Via Mobility Services is pleased to introduce Lisa Lehndorff, Via Rider, mobility advocate, and author of a new, regular column on the blog “From Where I Sit.”
After a workplace accident, I was introduced to Via at the age of 56. A wonderful volunteer driver, Jeff Sugano, helped me get signed up to arrive at appointments safely. Over time, I needed to stop driving, a difficult transition for a very independent person.
For the past six years, Via has been there for my health highs and lows. The drivers are always there to encourage me and keep me involved with life, whether it’s swimming, volunteering, and art. These days, I travel mainly by wheelchair. While all modes of local transportation are available to me, I always breathe easier when trained Via drivers are taking care of me, door-though-door. I’ve seen my wheelchair crammed into compact cars too many times, and friends strain their backs dealing with it. I saw so many other people retiring from life once they needed a wheelchair. It broke my heart! But with Via, I feel relieved knowing that I’ll receive high-quality service.
Now that I’m adjusting to my new “normal” life, I want to write and share the realities of wheelchair travel, which is always complicated. By posting my experiences, I hope to share the challenges and opportunities for both riders and caregivers. Hopefully, with more information, those who hesitate to get out will find out they can participate using Via, their vehicle to freedom.
In upcoming posts, I hope to profile Via drivers and riders, write about your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and focus on local organizations that can assist with everything from ramps to low-vision technical modifications and snow shoveling.
I’m not a professional writer. I can’t do this by myself, and I’m no longer afraid to ask for help. I really need your questions, feedback, ideas, and personal mobility stories. Please contact me.
Let’s find the path together. I hope to see you out and about enjoying life.
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