QLK Case Study: Doug Goddard

QLK Helps Ministry Director Bring Joy and Community to Others who are Disabled

As co-founder and director of the Florida-based Access-Life Ministry, Doug Goddard is committed to helping people who are living with disabilities, as he is himself, participate in otherwise inaccessible recreational activities while also connecting them with Christian communities. Because his personal freedom, independence, mobility and safety are important in carrying out this mission, Doug chose Q’Straint for all of his vehicle lock down and tie-down needs.

With a QLK-150 wheelchair docking station in his minivan, Goddard is able to drive or ride to daily activities, fishing, hunting or boating excursions, or — most importantly — to ministry-related business or events, such the six Access-Life Expos held every year in Florida, Tennessee and Texas. “The QLK means independence, freedom and safety; just being able to drive to go places by myself,” he says. “I’m not dependent on somebody else to strap me in. I just pull in, drive, push the button (to release) and I’m back out.”

Rather than consider himself limited after suffering a spinal cord injury as a teenager, Goddard found the motivation to accomplish all he could in life. He finished high school; graduated from college, where he met and married his wife, Leanne; earned a law degree, and enjoyed a successful ten-year career in marketing and product development. “I felt like God was calling me to do the most with what I had,” he says.

Since 2005, “doing the most” has meant working to improve the lives of other people with disabilities , first as a volunteer then as paid staff with the California-based Joni and Friends International Disability Center, and now through Access-Life, which he and Leanne founded in 2010.

“The QLK means independence, freedom and safety. It means self-esteem, too, because self-esteem is something that a lot of people with disabilities have challenges with. You can’t do a lot of the things that other people do and you’re very dependent on other people. So when you’re able to do things not only for yourself, but for somebody else, too, that really increases your self-esteem and self-worth.”

According to Goddard, the disabled not only have difficulty participating in outdoor activities, but only one in ten of those affected by disability attends church. The free, four-hour Access-Life Expos provide a way to change that. Special boarding devices for kayaking, automatic casters and reels for fishing, pontoon boats for those in wheelchairs and a host of dry land games and activities allow participants with disabilities to enjoy experiences not often available to them.

With QLK, Goddard has the freedom and confidence to be there. “Q’Straint’s innovations just make it more user friendly,” he says.

For example, Goddard says he encountered problems with the low ground clearance of his previous securement’s locking bolt. “I could rip up somebody’s lawn going through their yards. And getting over thresholds was difficult.”

“He would be out by himself and he’d be stranded because he got stuck on something,” adds Leanne. Q’Straint solved that problem by finding a way to increase ground clearance. “They redid ours and the bolt is about 2 inches off the ground now, which has been phenomenal,” says Doug.

Goddard also appreciates the QLK’s sleek control pad. “That’s probably the coolest thing that we love. They’re so thin. And the color blends with most interiors. You can’t even tell they’re there. They look like they’re from the manufacturer. And then they work great. You just touch them, so that’s been really cool.”

Plus, Goddard has helped mobility dealers appreciate the advantages of the QLK system. “We’re getting a new van and the shop had specified a different system,” he explains. “And we said, ‘No, no, no, we’re getting the QLK.’ And so they’ve been able to learn about those features and see that the QLK is a lot nicer.”

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