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The minor inconveniences most travelers experience when flying are nothing compared to the challenges faced by people who rely on power wheelchairs. Motorized wheelchairs need to be stowed in the cargo hold and are regularly damaged. And for the duration of a flight, people lack the customized support, safety and comfort that their own wheelchair provides.
A new design solution aims to fix that problem by enabling people to stay in their power wheelchair while flying. Design agency PriestmanGoode worked with SWS Certification and Flying Disabled to create a securement system much like those used in wheelchair-friendly cars. The Air 4 All system converts front row seats, with up to two seats per row flipping up to make room for a wheelchair. If they're not needed for wheelchairs, they fold back out to be used as regular airline seats.
Since Air 4 All doesn't reduce an airplane's seat count, there's no loss of revenue for the airline. Boarding and disembarking is smoother than if a passenger needs to be transferred to a non-motorized wheelchair, especially for those with severely restricted mobility. A first prototype of Air 4 All is expected in December 2021.
Accessibility isn't just a legally required afterthought. It's a path to social justice by way of ensuring that everyone can go through life with their dignity intact and their wellbeing safeguarded. No wonder consumers are championing brands that turn barriers into innovations. Whatever industry you're in, seek out and support initiatives like Air 4 All. And if you need more inspiration, check out our free briefing on OMNIBILITY.
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