Tag Archives: hand controls

How To Properly Insure Your Accessible Wheelchair Van

Everyone understands that it’s a legal requirement to have their vehicles insured and recognizes the value of being properly insured in case of an accident. But, most people are not insurance experts. In fact, some aspects of vehicle insurance confuse many people.


In order to keep your accessible van as safe as you can make sure you’re protecting it with the right types of commercial auto insurance. Here are the primary types of insurance you’ll need:

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is normally required by law in all parts of the United States. This coverage is designed to protect other people from suffering losses that are caused when your wheelchair van causes an auto accident. Liability insurance primarily focuses on two coverage areas: Bodily injuries and Property Damages.

  • Bodily Injury – This section of your liability insurance policy helps pay for any injuries inflicted on other people from an auto accident. If your mobility van causes, or is found to be at fault for, an auto accident that causes people to get physically hurt, the bodily injury portion of your coverage pays for their medical expenses. When an injured person must be transported to the hospital for example, your bodily injury coverage can pay for the ambulatory bills and expenses. It also pays for the emergency room care, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation and other medical bills that are caused due to the auto accident. Bodily injury also pays for a person’s lost wages when they must miss work due to recovery times, and it pays for pain and suffering of the victims. When a person is killed in an auto accident, your bodily injury insurance can pay their funeral expenses as well.
  • Property Damage – When a vehicle or other property sustains damages from an auto accident that was caused by your handicap van, the property damages portion of your liability insurance will pay for the cost of repairs.

Liability insurance can provide your wheelchair van with protection at varying levels, based on the amount of coverage you select. You can choose a standard split level policy or a combined single limit policy as well.

A split limit policy sets maximum benefit limits on two separate portions of an auto accident claim. Split limit policies will pay no more than the set limit per person for bodily injuries but no more than the total combined limit for all bodily injuries in an accident. It will also pay a separate maximum for property damages. Example: A liability split limit policy of $15,000/$50,000/$35,000 explains a specific payment maximum per accident. No more than $15,000 will be paid for any individual person’s bodily injuries in one accident; no more than $50,000 will be paid for the combined total of bodily injuries; and $35,000 is the maximum amount the policy will pay for property damages.

If you elect a single combined limit liability policy instead, there is no separate maximum limit defined for bodily injuries or property damages. There is just one maximum overall payout for the policy for each accident. A $50,000 combined single limit liability policy for example, would pay a maximum of $50,000 in damages per accident regardless of whether the damages were to people or property.

Medical Payments

Medical payments insurance is important coverage for a wheelchair van, because it pays medical related expenses that arise for your van driver and any passengers who were riding in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Coverage is for paying medical and related bills, such as ambulance transport, hospital care and follow up treatments. This insurance protects your driver and passengers without regard to who causes an auto accident. It is not available in all areas however, so be sure to contact one of your licensed representatives to determine if it’s an option for your policy.

Physical Damage Insurance

Physical damages insurance protects your wheelchair accessible vehicle itself. And it protects your you from having to pay the bills when the van is damaged or destroyed. This insurance is extremely important for you  if you still have an outstanding unpaid finance loan because it provides you with the most protection possible. There are three types of physical damages insurance protection:

  • Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damages protects you from a number of potential risks, perils and hazards. It does not protect against damages and losses caused by a collision or caused when your van overturns. It does however, protect against losses and damages caused by theft, break ins, vandalism and natural events. If your van is damaged due to a tree falling on it in a storm for example, your comprehensive damage protection coverage will pay for the repairs.
  • Collision Protection – Collision protection is specifically designed to pay for damages and destruction that are caused by a collision or by a roll over event. If your van has a blowout and overturns for example, your collision damage protection will pay for the repairs. If the van backs into a building while trying to access a wheelchair ramp, the collision damage protection pays for those repairs as well.
  • Specified Peril (CAC) – Pecified Peril coverage is also known as Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage. This does not protect you against collision or roll over events. Instead, it protects you from just those perils that are specified on your insurance policy.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

If your van is involved in an auto accident with another vehicle and that other vehicle was the cause for the accident, their liability insurance is supposed to pay for your bodily injuries and property damages. If the other driver does not carry insurance however, or if they do not carry enough coverage to pay all of the resulting bills, they are considered uninsured or underinsured. You can purchase protection against these risks with an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. When the other driver is at fault but unable to pay for all of your damages, your policy will pick up the difference. This policy works much like your Liability policy.

  • Bodily Injury – As covered with Liability Insurance.
  • Property Damage – As covered with Liability Insurance.
  • Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) – When you carry an uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury policy on your wheelchair van, you can qualify for a collision deductible waiver (CDW). The CDW makes it so that you do not have to pay your standard insurance deductible when you make an uninsured or underinsured motorist accident claim.

Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance for Wheelchair Vans

  • Special Equipment Coverage – This type of coverage covers every aspect of vehicle adaptation including mobility equipment such as a lift, ramp, lowered floor, kneeling systems, a lock-down system, or any other added adaptive driving equipment (hand controls and left foot accelerators).
  • Rental – If your van is unusable due to an auto accident, rental insurance can pay for the cost of a temporary replacement.
  • Towing – Towing insurance pays for the cost of towing your accessible vehicle from the scene of an accident when it is badly damaged.
  • Accessories – Accessories insurance protects you from losses associated with extra devices you may have installed on your van. A wheelchair van taxi may have a mileage meter installed for example, and a communications radio to keep them in contact with their dispatcher.

** The limits of your coverage and your deductibles for each element of your policy will vary based upon what you’ve purchased from your insurance company.

Accessible Vehicles And Adaptive Mobility Equipment Q&A

Rear entry vs. side entry. Buying online. Buying used. What do you need to know to get maximum benefit for minimum expense?

Good information is the key to saving money and getting the most value for the dollar when making a big-ticket purchase like a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

With that in mind, Seek out and find experts who truly care for answers to some common questions about adaptive mobility equipment.

Q: Can I just go to a car dealer down the street or do I need a certified mobility dealer?

A: Certified mobility dealers help consumers buy the right vehicle and adaptive mobility equipment to meet their mobility needs now and in the future. Future planning is especially important for people with muscle diseases that get progressively worse over time.

“There are so many different products out there, and technology has improved so much. We just want to help people make the right decision,” says Jim Sanders, president of Automotive Innovations based in Bridgewater, MA for over 25 years.

“Many times, consumers will go to a car dealer and buy [a vehicle] that can’t be modified or one that doesn’t fit their needs. And once you buy a vehicle, normally it’s very difficult to return it.”

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), a nonprofit organization that provides consumer guidance and ensures quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of mobility equipment. Members include mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals.

NMEDA member-dealers must follow the safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in addition to NMEDA’s own stringent guidelines.

Some dealers choose to enroll in NMEDA’s Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which requires them to adhere to national motor vehicle safety standards, and use proven quality control practices to yield the highest level of performance and safety. Automotive Innovations was the First Mobility Dealer in Massachusetts to enroll and exceed the safety standards.

“The QAP dealer is audited by an outside engineering firm to verify that technicians have been trained, make sure the dealer has insurance and make sure the facility is ADA-compliant,”

So it means the QAP dealer is going above and beyond.”

Other reasons to seek out a certified mobility equipment dealer include:

They provide a link to qualified service and repair, that it’s crucial to have done on a adapted vehicle serviced.

Some manufacturers of adapted vehicles sell directly to consumers, cutting costs by cutting out the middle man, says Jim Sanders, of VMi New England, based in Bridgewater, MA.

But expert assessment and “try before you buy” remain essentials for prospective buyers, with or without a dealer in the middle.

For example, We, a NMEDA QAP-certified member, send representatives to customers’ homes for assessment and test drives before they buy, and also offer unmatched service/maintenance to just about any modified vehicle including Rollx vans.

Q: Can I get a better price if I buy online rather than from a dealer?

A: As with any online shopping, the warning “buyer beware” rings true. Buying online without trying out different vehicles with different conversions can be a costly mistake. Furthermore there are many grey market converted vans being offered as quality conversions.

Online, clients are mostly shopping blind. Typically they have no idea how the vehicle they need will even work fro them, even if they have specific recommendations from a driver evaluator or occupational therapist.

“You definitely shouldn’t buy it online,” “There not trying to assess your needs by e-mail or over the phone. There just trying to sell you something.

Some online dealers even have a questionnaire on its Web site to try and give you the idea your getting what you need. But, it will never replace being able to go to a local mobility dealership and try the vans out first hand.

A mobility vehicle is probably the second-largest purchase after a house. You should see it, try it out, and make sure it’s something that will work for you. It’s horrible when people get something that they’re disappointed in.

Every vehicle is a little bit different — such as in the dimensions, electrical and fuel systems, or suspension modifications. “If you go online and buy [based] on price, you’re not really looking at the total package.”

While buying online maybe able to save money up front, it wont over the long term.

In addition to consumers missing out on the important local service contact that a mobility equipment dealer provides, these online deals or grey market vans are worth much less when it comes time to trade it in.

Where do you want to sit? If you plan to drive from your wheelchair, then a side-entry conversion is what you’ll need, unless you can transfer to the driver’s seat (rear entry). With a rear-entry conversion, the wheelchair user typically is positioned in the back or between two mid-row captain’s seats, while a side entry offers a wheelchair user multiple seating options in the driver, front passenger and middle sections.

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when buying a modified vehicle?

A: Manufacturers and mobility dealers agree that one of the most common — and costly — mistakes is buying the vehicle first and then shopping for the conversion or adaptive mobility equipment. Not all vehicles can be converted.

For example, If you purchase a minivan from a traditional car dealership you can hit a roadblock if it doesn’t meet specific requirements to have the floor lowered for a rear- or side-entry conversion.

Q: What are some good questions to ask a dealer or manufacturer?

A: Although buying a modified vehicle can be “a daunting experience,” says VMI’s Monique McGivney, it also can be “exciting and fun when you walk in armed with good questions and information.”

Prior to getting an assessment from a mobility dealer, evaluate your needs and try answering the following questions:

  • What vehicle will fit in my garage?
  • What kind of parking issues will I encounter where I live?
  • What is the size and weight of my wheelchair?
  • What is my seated height in the wheelchair?
  • How many people will ride in the vehicle?
  • In what part of the vehicle do I want to sit?
  • Will I be able to drive with hand controls?
  • Do I want a full-size van, minivan or alternative vehicle?
  • Do I want manual or power equipment?
  • Will an in-floor ramp or fold-out ramp meet my needs?
  • What is my budget, and do I have access to supplemental funding?

The first question mobility dealers usually ask a client is: “What is your seated height in the wheelchair?” From there, the dealer can advise whether a full-size or minivan is appropriate, and what kind of conversion is needed.

Be sure to ask the dealer about the warranty and how the vehicle can be serviced.

Q: Which is better: rear entry or side entry?

A: The most important difference between a rear- and side-entry conversion is that with a rear entry, wheelchair users can’t drive from their wheelchairs nor can they ride in the front passenger seat. From there, the choice comes down to personal preference and budget.

In recent years, because of quality, convenience and cost, there’s been a shift toward side entry vehicles. Rear entry is more of a frugal modification, involves a less of conversion process and is typically a little less expensive than a side-entry conversion.

Many people prefer side entry with a in-floor conversion for many safety reasons additionally because they can park almost anywhere and not worry deploying the ramp out into traffic. Also, side entry allows the consumer to ride in the passengers front position along with maintain the rear seats in a minivan because the conversion doesn’t affect that area.

Rear entry is harder to get out of compared to a side-entry.

Anyway you look at it side-entry vehicles are more versatile. For example, side entry allows someone with a progressively worsening condition to use the vehicle for a longer period of time. A wheelchair user can start out driving from his or her chair, and then move to several other positions in the vehicle when no longer able to drive.

Side-entry conversions typically are a little more expensive than rear-entry because they’re more intrusive and labor intensive. For example, with a minivan, the entire floor and frame must be removed and replaced with a lowered floor and new frame.

Q: What’s the difference between a fold-out ramp and in-floor ramp?

A: This decision comes down to safety, aesthetics, convenience and cost.

A fold-out ramp folds up into the vehicle, takes up valuable space in the passengers front area and must be deployed whenever the door is opened.

The in-floor ramp slides under the floor, so it safer for anyone seated in the passengers front position, mid-ship position, there’s no obstruction to the door, and other passengers can enter and exit without deploying the ramp. In-floor ramps only are currently only available for side-entry minivan conversions, and there is even a manual (unpowered) option.

In-floor ramps in addition to being safer will generally provide more room in the vehicle because there’s nothing blocking the doorway. The ramp is “out of sight, out of mind and may last longer because it doesn’t have to be deployed each time the side passenger door opens.

Fold-out ramps generally cost a little less than in-floor, and consumers can select from manual and power versions; a power fold-out ramp still costs less than an in-floor ramp.

If an in-floor ramp system breaks down or the vehicle loses power, VMI’s in-floor ramp systems have a backup system (sure-deploy) that bypasses the vehicle’s battery.

A lot of people just feel more secure knowing there isn’t a fold-out ramp next to them in the event of a accident.

Q: I use a wheelchair, but a van or minivan just isn’t “me.” Are they my only options?

A: You have some choices.

Lowered-floor conversions with fold-out ramps can be done on the Honda Element, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Scion. The conversions are small and don’t fit as many people.

Due to them being built on a much smaller scale, the ones we have seen have not been built with the same level of quality of mini van conversion. Parts availability and repairs have been a problem, some of the companies that converted them are out of business and or have no support for “something they used to build”

For those who prefer to keep their standard car rather than purchasing a modified vehicle — and who can make the transfer from a wheelchair to a car seat — the answer may be as simple as a set of hand controls or a left foot gas pedal

Turning seats can be used in a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs and pickup trucks. A way to transport the wheelchair (like a rear lift) also is needed.

The rate at which your disease symptoms are worsening is one thing to consider when looking at turning seats — is it likely you’ll be able to transfer and ride in a car seat for many more years? Also, be sure to check with a mobility dealer to determine if your vehicle can accommodate a turning seat and a wheelchair lift.

Q: Why are modified vehicles so darned expensive?

A: A vehicle conversion can cost consumers upwards of $27,000 — and that’s just the cost for the conversion, not the vehicle. The total package can run between $45,000 and $80,000 — or more.

Besides the cost of the components, the reason it’s so pricey is that basically there is a lot of work involved to build a quality vehicle.

Modified vehicles from certified manufacturers and dealers must meet NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). That means all modified vehicles must be properly crash tested. (To learn more, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.)

It’s quite a labor-intensive process because of the customization. When you make structural modifications to a vehicle, you have to go through all of the crash testing, and you have to show that the vehicle is compliant again, and those tests are very expensive.

Most of the time lowering the floor in a minivan requires replacing or moving the fuel tank. Once the conversion is finished, the vehicle still has to meet the original requirements for evaporative emissions, in addition to NHTSA requirements.

Q: How can I pay less?

A: Consumers have some options.

Many consumers cut costs by purchasing pre-owned vehicles with new conversions, typically saving around $10,000 to $12,000.

The previous van owner already has absorbed the depreciation hit on a new van, which essentially occurs right after you’ve driven off the dealer’s lot.

Buying used can be beneficial for first-time buyers who want to try out a vehicle for a few years before buying new.

But if you plan to buy used, do some research and make sure the vehicle is structurally sound including the conversion. Ask for a vehicle history (CARFAX) report, and get the vehicle inspected by a mobility dealer to ensure it’s in good shape and was well taken care of.

Q: How do people manage to pay for it?

A: Many consumers used home equity loans to purchase a vehicle and adaptive equipment. But with home values decreasing.

Many dealers and manufacturers work with lending institutions that offer extended-term financing, including 10-year loans, allowing consumers to make lower, more affordable monthly payments. The downside is that consumers are locked into the vehicle for 10 years, and end up paying more in interest.

If you finance for 10 years, and you’re not going to keep the vehicle for that amount of time, you’re going to lose money when you try to sell or trade it because you haven’t paid off much of the balance.

When you buy a new vehicle, many car manufacturers offer mobility reimbursement programs (up to $1,000) to help offset the cost for the purchase and installation of adaptive equipment.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The used market for wheelchair accessible vehicles has grown in the past few years. This growing popularity seems to suggest that this solution works. In some cases, it does; however, buying a used wheelchair accessible vehicle is not like buying a new car. If you are are interested in purchasing a used vehicle, remember these key points.

