Well, wasn't that fun!
I'm going on a staff retreat this weekend and want to take my power chair with me so that I can fully participate with the activities and with the group. So, I'm taking Vita's MV-1 along. We picked it up today and rode home in it. I'd seen it before. I'd looked in it before. But I'd never been in it before. I couldn't believe the experience. It was awesome.
(I am not paid to write this.)
The ramp slowly came down and once in place held firmly as I went up it. I'm not light as a feather so this part had me worried. Once in I swung my manual chair around and parked in the front passenger seat. Joe locked me down - I think he's waited years to do that - and the ramp came up. It was simply amazing. I've ridden in adapted vans and on the TTC WheelTrans buses and this was simply not the same experience. I understood, exactly, why people protested in the streets to be able to ride at the front of the bus. I looked out the front window, not through a grill or by a fire extinguisher. What a view.
How horrible that I felt privileged.
I was in my wheelchair. My wheelchair is build for me and my build. It's the most comfortable chair I sit in. It's the right height for my legs, the right width for my hips, has the right lean for my back. So I was in total comfort, right up front, looking right out the window. Amazing.
Their slogan is that they take the ramp and build a vehicle around it.
I think by doing that they also did something else, if I wrote their slogan it would be ...
We gave RESPECT an engine and then and put it on wheels.
Because that's what it felt like. I felt considered. I felt as if someone thought about what might make me comfortable - the dashboard is a disabled person's dream - and then made it. Every single other van I've ever been screamed 'ADAPTION' to me upon entering. I knew that they weren't made for me - that I was an afterthought.
It was interesting to see people look at the vehicle. Now it has the Vita logo and colours on it - but that's not what people were looking at. They were looking at the car - because it's a cool looking car. There was something different about what they were seeing.
And you bet there was.
They were seeing Respect - On Wheels.