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United Access Wins Bronze Stevie® Award for Ethics in 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – February 23, 2019 – United Access was presented with a Bronze Stevie® Award in The Sales Partnerships Award for Ethics in Sales category in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service last night. United Access was the only accessible vehicle company to receive a Sales & Customer Service Stevie® award across all categories.

Trophy Awards

The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top honors for customer service, contact center, business development, and sales professionals. The Stevie Awards organization stages seven of the world’s leading business awards programs, including the prestigious American Business Awards® and International Business Awards®.

The awards were presented to honorees during a gala banquet on Friday, February 22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. More than 700 executives from the U.S.A. and several other nations attended.

More than 2,700 nominations from organizations in 45 nations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Winners were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees.

Entries were considered in 93 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

As a company, we are all bound together by a common purpose, to give people the power of freedom and independence by providing the safest and most trusted accessible driving solutions in the country. One of these key values was formalized as follows: Our culture is based around doing what is right. We use this simple, but powerful, statement as a compass in all of our business dealings, decisions and actions – we do what’s right, ” said President and founder, Richard May.

All of the Stevie Award winners should be very proud of their achievements. Independent professionals around the world have agreed that their accomplishments are worthy of public recognition,” said Stevie Awards President and founder, Michael Gallagher.

Details about the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service and the list of Stevie winners in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/sales.

About United Access

Established in 1997, this small, family-owned and operated company has grown into the second largest provider of accessible vehicles and products across the country. United Access partnered with industry-leading manufacturers to supply its stores with the best and safest products, including accessible wheelchair vans, trucks and SUVs, wheelchair lifts and scooter lifts, hand controls, power transfer seats and more. To learn more, visit www.unitedaccess.com.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in seven programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

Sponsors of the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include Sales Partnerships and ValueSelling Associates.

Accessible Transportation Means Independence for Connor

The McCarthy’s are a family who knows that life can change in an instant. Paul and Tanya McCarty live in Battleground, Washington with their two children. At the young age of sever, Conor, their son, was diagnosed with Ullrich Muscular Dystrophy, a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. The doctors thought that he had only a mild case, but then things changed.

United Access Conor McCarthy

Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy is a condition that mainly affects skeletal muscles (the muscles used for movement). Affected individuals show severe muscle weakness soon after birth, develop stiff joints (contractures) in their knees and elbows, and may have an unusual range of movement (hypermobility) in their wrists and ankles. Some of the debilitating symptoms of this disease include respiratory failure, scoliosis, and hip dislocation.

The last two years have been difficult for everyone in the family, but mostly for Conor. Conor stopped walking just before the 6th grade; contractures formed in his knees and elbows. Recently, Conor underwent a surgery to put rods into his back as a result of his scoliosis. Conor’s lungs are functioning at 29% of normal capacity.

“We, thankfully, do have a 2006 minivan,” says Mrs. McCarthy. “This is the only car we are able to get him [Conor] in and out of at this time due to the contractures in his knees. My kids go to a private school with no bus service, so we drive them back and forth daily. We have to lift my son in and out of the front seat.” As a result, Conor has chosen not to leave the house except for school. The lifting, pushing and pulling to transfer him in and out of the minivan has become too much for him. He says it hurts and he is afraid that his parents will get hurt as well.

Thanks to the Steelman Family Foundation, a few private donors, and the family’s own funds, the McCarthy family will be driving away in their beautiful midnight blue, side-entry, Honda Odyssey minivan from United Access [12905 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230]. “Having an accessible van where Conor can easily enter and exit on his own is life changing for us. We will be able to do things as a family again and Conor will have his independence back.”

For more information about the Steelman Family Foundation, visit www.steelmanfamilyfoundation.org. For more information about United Access, visit www.unitedaccess.com.

Tips for Caregivers on Finding Special Needs-Accessible Housing

by Guest Blogger, Beverly Nelson

Affordability and availability are two of the biggest problems facing caregivers looking for homes that are accessible for a child or adult with special needs. Families who struggle to find accessible, move in-ready homes often have to settle for a home that needs modifications, which can be an extremely expensive proposition if you’re unable to find financial assistance or a government program to help defray the cost. Online resources for finding accessible homes are scant, though there are a few that allow you to do targeted searching based on specific criteria. In general, house hunting for families with a special needs individual can be difficult.

Accessibility

An accessible home is one that covers a wide range of requirements, with specific features and/or technologies to help accommodate people with mental or physical disabilities. Such accommodations should include kitchen counters and sinks that sit low enough to be accessible for an individual in a wheelchair. Other such features might include widened doorways (at least 32 inches across, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA), roll-under stoves, wheel-in showers and electrical outlets that are high enough for ready access. For an individual with limited mobility, front stairs create an obstacle requiring an entry ramp, a feature that can be quite difficult to find.

Some houses may feature a few of these accessibility and safety features, but not all do, making it necessary to complete the work by paying a contractor to make needed modifications (or doing them yourself). Finding a fully-accessible home often does little good, because they can be very expensive whether you’re buying or renting.

Resources

Well-informed real estate agents who have experience working with disabled individuals often are the best (and sometimes the only) resource for families looking for accessible housing. However, there are a few websites offering detailed information about houses with the right accessibility features. Barrier Free Home is a searchable site with detailed information about accessible housing throughout the United States. Listings feature basic details such as square footage, number of bedrooms, if there’s a garage, etc., as well as information specific to disabled accessibility, such as whether it’s ADA compliant, if it has a level entry, roll-in shower, roll-under sink, bathroom safety features, and more.

AMS Vans provides detailed information about wheelchair-accessible housing and assistance programs, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also offers online resources for people seeking accessible housing.

Government programs

There are a number of programs administered by HUD that are aimed at making housing more affordable and accessible for America’s disabled/special needs population. Section 811 is dedicated to helping product housing for very low-income, non-elderly individuals who have significant disabilities. Under Section 811, renters pay 30 percent of their adjusted income, thereby ensuring affordability. HUD’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program also helps very low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly afford housing in the private market. Those who participate in Section 8 find their own housing but pay only 30 percent of their income.

Moving

A lot depends on finding the right company to handle your move. It requires time spent online doing research; reading customer reviews, investigating a moving company and its complaint history, verifying its certifications and insurance, and getting quotes before making a decision. A reputable company should take inventory of all your belongings and do a walk-through of your home to get an idea of how much needs moving. Never pay a cash deposit in advance, and avoid packing costs for boxes and packing materials. Getting everything straightened out in advance will help make sure all goes well on moving day.

Finding accessible housing if you have a special needs family member can take time and patience. Becoming familiar with your rights and available resources can help you find properties that address your needs and make it easier for a disabled individual to live in happiness and convenience.