  • It must meet your mobility needs
    All wheelchair accessible vehicles are different. Ramp width, door clearance, and interior height will vary between vehicles which will affect whether or not the vehicle will work for your needs. Previously installed aftermarket additions, such as hand controls and securment devices, will have to be removed or replaced considering they were put in for the previous owner. Before you you start your search you should know your exact needs. Be aware that this may narrow your options significantly.
  • Getting your current vehicle fitted with a ramp or lift
    It’s possible to convert a minivan you already own and make it accessible, as long as it meets the requirements set by your mobility dealer. Before doing so, you will need to know which accessible ramp or lift style works best for you and your family.
  • Buying online
    eBay Motors and Craigslist are increasingly popular options for buying vehicles online. An increasing number of wheelchair accessible vehicles are listed on these two sites. While the prices may be tempting, this option can be risky if it’s not being sold by a trusted resource (such as a Mobility Center). Ramps are complex pieces of machinery. Without a specially trained mechanic looking it over, it can be very hard to know if a person is selling a good vehicle. We do not recommend this option because it can lead to numerous issues.
  • Used vehicles from a dealership
    While mobility dealers are specifically trained to help you meet all your mobility needs, most still operate like conventional dealers. Customers sometimes trade-in their old vehicles for credit towards a new vehicle, leaving the dealership with a used vehicle. While not every dealership has a used vehicle inventory, some have good options to work with.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: Q&A

Wheelchair
Accessible Vans

Rear entry Vs. Side entry
Buying New Vs. Buying Used
Manual Ramp Vs. Powered Ramp
Honda Vs. Dodge/Chrysler Vs. Toyota Vs. Ford
Certified Mobility Dealer Vs. Car Dealer Vs. Buying online
What do you need to know to get maximum benefit for minimum expense?

Good information is the key to saving money and getting the most value for the dollar when making a big-ticket purchase like a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

With that in mind, Seek out and find experts who truly care. Here are some answers to common questions about adaptive mobility equipment.

Can I just go to a car dealer down the street or do I need a certified mobility dealer?

Certified mobility dealers will help you buy the right vehicle and adaptive mobility equipment to meet your needs now and in the future. Future planning is especially important for people with muscle diseases that get progressively worse over time.

“Technology has improved tremendously over the years so there are numerous products available. Our goal is to help people find the right equipment that best fits their needs,” says Jim Sanders, president of Automotive Innovations based in Bridgewater, MA for over 25 years.

“Many times, consumers will go to a car dealer and buy a vehicle that can’t be modified or one that doesn’t fit their needs. And once you buy a vehicle, normally it’s very difficult to return.”

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), a nonprofit organization that provides consumer guidance and ensures quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of mobility equipment. Members include mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals.

NMEDA member-dealers must follow the safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in addition to NMEDA’s own stringent guidelines.

Some dealers choose to enroll in NMEDA’s Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which requires them to adhere to national motor vehicle safety standards, and use proven quality control practices to yield the highest level of performance and safety. Automotive Innovations was the First Mobility Dealer in Massachusetts to enroll and exceed the safety standards.

“The QAP dealer is audited by an outside engineering firm to verify that technicians have been trained and that the dealer has insurance and make sure the facility is ADA-compliant,” which means the QAP dealer is going above and beyond.

 

Can I get a better price if I buy online rather than from a dealer?

As with any online shopping, the warning “buyer beware” rings true. Buying online without trying out different vehicles with different conversions can be a costly mistake. Furthermore there are many grey market converted vans being offered as quality conversions.

Online, you are mostly shopping blind. Typically you will have no idea how the vehicle you need will work for you, even with specific recommendations from a driver evaluator or occupational therapist.

“You definitely shouldn’t buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle online, most online sellers are not qualified Mobility Dealers attempting to assess your needs, they’re just car dealers trying to sell you something.”

Some online dealers even have questionnaires on their websites to try and give you the idea your getting what you need. But, it will never replace being able to go to a local mobility dealership and try the vans out first hand.

A mobility vehicle is probably the second-largest purchase after a house. You should see it, try it out, and make sure it’s something that will work for you and your family. It’s horrible when people spend so much an a vehicle that will never work for them.

Every vehicle is a little bit different — such as in the dimensions, electrical and fuel systems, or suspension modifications. “If you go online and buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle based on the price, you’re not really looking at the total package.”

While buying online may be able to save you some money up front, it won’t over the long term.

In addition to you missing out on the important local service contact that a mobility equipment dealer provides, these online deals or grey market vans are worth much less when it comes time to trade it in.

 

What are some common mistakes people make when buying a modified vehicle?

Manufacturers and mobility dealers agree that one of the most common — and costly — mistakes is buying the vehicle first and then shopping for the conversion or adaptive mobility equipment. Not all vehicles can be converted.

For example, If you purchase a minivan from a traditional car dealership you can hit a roadblock if it doesn’t meet specific requirements to have the floor lowered for a rear- or side-entry conversion.

 

What are some good questions to ask a dealer or manufacturer?

Although buying a modified vehicle can be “a daunting experience,” says VMI’s Monique McGivney, it also can be “exciting and fun when you walk in armed with good questions and information.”

Prior to getting an assessment from a mobility dealer, evaluate your needs and try answering the following questions:

  • What vehicle will fit in my garage?
  • What kind of parking issues will I encounter where I live?
  • What is the size and weight of my wheelchair?
  • What is my seated height in the wheelchair?
  • How many people will ride in the vehicle?
  • In what part of the vehicle do I want to sit?
  • Will I be able to drive with hand controls?
  • Do I want a full-size van, minivan or alternative vehicle?
  • Do I want manual or power equipment?
  • Will an in-floor ramp or fold-out ramp meet my needs?
  • What is my budget, and do I have access to supplemental funding?

The first question most mobility dealers will ask you is: “What is your seated height in the wheelchair?” From there, the dealer can advise whether a full-size or minivan is appropriate, and what kind of conversion is needed.

Be sure to ask the dealer about the warranty and how the vehicle can be serviced.

Which Make and Model is the best for a handicapped accessible vehicle?

It honestly depends on what you fit into best and what options you prefer.

No two wheelchair accessible vehicles are the same. They vary in size, shape, color, features and design depending on the vehicle’s make and model. The only way to guarantee which is the best vehicle for you is if you come in and try them all out.

For example: The Honda has a little bit more room inside to maneuver a wheelchair than a Dodge, just as a Toyota has a bit more space than a Honda. A Ford offers more headroom than all of the above. But that all depends on the conversion and manufacturer.

Although color and features matter least to us, some find them just as important as fitting into the vehicle. Each Manufacturer offers their own color schemes, which you can look up on their websites. You can also search for what features you would prefer to have.

When you come into our Mobility Center we will help you find the vehicle that best fits you and your family’s needs. If you love the vehicle but not the color or features we can custom order a vehicle for you. That way we know you are buying a vehicle that best fits you and one that you are 100% happy with.

Which is better: rear entry or side entry?

The most important difference between a rear entry and side-entry conversion is that with a rear entry, wheelchair users can’t drive from their wheelchairs nor can they ride in the front passenger seat. From there, the choice comes down to personal preference and budget.

In recent years, because of quality, convenience and cost, there’s been a shift toward side entry vehicles. Rear entry is more of a frugal modification, involves a less of conversion process and is typically a little less expensive than a side-entry conversion.

Many people prefer side entry with an in-floor conversion for many safety reasons additionally  because they can park almost anywhere and not worry deploying the ramp out into traffic. Also, side entry allows the consumer to ride in the passengers front position along with maintain the rear seats in a minivan because the conversion doesn’t affect that area.

Rear entry is harder to get out of compared to a side-entry.

Anyway you look at it side-entry vehicles are more versatile. For example, side entry allows someone with a progressively worsening condition to use the vehicle for a longer period of time. A wheelchair user can start out driving from his or her chair, and then move to several other positions in the vehicle when no longer able to drive.

Side-entry conversions typically are a little more expensive than rear-entry because they’re more intrusive and labor intensive. For example, with a minivan, the entire floor and frame must be removed and replaced with a lowered floor and new frame.


What’s the difference between a fold-out ramp and in-floor ramp?

This decision comes down to safety, aesthetics, convenience and cost.

A fold-out ramp folds up into the vehicle, takes up valuable space in the passengers front area and must be deployed whenever the door is opened.

The in-floor ramp slides under the floor which makes riding in the vehicle safer for anyone seated in the passengers front position or the mid-ship position. There is no obstruction to the doorway so other passengers can enter and exit without deploying the ramp. In-floor ramps are currently only available as a side-entry minivan conversion, but they offer a manual (un-powered) option as well.

In-floor ramps in addition to being safer will generally provide more room in the vehicle because there’s nothing blocking the doorway. The ramp is “out of sight, out of mind” and may last longer because it doesn’t have to be deployed each time the side passenger door opens.

Fold-out ramps generally cost a little less than an in-floor ramp and consumers can select from manual and power versions; a power fold-out ramp still costs less than an in-floor ramp.

If an in-floor ramp system breaks down or the vehicle loses power, VMI’s in-floor ramp systems have a backup system (sure-deploy) that bypasses the vehicle’s battery.

A lot of people just feel more secure knowing there isn’t a fold-out ramp next to them in the event of a accident.

I use a wheelchair, but a van or minivan just isn’t “me.” Are they my only options?

You have other choices.

Lowered-floor conversions with fold-out ramps can be done on the Honda Element, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Scion. The conversions are small and don’t fit as many people.

Due to them being built on a much smaller scale, the ones we have seen have not been built with the same level of quality as the minivan conversion. Parts availability and repairs have been a problem, some of the companies that converted them are out of business and or have no support for “something they used to build”

If you prefer to keep your standard car rather than purchasing a modified vehicle — and can make the transfer from a wheelchair to a car seat — the answer may be as simple as a set of hand controls or a left foot gas pedal

Turning seats can be used in a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs and pickup trucks. A way to transport the wheelchair (like a rear lift) also is needed.

The rate at which your symptoms worsen is one thing to consider when looking at turning seats — is it likely you’ll be able to transfer and ride in a car seat for many more years? Also, be sure to check with a mobility dealer to determine if your vehicle can accommodate a turning seat and a wheelchair lift.

Why are modified vehicles so  expensive?

A vehicle conversion can cost consumers upwards of $27,000 —  and that’s just the cost for the conversion, not the vehicle. The total package can run between $45,000 and $80,000 — or more.

Besides the cost of the components, the reason it’s so pricey is that basically there is a lot of work involved to build a quality vehicle.

Modified vehicles from certified manufacturers and dealers must meet NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). That means all modified vehicles must be properly crash tested. (To learn more, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.)

It’s quite a labor-intensive process because of the customization. When you make structural modifications to a vehicle, you have to go through all of the crash testing, and you have to show that the vehicle is compliant again, and those tests are very expensive.

Most of the time lowering the floor in a minivan requires replacing or moving the fuel tank. Once the conversion is finished, the vehicle still has to meet the original requirements for evaporative emissions, in addition to NHTSA requirements.

How can I pay less?

You have  a few options.

You could cut costs by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle with a new conversion, typically saving you around $10,000 to $12,000.

The previous van owner already has absorbed the depreciation hit on a new van, which essentially occurs right after they’ve driven off the dealer’s lot.

Buying used can be beneficial for first-time buyers who want to try out a vehicle for a few years before buying new.

But if you plan to buy used, do some research and make sure the vehicle is structurally sound including the conversion. Ask for a vehicle history (CARFAX) report, and get the vehicle inspected by a mobility dealer to ensure it’s in good shape and was well taken care of.

Another tactic to help save you money is to ask your Certified Mobility Dealer about any rebates or financial aid options that could benefit you.

How do people manage to pay for it?

Many consumers used home equity loans to purchase a vehicle and adaptive equipment.

Many dealers and manufacturers work with lending institutions that offer extended-term financing, including 10-year loans, allowing consumers to make lower, more affordable monthly payments. The downside is that consumers are locked into the vehicle for 10 years, and end up paying more in interest.

If you finance for 10 years, and you’re not going to keep the vehicle for that amount of time, you’re going to lose money when you try to sell or trade it because you haven’t paid off much of the balance.

When you buy a new vehicle, many car manufacturers offer mobility reimbursement programs (up to $1,000) to help offset the cost for the purchase and installation of adaptive equipment.

Teens with Disabilities: Learning to Drive A Handicap Accessible Vehicle

The majority of teenage kids will assert that learning to drive not only makes for an exciting experience but also marks a very important moment in life – moving a step closer towards achieving independence. Teens living with a disability are not exempt from this feeling. When it’s time to teach your child to drive, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure your child’s safety and the safety of others on the road.

Regardless of your age, preparedness is essential when it comes to driving. For those living with disabilities, the process of how you prepare can be slightly different, but it is certainly equally as important. Teens and new drivers with disabilities must complete a drivers’ assessment prior to beginning lessons in order to determine what sort of adaptive equipment or techniques he or she must use while driving. Steering aids, hand controls, or ramps/lifts may be necessary for your teen to be ready to get behind the wheel and recommendations will be made by the assessment administrator (most often by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist) after a proper exam.

While some teens will require little additional equipment in order to operate a vehicle, others may need more thorough vehicle conversions. If purchasing a new handicap accessible vehicle is not in your budget, there are used options available to suit your child’s needs, as well as rentals and loaners made available by some driving schools.

Qualified driving specialists will be able to relay information on your state’s driving laws for people with disabilities, how to operate the vehicle, as well as how to get in and out of the car without additional assistance, should they need to do so.

Throughout this journey towards adulthood, it’s vital that you remain your teen’s number one fan. A supporting and encouraging environment can dramatically improve your child’s outlook on taking on the road, raising their self-confidence and making them an overall better driver. Remember, learning how to drive takes time, but with your support, the expertise of driving coaches and the accessibility of a modified vehicle, your teen will be on his or her way to being a licensed driver!

Adaptive Q&A

With such a wide variety of adaptive vehicle equipment available, selecting the appropriate features or modifications can become big task. In an effort to facilitate this process, here are the responses to some of the most frequently asked mobility equipment questions.

Are ramps difficult to operate?
Most vans equipped with side-entry mobility equipment are fully automatic. The seamless loading and unloading process can be as simple as pushing a button. Vans can be converted to automatically open their doors, lower to the curb and deploy or stow a ramp without the driver or passengers needing to work with any equipment. Manual options are also available, however these are also very easy to use. Built with springs that carry most of the ramp’s weight, manual ramp options are also quick, safe and simple to use solutions.

Can I drive from my wheelchair?
In many cases, it is possible for drivers with disabilities and the need for a wheelchair to avoid transferring by properly securing their chair and themselves within the vehicle. With the use of both a wheelchair tie-down system and occupant restraints, driving from a wheelchair can be a safe and convenient option.

Can I drive from my scooter?
Operating or riding a vehicle from scooter is not recommended. In order to remain safe while traveling, passengers or drivers in scooters should always transfer into vehicle seating. Turning or swivel seats can make the transfer process easier and less demanding on those with limited mobility or access to caregiver assistance. Scooters should also be properly secured with a tie-down system to prevent movement in case of a sudden stop or turn.

Side entry vs. rear entry – which is best for me?
There are a few things to consider when deciding between a side entry and a rear entry vehicle. Passengers who are not going to be driving the vehicle typically use rear entry vehicles. Side entry vehicles work well for drivers and co-pilots getting in to the front of the vehicle, as well as passengers. Depending on the parking conditions of your regularly visited establishments, your vehicle’s entry points may need to be redefined. If you often need to parallel park or live in a region that experiences recurring inclement weather, a side-entry vehicle will prove to be a better option for your needs. These are only a few of the deciding factors when it comes to choosing between side and rear-entry.

Can someone else drive my vehicle if I install hand controls?
In most cases, both able-bodied drivers and those with disabilities can comfortably operate vehicles adapted with hand controls. Most hand controls do not interfere with the way a manufacturer intended the vehicle to be driven.

How to adapt your new or pre-owned vehicle to meet your needs after a stroke

Driving after a stroke is often a major concern for survivor’s and their loved ones. It prompts many questions about ability, safety and vehicle options. Often times, the physical disadvantages that result from stroke can compromise a survivor’s ability to operate their vehicle.

Advances in the vehicle modification industry have introduced new driving controls that are giving independence back to stroke survivors that want to drive. They allow them to get back behind the wheel in their own vehicle to go where they want to go, when they want to go.

Innovative vehicle modifications such as hand controls, left-foot accelerators, lifts and mobility seating can transform your personal vehicle into a vehicle that give you more freedom.

Mobility equipment dealers strive to remain at the forefront of the vehicle modification industry by providing cutting-edge technology and a full selection of adaptable equipment for your pre-owned vehicle.

Hand Controls For Stroke Survivors with Limited Use of their Feet
Automotive Innovations is New England’s  #1 hand control installation facility  manufacturer of hand controls and driving aids for the disabled. Hand control systems are specifically designed to give drivers the benefit of controlling a vehicle with both hands on the wheel making for a safer, smoother driving experience.

Unlike other manual and or servo hand control installers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, we have the ability to offer a custom fitment to your vehicle and you, for everything from a Fiat 500 to a Lamborghini Aventador no one else has the master craftsman, machining equipment and facility capable of performing a custom installation the way we can.

Push Rock hand controls have a handle in a vertical position; accelerating by rocking back in an arching motion using the fingers and/or the palm. There are several additional options to choose from:

  • Spinner knob: Attached to the steering wheel to allow controlled steering with use of one hand.
  • Single Pin: As an alternative to the spinner knob, this hand control was designed for clients that cannot open their hand fully.
  • Tri Pin: Great for an independent driver. It requires minimal gripping strength and/or reduced wrist stability.
  • V-Grip: This attachment is intended for drivers with moderate gripping strength.
  • Steering Wheel Extension: This device is individually customizable, so you can pick a diameter and height that best suits your needs. The easily removable device is completely compatible with any OEM steering wheel.

