December 29, 2011

Amigo Mobility - One of Huntington Bank's Best in Business!

Amigo Mobility is happy to be featured in a Huntington Bank Best in Business story that recently aired on WSJ Radio! 

"Al and Beth Thieme have kept things moving for 43 years, and for hundreds of thousands of people. Today every Amigo scooter is still manufactured right here in Michigan, employing more than 80 people in the Bridgeport facility. Everything Amigo Mobility does is inspired by working to find a better way."

Turn up your volume and click the arrow below to hear the clip. 



Thank you Huntington Bank!

December 28, 2011

Blood Drive at Amigo Mobility

The Michigan Blood bus was at Amigo Mobility in Bridgeport, Mich. today.

13 Amigo employees donated blood today. Thank you to Jerry, Al, Jeff, Chris, Rachel, Debbie, Dan, Dorothy, Katie, Jeff, Jenna, Dan and Amy.

Jeff Frahm, engineering, is a regular blood donor and recently received his 9-gallon pin!

Michigan Blood has more than 60 donation centersBlood Bus throughout the Michigan, or consider hosting the at your business.


December 27, 2011

Stop Medicare Waste: Helene Missale

"I get furious every time I see those commercials for 'free' power wheelchairs. I know many people who have applied for scooters from these companies, but give up because of all the obstacles and restrictions."

Helene Missale
Brooklyn, New York
December 19, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Edwinna Marshall

"I have been an Amigo owner for 37 years. I once applied to Medicare for a new Amigo, and ended up receiving a $3,500 power wheelchair. I ended up selling it because I was not able to use it in my home. Please continue to fight for full Medicare reimbursement for Amigo scooters."

Edwinna Marshall
Loma Linda, California
December 19, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Terry Wascher

“It was so nice to have a conversation with someone over my frustrations with Medicare over their coverage of scooters. I once received a mobility assessment from a non-Amigo mobility 'specialist' who informed me that no scooter would meet my needs. After 24 years of living with limited mobility, I think I know my needs better than anyone else. 

The dealer informed me that I must purchase a 500 pound wheelchair to suit my needs. I do not want a 500 pound wheelchair that my husband, daughters and friends cannot lift or handle. At this point I had used a scooter for over 20 years and wanted a scooter with a power seat lift and cushioned seat. The 'specialist' informed me that Medicare only pays $1,000 for a basic scooter, but Medicare would happily pay $8000-$10,000 for an upgraded power wheelchair. What is wrong with this picture?

Doesn't Medicare want me to continue to be a part of the outside world? In the power wheelchair, I would be confined completely to my home. The day after the 'specialist' came to my home, my doctor called and said he had written me a prescription for a power wheelchair. I'm sorry, my legs may not work but my mind does. I don’t want to be told what will work for me in my home. 

If there is anything I could say or do to help with changing how things are paid for by Medicare I would be first in line. This seems ludicrous that Medicare will pay $8,000-$10,000 without a flinch but not $2,000 for a custom Amigo scooter. Something needs to be done with Medicare so we who are confined to power devices can make our own decisions.”

Terry Wascher
Sun City West, AZ
December 15, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Abuse: Barbara Hill

"I am a proud polio survivor and Amigo user since 1979. I have one in my trunk for when I travel and one I keep in my home which I depend on daily. It would be an understatement to say I am pleased with my Amigo. The seat lift is especially helpful to me as I have begun to lose muscle strength. 

As a happy Amigo user, I support your fight against Medicare waste."

Barbara Hill
Houston, Texas
December 19, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

December 26, 2011

Stop Medicare Waste

"I am a former sales manager of the mobility industry. Even though I have been out of the scooter business for some time, it was near to hear someone say what needed to be said. Those of us who, like you, have seen this problem first hand, can only wonder how many times and at what cost this same problem is being repeated throughout every facet of government. How close could we come to balancing the budget if similar problems could be eliminated in every department of the government.

I remember reading an article in a health care magazine in the late 90s which reported an outrageous growth in the sales of power wheelchairs in just one year's time. I was shocked! I incorrectly assumed that someone in our government would also see those numbers and do something about it. They did... they tightened funding for scooters and let the power wheelchair funding go wild! I remember talking to a dealer in Florida who agreed that what was happening was wrong. However, after a couple of years, he decided he either had to play ball or perish, so he began selling power wheelchairs.

