Let’s clear up the confusion surrounding use of the stroller as wheelchair accommodation and safe transit on the Walt Disney World bus system!
The stroller as wheelchair accommodation offered within the theme parks is designed to help children with disabilities and medical conditions to access attractions. Disney says:
“Guests with disabilities—including those with a cognitive disability—who need to remain in a stroller while in an attraction queue should visit the Guest Relations Lobby at the theme parks in order to obtain the appropriate identifying tag.” This accommodation can be used with any stroller, from a top-of-the-line Maclaren to the throwaway umbrella you picked up at Walmart just for the trip.
It can also be used for actual wheelchairs.
Lightweight, folding pediatric wheelchairs are often referred to as strollers – special needs strollers, adaptive strollers or medical strollers. It can be difficult for Cast Members to tell the difference between them and some of the fancy stroller models available today! That is why I typically recommend that parents who utilize pediatric wheelchairs for their children request the stroller-as-wheelchair tag for use in the parks, simply as a convenience. Yes, you know it’s a wheelchair and I know it’s a wheelchair, but who wants to have to explain the difference to Cast Members over and over all day long?
So, you’ve had a fun day at one of the parks and now it’s time to return to your resort via the Disney bus system. Here is where things seem to get a bit fuzzy in people’s minds when it comes to the stroller as wheelchair accommodation at Disney! Strollers must be folded when boarding the Disney buses…
This applies even if you have a stroller as wheelchair tag. Remember, this accommodation is provided for theme park attraction access only. There is no way to safely secure a child in a stroller while on the bus – period.
But hey! What about those special needs strollers we mentioned earlier? Many times I’ve read comments from parents who were annoyed because they were unable to wheel their child onto a bus and allow the child to remain in their stroller. “But, it’s not a stroller, it’s a WHEELCHAIR!” they protest.
True. However, not all pediatric wheelchairs are equipped to be bus transit safe!
Let’s look at one of the most popular suppliers of special needs strollers (folding pediatric wheelchairs) — Convaid.
Convaid makes a variety of wheelchairs; most can be outfitted with an additional transit package:
Transit Option – Required Items:
Trunk Positioning Belt
Four Bright Red Anchors (manufacturer required installation)
According to Convaid, their wheelchairs are only transit safe if they are outfitted with this transit package and are secured in a forward facing position. (For more information, you can download the Convaid Transit brochure HERE.)
This is why not all children in special needs strollers (wheelchairs) are permitted to remain inside them while on the buses — it simply is not safe. And, to insist that the bus driver transport your child in this manner when the chair is not equipped for transit is asking him or her to go against safety standards.
So, if you want to be able to transport your child in his or her special needs wheelchair, make sure that it is equipped with the necessary transit options.
Thanks for reading!
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