Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Review of People In Motion 2016

Believe it or not, I have been writing about the People In Motion show for Outspoken for ten years. The show seemed to be on the way out a couple of years ago. But Canadian National Show Management has done a pretty good job of reviving the show. This year the show was May 27 & 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Building in Exhibition Place. It's been at this location for years because there is plenty of space for WheelTrans vehicles. Maybe it's time to move the show elsewhere. The ironic thing is because I take the TTC instead of WheelTrans, they run WheelTrans shuttle buses from Bathurst Station. Those buses run every half hour. It's the only time I will use WheelTrans this year. When I go to a concert next month, I'll take the subway. I spoke to someone from WheelTrans at the show. I told him why I don't use it. I don't like to wait. They are doing things on their time. I want to do things on my time. The other reason to move the show is I would like to see better food at this show. Overpriced fast food doesn't cut it. The new owners of the show have added sport demos and speakers. I don't have time to look at those things because I don't want to spend all day there. I just want to see if there are any new products to write about. This year I am leading with a significant business change.

Motion Specialties Takes Over Shoppers Home Health Care

Earlier this year, it came to my attention that Motion Specialties purchased Shoppers Home Health Care. I wasn't sure exactly what the deal was because it was not reported by local media. I heard about it through my own sources. Because Motion had a booth at this year's PIM, I spoke to Motion's Randy Keith so I could give you the real lowdown. Of course we all know that Loblaws bought Shoppers Drug Mart a couple of years ago. This includes Shoppers Home Health Care. There are two elements to Shoppers Home Health Care. There are the retail locations and there is the wheelchair business complete with repair shop. It seems that Loblaws didn't want to be in the wheelchair service business. The retail locations will continue to operate as they always have. Motion Specialties took over the wheelchair sales operation, the repair shop and the infamous wheelchair pool. Randy told me that Motion has moved into the Shoppers shop. They have integrated it with their current operation. There were plenty of service problems with Shoppers before the switch. Randy says that Motion will address all of the problems as quickly as possible. Shoppers was a big operation so that will take time. But I think Motion can handle it. I spoke to a couple of others about this and the wheelchair business in Ontario is mostly handling red tape. It's not a retail business because service is the most important thing. Loblaws simply wanted the retail part of Shoppers. They didn't want the rest of it.

Spinergy ZX-1 adds power to a manual wheelchair

49 Bespoke is best known for aftermarket wheels and other accessories for manual wheelchairs and RGK Wheelchairs. They distribute all kinds of products. They brought a couple of new products to the show. But the one that interested me is the Spinergy ZX-1 from Benoit Systems in France. I spoke to 49 Bespoke owner Reg McClelland and the inventors of Spinergy ZX-1. The bottom line is this product will turn a manual wheelchair into a powerchair. It comes with a motor, a joystick and a battery. These are all easily detachable. This product was invented by a paraplegic. So one of the problems with a standard powerchair is it doesn't fit into a standard car. That's why there are wheelchair vans. Once the motor and the joystick are removed from the manual chair, the chair can be folded as usual and stored in the trunk of the car. This process takes about a minute. I asked the guys to do it while I was there. Reg told me that this product is brand new and he hopes to have ADP approval in Ontario in six months. His other new products were typical of other products I have seen for manual chairs. And I have seen power packs for manual chairs. But you'll notice I have never written about any of them. This is not a power pack. It converts your manual chair into a powerchair. And that gives users more flexibility and it seems safer than a power pack. For more information, you can contact 49 Bespoke at 416-661-4499 in Toronto or toll free 1-866-827-4548 or And that's it from the 2016 People In Motion show. We'll see you next year.

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