Wheelchair Repair Needed

San Francisco Board of Supervisors

SDA member leader Jamel Burrell says, "My life in a wheelchair presents many unseen challenges. The greatest challenge of all however would be the everyday possibility of a wheelchair malfunction resulting in being stranded, vulnerable and alone. Unlike those who drive or ride a bicycle , a wheelchair user cannot simply locate a service stations to, at best, temporarily resolve their issue and send them on their way. Unfortunately for a wheelchair user no such location exists." The global wheelchair market size was valued at $2.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand 8.0% from 2021 to 2028. The wheelchair community in SF is in desperate need of a service location fully equipped to service the many unforeseen challenges hundreds of mobility device users face daily, with nowhere to go for shelter or assistance. Your signatures, to send to our SF Board of Supervisors, encouraging them to support this much needed station, can change the lives of thousands of family and friends who use wheelchairs and scooters.

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To: San Francisco Board of Supervisors
From: [Your Name]

Thousands of San Francisco residents who use wheelchairs and scooters have no way to get emergency repairs on their mobility devices, and many do not have access to repairs at all. Medicare will only cover repairs for wheelchair use in a person’s home. If someone is on their way home from the grocery store or an appointment, and their battery dies or wheelchair malfunctions, they are stranded. There is nowhere to go to get charged, no one to call to get emergency service, and no way to get the wheelchair home. In addition, Medicare and Medicaid will often replace batteries only after a set timeframe and can leave wheelchair users stranded if their batteries die earlier. The lack of wheelchair repair reveals society’s disregard for people with disabilities, the idea that people with disabilities do not have a right to equal access and do not need to be out in the community. This ableism must end.

We call on the City and County of San Francisco to fund an emergency Wheelchair Repair Station to provide free wheelchair repair and battery replacement and charging. This would ideally have a mobile component, to go to the person who is stranded, and it could even start as entirely mobile. The repair “station” should be available on some evenings and weekends.

A Wheelchair Repair Station can have a huge impact on the lives of disabled San Franciscans. Please make it a reality.