Manon Van Den Hueval is an ableMove ambassador, based in The Netherlands and has been using ableMove products since Josh founded the company in 2018. Manon is an influential and well-known travel blogger and influencer. Every ableMove product has a personal story behind it, and Manon has been an important part of the ableMove story, so we wanted to get to know her a little better.
Manon has been writing blogs for a long time about her life with a disability and these are mainly focused on sharing experiences and tips and tricks for her readers. She started vlogging during holidays so her readers and followers can have virtual ‘roomtours’ and see for themselves whether an adapted room is sufficient for them or not at all. “I really want to get everything out of life that’s possible for me and hope to inspire others to do this as well!” When asked what her plans are for the future, Manon’s message is simple, to support and inspire others to live their best lives. We love this outlook on life, and Manon’s positive energy is infectious.
Manon and ableMove Founder, Josh Wintersgill, first met on holiday and quickly got talking about the issues surrounding travelling with a disability, specifically flying as a wheelchair user and were able to share experiences of the difficulties they faced when flying and travelling. Josh asked Manon to test the ableSling, which was still in development at the time, and neither have looked back since, with Manon now an official reseller of the ableMove range of products in The Netherlands. “I love to share new products that make life with a disability more fun and easier to participate with fellow disabled people,” says Manon.
Manon is now a champion of not only the ableSling, but the whole ableMove range of products and uses them in her daily life to help her carry out a whole variety of day to day and more specialised activities. “Before I used the ableSling, I hated transfers around the airplane, but with the ableSling, transfers are easy and fast.” Manon goes on to describe how other ableMove products help her when she is travelling by aircraft, “The ableStrap gives me an extra sense of security due to my legs not swinging around during the transfer with the ableSling. The addition of the ableMove Airport Bags ensures life with a disability is getting easier and safer, because when these (Airport Bags) are present everywhere and accessible for every traveller with a disability, we shift the responsibility to those who should be responsible for our safety: the airports and airlines.”
“Exploring the world is so much fun and the world is increasingly more accessible by the year! If we do not show ourselves, the world will not change either. So go forth and explore!” Manon does acknowledge however that flying or travelling abroad can be a scary prospect for a wheelchair user. “I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences with (in)accessibility in the past. But the positive experiences have so much more value! And these always have given me a lot of confidence for the next adventure.”
Manon’s top tip is to prepare as much as possible and not to be scared to ask people to help you.
We asked Manon how, in her view, the aviation industry can improve the overall flying experience for wheelchair users, Manon is clear in what she views needs to happen. “Understanding for people with a disability and how much they are in need of their equipment. This of course goes way beyond the aviation industry, it is something of a growth process for society in general.”
When asked about her favourite travel destination, there is a clear winner in Manon’s eyes; “The Canary island of Tenerife is a true paradise for wheelchair users, it is one of the few locations where you’ll find everything you might possible need: nurse care, accessible excursions for wheelchair use (you can even go to the top of the largest volcano on the island), rental of equipment, wheelchair repair services, and so much more.” Whilst there, Manon loves spending time at the beach and in the pool. “The ableDry means I can go swimming and to the beach and get into my wheelchair with my wet swimwear and stay dry and comfortable.”. The problem of transferring from a water based activity back into a wheelchair and sitting in a damp and uncomfortable chair is one faced by all wheelchair users and the ableDry is the perfect solution to this.
Read Manon’s blogs, watch her vlogs, and find out more about her here.