IndependenceFirst, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit with a vision for full inclusion of people with disabilities, announced today that it will close its Mobility Store. The Mobility Store's two locations will remain open through the end of January 2019.
The Mobility Store is a statewide program offering low-cost, refurbished and sanitized mobility and durable medical equipment to older adults and people with disabilities who lack the resources to acquire new equipment. IndependenceFirst operates Mobility Store locations in Madison and Wauwatosa and works with the Independent Living Centers throughout Wisconsin to provide service statewide. In 2017, 2,248 individuals received services through the Mobility Store, purchasing 3,539 pieces of adaptive equipment. The program diverted 70 tons of equipment from the landfill.
â€œThe affordable adaptive equipment we have been able to provide through the Mobility Store has had a powerful impact on the individuals we serve," said Mike Lipscomb, Chairman of the IndependenceFirst Board of Directors. â€œAfter the closure of the Mobility Stores, IndependenceFirst staff will continue to work with consumers to increase their mobility, self-confidence, independence and overall quality of life through the more than 20 other programs that IndependenceFirst provides throughout the four-county greater Milwaukee area."
The Mobility Store began as the Wheelchair Recycling Program in Madison in 1988. IndependenceFirst took over operation of the program in 2012 and renamed it the Mobility Store. This equipment re-use project is run in collaboration with the Wisconsin Correctional System; donated equipment is sanitized and completely refurbished through a program at Redgranite Correctional Institution.
The store's remaining inventory will be sold at reduced prices at the Madison and Wauwatosa locations through the end of January 2019. The Mobility Store has stopped accepting equipment donations.