A local group of women with physical disabilities (aka “the Wheelie Women”) have started a “Mobility Aids Lending Library” (MALL) to serve the greater Bloomington community. They realized that many in their network have unneeded canes, crutches, walkers, ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs), rollators, scooters, and wheelchairs taking up space and being of no use to anyone. They would like to change this by making these mobility devices available to people free of charge to those who cannot afford them or only need them for a short period of time. The City of Bloomington Council for Community Accessibility (CCA) and the Monroe County Public Library (MCPL) are partnering with them to make this new community service a reality.
Michael Shermis, the staff liaison to the CCA in the Community and Family Resources Department, says “I frequently get calls from people who are both searching to donate their mobility aids, as well as from those who need one. This will be a much-needed service for our community.”
In line with the MCPL’s mission to not only lend books but also needed services and “things,” they will be hosting the MALL once a month on Sunday afternoons. Members of the Wheelie Women group will be present to share their experiences using mobility aids and hopefully to help folks determine what might work best for them. The first MALL will be on Sunday, May 29th, 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Monroe County Public Library, Room 2B. Efforts are also underway to create an online inventory so users can see what is currently available.
”Accessibility is one of the Library’s core values,” according to Chris Jackson, MCPL’s Outreach Services Manager, “and we are thus happy to support the work of MALL by providing a meeting space where community members find out more and make arrangements to get mobility equipment to those who need it.”
For larger items, Anderson’s Medical Products has generously signed on to store, maintain, and act as a drop-off/pickup site for mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, lifts, etc. Anderson’s is located at 1787 W. 3rd St., in Bloomington. Please fill out the form below before dropping any item off.
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when considering whether you might benefit from using a mobility aid:
To donate your unused or unneeded mobility aids, please fill out the form here: http://tinyurl.com/MALLbloomingtondonations.
If you might need a mobility aid, even temporarily, please indicate what you want on this form: http://tinyurl.com/MALLblomingtonneed
Pickup and drop off for smaller items will be on Sunday, May 29th, from 1:00-3:00 p.m., at the Monroe County Public Library, Room 2B (and the last Sundays of the month after that).
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 812-349-3471
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