I took the other path and left the business! I applaud you in your efforts for trying to bring the to the public's attention and fix it. This is a very good example of what ails our economy. The government is paying twice what they should for the wrong product -- than buying it overseas and eliminating jobs at American companies like Amigo."

December 19, 2011


Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Diane Sawyer

"I've been just about everywhere on my Amigo; Disney World, Sea World, Hawaii and Mackinac Island, where I even walked the Mackinac Bridge 5 mile walk. I use it to shop at grocery stores and malls, and use it often to visit the ice cream shop by my house with my grandkids.

I love the Amigo because it has room to store my purse on the platform beneath my feet. Power wheelchairs don't have any place to put a purse, maybe they think that people who use these chairs don't need a purse because they always have someone with them. My Amigo has made me very independent, and I often grocery shop by myself. People are always amazed at how many groceries I can fit onto my Amigo!

I just wanted you to know how much my Amigo means to me and how much it has helped me. You and your people do good things for others and I wish Medicare could see that."

Diane Sawyer
December 20, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

December 23, 2011

Stop Medicare Waste: Louie Cowan

"You are right about the inequality of the mobility vehicle market. I see many power chairs in the public that I think are being misused and acquired through this 'free' program. I have contacted my congressman and voiced my concern."

Louie Cowan
Cherry Valley, Illinois
December 19, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Cecilia Henshaw

"My Amigo is not as bulky as the power wheelchairs. I am able to remove the arm rests for further maneuverability in narrow places. The Amigo can be transported in our Honda Accord by one member of my family. 

My Amigo RT Express has a seat lift which raises the seat to counter level, making cooking and kitchen clean up possible, not to mention that the seat swivels 360 degrees, adding to the maneuverability over a power chair.

My husband also has more freedom because of my scooter. I am able to be home alone for four or five days at a time. I have used an Amigo for 20 years, without it I wouldn't be here today."

Cecilia Henshaw
Decatur Alabama
December 19, 2011 

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Bob and Sharon Bane

"We agree that scooters are what most people need. They cost a lot less and have fewer problems. You would think the government would want to cover what works best and costs less. My wife has multiple sclerosis and has been confined to a scooter since 1995. We would never consider a power wheelchair."

Bob and Sharon Bane
Grafton, Wisconsin
December 19, 2011 

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.
 

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Click the arrow below to listen to jazz musician and Amigo owner Ernie Douglas' version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," or click the "hulkshare download" button to download it as an mp3 from HulkShare.com.


To learn more about Ernie or to purchase his music, visit http://www.erniedouglas.com/.

View the video below to see Ernie play "Santa Claus is Coming To Town," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas." A big thanks to Ernie for sharing with us, you did fantastic job!

December 22, 2011

Stop Medicare Waste: Don Kirshner

"I received a power wheelchair from Medicare, but it is heavy and difficult to maneuver. Instead I use my Amigo 90% of the time."

Don Kirshner
Aventura, Florida
December 19, 2011 

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.
 

Stop Medicare Waste: Floyd Rundell

"I like my scooter, I'm a double amputee and a wheelchair feels like I could fall forward out of it. In a scooter I feel more stable and less likely to tip or fall forward."

Floyd Rundell
Harrison, Michigan
December 19, 2011


Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

Stop Medicare Waste: Al Odenheimer

"I used to use a manual wheelchair, but it was difficult to use on the wall to wall carpet I have in my home.

I worked with a medical dealer near me instead who visited my home and recommended a scooter instead of a power wheelchair. I have an Amigo RD scooter, I like the turning radius and the long distance it can go on one battery charge.

I'm so glad I didn't go with a power wheelchair, I can do more with a scooter than I could have with a powerchair. I love to cook, with my Amigo scooter and power seat lift I can get close to the counter to chop onions or to fry something at the stove. I couldn't get close enough with a powerchair. Too many companies are interested in profit only and I cringe every time I see their commercials."

Al Odenheimer
Okemos, Michigan
Dec. 22, 2011

Read more letters of support. Learn more about what Amigo is doing to stop Medicare waste.

Contact us with your comments.

