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Northern Illinois residents can rent off-road wheelchair

September 16, 2018

CALEDONIA, Ill. (AP) — An all-terrain outdoor wheelchair is available for public use in northern Illinois.

The Rockford Register Star reports that Winnebago County is the first in the state to offer a battery-operated outdoor wheelchair to rent and use for free.

Jeremy Oster of Rockton nonprofit Hononegah Archery worked with Access Ability Wisconsin to host the wheelchair. A $25,000 grant from the Friends of National Rifle Association helped cover the cost of the wheelchair and a trailer to haul it around.

Oster says he can also accommodate residents in Boone and Ogle counties who want to borrow the wheelchair.

Rockford resident Jenna Hammerly recently test-drove the outdoor wheelchair. Hammerly is a quadriplegic and she calls the wheelchair a “game changer.”

Hammerly says many individuals with disabilities are below the poverty line, so owning such a wheelchair isn’t feasible.

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