Servo electronic mobility controls offers driving control products that are safe and provide piece of mind every time you are on the road.

  • Lever  A gas/brake input with adjustable levels of force and travel from the full gas to the full brake position. It is designed for customers that have a wider range of motion and a larger effort level.
  • One handed steering and gas brake  A input that you can steer that is available in a two-axis configuration for gas/brake and steering It has a adjustable range of motion and very low levels  of force to operate. It is designed and custom build for each customers specific range of motion and abilities.
  • Wheel  A steering input that can be adjusted to less than 2 oz of force at the proper orthotic position of 3 3/8” from center. It is also able to be adaptable for customers that have a wider range of motion.

Left-foot Accelerator
Automotive Innovations offers the best left foot gas pedals with unmatched installations.  Left-foot accelerator are designed to offer a left foot gas pedal which acts exactly like your vehicle’s existing gas pedal. Our Left foot gas pedals are removable with features like a quick-release base so the entire assembly can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily.

Lifts for Stroke Survivors that use Wheelchairs or Walkers
Automotive Innovations can offer more solutions for the transportation of your mobility device than any other dealership in New England.

” Its worth the drive, I live in the western part of Massachusetts and will never trust my van with anyone other than Automotive Innovations. They have been taking care of me and my vans since 1996. When a company comes through for you time and time again whats that worth? For me it’s priceless and the drive is irrelevant.”

Chris P Whately, MA

  • Scooter & Wheelchair Lifts while are not always practical they do work in all types of vehicles. These fold-down wheelchair and scooter lifts make lifting and storing your manual folding wheelchair or scooter possible.

Mobility Seating
The mobility transfer seat is an innovative system for lower vehicles which can provide easer  access to an automotive seat. The seat power rotates out over the doorsill, bridging the gap for a safe transfer onto the seat. These seats are not always practical for every type of vehicle

Our goal is to match your lifestyle and your vehicle with equipment that will deliver independence.

Finding a Dealer That’s Up to Standards

Hand controls, left-foot accelerator, lifts and mobility seating offers opportunities for the stroke survivor to regain their mobility freedom in their pre-owned vehicle. You have just found the best mobility dealer in all of New England that offers a ever evolving selection of adaptable equipment.

It is important to select a reputable dealer to provide the adaptable equipment and installation for your pre-owned vehicle.

  1. Are they members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has vehicle conversion standards?
  2. Are they Quality Assurance Program (QAP) certified?
  3. Do they provide ongoing service and maintenance?
  4. Do they provide 24/7 emergency service?
  5. Do they provide training on the adaptable equipment?
  6. Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?

Adapting pre-owned vehicles provides stroke survivors with mobility freedom in the vehicle they love and are familiar with.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The used market for wheelchair accessible vehicles has grown in the past few years. This growing popularity seems to suggest that this solution works. In some cases, it does; however, buying a used wheelchair accessible vehicle is not like buying a new car. If you are are interested in purchasing a used vehicle, remember these key points.

  • It must meet your mobility needs
    All wheelchair accessible vehicles are different. Ramp width, door clearance, and interior height will vary between vehicles which will affect whether or not the vehicle will work for your needs. Previously installed aftermarket additions, such as hand controls and securment devices, will have to be removed or replaced considering they were put in for the previous owner. Before you you start your search you should know your exact needs. Be aware that this may narrow your options significantly.
  • Getting your current vehicle fitted with a ramp or lift
    It’s possible to convert a minivan you already own and make it accessible, as long as it meets the requirements set by your mobility dealer. Before doing so, you will need to know which accessible ramp or lift style works best for you and your family.
  • Buying online
    eBay Motors and Craigslist are increasingly popular options for buying vehicles online. An increasing number of wheelchair accessible vehicles are listed on these two sites. While the prices may be tempting, this option can be risky if it’s not being sold by a trusted resource (such as a Mobility Center). Ramps are complex pieces of machinery. Without a specially trained mechanic looking it over, it can be very hard to know if a person is selling a good vehicle. We do not recommend this option because it can lead to numerous issues.
  • Used vehicles from a dealership
    While mobility dealers are specifically trained to help you meet all your mobility needs, most still operate like conventional dealers. Customers sometimes trade-in their old vehicles for credit towards a new vehicle, leaving the dealership with a used vehicle. While not every dealership has a used vehicle inventory, some have good options to work with.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The used market for wheelchair accessible vehicles has grown in the past few years. This growing popularity seems to suggest that this solution works. In some cases, it does; however, buying a used wheelchair accessible vehicle is not like buying a new car. If you are are interested in purchasing a used vehicle, remember these key points.

  • It must meet your mobility needs
    All wheelchair accessible vehicles are different. Ramp width, door clearance, and interior height will vary between vehicles which will affect whether or not the vehicle will work for your needs. Previously installed aftermarket additions, such as hand controls and securment devices, will have to be removed or replaced considering they were put in for the previous owner. Before you you start your search you should know your exact needs. Be aware that this may narrow your options significantly.
  • Getting your current vehicle fitted with a ramp or lift
    It’s possible to convert a minivan you already own and make it accessible, as long as it meets the requirements set by your mobility dealer. Before doing so, you will need to know which accessible ramp or lift style works best for you and your family.
  • Buying online
    eBay Motors and Craigslist are increasingly popular options for buying vehicles online. An increasing number of wheelchair accessible vehicles are listed on these two sites. While the prices may be tempting, this option can be risky if it’s not being sold by a trusted resource (such as a Mobility Center). Ramps are complex pieces of machinery. Without a specially trained mechanic looking it over, it can be very hard to know if a person is selling a good vehicle. We do not recommend this option because it can lead to numerous issues.
  • Used vehicles from a dealership
    While mobility dealers are specifically trained to help you meet all your mobility needs, most still operate like conventional dealers. Customers sometimes trade-in their old vehicles for credit towards a new vehicle, leaving the dealership with a used vehicle. While not every dealership has a used vehicle inventory, some have good options to work with.

Government Grants for People with Disabilities

Find government grants and financing for handicap vehicles for people with disabilities nationwide. Money can be located with a little patience and a lot of research through various government programs. We’ve compiled a list of the most well-known government grant programs to assist your search for help funding a wheelchair van.When paying for a handicap van, you can use money from government grant programs for people with disabilities, as well other funding resources like disability grants, loans, fundraiser money, foundation endorsements, or any other funding source. We’ll work with your chosen foundations or any government grant program, after they verify financial assistance, to get you on the road!

To learn more about applying for wheelchair van grant funding to buy a handicap van or convert a pre-owned minivan, read “How to Apply for a Grant for Wheelchair Vans, Mobility Equipment, or Minivan Conversions.”

Government Wheelchair Van Financing Resources
Fund your wheelchair van with these government grant programs provided by the U.S. government and locally in your state.

Administration for Children & Families
On this website, new funding opportunities are displayed as they become available.

Grants.gov
The U.S. government resource listing federal grants available.

Medicaid
Sometimes provides assistance when children or other special circumstances are involved.

Medicaid/Department of Human Services (DHS)
Children are screened as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program of Medicaid. Under Medicaid’s “rehabilitative services,” people often receive handicap van or lift funding to achieve their “best possible functional levels.”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Located within each state’s Department of Human Services (per state), helps you prepare for work, train for a job, find a job, or keep a job as early as high school. Services are prioritized according to the severity of the disability.

Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
Check your state’s branch for grant availability.

Division of Developmental Services (DDS)
Check your state’s branch for grants.Those with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration can contact the agency about its Plan to Achieve Self Support(PASS). A PASS plan sets aside income to buy equipment or services in a way that keeps income, as well as resources, below the SSI eligibility cut-off so there are no reductions in benefits. The emphasis is on whether the handicap van or equipment will help the SSI recipient become vocationally self-sufficient. It’s important for an individual to contact and receive the approval of Social Security before setting up a PASS plan. Once money has been set aside for a PASS, spending it on something else can result in the loss of SSI benefits.Please note: You can use multiple sources of funding that include grants, loans, and other funding assistance. If you’re unable to find government grants for people with disabilities or need to acquire more money to help pay for your wheelchair van and/or mobility needs, check out more opportunities at our mobility finance page.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

The used market for wheelchair accessible vehicles has grown in the past few years. This growing popularity seems to suggest that this solution works. In some cases, it does; however, buying a used wheelchair accessible vehicle is not like buying a new car. If you are are interested in purchasing a used vehicle, remember these key points.

  • It must meet your mobility needs
    All wheelchair accessible vehicles are different. Ramp width, door clearance, and interior height will vary between vehicles which will affect whether or not the vehicle will work for your needs. Previously installed aftermarket additions, such as hand controls and securment devices, will have to be removed or replaced considering they were put in for the previous owner. Before you you start your search you should know your exact needs. Be aware that this may narrow your options significantly.
  • Getting your current vehicle fitted with a ramp or lift
    It’s possible to convert a minivan you already own and make it accessible, as long as it meets the requirements set by your mobility dealer. Before doing so, you will need to know which accessible ramp or lift style works best for you and your family.
  • Buying online
    eBay Motors and Craigslist are increasingly popular options for buying vehicles online. An increasing number of wheelchair accessible vehicles are listed on these two sites. While the prices may be tempting, this option can be risky if it’s not being sold by a trusted resource (such as a Mobility Center). Ramps are complex pieces of machinery. Without a specially trained mechanic looking it over, it can be very hard to know if a person is selling a good vehicle. We do not recommend this option because it can lead to numerous issues.
  • Used vehicles from a dealership
    While mobility dealers are specifically trained to help you meet all your mobility needs, most still operate like conventional dealers. Customers sometimes trade-in their old vehicles for credit towards a new vehicle, leaving the dealership with a used vehicle. While not every dealership has a used vehicle inventory, some have good options to work with.

Hand Control Options

Before going out and purchasing any type of modified device for a vehicle, it’s important to know exactly which hand controls are right for you and your particular needs to ensure that you are in control behind the wheel.

What type of hand control options are available?
Hand controls are designed to help drivers operate the vehicle with limited or no use of their legs. Hand controls are used to control the accelerator and brake pedals along with the steering wheel.

Mechanical hand controls can include a spinner knob, which you position and adjust to your liking on your steering wheel. A spinner knob allows drivers to steer with one hand, while the other hand is free to control the lever that is connected to the accelerator and brake. There are multiple types of hand controls but one of the common ways the device works is by pulling it down to accelerate and pushing it forward to brake.

Another option includes electrical hand controls. An accelerator ring, which is a halo-like device that can be placed on any steering wheel, turns with the steering wheel and the amount of pressure being placed on the ring controls the speed of the car. The brake function is controlled by a lever located on the side of the steering wheel that can be installed either on the left of the right depending on the comfort of the driver.

Which kind of controls fit your needs?
Decision-making can be overwhelming, especially when there are different hand control options to choose from. Luckily, a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist can help you determine what type of hand control is best for your mobility needs, as well as let you test each option to evaluate the efficiency. These specialists can also recommend other kinds of adaptive technology to make your time behind the wheel safer and more comfortable.

How do I install mobility equipment?
Installation of hand controls or any other type of adaptive mobility equipment should always be done by a qualified adaptive mobility specialist. Once you’ve determined what type of equipment is right for you, you should contact your local mobility dealer to determine how you can go about implementing these technologies within your current vehicle.

Tips to Help Overcome the Fear of Driving

Practice practice practice:

  • To boost your confidence, drive to the end of the block and back or around an empty parking lot, then gradually go for longer drives.
  • Ask someone to accompany you if that helps you relax.

Patience:

  • Don’t start driving if you’re not calm and collected. Sit in the car and take deep breaths until you attain peace of mind and only then start the car and drive away.
  • Yoga classes may help you become a more focused, calm and less distracted driver.
  • If you get lost or experience panic, pull over until you calm down. Take as much time as you need. If you have a cell phone, call for directions.

Never get lost!

  • A Global Positioning System (GPS) may lessen the fear of getting lost.
  • No GPS? Print out the map directions from the Internet for those places you go frequently and keep them in the glove box.

Therapy:

Simple solutions to physical problems may help the mental and emotional pangs. For example, a spinner knob on the steering wheel allows accurate one-handed steering; hand controls replace feet for acceleration or braking—whatever the problem, there are solutions.

Occupational Therapists and Driver Rehabilitation Specialists can help. You can get a behind-the-wheel evaluation and recommendations for adaptive driving aids to help overcome many physical drawbacks. Whether the problem is muscle weakness, spasms or something else, therapists can address them.

Options For Driving From A Wheelchair

There are two options for a person who uses a wheelchair to drive an accessible vehicle. They can drive from their wheelchair and or transfer to the driver’s seat.

Drive from your wheelchair
Driving controls can be adapted to operate from your wheelchair. Usually this means some form of hand controls, though other solutions are possible. There will also be an automatic docking system to secure your wheelchair. All of this will be designed around you and your wheelchair as part of your assessment from an experienced mobility installer.

Safety

  • Because you have the opportunity to travel by yourself, you need to be sure you are able to get out in an emergency.
  • Typically wheelchair accessible vehicle have fail-safe devices for the doors, ramps/lifts and docking systems. These include battery backups and manual over-rides.

Other drivers

  • In many wheelchair accessible vehicles, the front passenger seat can be switched to the drivers side, and there is a docking system on both sides so you can travel as a passenger.

Assessment and training

  • If you’re going to be using adapted controls, you will need a professional driving assessment and training.

Transfer to the Driver’s Seat
Some wheelchair users prefer to transfer to a driving seat because they find it more comfortable or easier to drive. Sometimes it’s necessary because your wheelchair may not be suitable for driving. Using the standard car seat also means that you don’t need to fit a specialist seat belt.

By contrast, transferring into the driver seat may not be suitable if you have a specialist seating system in your wheelchair and may be difficult if you have limited mobility.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles can be adapted to allow you to enter with your wheelchair or scooter (by ramp or lift), secure the wheelchair or scooter in the vehicle, and then transfer to the driving seat. You can replace the standard car seat with one that swivels and slides so that you can transfer into it more easily.

Safety

  • You will need a docking system for securing the wheelchair – you need to be able to do this by yourself.
  • Because you may be traveling by yourself, you need to be sure you will be able to get out in an emergency.

Transferring

  • Transferring between the wheelchair and the seat does take some effort – make sure you can do it even on a bad day.
  • Make sure there is enough room in the vehicle to let you transfer comfortably and that there are handholds and supports where you need them. You may need to fit extra hand rails or other supports.

Assessment and training

  • If you’re going to be using adapted controls, you will need a professional driving assessment and training.

Where To Begin: Accessibility Options

Vehicles can be adapted in many different ways, but the options are almost always dependent on how the wheelchair user plans to use it on a day-to-day basis. A few questions to consider when initially thinking about what you need are:

  • What’s the ideal location for the wheelchair user to sit in the vehicle?
  • Will the wheelchair user be driving?
  • Does the wheelchair user want to transfer out of their seat?
  • Is the wheelchair positioned at an extended height or width?

After those questions are answered, you can begin to look into the various accessibility conversions available to fit your vehicle needs. A few of the most common features include hand controls, transfer seats and ramp or lift style.

Experienced Mobility Equipment Dealers

When it comes to finding the right transportation solution for your needs the options are almost endless. There’s accessible minivans, trucks, wheelchair and scooter carriers, lifts, ramps, hand controls, transfer seats etc. To ensure you are getting the right mobility products for your specific needs it’s important to get the help of an experienced mobility equipment dealer. Most local mobility equipment dealers have been in business for years and over that time have gained the knowledge and expertise to fit you with the very best product for your situation.

Quality mobility equipment dealers will meet with you in person to help determine your individual needs and what adaptive vehicle or equipment is best for you. They’ll ask you questions about you, your disability, your wheelchair or scooter, how you’ll be using the vehicle, will there be additional drivers, your budget etc.

It’s important that you ask the mobility equipment dealer some specific questions, as well. You’ll need to find out if they offer 24-hour emergency assistance, are their technicians trained and certified, and are they a full service automotive shop. You then have to ask yourself if you feel like they’re easy to work with and ultimately if you want to do business with this dealership.

Whether you buy new or used will depend on your finances but the most important thing is that the vehicle is designed to fit your requirements. Your local mobility dealer is the key to getting you into the right vehicle. Based on your disability, together, you can easily determine what’s the best transportation solution for you.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: Q&A

Wheelchair
Accessible Vans

Rear entry Vs. Side entry
Buying New Vs. Buying Used
Manual Ramp Vs. Powered Ramp
Honda Vs. Dodge/Chrysler Vs. Toyota Vs. Ford
Certified Mobility Dealer Vs. Car Dealer Vs. Buying online
What do you need to know to get maximum benefit for minimum expense?

Good information is the key to saving money and getting the most value for the dollar when making a big-ticket purchase like a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

With that in mind, Seek out and find experts who truly care. Here are some answers to common questions about adaptive mobility equipment.

