Should we rent an ECV or use daughter’s wheelchair?

Kim in PA

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
My daughter is 13, and has spina bifida and bilateral club feet, and uses a Quickie 7 rigid frame chair. She can walk short distances, and transfers easily. When we go to local stores, she uses an ECV.

We are wondering if it would be better to rent an ECV offsite instead of using her chair, so she can be independent, and doesn’t too tired pushing her chair. It is something we are considering for high school since the campus is so big.

Does anyone offer child sized ECVs? How hard are the rentals to get in and out of the back of a van?

What do those of you with SB or SCI do about a cushion on an ECV? She has a Jay cushion on her WC, and does have a history of breakdown due to lack of sensation, and living in an orphanage until she was 10.

Thank you!
 

Betty Rohrer

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2010
My daughter is 13, and has spina bifida and bilateral club feet, and uses a Quickie 7 rigid frame chair. She can walk short distances, and transfers easily. When we go to local stores, she uses an ECV.

We are wondering if it would be better to rent an ECV offsite instead of using her chair, so she can be independent, and doesn’t too tired pushing her chair. It is something we are considering for high school since the campus is so big.

Does anyone offer child sized ECVs? How hard are the rentals to get in and out of the back of a van?

What do those of you with SB or SCI do about a cushion on an ECV? She has a Jay cushion on her WC, and does have a history of breakdown due to lack of sensation, and living in an orphanage until she was 10.

Thank you!
I do not know of a rental ECV that will rent to your daughter at her age. most have to be 18 to rent. also ECV could be taken from you if rented by you in your name for her to use. I would plan on her wheelchair. if you do buy her one which is possible I have read about some having problems from CMs assuming it is a rental but have not used one with a teen so no real knowledge
 

Kim in PA

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 8, 2005
That is crazy. If insurance would pay for one for a teen (I know if many young people with muscular dystrophy and osteogenesis imperfecta who use them) then she should be allowed to rent one. She has spina bifida and club feet, how could a CM take a mobility device away from her?
 
  • TCRAIG

    Member Since 2010 SS/OKW/HH/BCV/WLV/BLT/GF
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2011
    When u rent an ECV - it specifically states must be 18 or older to use...it’s not so much that CMs take away the ECV - they just don’t let you use in the parks. If it’s one of the approved companies that has u pick up at a WDW hotel and they see it’s for an underage driver - they can refuse delivery. I would think it’s an insurance and safety thing - using an ECV in Disney can be tough due to crowds. That said - if she has her own - i think you’ll be fine...it’s just the rentals that can be a problem
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    She can use her own mobility device, no problem, whether that is a manual wheelchair, power chair, ECV or other. I do recall a report from someone who's child (tween?) uses his own ECV, and they had difficulties in the parks until they went to Guest Relations to get a special tag indicating it was a personally-owned device.

    Neither WDW nor off-site vendors will rent an ECV for a teen. I believe it may have to do with legalese and inability of a teen to legally enter a contract for the rental, as I believe all the contracts specify the user must be 18 or older and the contract is directly between the vendor and the user (not another person on behalf of the user). There is a vendor (Randy's, I think) that has sometimes rented to older teens who use one at home. You could try contacting them. To my knowledge, there is not a "pediatric-sized" ECV.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    My daughter is 13, and has spina bifida and bilateral club feet, and uses a Quickie 7 rigid frame chair. She can walk short distances, and transfers easily. When we go to local stores, she uses an ECV.

    We are wondering if it would be better to rent an ECV offsite instead of using her chair, so she can be independent, and doesn’t too tired pushing her chair. It is something we are considering for high school since the campus is so big.

    Does anyone offer child sized ECVs? How hard are the rentals to get in and out of the back of a van?

    What do those of you with SB or SCI do about a cushion on an ECV? She has a Jay cushion on her WC, and does have a history of breakdown due to lack of sensation, and living in an orphanage until she was 10.

    Thank you!
    Most places will not rent ECV to people under 18 very few will rent to older teens ( 16 17 ) 13 I would say no. Disney is very busy and it is hard for adults not to run into people I can not inmagion a 13 year old
     
  • Kim in PA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2005
    Most places will not rent ECV to people under 18 very few will rent to older teens ( 16 17 ) 13 I would say no. Disney is very busy and it is hard for adults not to run into people I can not inmagion a 13 year old
    That makes sense. Thank you.
     

