In my previous post I talked about NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) and all the benefits it brings to so many people who touch the mobility industry; manufacturers, mobility equipment dealers, occupational therapists, driver evaluators and most importantly you, the end users of mobility transportation solutions.
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 19th Annual NMEDA Conference in Reno, NV. The mobility equipment industry continues to change at a rapid pace, and it is more important than ever to stay on the cutting edge. The Annual NMEDA Conference is the sole venue that provides a broad range of opportunities for educational, professional and business development for those committed to the mobility equipment industry. It is the only place where mobility professionals can find the most current industry-related information and learn about issues facing the industry from the experts. The conference topics covered the products that are marketed, industry trends, the manufacturers who supply and support mobility equipment dealers and it provides mobility professionals with the information you need to keep you within the parameters of compliance with the current motor vehicle safety standards.
You may be asking yourself, “What does all that have to do with me”? That is the most important outcome of this conference, you! Everything that we design, manufacture, market and supply is done with the end user in mind. On display at the tradeshow was a number of products that were in the initial beta test phase and they were getting the feedback from OTs, PTs and Mobility Equipment Dealers who will eventually sell those products. We all need each other to ensure the right products are being made and are being made safely. Many times after this conference, us as manufactures will get back to our corporate offices and go back to the design board based on feedback we received. It could be a slight tweak that needs to be made, or it could be a complete redesign.
Aside from the tradeshow portion of the conference, there are also three days of workshops. These are educational informative and included topics like; Proper Occupant Restraint Positioning, Tie-Down Panel and Future of the Industry. It hit me how incredibly important these workshops are to the end user, to ensure every NMEDA member is on the same page in terms of safety and how to best serve our customers.
In the VMI booth, we showed three wheelchair accessible minivans; Honda Odyssey with the Northstar & Summit Conversions and the Chrysler Town and Country with the VMI Northstar Conversion. We also showed a full-size Tuscany wheelchair van with the Slide-Away lift that we hope to launch in the summer of 2010.
I strongly encourage that you reach out to a NMEDA member when looking for a mobility transportation solution. To learn more about NMEDA you can visit them at www.nmeda.org or call them at (800) 833-0427. They can give you a list of authorized Mobility Equipment Dealers in your area.