December 16, 2011

Watch Amigo Mobility on Fox Business

Watch Amigo owner Jean Csaposs steal the show on Fox Business' Stossel Show



To support the reduction of Medicare waste, please contact Jennifer Thieme Kehres at jtkehres@myamigo.com or 989-921-5015 to share your support or your experience with mobility scooters or power wheelchairs. Click here to also contact your local representative.

Visit www.myamigo.com to learn more about the issue.

December 15, 2011


Don't forget to watch Amigo Mobility tonight on the Stossel Show! The segment, called Government Healthcare Gone Wrong, will air at 10pm eastern time on Fox Business. Click here to find out which channel airs Fox Business in your area. If you aren't able to watch tonight, check in with us tomorrow for a link to watch online.
 
 
 

Stop Medicare Waste - Jean Csaposs


“Polio survivors have a vital stake in making sure that Durable Medical Equipment (DME) is equitably and appropriately financed by Medicare. It is not clear whether new directives will still work against the financing of power-operated vehicles (POV)/scooters to those for whom they are medically more appropriate. As policy stands today, reimbursement on power wheelchairs continues to be much more favorable to dealers than that of POV/scooters.

I am a non-ambulatory polio survivor. I bought an Amigo motorized scooter (POV) in 1978 and used it at work (as well as at home) and into my retirement. It is my daily lifeline. No wheelchair could enable me to transfer in/out of bed, on/off toilet and shower bench as my scooter does. The 360-degree swivel seat can be locked in any position. The power seat lift enables transfers at various heights, and can be taken apart easily. It costs much less than a power wheelchair and needs less maintenance. I deplore the fraud and deception and the wasted millions of taxpayer dollars through wholesale prescription of power chairs under Medicare when scooters would, in most cases, have been more suitable and less expensive. Every patient's specific needs and abilities must be evaluated; people with little or no walking ability may still be incorrectly placed in power wheelchairs, as has been happening for years, unless they are offered a range of scooters (POVs) that may be medically more appropriate for them.

By the same token, other patients, ambulatory or not, may need a power wheelchair with a joystick if they have poor finger and hand dexterity. The good news is the myth that scooters (POVs) are primarily recreational vehicles is finally being erased. Please help remove the unfair stigma against scooters and make them the preferred mobility vehicle under Medicare, with power chairs as an option for people with limited hand dexterity and/or weak arms. The patient MUST be made aware of options and not be forced into a power chair without knowing their options. The patient must also have a thorough demonstration including the opportunity to try out appropriate mobility vehicles in an unhurried session. Thank you.”

Jean Csaposs
Maywood, NJ
October 11, 2005

Learn more about the Alert Light at www.mobilityalertlight.com, or visit Amazon.com too buy.

December 9, 2011

Amigo Mobility to be Featured on Stossel Show

Jennifer Thieme Kehres of Amigo Mobility and Jean Csaposs, an Amigo owner since 1978, will be featured on the Stossel Show on Fox Business Thursday, December 15th!

The interview will be part of an upcoming segment called Government Healthcare Gone Wrong. Jennifer talked about the family business and how Medicare waste and abuse in the industry has affected Amigo. 

"This is an issue bigger than our business, it is wasting tax payer dollars and taking away the customer's choice for mobility equipment," Jennifer said. 

The Amigo Mobility interview will be on the Stossel Show airing Thursday, December 15 on Fox Business at 10:00 pm (Eastern time). 

To see which channel airs Fox Business in your area, click here. To see clips after the segment has aired, visit www.foxbusiness.com.

To read more about Amigo Mobility and Medicare, read this blog post.
Jean Csaposs and Jennifer Thieme Kehres
Jennifer with John Stossel











December 7, 2011

Frankenmuth, Mich. - One of 9 "Most Christmassy" Towns in America

Our neighboring town, Frankenmuth, Mich., was recently featured on Time magazine's website as one of the 9 most Christmassy towns in America. We couldn't agree more! Known as "Michigan's Little Bavaria," Frankenmuth is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year, but is best when experienced around the holidays. 

The number one spot on most people's list when visiting Frankenmuth is Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the world's largest Christmas store. Open 361 days a year and at a size of 1 1/2 football fields, this store has something for everyone on your list and truly is a winter wonderland!

Much like Amigo Mobility, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland has been family owned and operated since it was founded in 1945. We enjoy seeing the Bronner family when we attend events at the Stevens Center for Family Business at Saginaw Valley State University.