Can I just go to a car dealer down the street or do I need a certified mobility dealer?

Certified mobility dealers will help you buy the right vehicle and adaptive mobility equipment to meet your needs now and in the future. Future planning is especially important for people with muscle diseases that get progressively worse over time.

“Technology has improved tremendously over the years so there are numerous products available. Our goal is to help people find the right equipment that best fits their needs,” says Jim Sanders, president of Automotive Innovations based in Bridgewater, MA for over 25 years.

“Many times, consumers will go to a car dealer and buy a vehicle that can’t be modified or one that doesn’t fit their needs. And once you buy a vehicle, normally it’s very difficult to return.”

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), a nonprofit organization that provides consumer guidance and ensures quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of mobility equipment. Members include mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals.

NMEDA member-dealers must follow the safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in addition to NMEDA’s own stringent guidelines.

Some dealers choose to enroll in NMEDA’s Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which requires them to adhere to national motor vehicle safety standards, and use proven quality control practices to yield the highest level of performance and safety. Automotive Innovations was the First Mobility Dealer in Massachusetts to enroll and exceed the safety standards.

“The QAP dealer is audited by an outside engineering firm to verify that technicians have been trained and that the dealer has insurance and make sure the facility is ADA-compliant,” which means the QAP dealer is going above and beyond.

 

Can I get a better price if I buy online rather than from a dealer?

As with any online shopping, the warning “buyer beware” rings true. Buying online without trying out different vehicles with different conversions can be a costly mistake. Furthermore there are many grey market converted vans being offered as quality conversions.

Online, you are mostly shopping blind. Typically you will have no idea how the vehicle you need will work for you, even with specific recommendations from a driver evaluator or occupational therapist.

“You definitely shouldn’t buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle online, most online sellers are not qualified Mobility Dealers attempting to assess your needs, they’re just car dealers trying to sell you something.”

Some online dealers even have questionnaires on their websites to try and give you the idea your getting what you need. But, it will never replace being able to go to a local mobility dealership and try the vans out first hand.

A mobility vehicle is probably the second-largest purchase after a house. You should see it, try it out, and make sure it’s something that will work for you and your family. It’s horrible when people spend so much an a vehicle that will never work for them.

Every vehicle is a little bit different — such as in the dimensions, electrical and fuel systems, or suspension modifications. “If you go online and buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle based on the price, you’re not really looking at the total package.”

While buying online may be able to save you some money up front, it won’t over the long term.

In addition to you missing out on the important local service contact that a mobility equipment dealer provides, these online deals or grey market vans are worth much less when it comes time to trade it in.

 

What are some common mistakes people make when buying a modified vehicle?

Manufacturers and mobility dealers agree that one of the most common — and costly — mistakes is buying the vehicle first and then shopping for the conversion or adaptive mobility equipment. Not all vehicles can be converted.

For example, If you purchase a minivan from a traditional car dealership you can hit a roadblock if it doesn’t meet specific requirements to have the floor lowered for a rear- or side-entry conversion.

 

What are some good questions to ask a dealer or manufacturer?

Although buying a modified vehicle can be “a daunting experience,” says VMI’s Monique McGivney, it also can be “exciting and fun when you walk in armed with good questions and information.”

Prior to getting an assessment from a mobility dealer, evaluate your needs and try answering the following questions:

  • What vehicle will fit in my garage?
  • What kind of parking issues will I encounter where I live?
  • What is the size and weight of my wheelchair?
  • What is my seated height in the wheelchair?
  • How many people will ride in the vehicle?
  • In what part of the vehicle do I want to sit?
  • Will I be able to drive with hand controls?
  • Do I want a full-size van, minivan or alternative vehicle?
  • Do I want manual or power equipment?
  • Will an in-floor ramp or fold-out ramp meet my needs?
  • What is my budget, and do I have access to supplemental funding?

The first question most mobility dealers will ask you is: “What is your seated height in the wheelchair?” From there, the dealer can advise whether a full-size or minivan is appropriate, and what kind of conversion is needed.

Be sure to ask the dealer about the warranty and how the vehicle can be serviced.

Which Make and Model is the best for a handicapped accessible vehicle?

It honestly depends on what you fit into best and what options you prefer.

No two wheelchair accessible vehicles are the same. They vary in size, shape, color, features and design depending on the vehicle’s make and model. The only way to guarantee which is the best vehicle for you is if you come in and try them all out.

For example: The Honda has a little bit more room inside to maneuver a wheelchair than a Dodge, just as a Toyota has a bit more space than a Honda. A Ford offers more headroom than all of the above. But that all depends on the conversion and manufacturer.

Although color and features matter least to us, some find them just as important as fitting into the vehicle. Each Manufacturer offers their own color schemes, which you can look up on their websites. You can also search for what features you would prefer to have.

When you come into our Mobility Center we will help you find the vehicle that best fits you and your family’s needs. If you love the vehicle but not the color or features we can custom order a vehicle for you. That way we know you are buying a vehicle that best fits you and one that you are 100% happy with.

Which is better: rear entry or side entry?

The most important difference between a rear entry and side-entry conversion is that with a rear entry, wheelchair users can’t drive from their wheelchairs nor can they ride in the front passenger seat. From there, the choice comes down to personal preference and budget.

In recent years, because of quality, convenience and cost, there’s been a shift toward side entry vehicles. Rear entry is more of a frugal modification, involves a less of conversion process and is typically a little less expensive than a side-entry conversion.

Many people prefer side entry with an in-floor conversion for many safety reasons additionally  because they can park almost anywhere and not worry deploying the ramp out into traffic. Also, side entry allows the consumer to ride in the passengers front position along with maintain the rear seats in a minivan because the conversion doesn’t affect that area.

Rear entry is harder to get out of compared to a side-entry.

Anyway you look at it side-entry vehicles are more versatile. For example, side entry allows someone with a progressively worsening condition to use the vehicle for a longer period of time. A wheelchair user can start out driving from his or her chair, and then move to several other positions in the vehicle when no longer able to drive.

Side-entry conversions typically are a little more expensive than rear-entry because they’re more intrusive and labor intensive. For example, with a minivan, the entire floor and frame must be removed and replaced with a lowered floor and new frame.


What’s the difference between a fold-out ramp and in-floor ramp?

This decision comes down to safety, aesthetics, convenience and cost.

A fold-out ramp folds up into the vehicle, takes up valuable space in the passengers front area and must be deployed whenever the door is opened.

The in-floor ramp slides under the floor which makes riding in the vehicle safer for anyone seated in the passengers front position or the mid-ship position. There is no obstruction to the doorway so other passengers can enter and exit without deploying the ramp. In-floor ramps are currently only available as a side-entry minivan conversion, but they offer a manual (un-powered) option as well.

In-floor ramps in addition to being safer will generally provide more room in the vehicle because there’s nothing blocking the doorway. The ramp is “out of sight, out of mind” and may last longer because it doesn’t have to be deployed each time the side passenger door opens.

Fold-out ramps generally cost a little less than an in-floor ramp and consumers can select from manual and power versions; a power fold-out ramp still costs less than an in-floor ramp.

If an in-floor ramp system breaks down or the vehicle loses power, VMI’s in-floor ramp systems have a backup system (sure-deploy) that bypasses the vehicle’s battery.

A lot of people just feel more secure knowing there isn’t a fold-out ramp next to them in the event of a accident.

I use a wheelchair, but a van or minivan just isn’t “me.” Are they my only options?

You have other choices.

Lowered-floor conversions with fold-out ramps can be done on the Honda Element, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Scion. The conversions are small and don’t fit as many people.

Due to them being built on a much smaller scale, the ones we have seen have not been built with the same level of quality as the minivan conversion. Parts availability and repairs have been a problem, some of the companies that converted them are out of business and or have no support for “something they used to build”

If you prefer to keep your standard car rather than purchasing a modified vehicle — and can make the transfer from a wheelchair to a car seat — the answer may be as simple as a set of hand controls or a left foot gas pedal

Turning seats can be used in a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs and pickup trucks. A way to transport the wheelchair (like a rear lift) also is needed.

The rate at which your symptoms worsen is one thing to consider when looking at turning seats — is it likely you’ll be able to transfer and ride in a car seat for many more years? Also, be sure to check with a mobility dealer to determine if your vehicle can accommodate a turning seat and a wheelchair lift.

Why are modified vehicles so  expensive?

A vehicle conversion can cost consumers upwards of $27,000 —  and that’s just the cost for the conversion, not the vehicle. The total package can run between $45,000 and $80,000 — or more.

Besides the cost of the components, the reason it’s so pricey is that basically there is a lot of work involved to build a quality vehicle.

Modified vehicles from certified manufacturers and dealers must meet NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). That means all modified vehicles must be properly crash tested. (To learn more, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.)

It’s quite a labor-intensive process because of the customization. When you make structural modifications to a vehicle, you have to go through all of the crash testing, and you have to show that the vehicle is compliant again, and those tests are very expensive.

Most of the time lowering the floor in a minivan requires replacing or moving the fuel tank. Once the conversion is finished, the vehicle still has to meet the original requirements for evaporative emissions, in addition to NHTSA requirements.

How can I pay less?

You have  a few options.

You could cut costs by purchasing a pre-owned vehicle with a new conversion, typically saving you around $10,000 to $12,000.

The previous van owner already has absorbed the depreciation hit on a new van, which essentially occurs right after they’ve driven off the dealer’s lot.

Buying used can be beneficial for first-time buyers who want to try out a vehicle for a few years before buying new.

But if you plan to buy used, do some research and make sure the vehicle is structurally sound including the conversion. Ask for a vehicle history (CARFAX) report, and get the vehicle inspected by a mobility dealer to ensure it’s in good shape and was well taken care of.

Another tactic to help save you money is to ask your Certified Mobility Dealer about any rebates or financial aid options that could benefit you.

How do people manage to pay for it?

Many consumers used home equity loans to purchase a vehicle and adaptive equipment.

Many dealers and manufacturers work with lending institutions that offer extended-term financing, including 10-year loans, allowing consumers to make lower, more affordable monthly payments. The downside is that consumers are locked into the vehicle for 10 years, and end up paying more in interest.

If you finance for 10 years, and you’re not going to keep the vehicle for that amount of time, you’re going to lose money when you try to sell or trade it because you haven’t paid off much of the balance.

When you buy a new vehicle, many car manufacturers offer mobility reimbursement programs (up to $1,000) to help offset the cost for the purchase and installation of adaptive equipment.

How to Choose the Right Mobility Vehicle for You

With several mobility vehicle options available, how do you know which one is going to be the best fit for you?

Most vehicles can be modified with hand controls, foot pedals and adaptive equipment to make driving easier for someone who has limited mobility. While those modifications help you drive, they don’t actually help you get into the vehicle. Picking the right mobility vehicle should start with entry.

When you use a wheelchair to get around, it’s important you have a vehicle that allows you to get in and out in the most convenient way possible. If you have good upper-body strength and can’t stand the thought of driving a van, you may be able to get by using a sedan or coupe – at least for a little while. If you use a large power chair that won’t fit in the back seat of a car or have no one to help you get it there even if it could, a full-size or minivan might be more appropriate.

To find out the differences between mobility vehicles so you can pick the right one for you, consider the benefits and disadvantages of each type below.

Sedans and Coupes
Having a sedan or coupe usually means you have to transfer from your wheelchair to the car seat, which can put a lot of strain on your arms and shoulders – or those of your caregiver. When you think about a long-term solution, having to transfer and load a wheelchair for many years may not be practical. Not only that, but if the weather isn’t ideal (snow, rain, excessive heat), this all becomes even more difficult. Standard cars can have motorized lifts or platforms attached to them, but those are generally just for loading a wheelchair in the back or trunk and don’t help with your transfer.

While cars might not be the most practical solution for all wheelchair users, many people still choose them because they are more stylish than a van and tend to be less expensive. The cost of the vehicle with gas is generally less on an unconverted sedan or coupe than a converted van. Plus, if you already own a car, getting assistive equipment is cheaper than buying a brand new mobility vehicle.

SUVs
SUVs are similar to sedans and coupes in that they usually require a transfer from the wheelchair to the car seat. That means they don’t work for wheelchair users without much upper-body strength or strong caregivers, especially since SUVs sit higher and the transfer involves more lifting. SUVs also don’t have a lot of interior space and may not fit larger wheelchairs – even in the trunk.

One of the major benefits of having an accessible SUV is the All-Wheel Drive feature, which makes driving in inclement weather a little bit safer, especially when hand controls are used.

Minivans
Wheelchair-accessible minivans are one of the most practical options for someone with limited mobility. Converted minivans usually come with a ramp system and automatic sliding door to make entry and exit into the vehicle easy – without having to leave your wheelchair. This makes getting in and out much quicker and puts almost no stress on the body of the wheelchair user or caregiver. In addition, some wheelchair-accessible minivans offer different seating options so you can sit in the front and avoid feeling like cargo.

Converted minivans are one of the most convenient options, as they are large enough to fit a wheelchair user, but not so large they may be hard to drive and park for if you have limited mobility. While these might be the perfect solution for many wheelchair users, some people don’t like the idea of driving a minivan and you always have to park with enough space on the side to lower the ramp.

Full-Size Vans
Full-size mobility vans are a great option for larger wheelchair users or those in heavy power chairs. While these vehicles offer the most space, having a full-size van also usually means you use a lift, which takes up space inside the vehicle and may rattle around when you drive. Lift operation may also take longer than that of a ramp and often requires the assistance of another person. Having a lift, however, does make loading and unloading possible without having to transfer from the wheelchair.

While each type of mobility vehicle has its perks and drawbacks, it’s important to find the one that works best for you. It is critical to find a reliable wheelchair-accessible vehicle or adaptive equipment manufacturer so you get a product that will last. If you need additional assistance in determining which option is ideal for you, talk to an authorized mobility dealer and ask for a demo of the vehicles that interest you.

Teens with Disabilities: Learning to Drive A Handicap Accessible Vehicle

The majority of teenage kids will assert that learning to drive not only makes for an exciting experience but also marks a very important moment in life – moving a step closer towards achieving independence. Teens living with a disability are not exempt from this feeling. When it’s time to teach your child to drive, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure your child’s safety and the safety of others on the road.

Regardless of your age, preparedness is essential when it comes to driving. For those living with disabilities, the process of how you prepare can be slightly different, but it is certainly equally as important. Teens and new drivers with disabilities must complete a drivers’ assessment prior to beginning lessons in order to determine what sort of adaptive equipment or techniques he or she must use while driving. Steering aids, hand controls, or ramps/lifts may be necessary for your teen to be ready to get behind the wheel and recommendations will be made by the assessment administrator (most often by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist) after a proper exam.

While some teens will require little additional equipment in order to operate a vehicle, others may need more thorough vehicle conversions. If purchasing a new handicap accessible vehicle is not in your budget, there are used options available to suit your child’s needs, as well as rentals and loaners made available by some driving schools.

Qualified driving specialists will be able to relay information on your state’s driving laws for people with disabilities, how to operate the vehicle, as well as how to get in and out of the car without additional assistance, should they need to do so.

Throughout this journey towards adulthood, it’s vital that you remain your teen’s number one fan. A supporting and encouraging environment can dramatically improve your child’s outlook on taking on the road, raising their self-confidence and making them an overall better driver. Remember, learning how to drive takes time, but with your support, the expertise of driving coaches and the accessibility of a modified vehicle, your teen will be on his or her way to being a licensed driver!

Adaptive Q&A

With such a wide variety of adaptive vehicle equipment available, selecting the appropriate features or modifications can become big task. In an effort to facilitate this process, here are the responses to some of the most frequently asked mobility equipment questions.

Are ramps difficult to operate?
Most vans equipped with side-entry mobility equipment are fully automatic. The seamless loading and unloading process can be as simple as pushing a button. Vans can be converted to automatically open their doors, lower to the curb and deploy or stow a ramp without the driver or passengers needing to work with any equipment. Manual options are also available, however these are also very easy to use. Built with springs that carry most of the ramp’s weight, manual ramp options are also quick, safe and simple to use solutions.

Can I drive from my wheelchair?
In many cases, it is possible for drivers with disabilities and the need for a wheelchair to avoid transferring by properly securing their chair and themselves within the vehicle. With the use of both a wheelchair tie-down system and occupant restraints, driving from a wheelchair can be a safe and convenient option.

Can I drive from my scooter?
Operating or riding a vehicle from scooter is not recommended. In order to remain safe while traveling, passengers or drivers in scooters should always transfer into vehicle seating. Turning or swivel seats can make the transfer process easier and less demanding on those with limited mobility or access to caregiver assistance. Scooters should also be properly secured with a tie-down system to prevent movement in case of a sudden stop or turn.

Side entry vs. rear entry – which is best for me?
There are a few things to consider when deciding between a side entry and a rear entry vehicle. Passengers who are not going to be driving the vehicle typically use rear entry vehicles. Side entry vehicles work well for drivers and co-pilots getting in to the front of the vehicle, as well as passengers. Depending on the parking conditions of your regularly visited establishments, your vehicle’s entry points may need to be redefined. If you often need to parallel park or live in a region that experiences recurring inclement weather, a side-entry vehicle will prove to be a better option for your needs. These are only a few of the deciding factors when it comes to choosing between side and rear-entry.

