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Electric Wheelchair FAQ’s

Posted: 15 May, 2016. No comments
image of our Fiat Doblo Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) parked at Zygi, Cyprus harbourside

Should I bring my electric wheelchair to Cyprus? Will it and I fit inside your wheelchair accessible vehicle?

This is possibly the most frequently asked question (FAQ) that we are getting this year! Clearly an electric wheelchair provides many mobility benefits for the user and notwithstanding the risk of damage during the loading and unloading of your chair at the departure and arrivals airport it will be high on your list of personal priorities.

Our FIAT Doblo wheelchair accessible vehicle, some people use the name van, was modified by a FIAT and Motability approved vehicle body works in the UK before initially seeing service as a Motability vehicle. That modification involved lowering and strengthening the floor, adding a ramped access via the rear door as well as changes to the fuel tank.We bought her at the tender age of four years old with less than twenty five thousand miles recorded. The lowered floor affords the wheelchair user a good view through the front windscreen and the side windows.

the floor of our wheelchair van showing a tape measure
How wide is your electric wheelchair? Thirty inches, eighty centimetres, is snug, less is better!

The maximum width available on the ramp and across the lowered floor is eighty centimetres or thirty inches in old money!

 

An overall floor length of fifty inches, one hundred and twenty seven centimetres is available for both chair and user
Drive your electric wheelchair up the ramp and park in this space

 

The maximum floor length between the stowed ramp and the cross bulkhead is one hundred and twenty seven centimetres or fifty inches if you prefer imperial measurements.

 

Photo of the rear compartment shows lowered floor and reduced available width at front resulting from fixing for rear passenger seat belt anchorage. In most cases this will not be a problem. We've had several different wheelchairs loaded into the van with total success.

 

Some workarounds to consider

Visible as a thin white line in the above image, the rear passenger seat belt anchorage point can reduce the available width at the front by about four inches, ten centimetres. In most cases this will not be a problem. We’ve had several different wheelchairs loaded into the van with total success. We have also folded the seat and removed the belt bracket when needed. There is usually a way!

The rear passenger seat can be removed to gain maximum available width throughout the rear compartment floor length. The seat belt point fixed to the floor, reduces the available width at the front most part by about four inches, ten centimetres – it’s easier to look at the photo than it is for me to describe.

If you want or need the rear seat anchorage removed, please let us know before your arrival at the airport!

Wheelchair design and other musings

The front wheels on wheelchairs are set to have a narrower width that the back wheels. This is a point to note if your wheelchair is of an unusual design. Wheelchairs are evolving these days.  The idea of a ‘usual’ design is perhaps dated as electric and other wheelchairs are proving to be increasingly diverse.  All geared for usability.

Across this website I have deliberately refrained from the use of terms such as disability and handicapped persons. I have an aversion to the terms. They are still around and in use on the island. This is not a case of my being ‘politically correct’. I prefer to greet the person not some notion of disability or even worse handicap. We are all of us variously abled in one way or another.

Hopefully this faq and the accompanying photos have helped you.For clarification on the wheelchair size issue please email me.  There is a contact form at the bottom of this post. I look forward to welcoming you and your wheelchair to Cyprus. Are you ready to start of your island adventure!

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