Another great thing to know about Frankenmuth is that it is an accessible town! The Bavarian Inn restaurant and lodge (another long-time family owned business!) is a fully accessible establishment that rents Amigos to guests. Read more here.

November 30, 2011

Choosing the Right Mobility Equipment for You

Amigo's mobility consultants are committed to helping determine what is the right mobility equipment for your needs. But it is important for you to be as informed as possible before making a decision about what product is right for you.
 
Mobility equipment should be viewed as a tool to help you maintain as much of your independence and mobility as possible. We encourage you to consult this simplified version of the Medicare algorithm when making your choice.
A simplified version of the Medicare
algorithm for mobility equipment.

The algorithm shows that before purchasing a type of mobility equipment, you should be evaluated for all previous options above it on the algorithm first. This will help you determine which type of equipment is the perfect match for you.

Also, once you are approved for one type of mobility equipment, you become ineligible for coverage on any equipment that appears above it on the algorithm.


By becoming your own mobility expert and exploring all your options, you can feel confident that you have made the right choice.

For more information on Medicare coverage for mobility equipment or to view the full algorithm, click here.

November 29, 2011

Bridgeport Amigo Mobility Center - a Toys for Tots Drop-off Center!

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by helping out needy kids? The staff at the Bridgeport Amigo Mobility Center is doing their part by signing up to be a Toys for Tots drop-off location.

We encourage you to bring new, unwrapped toys to the Amigo Mobility Center to help us contribute to this worthy cause. We are accepting donations until Friday, December 2nd.


Not able to come visit us? Visit www.toysfortots.org to find your local drop-off center or to donate online.

November 16, 2011

Music of Difference - Amigo Owner Catherine Branch

Catherine Branch
We are excited to support flutist and Amigo owner Catherine Branch, who recently released a CD entitled Music of Difference. Living with diplegic cerebral palsy, Catherine strives to inspire positive change and promote inclusion and equality for individuals with disabilities. 

Music of Difference is part of a larger project that Catherine has been working on over the past few years. While traveling as part of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, Catherine was inspired to use her music to spread her message of respect and creativity. She observed and taught music classes, and performed in concerts in Australia and across the United States. Through her travels she was able to get in touch with and learn from the international community of disabled people.

Music of Difference is the culmination of the efforts of her and her team, and is described on the album cover as "music exploring the beauty in disability and diversity." Through her music, Catherine hopes to increase awareness for the disabled community and help people embrace their disability.

In the liner notes of Music of Difference, Catherine writes: "I remain convinced that having a disability was not a 'defect,' but an experience. And just as each of our experiences shape who we are and who we become, the experience of disability can add a unique and positive perspective to one's life."

Visit the Music of Difference website to purchase a CD or learn more about Catherine's cause.

To read more about Catherine's experiences with the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, click here.

November 12, 2011

Celebrate Every Day

Our Amigo owners inspire us in all we do. So naturally, when we were thinking of a theme for a tree we created for the Festival of Trees in Freeland, Mich., our Amigo owners were the first place we turned.

The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for Junior League of Saginaw. Trees decorated with unique themes are donated, then raffled off to the public. This year all proceeds go toward an educational playscape that is being built at the Saginaw Zoo.

The name of the tree we submitted, "Celebrate Every Day," was inspired by a quote from Amigo owner Dr. Linda Mona, a veteran's affairs clinical psychologist and Amigo owner since 1981. We made wooden ornaments with quotes from Dr. Mona and other Amigo owners we found particularly inspiring. We encourage you to celebrate every day you are given, and we pledge to do the same.

Are you near the Saginaw area? Stop by Apple Mountain Resort in Freeland this weekend to see the wonderful trees on display at the Festival of Trees:
Friday, November 11th: 10am - 5pm
Saturday, November 12th: 10am - 7pm
Sunday, November 13th: 10am - 4pm (Raffle drawing at 4pm)
General Admission: $2 in advance, $3 at the door. Children under 5 are free.



November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day from Amigo Mobility!

We would like to wish a Happy Veteran's Day to all of the men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

At Amigo Mobility, we are happy to support our armed forces year round. This year we have partnered with the National Naval Medical Center, the Pentagon, multiple VA medical centers and other government agencies to provide mobility for veterans who are in need. 