Can someone else drive my vehicle if I install hand controls?
In most cases, both able-bodied drivers and those with disabilities can comfortably operate vehicles adapted with hand controls. Most hand controls do not interfere with the way a manufacturer intended the vehicle to be driven.

How to adapt your pre-owned vehicle to meet your needs after a stroke

VMi New England Wheelchair vans & ramp:Lift options
Easy Car Makeovers for Adaptive Driving

Driving after a stroke is often a major concern for survivor’s and their loved ones. It prompts many questions about ability, safety and vehicle options. Often times, the physical disadvantages that result from stroke can compromise a survivor’s ability to operate their vehicle.

Advances in the vehicle modification industry have introduced new driving controls that are giving independence back to stroke survivors that want to drive. They allow them to get back behind the wheel in their own vehicle to go where they want to go, when they want to go.

Innovative vehicle modifications such as hand controls, left-foot accelerators, lifts and mobility seating can transform your personal vehicle into a vehicle that give you more freedom.

Mobility equipment dealers strive to remain at the forefront of the vehicle modification industry by providing cutting-edge technology and a full selection of adaptable equipment for your pre-owned vehicle.


Hand Controls For Stroke Survivors with Limited Use of their Feet

Automotive Innovations is New England’s  #1 hand control installation facility  manufacturer of hand controls and driving aids for the disabled. Hand control systems are specifically designed to give drivers the benefit of controlling a vehicle with both hands on the wheel making for a safer, smoother driving experience.

Unlike other manual and or servo hand control installers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, we have the ability to offer a custom fitment to your vehicle and you, for everything from a Fiat 500 to a Lamborghini Aventador no one else has the master craftsman, machining equipment and facility capable of performing a custom installation the way we can.

Push Rock hand controls have a handle in a vertical position; accelerating by rocking back in an arching motion using the fingers and/or the palm. There are several additional options to choose from:

  • Spinner knob: Attached to the steering wheel to allow controlled steering with use of one hand.
  • Single Pin: As an alternative to the spinner knob, this hand control was designed for clients that cannot open their hand fully.
  • Tri Pin: Great for an independent driver. It requires minimal gripping strength and/or reduced wrist stability.
  • V-Grip: This attachment is intended for drivers with moderate gripping strength.
  • Steering Wheel Extension: This device is individually customizable, so you can pick a diameter and height that best suits your needs. The easily removable device is completely compatible with any OEM steering wheel.

Servo electronic mobility controls offers driving control products that are safe and provide piece of mind every time you are on the road.

  • Lever:  A gas/brake input with adjustable levels of force and travel from the full gas to the full brake position.
    • It is designed for customers that have a wider range of motion and a larger effort level.
  • One handed steering and gas brake:  A input that you can steer that is available in a two-axis configuration for gas/brake and steering It has a adjustable range of motion and very low levels  of force to operate.
    • It is designed and custom build for each customers specific range of motion and abilities.
  • Wheel:  A steering input that can be adjusted to less than 2 oz of force at the proper orthotic position of 3 3/8” from center.
    • It is also able to be adaptable for customers that have a wider range of motion.

Left-foot Accelerator

Automotive Innovations’ offers the best left foot gas pedals with unmatched installations.  Left-foot accelerators are designed to offer a left foot gas pedal which acts exactly like your vehicle’s existing gas pedal. Our Left foot gas pedals are removable with features like a quick-release base so the entire assembly can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily.

 

Lifts for Stroke Survivors that use Wheelchairs or Walkers
Automotive Innovations can offer more solutions for the transportation of your mobility device than any other dealership in New England.

“Its worth the drive, I live in the western part of Massachusetts and will never trust my van with anyone other than Automotive Innovations. They have been taking care of me and my vans since 1996. When a company comes through for you time and time again whats that worth? For me it’s priceless and the drive is irrelevant.”
– Chris P Whately, MA

  • Scooter & Wheelchair Lifts while not always practical they do work in all types of vehicles. These fold-down wheelchair and scooter lifts make lifting and storing your manual folding wheelchair or scooter possible.


Mobility Seating

The mobility transfer seat is an innovative system for lower vehicles which can provide easer  access to an automotive seat. The seat power rotates out over the doorsill, bridging the gap for a safe transfer onto the seat. These seats are not always practical for every type of vehicle

Our goal is to match your lifestyle and your vehicle with equipment that will deliver independence.


Finding a Dealer That’s Up to Standards

Hand controls, left-foot accelerator, lifts and mobility seating offers opportunities for the stroke survivor to regain their mobility freedom in their pre-owned vehicle. You have just found the best mobility dealer in all of New England that offers a ever evolving selection of adaptable equipment.

It is important to select a reputable dealer to provide the adaptable equipment and installation for your pre-owned vehicle.

  1. Are they members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has vehicle conversion standards?
  2. Are they Quality Assurance Program (QAP) certified?
  3. Do they provide ongoing service and maintenance?
  4. Do they provide 24/7 emergency service?
  5. Do they provide training on the adaptable equipment?
  6. Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?

Veigel North America Hand Controls

Veigel is the internationally leading manufacturer of driving school systems and driving aids for handicapped persons. They believe in absolute customer satisfaction which we are achieving by developing and manufacturing our products at the highest quality level.

With over 80 years of experience manufacturing adaptive driving products like, mechanical hand controls, and an in-house R&D facility everything Veigel manufacture has been designed and tested to meet the highest standards in quality, function and design. The average employee has 15 years of experience at Veigel Automotive. The combined effort of so many years of dedication and focus have resulted in the highest quality, most reliable and safest products on the market.

Veigel 4100 Classic Hand Control
The Veigel hand control is an accelerator and brake that fits perfectly into the interior of modern vehicles. Thanks to the ergonomically optimized handle and the additional individual adjustability of the grip angle the acceleration becomes easier, fatigue-free and adapts to every hand position of the driver. To accelerate you simply turn the handle on your hand control clockwise. In order to break, just push the hand control slightly front wise. The break can also temporary be locked in place. The hand control can also easily be fold away.

Veigel 4200 Compact Hand Control
Proven hand control technology from Automotive Innovations and Veigel in a modern design – this is the principle of the COMPACT hand control. The functional principle is rather simple: To accelerate the ergonomically designed handle is only to pull backwards. A short push forward activates the break, which also can be temporary locked in place. As the CLASSIC, the COMPACT can also be fold away.

Veigel Commander
The optional fitted Veigel Commander for CLASSIC or COMPACT allows the driver to conduct the most important secondary functions of the vehicle unstressed with just one finger. The device can be used very easily and merges perfectly with the award-winning Design of the Veigel hand control. In addition the Original lever can still be used as normal.

Veigel Basic-Commander
The Basic Commander enables the driver to indicating in each situation, even at a roundabout, without repositioning or letting your hand loose of the steering wheel. Also this switch is really easy to use and fits perfectly to the award-winning design of the Veigel hand control. Needles to say, that the original lever still can be used as normal.

  • The Basic Commander is available for the COMPACT and the CLASSIC hand control.
  • Classic leather-clad
  • Complying with your request you can order the hand control in leather-clad.

MPD Mechanical Hand Controls

Freedom. It’s an essential part of an active life. It means setting your own agenda, getting behind the wheel and going where you want to go whether you’re running errands across town or visiting family and friends across the country.

Mobility Products & Design (MPD) gives you that freedom. For 52 years, we’ve been designing and refining customized, ergonomic driving controls that keep you actively involved in your world.

Their easy-to-use mechanical hand controls make driving simple-just push forward to brake and pull down to accelerate. Our wide selection of steering controls puts you in command of your vehicle, enabling you to enjoy a driving experience that minimizes fatigue. Our extension and foot controls make everyday tasks convenient for you-from turning the ignition key to setting the parking brake.

MPD controls look as good as they perform, with finished surfaces and sleek lines to complement your vehicle’s interior. They are adaptable to most cars, trucks, and vans, and they are flexible enough to allow an ambulatory person to operate the vehicle with ease.

These controls are built to be reliable, providing you with years of dependable performance. We back their strength with a full two-year warranty that gives you peace of mind as well as freedom.

All steering controls are readily detachable for ambulatory person.
Available Options for All 3500 Hand Controls:
Horn and/or headlight dimmer can be included in the installation.
Knob and foam grips are interchangeable, depending on your preference.

3500F Hand Control Foam Grip Straight Handle 

Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Our foam grip handle was designed two inches longer in length than most hand controls, ensuring comfortable driving control and greater leverage when braking and accelerating.

3500FX Hand Control Foam Grip Offset Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control has everything the “Classic” 3500F offers, but with additional options. For instance, your installer can choose the handle angle to suit your preference. If you are tall, it can be angled around your leg so that you can reach full acceleration. If you have difficulty reaching the turn signal. The handle easily adjusts closer to the turn signal lever.

3500K Hand Control Knob Grip Straight Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
You will recognize this popular hand control. It now comes with a standard bent brake rod which allows the control to be mounted higher in the vehicle for your driving convenience.

3500KX Hand Control Knob Grip Offset Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control has everything the “Classic” 3500K offers, but with additional options. For instance, your installer can choose the handle angle to suit your preference. If you are tall, it can be angled around your leg so that you can reach full acceleration. If you have difficulty reaching the turn signal. The handle easily adjusts closer to the turn signal lever.

3501FB Hand Control Foam Grip Straight Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Our foam grip handle was designed two inches longer in length than most hand controls, ensuring comfortable driving control and greater leverage when braking.

3501FBX Hand Control Foam Grip Offset Handle 

Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control has everything the “Classic” 3500F offers, but with additional options. For instance, your installer can choose the handle angle to suit your preference. If you have difficulty reaching the turn signal. The handle easily adjusts closer to the turn signal lever.

3501KB Hand Control Knob Grip Straight Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
You will recognize this popular hand control. It now comes with a standard bent brake rod which allows the control to be mounted higher in the vehicle for your driving convenience.

3501KBX Hand Control Knob Grip Offset Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control has everything the “Classic” 3500K offers, but with additional options. For instance, your installer can choose the handle angle to suit your preference. If you have difficulty reaching the turn signal. The handle easily adjusts closer to the turn signal lever.



3502TW with Wrist Support and Tri-Pin
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control offers a Tri-Pin shaped handle with a foam wrist support and side hand guard, adding more wrist support than standard right angle controls for driving comfort.

3502WHD with Wrist Support 

Meets or exceeds VA specifications
This control offers a U-shaped handle with a foam wrist support and side hand guard, adding more wrist support than standard right angle controls for driving comfort.

“NEW” 3300KT Push/Rock with Removable Soft Grip Knob Traditional Handle 

Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Our NEW & improved Push/Rock includes a removable handle for added safety. They come in either a Soft Foam Grip or a Foam Grip. Push Down for brake & Rock Back for gas. Simple to adjust the brake & gas. Smooth operation & easy to use.

“NEW” 3300KV Push/Rock with Removable Soft Grip Knob Veigel Handle 

Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Removing the handle prevents other drivers from accidentally engaging the hand control. Besides being able to choose what grip you want you can also choose the handle style you want: either a Traditional Handle or a veigel handle.

3400F Hand Control Foam Grip Straight Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Push/Pull with foam grip handle. Same brackets as the 3500, NO extra Inventory. Simple to adjust gas & brake.

3400K Hand Control Knob Grip Straight Handle
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
Push/Pull with Knob Grip. Great applications for Titled Vehicles and Non Titled Vehicles such as Gem cars and Golf Carts.



3700 Hand Control Push/Pull Control
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
The versatile Tri-Pin was designed to feel comfortable. It may be mounted for right- or left-hand operation, according to your preference It can be installed in a variety of full-size vans, including lowered-floor minivans.

3700 Minimum Effort Throttle Hand Control Push/Pull Control
Meets or exceeds VA specifications
The versatile Tri-Pin was designed to feel comfortable. It may be mounted for right- or left-hand operation, according to your preference. It is made to be installed in Ford full-size vans.

DADC Mechanical Hand controls

At DADC, their philosophy is simple: deliver the best driving experience possible. Their hand controls are designed to become one with your car, so you are not driving a hand control you are driving your car.

Quality Materials and Reduced Maintenance
They use quality materials, including durable stainless steel for an attractive finished product. DADC uses self-lubricating components to eliminate maintenance, squeaks and grease stains on clothes.

Less Fatigue, Less Discomfort
Holding the DADC hand control in your hand feels light and natural, which is why our clients prefer it. Our ergonomic design is an extension of the body’s natural responses to reduce fatigue, especially on long distance drives or in stop and go traffic.

Road Tested to Racing Standards
DADC’s founder’s son, Roger, is a racer, so when it came to design, it was important for William to build a hand control that delivered on the racetrack not only the road. The patented vacuum assist provides better throttle control, especially in tight turns or on bumpy roads.

Protect your Automotive Investment, Share with Pedal Pushing Drivers
DADC hand controls fit a wide range of vehicles with little or no cutting to the dashboard. Our cable operated throttle control means a cockpit free of clutter and unencumbered access for you and your pedal pushing family and friends.

Automobile Handicap Hand Control System – DADC 500

This automobile handicapped hand control works with a vacuum assisted twist grip to give you precise, effortless, finger-tip control of the throttle. In addition, the floor area is free, making it possible for other drivers to easily share a vehicle equipped with this system. The twist approach uses less space than other lever actuated hand controls.


Automobile Handicap Hand Control System – DADC500P

The 500P model offers the same vacuum assist capabilities as the 500 model, but uses a pull throttle to control acceleration and braking instead of a twisting action. This motion gives those with limited gripping capacity the same effortless operation as the 500 model and uses only a little more room for operation.

Both the DADC500 and DADC500P provide a rugged and seemingly simple ergonomic design, allowing the driver to rest a hand on the handle while controlling the vehicle through turns and over rough roads. This results in better control and less fatigue, especially on long trips.


Driving Aids Development Corporation (DADC) Special Features

  • Attractive appearance! Resilient, comfortable control grip.
  • Maintenance free! Self lubricating components used throughout.
  • All fasteners and major parts are high-strength stainless steel.
  • Registered with the FDA.
  • Accepted by the V. A.
  • Meets or exceeds all requirements of S.A.E. J1903 JUL89.
  • Licensed under U.S. Patent No. 4436191

But what about cruise you ask? Will it still function? Not to worry. Cruise control is fully operational even when the
adaptive driving aid is engaged.

Remember, the DADC adaptive driving aid does not replace the pedals that came with your vehicle, but is added to them. This also means that able bodied drivers can operate your modified vehicle normally, without learning to use the adaptive driving aid that makes it possible for you to operate your own vehicle.

DADC 500 Twist
Vacuum assisted, motorcycle styled twist handle for throttle and push for brakes.

  • Precise fingertip operation
  • Reduced range of motion required to operate
  • Eliminates discomfort and fatigue

DADC 500 Push Pull

Vacuum assisted, traditional push-pull handle, pull for gas, push for brake.

  • Reduced range of motion required to operate
  • An options for drivers considering expensive electronic controls

DADC 500 Manual Push Pull

Traditional push-pull handle, pull for gas, push for brake.

  • Quick, light action and smooth response

DADC 500 Manual Push Rock

Rock back for gas and push for brake.

  • Avoid confusion between brake and acceleration

DADC Brake Only

Traditional push-pull handle, push for brake.

  • Access to brake without moving the foot

DADC Turn Signal Adapter
Operate the Turn Signal control from the right side of the wheel

  • Lightweight Aluminum
  • Mounts to turn signal wand
  • Left and right mounting option

DADC Key Tee
Developed for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Fits in tight spaces and gives hurting hands leverage on the key.

  • Fits most any key
  • Effortless key-turn, reduced hand strain
  • Improves leverage
  • Reduces Pain

DADC Game Wheel

Enjoy the action of online simulated driving and racing.

  • Operate gas and brake from the hand control instead of the joystick
  • Share your game wheel with pedal pushing family and friends

Adaptive Driving for Persons with Physical Limitations: Adaptive Driving Aids/Modifications

With the use of appropriate adaptive aids an individual with most types of physical disability can continue to drive safely. A variety of devices are available to meet the individual driver’s needs and preferences. The following is a list of the more common modifications available. They should be tried in an actual driving situation before making a final decision. (For liability issues work with a certified adaptive driving specialist).

Automatic transmission: replaces clutch and manual shift

Power Steering: permits one-hand steering wheel operation

Power Brakes: needed for hand controls and other adaptive aids

Steering Devices: spinner knob, amputee ring, quad fork, tri pin, or custom device

Floor Mounted Steering: floor steering wheel for foot control

Modified Effort Steering: reduces strength needed to operate power steering or brake to accommodate low strength and/or endurance.

