NMEDA leads way in education

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

TAMPA, Fla. – The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) earned a Leadership Award at RESNA’s recent annual meeting for its contributions to the organization and the industry as a whole.

John Anschutz, a member of RESNA’s Nominating Committee, nominated NMEDA for the award, highlighting the association’s leadership in educating clinicians about wheelchair accessible vehicles.

“Not enough people know about the options that are available and NMEDA has done a nice job letting the community know what’s out there,” said Anschutz, the manager of assistive technology at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and a former member of NMEDA’s Guidelines Committee. “They’re all about getting the word out about safe transportation options.”

A prime example of NMEDA’s education efforts: The association was recently onsite at the Shepherd Center to demo a wheelchair accessible vehicle and to host lunch and a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream social as part of a Mobility Awareness Tour it sponsors with United Spinal Association. The next stop: Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., on Oct. 30.

Raising awareness in this market, in particular, is key, Anschutz says, because a wheelchair accessible vehicle is “something you want to get right the first time.”

“We try to educate families as soon as they come in not to buy anything until they know what they’re going to need,” he said. “If you just go out to a dealer and they say, ‘Yeah, this can be converted,’ that’s not always the case. Then they have to start all over. It’s hard enough.”

NMEDA, which has more than 600 members, considers one of its “founding principles” providing a network of accredited mobility equipment dealers that provide quality and safe wheelchair accessible vehicles, says Danny Langfield, CEO.

“You have to be smart and careful,” he said. “It’s not an area where you cut corners.”