MOBILITY SCOOTERS AS A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Avatar virl7887 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #5594
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    I find it sad to note that mobility scooters are not popular and even widely used and accessible in Japan, a country known  for addressing accessibility and in creating  a barrier free environment for the physically challenged (PWDs)  as well as for the seniors, as evidenced by the  laws and much of it in the design and make of its structures.

    Awareness is key as well as its wide acceptability or usability among its people. But there is a “chicken or egg” thing i.e. which is first, the acceptability and recognition (of the government thru its laws) as a viable alternative device/tool or the use of it by a mass number of its citizens and others.

    I use an automatic folding mobility scooter, easily maneuverable and quite handy to stir and navigate. When folded, it is compact and can easily fit the trunk of a regular or even a bantam car. I believe the huge US type of mobility scooters which are already ATVs (and those which are more of motorcycles in their functionality), would be of another classification. These compact devices (folding mobility scooters) would not restrain allowable spaces and overall design of structures fitted for wheelchairs…well at least to my understanding and observation.  Particularly in my case, anything fitted for a wheelchair i can easily manage.

    What about you if your using a mobility scooter? Appreciate your thoughts.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5595
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    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    I totally agree – especially about the chicken and the egg!  Thankfully they have added a clasification for mobility scooters, but still is a hassle for foreigners. (https://www.accessible-japan.com/mobility-scooters-japan/)

    The other day when booking shinkansen tickets, I saw the form does now include a place to check off “scooter” and add a few details.  Still not perfect, but it seems the chicken is hatching from the egg(?)!

  • #5597
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    Yes!!! a thousand mile journey starts with an initial small stride (not step, hahahha pardon the pun).

  • #5598
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    I chided an Australian distributor/seller of various type of mobility scooters produced in Taiwan, and elsewhere in YouTube to render a promotion or even a road show to promote mobility scooters in Japan as  viable alternative to wheelchairs, i just hope they will consider this. Known Japanese names (Honda, for one) can even join the fray and help accelerate the wide acceptance and recognition of mobility scooters.
    Japan, admittedly has an aging population and it would be good if viable modes of personal transport are presented to the populace as alternatives.
    By the way i am an avid and satisfied client of their automatic, compact self folding scooter.

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  • #5599
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    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    Please share the link!

  • #5600
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    Thanks, will sure do. I do hope many of our readers will actively participate and contribute to the forums herein.

    More power! It is a cliche but nonetheless, there is power in numbers, especially if it is in unison! 


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  • #5601
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    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    Please do invite others!

  • #5633
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    I am still awaiting the full reply of JR lines West regarding the use and acceptability of the mobility scooters (handle type electric wheelchairs). I provided them the details and specs of the 2 folding scooters i use.

    Will update you of the outcome.



     

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  • #5645
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    virl7887
    Participant

    Are there already rental companies in major prefectures like Tokyo, Osaka and nearby districts? if there are, are the scooters for hire already assessed to be compliant to the established and existing rules covering the use of handle type electric wheelchairs, similar to the regular wheelchairs? And are therefore immediately available for use?

    Or it is always a case to case basis as regard the transport company and the specific place?



  • #5646
    Avatar
    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    There is at least one rental company in Tokyo, but I think they have old scooters as well. (Though, than can confirm that when you rent.

    I think you need to book in advance to ensure the rental.  It will also need to be returned to the place you rented it.  

    You can fill out this form and we’ll put you in touch with a company.
    https://www.accessible-japan.com/renting-wheelchairs-hoists-japan/

  • #5649
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    If they are “rentable” is that already tantamount that they are already immediately “usable” and compliant with the local rules?

    1 user thanked author for this post.
  • #5650
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    Accessible Japan
    Keymaster

    No. I believe they have a lot of old stock. One person couldn’t access their hotel room with it (too wide). 

    So, it is best to confirm 

  • #5652
    Avatar
    virl7887
    Participant

    I thought so too. Let it a guide for us travelers desiring to use our own or rented scooters to do the necessary inquiry and confirmation (flights, hotels, JR lines, Shinkansen, etc) first to avoid the dilemma of not being able to do and move around as much because our device is not  “accessible” or compliant with existing local rules. Let’s do our homework first before we embark on our journey to really enjoy our stay in Japan.
    I am doing my homework now ;).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

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