Left Foot Accelerator: eliminates left leg cross-over

Foot Pedal Extensions: raises height of brake and accelerator

Hand Controls: control operates brake/accelerator with single lever and activates secondary controls (horn, wipers, turn signals, etc.) *temporary or mounted hand controls are not recommended by Veterans Administration
Electric Gear Selector: permits left hand operation
Right Hand Turn Signal: permits right hand operation without cross-over
Remote Switches: reposition or build up secondary controls (horn, wipers, turn signals, etc.) to accommodate driver’s specific disability
Seat Belts: shoulder and lap belt adjustments may be needed
Power Seats: eases access for transferring to a regular captain’s seat
Custom Seats: creates balance, positioning, and stability
Lifts and Ramps: permits access into and out of vehicle
Wheelchair/Scooter Lifts: assists in lifting wheelchairs and scooters in and out of vehicle
Wheelchair Carriers: permits carrying of wheelchair outside of vehicle

Helping First Time Disabled Drivers with Mobility Equipment

Helping First Time Disabled Drivers with Mobility Equipment
First time disabled drivers with mobility equipment face unique milestones and considerations when preparing for the road. Parents and caregivers must seriously consider if they feel their child or loved one with a disability is adequately prepared for driver education. While that is a decision for each party to make individually, we offer advice for those who would like to begin preparing for the day their loved one takes the wheel.

Provide them with early mobility experience.
If your loved one is in a power wheelchair or has the ability to operate a bike with three wheels, helper handles or an arm operated bike, use these vehicles to practice safe crossing, learn about street signs and signaling and to strengthen spatial and visual skills necessary for safe motor vehicle operation.

Allow them to co-pilot your drives.
If your loved one is at the age of developing an interest in driving and directions, have them provide turn-by-turn directions to your destination. Developing navigation skills and a familiarity with the routes they might frequently take will provide comfort and confidence when they get behind the wheel for the first time. Additionally, have them call out speed limits, lights changing color and other road signs they must be conditioned to note while driving.

Seek out a driver rehabilitation evaluation.
Go ahead and set up an evaluation with your Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist long before the “real” test. This assessment will offer useful insight into both their strengths and areas in need of improvement. This will also confirm if your loved one is a candidate for safe driving. If you have concerns with their vision, reflexes, ataxia, or any additional areas pertinent to driving, such as mobility equipment, they may be disqualified from getting their license.

According to a study commissioned by The National Disability Authority, twice as many people with disabilities, as opposed to those without, do not drive a car regularly. This doesn’t have to be the case! Driving with a disability is a matter of equipping your loved one with the right education, practice and equipment to operate the vehicle. Hand controls, steering aids, ramps, lifts and other adaptive equipment give people with disabilities the freedom to take on the road and gain independence.

Wheelchair Accessible Van Maintenance

Auto Mechanic Car Hood
As with any vehicle, regular maintenance is important especially before a long road trip, as to prevent any maintenance-related issues from popping up. Standard “check-up” procedures such as getting your oil changed, checking the tire pressure, and making sure your spare tire is filled and your emergency kit is stocked are highly recommended.

In addition, there are special handicapped van upkeep procedures that are recommended.

These include the following:

  1. Make sure your lower door tracks are free of debris by using a vacuum along the tracks and ensuring any extra supplies won’t be able to fall onto the track.
  2. Spray your van’s ramp with a silicon or teflon based lubricant to make sure it slides with ease. If you use an in-the-floor ramp there’s one hinge, but if you have a fold-down ramp make sure to spray both the upper and lower hinges.
  3. You will also want to lightly lubricate the kneeling chain and the hand controls, if applicable to your van. Your handicap van’s manual should explain how to do this maintenance.
  4. Check your tie downs and securements to make sure there are no rips and they’re clear of debris.
  5. Tighten your 6-way power seat and make sure it’s clear of debris, if applicable to your van.

If you need any of this maintenance work done call us today to schedule an appointment.

We also provide a rust treatment that will help your wheelchair accessible vehicle last longer.

Adaptive Driving Aids: Reduced Effort Modifications

Experienced users of adaptive driving aids, as well as those who have just been introduced to them, will appreciate the depth of experience and the number of options available to them here at VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations, Inc.

Adaptive driving aids are as diverse as the people who use them, but they do fall into several distinct categories; basic driving aids, reduced effort modifications and advanced driving controls.

Reduced Effort Modifications

Reduced Effort Steering
Reduced effort modifications are used in conjunction with hand controls and other adaptations to reduce the physical strength required to perform the operations of braking and steering. Reduced effort braking and reduced effort steering are modification packages that make the steering wheel or brake pedal easier to turn or push. The level of assistance or “reduced-effort” is adjusted to the level prescribed by the driving rehabilitation specialist, based on the strength of the driver.

  • Drive-Master’s low effort and no effort braking modifications significantly reduces the required pressure needed to press down on a pedal to brake.
  • Drive-Master’s reduced effort steering modification reduces the amount of effort it takes to move a steering wheel. There is low effort to no effort available depending on the model of car and tire size.

Adaptive Driving Aids: Advanced Driving Controls

Experienced users of adaptive driving aids, as well as those who have just been introduced to them, will appreciate the depth of experience and the number of options available to them here at VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations, Inc.

Adaptive driving aids are as diverse as the people who use them, but they do fall into several distinct categories; basic driving aids, reduced effort modifications and advanced driving controls.

advanced driving system

Advanced Driving Controls

Advanced driving controls, or “high-tech driving systems” have advanced tremendously over the years, thus creating options for drivers with higher levels of disability. Advanced driving controls are truly a custom solution. As a result, the key components of these systems are combined, fitted and installed based on an extremely thorough process of evaluation, prescription and fine-tuning.

Hand Controls
Hand Controls in the advanced driving aid category are of course more advanced and are typically for individuals with very limited mobility and strength for operating a vehicle. A slight touch of various adaptive devices allow the car to accelerate and brake with ease.

  • Electric Gas and Brakes are operated from an electric servo in the form of a joystick or lever input device. Individuals can then use their hands to control their speed and to brake.
  • Pneumatic Gas and Brakes are operated from an air pressure system and controlled by an easy joystick, foot pedal or other device.

Steering Controls

  • Horizontal Steering accommodates a limited range of motion when the driver cannot use a conventional steering wheel.
  • Reduced and Zero Effort steering is for users who do not have adequate strength to operate the vehicle with factory resistance levels.
  • Electric steering allows the steering control to be located almost anywhere to assist the operator. They can be operated in the forms of miniature steering wheels or joysticks.

Electronic Gear Selection
Electronic Gear Selection allows the operator to push a button for a gear selection.

Remote Accessory Controls

  • Voice Scan uses one to two targets or buttons to operate a multitude of functions within the vehicle while utilizing a verbal audible menu.
  • Single Touch allows vehicle functions to be moved to a different location in order to fit the needs of the disabled driver.

Adaptive Driving Aids: Basic Driving Aids

Experienced users of adaptive driving aids, as well as those who have just been introduced to them, will appreciate the depth of experience and the number of options available to them here at VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations, Inc.

Adaptive driving aids are as diverse as the people who use them, but they do fall into several distinct categories; basic driving aids, reduced effort modifications and advanced driving controls.

Basic Driving Aids

2013 Toyota Tacoma Hand Controls installed at VMi New England Mobility Center Automotive Innovations, Inc.
Basic driving aids are adaptations which are engineered to allow you to utilize the more “able” aspects of your body in order to operate your vehicle. Hand controls, left foot gas pedals and pedal extensions are among the many options that fall into this category.

Hand Controls
Hand Controls allow you to use the upper part of your body to do what might be difficult for the lower parts – such as braking and accelerating. A variety of hand control options are available to fit your needs and preferences.

  • A Push/Pull is the basic of hand controls allowing you to push forward to brake and pull back to accelerate.
  • A Push Right Angle is a hand control where you push forward to brake and pull down towards your lap to accelerate.
  • A Push/Twist is a hand control where you push forward to brake and twist similar to a motorcycle grip to accelerate.

Steering Controls
Steering Controls are adaptations added to the steering wheel of a vehicle. Steering controls make steering for those with limited grip or strength an easier task.

  • A Spinner Knob is a small knob that presses firmly in the palm of your hand. A spinner knob gives the operator a steady grip and the ability to steer with one hand.
  • A Palm Grip is made only by MPD and allows your hand to comfortably sit in a lightweight aluminum wrap with sheepskin liner. The Palm Grip allows firm steering control for those who have little or no gripping ability. The Palm Grip is ideal for those with arthritis.
  • A Tri-Pin is a steering grip that comfortably rests your hand in-between three pins. The pins are adjustable and can be used to accelerate, brake or be used on the steering wheel instead of a spinner knob. If need be, they can also be custom fitted to operate the turn signal, horn and dimmer.

Extension Controls
Extension Controls are driving aids that give users the extra inch they need to be comfortable in their accessible vehicle. Whether they are shorter than average or have limited strength in their arms these adaptations can make all the difference in driving.

  • Pedal Extensions are for vehicle operators who can not reach the gas or brake pedal. Pedal extensions give the driver the inches they need to sit and drive comfortably at a safe distance from the airbags.
  • Turn Signal Extensions consist of a simple rod to the right side of the steering wheel that can be adjusted appropriately to meet the needs of the driver.
  • Key Extensions are available for those who have trouble with the turning motion of starting their vehicle. The additional leverage is adjustable to fit the needs of the operator.
  • Steering Column Extensions allow up to six inches between the operator and the steering column.

Foot Controls
Foot Controls are for individuals who have zero to limited feeling in their feet. Foot controls are also valuable to those who may have a prosthetic limb and need to use their left foot to drive.

  • Left Foot Gas Pedals allow drivers to accelerate using their left foot. A pedal is attached to the accelerator that is located on the left side of the brake. A guard is then placed over the original accelerator so that the right foot does not inadvertently rest on the factory installed pedal.
  • An Accelerator & Brake Guard is a shield that goes over the accelerator, brake or both when the operator is using hand controls to operate the vehicle. An accelerator and brake guard is a safety feature that prevents operators from accidentally resting their foot on the brake or accelerator.

Acura Mobility Program

Mobility Overview

Enhancing mobility for drivers with disabilities

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

The Acura Mobility Program is proud to support the mobility needs of drivers and passengers with physical disabilities. When you purchase or lease an Acura vehicle, you will be provided with a cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of aftermarket adaptive equipment that is installed on any eligible vehicle.

Program Elements

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 Acura suggests that you request a copy of the Department of Transportation’s brochure, “Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with Disabilities.”

  • Know your state’s driver’s license requirements.
    • You may wish to contact a local mobility center to help identify the adaptive equipment that best meets your needs.
    • Choose VMi New England Mobility Center a certified qualified equipment installer to modify your vehicle. Take the time to find out about credentials, experience, references, warranty coverage and the services they provide.
  • Obtain training on the use of the new equipment. Your equipment dealer and evaluator should provide information and off-road instruction. You will also need to practice driving under the instruction of a qualified driving instructor until you both feel comfortable with your skills.

Program Guidelines

Acura will provide a reimbursement of up to $1,000 to each eligible, original retail client for the expenses incurred to purchase and install qualifying adaptive equipment on any eligible purchased or leased Acura vehicle.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Only the original vehicle owner is eligible for reimbursement.
  • Modifications must be completed for the original owner or his/her immediate family.
  • Only new Acura vehicles retailed or leased in the United States from an authorized Acura dealership are eligible.
  • Only one reimbursement request per vehicle.
  • Lease vehicle modifications may be subject to written lessor approval. The client is responsible for determining and satisfying lease contract requirements.
  • Acura will consider reimbursement for modifications made to vehicles after February 1, 2004.
  • The written reimbursement request must be received within 6 months of the adaptive equipment installation.
  • Fleet and commercial vehicles are not eligible.
  • Any alteration or adaptive equipment that Acura has identified that alters the safety of the vehicle (i.e. seat belt extenders) is not eligible.

ADAPTATIONS, MODIFICATIONS AND EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION

  • Qualifying adaptive-equipment or conversion is defined as alterations or adaptive equipment installation that provide to the disabled user convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle.
  • Alterations or adaptive-equipment installation require a prescription or medical documentation to be considered for reimbursement.
  • Reimbursement requests (invoices) will be compared against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to verify that the alterer or repair business (individual, partnership or corporation) is registered with NHTSA and that the modifications are on the list of NHTSA exemptions.
  • EXCEPTION: Wheelchair or scooter hoists or ramps do not require a prescription, medical documentation or NHTSA exemption verification and NHTSA business registration for reimbursement consideration.
  • EXCEPTION: Modifications that “DO NOT” make inoperative any part of a device or element of design that has been installed on or in a motor vehicle in compliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard will not require NHTSA exemption verification and NHTSA business registration for reimbursement consideration.
  • The installation of adaptive equipment must have taken place within the time and mileage limits of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • If all conditions are met, Acura will provide up to a $1,000 cash reimbursement. Acura will be the secondary coverage in the case of two or more reimbursement sources.** A reimbursement made by another source such as medical insurance will be subtracted from the client’s original total expense. (Example: Total expense $5,000, Insurance reimbursement $4,000, Client expense $1,000. The client expense of $1,000 will be reviewed and considered for a maximum of $1,000 reimbursement.)

IMPORTANT CLIENT INFORMATION

  • The selection of an equipment manufacturer and installer is solely the client’s responsibility. (Acura does not evaluate or endorse any company or supplier involved in adaptive equipment. Mobility equipment warranty, installation warranty and related liabilities are not the responsibility of Acura.)
  • Clients can pick up an application at their local Acura dealer, via this website, or through Acura Client Relations.

REIMBURSEMENT DOCUMENTATION AND PROCESS

Documentation required for reimbursement consideration:

  • Completed and signed Reimbursement Application
  • Proof of Vehicle Sales or Lease Agreement
  • Copy of invoice for adaptive-equipment installation and/or vehicle modification and proof of payment
  • Copy of state driver’s license to verify that the person is eligible to operate a modified vehicle
  • Copy of the prescription or medical documentation
  • Name of contributing medical insurance carrier/entity that provides primary support, and policy number

Reimbursements will be processed and mailed within 4 weeks of receipt of all required documentation. Reimbursement requests should be mailed to:

Acura Client Relations
P.O. Box 2964
Torrance, CA 90509-2964

CLIENT RESOURCES
Please call Acura Client Relations with any questions.

Acura
800-382-2238
www.acura.com

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
800-833-0427
www.nmeda.org

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
www.nhtsa.dot.gov

To download an application form, click here

Acura reserves the right to modify or terminate this program without notice.

Acura does not assume responsibility for the quality, safety or efficiency of adaptive equipment or installation and cannot guarantee that such modifications comply with applicable government safety standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do reimbursements apply to used or fleet vehicles?

No. This program applies to only new Acura vehicles that are retailed or leased in the U.S.

How long will it take me to receive my reimbursement?

Payments will be mailed within 4 weeks of receipt of all required documentation.

What types of adaptive equipment can I obtain reimbursement for?

Acura will consider reimbursement for those modifications that have been approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). You can find more information on the NHTSA website.

What is the time limit to apply for a reimbursement?

The reimbursement request must be made within 6 months of the adaptive equipment installation.

Where can I get information on adaptive equipment?

Where do I get a reimbursement application?

In addition to the printable .PDF (Acrobat) format version of the form on this website, forms are also available at your local Acura dealer or upon request at Acura Client Relations at 1-800-382-2238.

Are used vehicles included in the Acura mobility assistance program?

Acura has limited the program to original vehicle owners/lessees whose vehicles are within the Manufacturer’s warranty period and who request reimbursement for NHTSA-approved and compliant modifications to their vehicles.

Does the Acura New Vehicle Limited Warranty cover modified vehicles and/or adaptive equipment?

No. The Acura New Vehicle Limited Warranty applies only to the Acura vehicle. It does not include the adaptive equipment, its installation or any other non-original equipment.

Does the installation of adaptive equipment void my warranty?

No, adaptive equipment and modifications unto themselves do not void the New Vehicle Limited Warranty that applies to the Acura product. However, if your vehicle experiences a problem/failure and that problem/failure is determined by Acura to be the direct result of the adaptive equipment and/or its installation, your warranty coverage may be voided for that particular repair. All warranty issues are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

adaptive mobility equipment financing options

Adaptive equipment describes an installed device, in addition to a structural modification, that is necessary for a person with a permanent physical disability to drive or be transported in a vehicle.

adaptive mobility equipment financing options wheelchair vans newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Some equipment not thought of as typical adaptive equipment, or equipment which is not available from the factory, that serves a need to operate or ride in a vehicle for persons with disabilities such as but not limited to: assist handles, keyless entry, keyless ignition switch, lumbar support, headrest adjustment, pedal extensions power seats, remote liftgate opener, running boards, seat belt extenders, seat modifications, and special mirrors may be eligible for reimbursement and require additional documentation. You will be notified if additional documentation is needed such as a letter or prescription clearly describing the permanent physical disability requiring this equipment, prepared by a licensed or certified medical professional.

Factory installed options such as air conditioning, running boards, lumbar seats and power windows are not considered eligible under the terms of the program.

Driving is a privilege for people stroke survivors with limited mobility; it provides a sense of stability in their lives so they can regain their independence. They love the flexibility their adaptive mobility equipment provides, but they often face exorbitant costs when it comes to financing the purchase of the equipment.