We are proud to have veterans as part of  Team Amigo, and we salute them today and everyday. Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

November 4, 2011

Amigo Service Video: Quick and Easy Power Checks

Is your Amigo not running today? Chances are it's a simple and quick fix! View the video below for troubleshooting tips, and check in again soon for more service videos from Amigo Mobility.



For more troubleshooting tips, visit myamigo.com.

November 3, 2011

Amigo Mobility Receives NAPH Endorsement


Amigo Mobility is pleased to announce that we have received an endorsement from the National Association of the Physically Handicapped, Inc. 

National President of NAPH, William Sellars, recommended the endorsement to the organization's board of directors. Unanimous approval was given to the Amigo product as the "official power-operated vehicle of the National Association of the Physically Handicapped."

Our longstanding working relationship with NAPH has proven to be of mutual benefit over the years. We express sincere appreciation to NAPH and look forward to years of our continuing partnership and Improving Lives Through Mobility®.

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from Team Amigo!

Team Amigo is having a great time celebrating Halloween... even at the office! We hope you will get a laugh out of some of our favorite employee costumes, especially all the fake mustaches! 

For more photos and Halloween fun, visit our Amigo Mobility Facebook page.

October 28, 2011

Amigo Employee "Locked Up" for MDA

Drew locked-up.
Team Amigo has been a long time supporter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and this week our own Drew Coleman took his support a step further by participating in the MDA Lock-Up. Drew signed up to be "arrested" and then raised bail money throughout the month of October.


The Saginaw, Mich. MDA Lock-Up took place on Thursday, October 27th. With the help of donations from friends, family and Amigo employees, Drew was able to raise $569 for MDA! The money raised supports a variety of MDA efforts, including clinics, research, support programs and children's camps.

Drew enjoyed the event, and plans to participate again next year.

"It's great to have fun while supporting such a worthy cause," Drew said. "Amigo Mobility has always been such a strong supporter of MDA, and I'm proud to be involved and show my support as well."

October 7, 2011

Never Give Up The Music

Ernie was featured in the Oct. 2011 Friendly Wheels e-newsletter, sign up to receive Amigo's e-newsletter here

From professors to business owners to philanthropists, our family of Amigo owners is active and inspiring. Ernie Douglas is no exception. For more than 60 years he has been sharing his musical talent inspired by those who told him he couldn't do something.

Amigo owner Ernie Douglas, a professional musician of 60 years, found out after high school that, "You don't just give up music."

Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., Ernie contracted polio at the age of three. Growing up, his biggest inspiration was anyone telling him he couldn't do something because of his weak legs. 

Then he'd go on to prove them wrong; although he laughs and admits that he never could master roller-skating.

Ernie dabbled in a few short-lived employment opportunities over the years, never giving up his passion for music.  Walking unaided for nearly 65 years, Ernie turned to Amigo six years ago. At the time he bought the Amigo he was actively employed full time and relied on it daily. "I love my Amigo. I'd be dead in the water without it." 

Today, Ernie uses his TravelMate once or twice a week when playing a gig. His Dodge minivan allows him to sit on the back and, using his upper body strength, easily assemble or disassemble the Amigo.

Enjoy a visit to Ernie's website to see and hear him play! He owned his own restaurant/jazz club called the Catfish Hollow Restaurant in Topeka throughout the 70's and 80's. Ernie has three children and is grandfather to five.

If you are ever in the DC area, Ernie performs for Sunday brunch diners on the Dandy Dinner Boat  moored in Alexandria, Va.  The "boat" has proven to be a lasting gig. "I've been aboard the boat for 11 years and enjoy being there."

We're glad Amigo is able to assist in keepin' the tunes comin', Ernie! 

August 22, 2011

The Saginaw News - Medicare-funded Power Wheelchairs Create Headache for Amigo Mobility


Al Thieme, Amigo President & Founder
Recently, Amigo Mobility was featured in The Saginaw News article Medicare-funded power wheelchairs create headache for Amigo Mobility.

Reporter Kathryn Lynch-Morin wrote “A new study released by the Office of the Inspector General shows hundreds of millions of Medicare dollars are wasted each year on medically unnecessary power wheelchairs."

‘The Scooter Store sold the beneficiaries expensive power wheelchairs that they did not want, need, and/or could not use,’ The Department of Justice wrote in 2007.