    Kim in PA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2005
    no one will rent an ECV to anyone under 18 unless they already use one in daily life. insurance only pays for them for said daily use. not rentals at theme parks.
    Yes, we are looking at an ECV for her next wheelchair when she starts high school. There is another student there who uses one. I was referring to that when I mentioned insurance.
     

    arminnie

    <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
    Joined
    Aug 22, 2003
    Please carefully examine her using an ECV in high school vs. a power chair. I recently switched from an ECV to a power chair. The chair is 10x easier to navigate. I can go places that I could never navigate in an ECV. Many so called "accessible" restrooms do not accomodate an ECV at all. Many stores have aisles that do not have enough room for an ECV to make a turn.

    An ECV is great when traveling on fairly straight smooth paths. It can be extremely cumbersome when trying to navigate turns, etc.
     

    Kim in PA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2005
    Thank you so much for this information!
    Please carefully examine her using an ECV in high school vs. a power chair. I recently switched from an ECV to a power chair. The chair is 10x easier to navigate. I can go places that I could never navigate in an ECV. Many so called "accessible" restrooms do not accomodate an ECV at all. Many stores have aisles that do not have enough room for an ECV to make a turn.

    An ECV is great when traveling on fairly straight smooth paths. It can be extremely cumbersome when trying to navigate turns, etc.
     
  • Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    Here is the first question that came to me after reading your first post. How well does your daughter do with managing her wheelchair day to day? If she is ok with that, it may be worth while for her to work on building up stamina in the chair before the trip, the same way that it really benefits some people to start a walking routine before a Disney trip. That being said, there are trade offs between a manual and power device and she ultimately will have to make the call which works best for her.
     

    Michy

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2015
    I would not look into a ecv I fell she has a history of pressure sores as putting a pressure relieving cushion on it doesn’t really work. I would look more into a portable powerchair instead as they can take cushions more easily. I retreated my mom making me wait til after school to get my first powerchair as soon as I got it I was a lemon to do way more.
     

    Kim in PA

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2005
    She is totally independent all day at school in her chair. She is in all regular classes without any assistance, except to get on and off the bus, which I guess is a legal thing. I just know how draining Disney can be, and it is hard to push her, because she likes the anti tipppers down, and we always run into those. She is also super sensitive about her hair, which is very long, and always seems to be where the handles are. She also has PTSD from medical trauma in China, so little things like having her hair touched, or the bumping her back wheels are irritating to her.

    Here is the first question that came to me after reading your first post. How well does your daughter do with managing her wheelchair day to day? If she is ok with that, it may be worth while for her to work on building up stamina in the chair before the trip, the same way that it really benefits some people to start a walking routine before a Disney trip. That being said, there are trade offs between a manual and power device and she ultimately will have to make the call which works best for her.
     

    Staren

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 24, 2017
    Where she is at right now sounds very familiar to me. I got a big feeling of “been there, done that” from your post. My suggestion would be to go with what she wants to try. If it was my choice, I’d plan to bring her regular chair and see how it goes, but check with a couple of off site rental companies just in case. I’ve heard that one or two will sometimes rent to teens with experience.
     

    KPeterso

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2004
    We met a family last fall who rented an ECV from Walker for their 14 year old who had hip dysplasia. I commented I was surprised that Walker would let them rent for a kid that age, but the Mom said they were never asked. Now, the girl looked more like 15-16 than 14, but she was definitely 14 and getting ready for major surgery for her hip issues. The family said the practice driving the ECV will be helpful for when she learns to drive in a few years.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    The company that makes my personal device also makes it in a "junior" version, but there are 2 reasons I wouldn't recommend it for your daughter.

    First because your daughter needs to use a gel cushion (or similar), and this device relies on a "tricycle" style seat with a simple seat back. You could have the seat re-upholstered with a better cushioning material, but instead I would fit it with a standard ECV replacement seat that could accept additional cushioning (might need someone who could drill holes in the seat post plate for that). I'm actually considering that for my next step to delay the move to a power chair.

    Secondly, and most importantly is that the "Junior" size device actually sits lower to the ground - making it *less* visible at WDW, and basically guaranteeing that her entire view will be butts, butts and more butts. :( So, that's no good either...

    If you can, identify a vendor *before* you get to WDW that will bring out an ECV if you decide that is the way to go. Don't wait until you are on the ground in Orlando to try and find someone who will rent to her.

    (Our daughter was born with bilateral club feet, and was treated until her 18th birthday in the Shriner's Hospital System. Shriner's also treats SB. There is never a charge to the patient or their family. Contact any Shriner, or local Shrine organization, or Google for more info.)
     


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