“The number one reason people with disabilities don’t have access to adequate transportation is because they cannot afford it.” The good news is that funding assistance to purchase adaptive equipment is becoming increasingly available.

Sources of funding determine a person’s “buying power.” Unlike the financing options provided by original equipment manufacturers, Mobility Equipment Dealers, such as Vmi New England Mobility Center, have access to financing options specifically for adaptive equipment purchases; they offer options and solutions for the customer.

Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grants enabling 100% service related disabled veterans to purchase a new or used modified vehicle and adaptive equipment. Automobile grants are available once in the service member’s lifetime and adaptive equipment grants are available for special equipment that may used more than once.  For more information, call 1-800-827-1000 or read the VA’s “Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants” fact sheet.

State Programs

  • State Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) Agencies may be able to assist with the costs associated with purchasing an adaptive vehicle (or adding adaptive equipment to an existing one) if the vehicle is necessary in order for a person to get to and from work.
  • State Assistive Technology Loan Programs may also be able to provide assistance to help pay for modifications to the vehicle.
  • Center for Independent Living (CIL) can provide additional information on programs that may be available in your state.

Government Programs

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a jointly administered federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid benefits differ by state and are approved on a case-by-case basis when a request for funding is presented through a prior approval.
  • Medicare: Medicare is a federal program and in some instances they will pay for adaptive equipment following a specialty evaluation performed by a qualified practitioner. For more information, call 1-800-633-4227.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI offers a Plan to Achieve Self-Support program, or PASS, which helps those with disabilities pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific employment goal – to ultimately return to work.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Often sales-tax exemptions on equipment purchases and other out-of-pocket costs can qualify for tax deductions as medical expenses. Contact a tax adviser or get literature from the IRS that outlines the tax code for medical equipment by calling 1-800-829-1040 and asking for publications with extensions 3966, 907 and 502.

Workman’s Compensation:

Your insurance or workman’s compensation policies may also pay for vehicle adaptation. Check with your HR department or workman’s comp. organization for more information.

Fundraisers, Charitable Organizations/Churches

These may not be for everyone, but they can be effective and many people have successfully raised the money to pay for a wheelchair accessible vehicle and adaptive equipment using these options.

Automakers Rebate Programs

Many automobile makers are providing people with disabilities a wide range of rebates and incentive programs to cover adaptive equipment installation. Below is an overview of some programs offering rebates or reimbursements for adaptive mobility equipment.

  • Ford Motor Company: The Ford Mobility Motoring adaptive equipment reimbursement offers up to $1,000 off for a vehicle modification. You may also qualify for up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support, or running boards installed on any new Ford or Lincoln vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period.
  • Daimler Chrysler Corporation: Once you have a 2010-2013 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicle that fits your transportation needs, contact a reputable and qualified adaptive equipment installer to ensure that it can be adapted to meet your needs.
  • General Motors Company Reimbursement Program:  New vehicle purchasers/lessees who install eligible adaptive mobility equipment on their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles can receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment.
  • Toyota: The Toyota Mobility Assistance Program provides cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of any aftermarket adaptive equipment or conversion, for drivers and/or passengers, when installed on any eligible purchased or leased new Toyota vehicle within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease.

The decision to purchase adaptive mobility equipment stems from a need for mobility freedom for people with disabilities, including stroke survivors. The purchase process begins with selecting a reputable dealer to provide the adaptive equipment and installation, locating options to finance the purchase, and ends with insuring the adaptive equipment.

Make sure the after-market mobility modifications are professionally installed by a NMEDA mobility dealer. Once the adaptive mobility equipment is financed and installed, notify your insurance agent with a full disclosure of all adaptive mobility equipment installed in the vehicle.

Make sure your auto insurance company provides coverage for the conversion and adaptive equipment. Make sure you request coverage for “special” equipment, not just “handicapped” equipment.

  • “Handicapped equipment” covers only basic equipment such as the ramp or lift, not the lowered floor, kneeling system, lockdown system or other adaptive equipment.
  • “Special equipment” covers the conversion in its entirety. Be sure and send your insurance company an itemized list of every modification (which you can get from the mobility dealership that performed the conversion).

VMi New England Mobility Center is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a wheelchair accessible car, truck or van, please contact us at 508-697-6006  info@newenglandwheelchairvan.com

NAVSEA’s Wounded Warrior Program

NAVSEA’s  Wounded Warrior

Due to advances in modern military medicine, unprecedented numbers of wounded service members are returning to the fight or transitioning their service to civilian employment. Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Army  

The skills and experiences of our warriors or veterans represents a rich resource of talent that can support NAVSEA’s mission of developing, delivering and maintaining ships and systems on time, on cost for the U.S. Navy.

Due to advances in modern military medicine, unprecedented numbers of wounded service members are returning to the fight or transitioning their service to civilian employment.  Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Army     

Naval Sea Systems Command’s Wounded Warrior Program seeks to match service-disabled veterans with employment opportunities in NAVSEA’s industrial, scientific, contracting and administrative fields. NAVSEA has approximately 60,000 positions at 38 different field activities across the country and overseas. The command also collaborates with the Army Material Command to help wounded warriors find meaningful opportunities at Army locations within the United States.    

   

Due to advances in modern military medicine, unprecedented numbers of wounded service members are returning to the fight or transitioning their service to civilian employment.  Vice Adm. Kevin McCoy, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Army

  Internships

Internships offer the training and education for wounded warriors to excel in entry-level placements and advance in their chosen field. Consult the Wounded Warrior Program office for the latest opportunities.

Education Counseling

Wounded Warrior Program coordinators offer post 9-11 GI bill benefits guidance to help navigate educational opportunities offered through NAVSEA, the Veteran’s Administration, and the Department of Labor.

Mentor, Assist, Train to Excel and Support

 NAVSEA’s commitment to wounded warriors continues beyond employment placement. Hand-selected mentors work with wounded warriors, providing continued support as they transition to the civilian workforce. The command’s commitment to veterans and its leadership from the front approach sets the precedent for the Navy’s other systems commands.

Videos

NAVSEA’s Vice Adm. McCoy Highlights Wounded Warrior Transition Programs (video)

Sylvester Ceasar, Aquisition Logistics Specialist

Mark Gwathmey, Disaster Management Specialist

Lili Jones, NAVSEA Logistics Management Specialist    

Contact Them

To learn more about the NAVSEA Wounded Warrior Program, please call (202) 781-1431 or email nssc_wwarriorhiring@navy.mil.

ON THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE By Lori A. Frankian 5/5/1997

 

ON THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE

By Lori A. Frankian 5/5/1997

Can you imagine waiting 14 years to get behind the wheel of your very first vehicle?  If you are physically challenged you may know what “waiting” is all about.  I am 30 years old and confined to an electric wheelchair due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a fabulous little disease that affects my muscles and nerve cells.  Why did I wait so long to get my license you ask? In all honesty, there was no real effort made to raise the money for a new van when I reached legal age to drive.  A year later at 17, I moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University and who needs a car while attending college in the city?  I attended the five year school, graduated and decided to remain in the city and establish a career for myself as an theatre / film administrator.  The years passed and my patience for traveling out of my way to find an accessible train station with operating elevators began wearing thin. It was definitely time to pursue the options available to me towards purchasing a van.  I had been missing out on so very much and I needed to move forward in my life.

 

After years of saving every penny that entered my pocket, I finally received the green light for modifications funding from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. It was time to purchase my van.  I bought a red Plymouth Voyager in June of 1994, and in a few months was driving on my own!

 

I no longer have to haul groceries home from the store in the pouring rain, losing half of them as they spill over the arms of my wheelchair.   I can drive my van home with as many bags as I want.  I do not have to struggle in 25 inches of snow when trying to get to work.  I now have my van to guide me wherever I want to go with ease.  I can travel to the most beautiful locations within the US for the very first time on my own.  Nobody will ever tell me that, “there isn’t time to stop.”  I am driving now and if want to stop, I am going to stop!  I could go on and on sharing the wonderful changes

that my new found independence allows but I am sure you get the picture.

 

I am so very thankful and appreciative of the people in my life that made it possible for me to get behind the wheel.  For starters, I thank my father for handling the constant wheelings and dealings between the car dealership and outside vendors.  He was very protective of my hard earned money and made sure that I got exactly what I was paying for and then some!

I thank Bob Sondheim at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for making sure that the funding was granted for the  modifications that allow me to operate my van.  Without my Dad or the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission,  I would not have had a van or modifications that would allow me to drive.

 

Last but not least, an enormous thank you goes to Jim Sanders at Automotive Innovations in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Jim and his wonderfully trained staff are responsible for building my van, putting every crucial piece of technology in its proper place and for making it operate with grace and efficiency. Automotive Innovations specializes in vehicle modifications and adaptive technology including high tech vans for physically challenged drivers. They are leaders in New England, known and respected for their quality, commitment and innovation. It’s the 90′s and technology is beyond our wildest dreams.  Automotive Innovations knows their stuff.

 

At first, I was intimidated by the electronic hand controls and the tiny steering wheel that I would drive with. I wondered, “will everything operate safely?” “Will my steering system fail to operate as I am driving down the highway?”  “What if my door jams and doesn’t allow the ramp to open, trapping me inside?”  These are a few of the questions that ran through my mind before Jim gave me a thorough explanation on all operation procedures and back up system functions.

 

Jim and his staff have been there for me from the get-go and I know they always will be.  I have called him on many occasions with questions and he was ready and willing to help me at a moments notice.   If it wasn’t for their high quality workmanship, I wouldn’t have the reliable form of transportation that I have today.  For that I will always be grateful.

 

Every time I get behind the wheel I am thankful that I have such an amazing form of independence to experience.  If independence is foreign to you, then I am sure you know where I am coming from.  If not, I ask that you appreciate the little things in life such as walking up steps and entering a public bathroom, finding it ready and willing to accept you.  Life should never be taken for granted.  It’s the little things in life that should be treasured because they can be taken away within an instant.  Even if it is as simple as driving down the street to pick up a cup of coffee!  Appreciate your freedom, I know I do!

Lori A. Frankian Boston, MA

 

Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversion Options New England Mobility Center

wheelchair accessible van conversion options new england mobility center

Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversion Options

We know that each individual person has their own personal desires and requirements in a wheelchair accessible van. At VMi New England Mobility Center, we offer a variety of conversion options in order to best fit your individual needs. Whether you need hand controls or an under vehicle lift (UVL), our highly trained Mobility Center Consultants are here to listen to your needs, educate you on the safest/best products available, and deliver the highest quality service in the vehicle modification industry.

VMi New England Mobility Center has access to hundreds of new and used wheelchair accessible vans ready for immediate delivery. We carry everything from minivans, to full-size vans, to commercial paratransit vans and ambulette vans, in Dodge, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Buick, Toyota, Honda, and Ford models. Our large inventory and unmatched mobility facility enables our customers to get the wheelchair accessible van they want, when they want it.

If you want to learn more about our wheelchair accessible van conversion options, contact us for a free in house consultation.

wheelchair accessible van conversion options new england mobility center

Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with disAbilities

newenglandwheelchairvan.com boston strong

Introduction

A Proven Process for Gaining Freedom on the Road

The introduction of new technology continues to broaden opportunities for people with disabilities to drive vehicles with adaptive devices. Taking advantage of these opportunities, however, can be time consuming and, sometimes, frustrating.

The information in this brochure is based on the experience of driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals who work with individuals who require adaptive devices for their motor vehicles. It is centered around a proven process —evaluating your needs, selecting the right vehicle, choosing a qualified dealer to modify your vehicle, being trained, maintaining your vehicle — that can help you avoid costly mistakes when purchasing and modifying a vehicle with adaptive equipment.

Also included is general information on cost savings, licensing requirements, and organizations to contact for help. Although the brochure focuses on drivers of modified vehicles, each section contains important information for people who drive passengers with disabilities.

 


 

Investigate Cost Saving Opportunities &Licensing Requirements

Cost Saving Opportunities

The costs associated with modifying a vehicle vary greatly. A new vehicle modified with adaptive equipment can cost from $20,000 to $80,000. Therefore, whether you are modifying a vehicle you own or purchasing a new vehicle with adaptive equipment, it pays to investigate public and private opportunities for financial assistance.

There are programs that help pay part or all of the cost of vehicle modification, depending on the cause and nature of the disability. For information, contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation or another agency that provides vocational services, and, if appropriate, the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can find phone numbers for these state and federal agencies in a local phone book. Also, consider the following.

  • Many nonprofit associations that advocate for individuals with disabilities have grant programs that help pay for adaptive devices.
  • If you have private health insurance or workers’ compensation, you may be covered for adaptive devices and vehicle modification. Check with your insurance carrier.
  • Many manufacturers have rebate or reimbursement plans for modified vehicles. When you are ready to make a purchase, find out if there is such a dealer in your area.
  • Some states waive the sales tax for adaptive devices if you have a doctor’s prescription for their use.
  • You may be eligible for savings when submitting your federal income tax return. Check with a qualified tax consultant to find out if the cost of your adaptive devices will help you qualify for a medical deduction.

Licensing Requirements

All states require a valid learner’s permit or driver’s license to receive an on–the–road evaluation. You cannot be denied the opportunity to apply for a permit or license because you have a disability. However, you may receive a restricted license, based on your use of adaptive devices.

 


 

Evaluate Your Needs

Driver rehabilitation specialists perform comprehensive evaluations to identify the adaptive equipment most suited to your needs. A complete evaluation includes vision screening and, in general, assesses:

  • Muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion
  • Coordination and reaction time
  • Judgment and decision making abilities
  • Ability to drive with adaptive equipment

Upon completion of an evaluation, you should receive a report containing specific recommendations on driving requirements or restrictions, and a complete list of recommended vehicle modifications.

Finding a Qualified Evaluator

To find a qualified evaluator in your area, contact a local rehabilitation center or call the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED). The phone number is in the resource section. The Association maintains a data base of certified driver rehabilitation specialists throughout the country. Your insurance company may pay for the evaluation. Find out if you need a physician’s prescription or other documen-tation to receive benefits.

Being Prepared for an Evaluation

Consult with your physician to make sure you are physically and psychologically prepared to drive. Being evaluated too soon after an injury or other trauma may indicate the need for adaptive equipment you will not need in the future. When going for an evaluation, bring any equipment you normally use, e.g., a walker or neck brace. Tell the evaluator if you are planning to modify your wheelchair or obtain a new one.

Evaluating Passengers with Disabilities

Evaluators also consult on compatibility and transportation safety issues for passengers with disabilities. They assess the type of seating needed and the person’s ability to exit and enter the vehicle. They provide advice on the purchase of modified vehicles and recommend appropriate wheelchair lifts or other equipment for a vehicle you own. If you have a child who requires a special type of safety seat, evaluators make sure the seat fits your child properly. They also make sure you can properly install the seat in your vehicle.

 


 

Select the Right Vehicle

Selecting a vehicle for modification requires collaboration among you, your evaluator, and a qualified vehicle modification dealer. Although the purchase or lease of a vehicle is your responsibility, making sure the vehicle can be properly modified is the responsibility of the vehicle modification dealer. Therefore, take the time to consult with a qualified dealer and your evaluator before making your final purchase. It will save you time and money. Be aware that you will need insurance while your vehicle is being modified, even though it is off the road.

The following questions can help with vehicle selection. They can also help determine if you can modify a vehicle you own.

  • Does the necessary adaptive equipment require a van, or will another passenger vehicle suffice?
  • Can the vehicle accommodate the equipment that needs to be installed?
  • Will there be enough space to accommodate your family or other passengers once the vehicle is modified?
  • Is there adequate parking space at home and at work for the vehicle and for loading/unloading a wheelchair?
  • Is there adequate parking space to maneuver if you use a walker?
  • What additional options are necessary for the safe operation of the vehicle?

If a third party is paying for the vehicle, adaptive devices, or modification costs, find out if there are any limitations or restrictions on what is covered. Always get a written statement on what a funding agency will pay before making your purchase.

 


 

Choose a Qualified Dealer to Modify Your Vehicle

Even a half inch change in the lowering of a van floor can affect a driver’s ability to use equipment or to have an unobstructed view of the road; so, take time to find a qualified dealer to modify your vehicle. Begin with a phone inquiry to find out about credentials, experience, and references. Ask questions about how they operate. Do they work with evaluators? Will they look at your vehicle before you purchase it? Do they require a prescription from a physician or other driver evaluation specialist? How long will it take before they can start work on your vehicle? Do they provide training on how to use the adaptive equipment?

If you are satisfied with the answers you receive, check references; then arrange to visit the dealer’s facility. Additional information to consider is listed below.

  • Are they members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has vehicle conversion standards?
  • What type of training has the staff received?
  • What type of warranty do they provide on their work?
  • Do they provide ongoing service and maintenance?
  • Do they stock replacement parts?

Once you are comfortable with the dealer’s qualifications, you will want to ask specific questions, such as:

  • How much will the modification cost?
  • Will they accept third party payment?
  • How long will it take to modify the vehicle?
  • Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?
  • Will they need to modify existing safety features to install the adaptive equipment?

