identify a problem with the stairlift via the handbook and also gives stairlift engineers a quick guide to any problems.

Weight Capacity – This refers to the maximum user weight that the stairlift is able to carry up and down the stairs.

AC Powered - AC stands for Alternating Current and is commonly associated with older electric driven stairlifts.

DC Powered – DC stands for Direct Current meaning battery operated. The majority of today’s stairlifts are powered this way due to the many advantages over AC powered stairlifts.

Toggle Controls / Joystick – Usually located on the stairlift arm, the toggle controls / joystick is a simple device that enables the user to operate the stairlift by lightly pressing left or right to control the direction up or down the stairs.

Parking Points / Charging Points – Parking points are usually located at the top and bottom of the stairlift track where the user would end their journey and are a common feature on DC powered stairlifts. Charging points are usually fitted in the same place so that when the stairlift is parked either at the top or bottom, the stairlift batteries are charged automatically.

Manual / Powered Hinge Track – Occasionally, the design of hallway and positioning of doors at the bottom of the stairs, means the stairlift is unable to park at the very bottom. A hinge track can overcome this problem as it’s designed so that the bottom part can be folded down when in use and up when not in use. They come in two options, powered and manual.

Manual / Powered Footrest – Footrests are a standard feature on all stairlifts and offer support and comfort while travelling along the stairs and when alighting the stairlift. Manual footrests can be raised or lowered via the footrest handle, powered footrests can be operated by the press of a button and are automatically lowered and raised by a motor.

Stand And Perch / Perched Stairlift – Ideal for users who cannot bend their knees to sit, the seat is higher and the user perches on the seat. This can also be an advantage on narrow stairs to stop the knees protruding out as far.

Safety Edges – Safety edges stop the stairlift immediately if anything is blocking it’s progress along the stairs. This then enables the user to safely remove the obstruction. These are usually located around the footrest and stairlift carriage.

Vehicular / Car Terms

Adaptive – Changed or modified to suit a new or different purpose. If a vehicle is adapted for wheelchair use, the floor may be raised, a lift or ramp installed or perhaps doors are widened.

Conversion – The action of what is done to a van or other vehicle to make it accessible and driveable for those with disabilities. Most vehicles roll off the assembly line at a manufacturing plant as a passenger van without ramps, lifts or other wheelchair or accessible equipment. The vehicle is then modified by a separate company or NMEDA manufacturer that installs accessible and adaptive devices. It is then called a conversion van ready for use by someone with disabilities.

Full-size Vans – Recommended for larger families with multiple members in a wheelchair or for an individual using a large wheelchair that would not traditionally fit in a minivan.

Hand Controls – For seniors and those with progressive muscle weakness, hand controls can compensate for decreasing strength and range of motion in the driver’s hands and legs. Occupational therapists often recommend such devices:

Push/pull controls require the most arm strength. The control must be pushed to brake; pulled and held to accelerate.

Push/right angle controls are the most popular because it’s less fatiguing than push/pull. The user must push the control forward to brake and down toward the thigh with a slight pull to the torso for acceleration.

Push/twist controls are used very similar to a motorcycle. The vehicle will accelerate with a twist of the handle and will brake with a push of the hand control lever.

Push/rock controls are used similar to slot machines. The driver must rock his or her hand on the top of the handle – rocking back to accelerate and forward to apply the brakes.

Kneeling – The van actually “kneels” by lowering itself closer to the ground for easy loading and unloading. (Air suspension puts the magic in kneeling). It makes it easier to get a wheelchair into and out of the vehicle.

Lifts – Wheelchair lifts for an accessible vehicle are available to raise the individual up to the vehicle. They offer a variety of features such as whisper-quiet operation and remote controls, depending on what is needed and what can be afforded. Although their automation makes them more convenient than ramps, they are more expensive. Other features include:

Automatic or electric roll stops assure the wheelchair stays in place during operation.

Threshold sensor mats are installed inside the van to warn users against exiting if the lift is not level with the floor of the van.

Integrated manual backup systems provide a manual backup pump within the driver’s reach and allow the platform to be raised and lowered manually in case of power failure.

Bridging mechanisms allow users to safely board the lift from sidewalks or inclines.

Standard hand-held control, on-lift controls and remote controls assist with lift operations.

Minivans – They offer economical gas mileage, are easy to park and permit quick transfers in and out of the driver seat. There are a variety of minivan manufacturers and models to choose from.

Side entry minivans are typically for people in wheelchairs who intend on being the primary driver.

Rear entry vehicles are more commonly used for caregivers of a person with disability. The caregiver serves as the primary driver.

Ramps – An incline connecting the ground to the van, which allows entry into the vehicle from the wheelchair. They are versatile and can be purchased at a lower cost than lifts, which makes them a popular item among wheelchair users. Portable ramps can be mounted on most vehicles without having to alter the structure of the vehicle and are easy to transfer and store. Since they are not necessarily permanently attached to the vehicle, they can also be used on vehicles, trailers, steps and porches. Some styles of ramps include:

Basic ramps are lightweight enough to be used with little exertion by a caregiver or attendant. They are not mechanical, so they do not break down easily and rarely need expensive repairs. They take up a minimum of space when folded.

Platform access ramps are heavier than the basic ramp. They carry heavy loads and passengers with disabilities. They also fold for storage and can be easily carried.

Roll-up ramps allow you to easily roll up the ramp, put it in a bag and store it in the back of a van, trunk of a car or under a seat.