WATCH: The Watson family are the proud owners of the new wheelchair accessible MV-1 vehicle – the solution to help make getting around a lot easier and safer for them and their twin boys. Angie Seth reports.
Life is not easy for the Watson family. Each day is busy and full of challenges, but they make it work.
“We’ve had our struggles over the years in trying to make our home accessible, vehicles accessible, the washroom accessible. It’s been a lot of work,” says Kyle Watson.
The Watsons have to make their home accessible for their twin boys, Ian and Scott. They are 14-years-old, both have cerebral palsy.
One of the biggest challenges for the Watson family is transportation.
For years they were driving a very large conversion van they had to reconfigure to meet the sons’ needs.
Some of the seats were removed, the roof heightened and an electrical ramp had to be installed to accommodate getting the boys’ wheelchairs in and out of the vehicle.
“It’s tough because you are relying on the converting companies and you are actually chopping up the vehicle. So you are either lowering the floor or raising the roof. Then you end up questioning the structural integrity of the vehicle,” Kyle Watson explains to Global News.
“We had an open floor (on our converted vehicle) so I had to walk back and forth climbing over the console. My seat was pushed right up, it couldn’t move because the ramp was right behind it,” Paula Watson says.
But that is all going to change. After submitting their story to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association’s National Awareness Mobility Month Local Heroes contest, the Watson family are the proud owners of the new wheelchair accessible MV-1 vehicle.
The vehicle is fully equipped with a retractable ramp, large cargo area, and room for Ian and Scott’s large wheelchairs.
The family says they are thrilled to be able to travel together in something that is safe, secure, and reliable.
The makers of the MV-1 tell Global News the vehicle was built around the ramp making it a fully equipped wheelchair accessible vehicle coming direct from the manufacturer.
Kyle Watson says this new vehicle means inclusion and accessibility for their family. “The ease of use and the engineering and thought put into it – to have everything in the right spots.
This isn’t a converted vehicle. It comes exactly like this from the factory, exactly as we needed it”.
The Watson family officially get the keys to their new MV-1 in a couple of weeks.
© Shaw Media, 2014