According to Medicare coverage guidelines, motorized wheelchairs should be prescribed as a last resort and are best for people with severe disabilities, as they require only slight motions of the hand to maneuver and have seats locked in place.

Medicare guidelines say mobility scooters, or power-operated vehicles, should be considered before a power wheelchair is prescribed. They are best suited for people who have mobility limitations but require help in order to participate in activities of daily living.”

"When a person is offered a more expensive product for free, they feel like they have to take it," Al Thieme said. "But people who can use POV's (power-operated vehicles) shouldn't be getting power wheelchairs."

Jennifer Kehres of Amigo Mobility International, points to the records the company keeps of customers who’ve called Amigo looking for help after receiving power wheelchairs they didn’t want or couldn’t use:

• A 65-year-old woman who got an $8,000 power wheelchair paid for by Medicare said it couldn’t fit through her door.
• Another customer, an 85-year-old Flint woman, told Amigo a power wheelchair was delivered to her assisted living home even though she hadn’t had the chance to try one out. She said she couldn’t try another type of power wheelchair or power-operated vehicle because the type she had was what her doctor had ordered. The woman asked to see the prescription: It was from a doctor she hadn’t seen in two years.

“It’s heartbreaking when you hear how frustrated these customers are,” Jennifer Kehres said. “They’re stuck and often afraid of losing their coverage or having their chair taken away all together.”

Click here to read the complete article.

August 18, 2011

Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes - Beautiful & Accessible

picture from MichiganAdvantage.org
ABC News' Good Morning America named the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Michigan the Most Beautiful Place in America.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time on the West Coast of Michigan and always loved visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Not only is it a beautiful destination, but also accessible.

At the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, there is an accessible nature trail that is 0.9 miles round trip. Click here for a trail map and more information.

There are also sand wheelchairs available at the Maritime Museum boathouse and at the Dune Climb for people to be able to enjoy the dunes and beaches. 

I encourage you to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes! Let us know how your trip was and any accessible travel tips on our Facebook page.  


For more accessible travel tips, click here




August 11, 2011

Ron Bachman: Amigo Owner, Motivational Rock Star

Recently featured on WJBK Fox 2 News in Detroit, 20-year Amigo owner Ron Bachman proved himself to be a motivational rock star.

After his legs were amputated at the age of four, Ron grew up being bullied; but he turned his troubles into triumph with a mission to be the "happiest man you will ever meet."

"Why wouldn't I be happy? I have my arms," Ron says.

Proud dad and Plymouth, Mich. native, today Ron travels the country sharing his message of self-confidence, tolerance and anti-bullying at schools. For more information about Ron, or to donate to his non-profit, Walk This Way, visit www.ronniebachman.com.

Watch this video about Ron, and I bet you will be inspired to "walk this way."



To read a past Friendly Wheels article about Ron, click here. To visit Ron's Facebook page, click here


August 5, 2011

Accessible Travel Tips from Twitter

Amigo owner Cynthia traveling
the world on her Amigo!
Many of our Amigo owners are avid travelers and I love sharing accessible travel tips that fellow travelers have learned along the way. Enjoy these tips below from my Twitter friends! Click here to read more about accessible travel. 

@PositiveAboutMS There are a lot of good accessible travel places, but our favorite is Trafford Centre in the UK.

@TravelinWheels We love Maui! Our favorite travel product is the GoFreeWheel!
@CareVacations Cruise passengers should make sure they have the right equipment for their ship and ports of calls.

@ilookgoodtoday1 I make sure that I either bring a shower chair or have one available. Also, Disney World is very accommodating as are their hotels.

@tourismforalluk When visiting attractions, check if they can provide concessions for a disabled person & companion, most places admit companions free of charge. Check if the accommodation has been assessed for accessibility, and obtain an access statement if available. More travel tips here.

@RSTrust We have always flown Virgin Atlantic. The cabin staff on every flight have been great, very helpful. Storing our wheelchair in the cabin, not in the hold (to make sure the chair is ready for us when we land). The ground staff at Heathrow have always been very good too. Ensuring we are first to board the plane, especially if you have to transfer on to a small cabin wheelchair.
Thank you Twitter friends for all of the great #AccessibleTravel tips! What is your top travel tip?
@AmigoJen