Making nature accessible to mobility impaired people


“The environment is common property, yet nearly a quarter of us cannot fully enjoy it, either because of age, disability, or disease, whereas it is these categories of people that need it the most,” explains Daniel Fricot, President and Founder of Escapade Liberté Mobilité.

Modul’évasion: The pleasure of enjoying nature freely!

The Air Liquide Foundation is helping to modernize this association’s fleet of electric vehicles, which allows impaired mobility people to go hiking in the woods and forests around Paris. “We provide technical solutions to make these activities accessible. It really helps to improve their fitness and well-being”. The association uses all-terrain, wheelchair-friendly Modul’évasion electric vehicles. “It’s a nomadic system that doesn’t require any specific adaptations or major infrastructure for local communities,” adds Daniel. “Thanks to this, in 2014 we were able to organize hikes with 250 members, thanks to the help of 30 volunteers and 5 of the association’s employees.”

In order to increase the use of this type of vehicle, Escapade Liberté Mobilité wants to reduce their production cost, increase their range, and improve users’ comfort, “with a more intelligent, dual control driving system.” The association conducted research with engineering students to research and develop a prototype with a simpler chassis using automobile industry standard parts for the undercarriage. The aim is to extend this leisure solution to the whole of France.

Meeting with Air Liquide’s teams

We are very involved in informing and raising awareness among companies and associations about access to outdoor activities for impaired mobility people. It is in this context that we took part in the National Disabled Persons’ Employment week organized at Air Liquide’s Paris-Saclay research center in November 2014. Beyond the financial support, it is important for us to raise our employees’ awareness of these issues,” underlines Daniel. “As sponsor of this project, I was happy that the employees of the research center were able to test these vehicles and talk about the ways of improving their production, particularly the aspect concerning the onboard energy system,” explains Anne Million, Human Resources manager of the Paris-Saclay research center. “It was also an opportunity to talk with the association’s volunteers about the different aspects of disability, like the recognition of the quality of disabled workers, ways of improving employment opportunities and job security, as well as their integration into companies,” she finishes.

[divider]

To find out more

Escapade Liberté Mobilité’s Website : www.escapadelibertemobilite.org

[divider]