While your vehicle is being modified, you will, most likely, need to be available for fittings. This avoids additional waiting time for adjustments once the equipment is fully installed. Without proper fittings you may have problems with the safe operation of the vehicle and have to go back for adjustments.

Some State Agencies specify the dealer you must use if you want reimbursement.

 


 

Obtain Training on the Use of New Equipment

Both new and experienced drivers need training on how to safely use new adaptive equipment. Your equipment dealer and evaluator should provide information and off-road instruction. You will also need to practice driving under the instruction of a qualified driving instructor until you both feel comfortable with your skills. Bring a family member or other significant person who drives to all your training sessions. It’s important to have someone else who can drive your vehicle in case of an emergency.

Some state vocational rehabilitation departments pay for driver training under specified circumstances. At a minimum, their staff can help you locate a qualified instructor. If your evaluator does not provide on-the-road instruction, ask him or her for a recommendation. You can also inquire at your local motor vehicle administration office.

 


 

Maintain Your Vehicle

Regular maintenance is important for keeping your vehicle and adaptive equipment safe and reliable. It may also be mandatory for compliance with the terms of your warranty. Some warranties specify a time period during which adaptive equipment must be inspected. These “check ups” for equipment may differ from those for your vehicle. Make sure you or your modifier submits all warranty cards for all equipment to ensure coverage and so manufacturers can contact you in case of a recall.

For additional copies of this brochure and other important vehicle safety information, you can contact DOT’s web site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov and the DOT Auto Safety Hotline: 888-DASH-2-DOT (888-327-4236).

 


 

Resources

The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
2425 N. Center Street # 369, Hickory, NC 28601
(866) 672-9466
www.driver-ed.org
www.aded.net

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
11211 N. Nebraska Ave., Suite A5, Tampa, FL 33612
(800) 833-0427 
www.nmeda.org

AAA
1000 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746-5063
(404) 444-7961
www.aaa.com

Department of Veteran Affairs
(800) 827-1000
www.va.gov

State Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation
Listed in telephone book.


The following manufacturers offer rebates or reimbursements on new vehicle modification.

Daimler Chrysler Corporation
(800) 255-9877
(TDD Users: (800) 922-3826)
www.automobility.daimlerchrysler.com

Ford Motor Company
(800) 952-2248
(TDD Users: (800) TDD-0312)
www.ford.com/mobilitymotoring

General Motors Corporation
(800) 323-9935
(TDD Users: (800) TDD-9935)
www.gmmobility.com

Saturn
(800) 553-6000, Prompt 3
(TDD Users: (800) 833-6000)
www.saturn.com

Volkswagen
(800) 822-8987
www.vw.com

Audi
(800) 822-2834
www.audiusa.com

Ford Mobility Motoring Program

ford mobility center motoring program new england

Ford Mobility Motoring Program

The Ford Mobility Motoring Program offers financial assistance of up to $1,000 on new Ford Motor Company vehicle purchases or leases. For more information, contact the Ford Mobility Motoring Program toll free at 800-952-2248 (TTY Users: 800-833-0312). In Canada call 800-565-8985.

Click here to visit their website

The reimbursement process is quick and easy. Once your vehicle has been purchased and adaptive equipment installation is completed, your dealer will assist you in submitting your claim. Your dealer will need the following documentation:

  • Vehicle Bill of Sale – must have the VIN included
  • Paid Adaptive Equipment Invoice – should be dated and marked paid

 

Your reimbursement check will then arrive directly from Ford Motor Company, usually within two to four weeks.

 

  • Determine your state’s driver’s license requirements.
  • Evaluate your needs – Contact VMi New England for further information.
  • Select the right vehicle – Consult with aevaluator at VMi New England Mobility Center and adaptive installer to determine the best Honda model to meet your needs.
  • Go to a qualified mobility equipment installer like VMi New England Mobility Center – Shop around and ask about qualifications, capabilities, experience, warranty coverage and service.
  • Obtain training on the use of the new equipment – When this process is complete, follow the guidelines and complete and submit an application for assistance to recover up to $1,000 of the cost of your adaptive equipment and/or conversion.

wheelchair lifts: automatic and semiautomatic MA, RI, CT, VT, NH & ME

wheelchair lifts automatic and semiautomatic newenglandwheelchairvan.com

TYPES OF WHEELCHAIR LIFTS

Usage of wheelchair lift can facilitate everyday functioning, eliminating the need to lift the wheelchair and place it into the vehicle with just pulling up to the platform of the lift and be lifted up or down. It is extremely convenient, giving confidence to wheelchair users to go to the places they want to. Wheelchair lifts made a significant and positive change compared to the previous experiences when they didn’t exist.

Wheelchair lifts are advanced mobility systems that have changed the way the disabled move, work and live, being a blessing for users and caregivers equally. They are used for wheelchair accessible vans and other mobility vehicles, known also by the name platform lift, making the travel of wheelchair user much easier and more pleasant. Wheelchair lifts have multiple purposes and can help people with disabilities in many ways, even being adapted according to individual needs in as many ways you need.

Usage of wheelchair lift can facilitate everyday functioning, eliminating the need to lift the wheelchair and place it into the vehicle with just pulling up to the platform of the lift and be lifted up or down. It is extremely convenient, giving confidence to wheelchair users to go to the places they want to. Wheelchair lifts made a significant and positive change compared to the previous experiences when they didn’t exist.

They can be automatic and semi-automatic, electric and hydraulic. Automatic one takes care of the folding, unfolding, lowering and raising, while semi-automatic one needs manual operating. Electric wheelchair lifts are easier to maintain than hydraulic ones. They are flexible and easy to install and come with battery back-up. The full benefit of electric wheelchair lift can be felt together with stair and automobile lifts and van ramps. Hydraulic ones don’t need electricity and can function in the case of power failure. However, they require constant maintenance and care.

Wheelchair lifts that are usually used for vans and minivans are called rotary or “swing” lifts because their method of operation involves moving the wheelchair by swinging it up-and-down or inside and outside. There is a great choice of wheelchair lifts, so you should consider all the options, with the respect for your needs and wants, including the decision about whether you want to travel in the wheelchair or in the vehicle seat, which will also mean the difference between installing it inside or outside the van. Both options have advantages and disadvantages.

An outside wheelchair lift is intended for your personal mobile device to be installed outside of the car or wheelchair vans. It will be carried behind, but the way that the driver will have complete road visibility. If you choose an outside lift, it will require very small modifications of the vehicle. The lift is usually attached to a trailer hitch on the rear.

The type of the wheelchair lifts has to be compatible with your van. There are some special features that can make a difference in your everyday functioning, for example having a back-up lifting or lowering mechanism if the main drive system fails. When you sort out your needs, it’s easier to make a decision about the choice of the corresponding advanced mobility system.

Lifts

In this section we explain the various types of lifts available on the market. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these lifts. It is highly recommended that you get to know the lifts available, the product lines, your nearest dealers and their qualifications. If you purchase a lift only to find that there is no one within a reasonable distance to provide service and repairs you will soon regret that purchase. Always consult experts at VMi New England Mobility Center BEFORE you buy.

There are basically two types of wheelchair lifts:

  1. Platform Lift
  2. Rotary (or Swing) Lift

In addition, these two lifts come in various types. Hydraulic, electrical mechanical, gravity and those that combine hydraulic and electrical.

The hydraulic lift uses a pump and a cylinder filled with fluid pressure, which enables the pump to raise and lower the lift along with the power from the van’s battery.

The electricall mechanical lift operates either by chain or screw rod, with power provided solely by the battery.

The gravity lift has power to lift and fold, while gravity lowers the lift platform to ground level.

All of these lifts depend, at least in part, on the battery. If your battery is weak or dead, the lifts will not work.

If you are a scooter user, measure your scooter’s length. Some scooters are longer than the standard platform on lifts. An extended platform is available to accommodate these longer scooters. Be aware, though, that this could require a raised roof, too.

Platform Lift
This lift is stored either in the side, the rear, or under the floor of a van. The lift requires two doors or a sliding door on the side of a van. The platforms have expanded metal in the upper half of the platform for better visibility when the lift is folded and the van is being driven.

Lifts stored under the van require modifications to the exhaust system, gas tank, etc., depending on the make of the van. Only the pump and motor are located inside vans using under-the-floor lifts.

Platforms may also be different, depending on the lift. There are both solid and fold-in-half platforms.  The fold-in-half platform folds to give better accessibility to the doors. Some fold-in-half platform lifts are mounted on a single post.

Be aware of the differences between automatic and semi-automatic lifts. A fully automatic lift will fold, unfold, lower and raise by operating a switch located inside (on the side of the lift) or outside (on the side of the van), and, in most cases, on the dash. A semi-automatic lift requires manual folding and unfolding of the platform. Using a hand-held pendant switch, the platform can be mechanically lowered and raised. You MUST have assistance with this type of lift, as it is designed for passengers who will not be riding alone.

Rotary Lift (or “Swing Lift”)
The platform of this type of lift never folds. Instead it “swings” inside, outside and up-and-down. The rotary lift swings into the van and the lift platform sits on the floor in the middle of the van.

Some individuals like the rotary lift because of the parking convenience. Less room is needed to enter or exit the van. Also, this lift is mounted on one post inside the van. The post controls the swinging action of the lift. One of the drawbacks to the rotary lift, though, is the cross-over bar. On some rotary lifts this bar connects the platform to the swing bar, limiting space for loading and unloading on the platform.

Switches serve very necessary functions in this lift. In most cases there are three switches on the dash. They operate the lift as well as provide an open and close function for the power door openers. The motors fit into or beside the doors and are manufactured to fit only one brand of lift.

Back-up System
You may also want to purchase a back-up system for your lift. Many government agencies require a lift to have a back-up system for use in emergencies. With a back-up system the lift can be manually manuvered and users can exit the van with assistance from an outsider. Most back-up systems are herd to operate alone, so expect to need someone’s help.

Safety Flaps
All lifts have an extension or “curb” at the edge of the platform which is approximately three-to-four inches high. This safety flap is designed specifically to prevent the wheelchair or scooter from rolling past the edge of the platform.

Finally, when purchasing a lift, be sure to check on the use of raised doors. If needed, your lift will have to be ordered for the extended doors. Determine if this is necessary before completing your vehicle equipment decisions. It will help you avoid very costly errors.

Again, be sure to consult the experts at VMi New England Mobility Center BEFORE you buy a wheelchair van or wheelchair vehicle lift to prevent costly and frustrating mistakes.

New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center

new england regional spinal cord injury center http://newenglandwheelchairvan.com/

The New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (NERSCIC) has developed a long and distinguished history of care, research, education, and service to people with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the New England region.  NERSCIC Network headquarters is located at the Boston University Medical Campus, with Network members Gaylord Hospital and Hospital for Special Care located in CT.

The NERSCIC Network serves as an advocate and resource for patients; their families, friends, and caregivers; and health care professionals throughout New England.  Our goal is to improve the health and function of people with SCI throughout the lifespan through innovative science and technology in three areas:

1. Consumer-focused Rehabilitation Researchwhich focuses on topics for people with SCI, such as health care self advocacy training, better ways to measure functioning, and which wheelchairs have the most breakdowns.  Learn more about how to participate in studies.

2. Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Care

  • NERSCIC offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient SCI care available through Gaylord Hospital and the Hospital for Special Care in CT.
  • NERSCIC is leading the development and dissemination of a uniform New England Standard of Care (NESoC) for SCI, a first-ever collaborative effort among area facilities with SCI expertise.  Its goal is to enhance learning opportunities for professionals and ensure that all people receive the same level of care throughout New England.

3.  Education and Collaboration

  • In 2012, NERSCIC unveiled a new Consumer Education Program called “Knowledge in Motion,”  in partnership with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and modeled after the Stepping Forward- Staying Informed program pioneered by NERSCIC.
  • The Rehabilitation Research Roundtable joins together leaders of the local SCI community to collaborate on a common research and corresponding service and advocacy agenda.

spinal cord Injury and driving in new england

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Spinal Cord Injury
After a spinal cord injury has occurred, a person is no longer able to drive an automobile in the normal manner. However, there are several types of adaptive mobility equipment and vehicle modifications that can allow an individual with a spinal cord injury to drive. Depending on the level of injury and functional ability, either a sedan or van may be an appropriate vehicle choice.The following are considerations for selecting a vehicle:

Driving a sedan: When considering the use of a sedan, the individual must be able to do the following:

  • Lock and Unlock the door
  • Open and close the door
  • Transfer to and from the wheelchair
  • Store and retrieve the wheelchair (either independently or with a wheelchair loading device)

Since characteristics and dimensions of vehicles vary, it is important that the individual performs these functions in the vehicle being considered prior to purchase. A driver rehabilitation specialist can provide recommendations for sedan selection.

Driving a van: If an individual is unable to drive a sedan, there are several options available for driving a van. Specialized modifications can allow a person to transfer to the driver seat or to drive from the wheelchair.

There are several levels of driving control technology to compensate for the loss of strength and/or range of motion. Some of these include:

Adaptive mobility equipment and vehicle modifications for wheelchair access are available for some full-size and mini vans; however, all vans are not suitable for modifications. We can assist in making the correct van choice and can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine a persons ability to drive.

If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation, give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive. 

  • Visual Perception
  • Functional Ability
  • Reaction Time
  • Behind-the-wheel evaluation

Declare Your Independence on the 4th of July with a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle

  • Wheelchair Van VMi New England Boston Strong
  • Learn more about how to pick the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle that meets your needs.
  • Take a look inside the latest minivans, and other accessible vehicles like a pickup truck, motorcycle or snowmobile.
  • Buy new? Buy used? Convert your current vehicle? Here, we provide some factors to consider before making your decision.

Freedom. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? A wheelchair shouldn’t be a barrier to getting out and about, whether for work, day-to-day living or pleasure.

“we will always do all we can to deliver the driving freedom most take for granted to someone in a wheelchair, we are going to change the world one person on at a time” , -Jim Sanders 7/4/1988

Finding the right vehicle means analyzing your needs. Do you want to ride in your wheelchair or transfer to the vehicle’s seat? Will you be the driver or the passenger? If your muscle weakness is still progressing, how will your accessibility needs change down the line — and how can you accommodate them now?

What kind of vehicle do you want: car, minivan, van, truck, SUV or motorcycle? New or used? After-market conversion or built for accessibility from the start? Side or rear entry?

A great place to start answering questions is at the website for Vmi New England

The website is a treasure trove of tips for finding the right vehicle.

For an in-depth look into the life of Ralph Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, read CEO with SMA Brings Mobility to All . Learn how he turned his scooter and modified van designs into a multimillion-dollar business — all while battling spinal muscular atrophy.

 

 

Braun Wheelchair Van Mobility Center vmienwenglan.com Boston Strong

Of course, in purchasing a vehicle, monetary concerns always come into play. The New England Mobility Center site offers various directions to take in finding government funding and public assistance. You’ll also find tips on buying auto insurance, numerous blogs on accessible-vehicle-related subjects and info on many travel accessories to make life easier on the road.

Because of the tremendous number of variables in the custom fitment for each persons specific needs, it’s not possible to give exact prices for the minivans featured. However, we can provide some figures that will give you a ballpark idea of accessible vehicle pricing.

  • New side-entry converted minivans range from around $48,000 to $75,000.
  • New rear-entry converted minivans with manually operated fold-out ramps start in the low $40,000s.
  • You can find 3-year-old minivans with brand-new conversions starting in the low $30,000s.

For those with severe muscle weakness who want to drive their vehicle themselves, certified driver rehabilitation specialists (CDRS) can evaluate your needs at the Bridgewater, MA Mobility Center, and provide a prescription for adapted driving equipment and driver training.  (For more on this topic, contact us at 508-697-6006).

As you’ll discover, the scope of accessible vehicles is very broad indeed. Here’s a sampler of the myriad options currently available in the world of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and conversion equipment.

MinivansBraunAbility’s Chrysler Entervan features flexible floor plans
For easier boarding, the Entervan has an integrated “kneeling” system; while the door is opening, the rear suspension is lowered, reducing the slope of the ramp. To learn more, call 508-697-6006 .Because wheelchair transportation requirements can change over time, BraunAbility enables buyers to easily configure the floor plan of its Chrysler Entervan. Whether you want to be the driver or the front-seat passenger, removing the appropriate seat is literally a snap: Unlock the seat base and roll the entire seat out of the van.
VMI’s Honda Odyssey Northstar promotes easy entry

 

Wheelchair Van bridgewater, ma newenglandwheelchairvan.com boston

In the side-entry, lowered-floor Honda Odyssey Northstar conversion by VMI, a remote control triggers the PowerKneel System, lowering the vehicle and activating a power ramp that telescopes out from within the interior floor.

The lower ramp offers a gentler angle, and the unrestricted entry means better maneuverability once inside.

VMI also offers the Summit accessible Toyota van conversion featuring a power fold-out, heavy-duty ramp system with an anti-rattle mechanism. It also has the power kneeling feature. To learn more, call 508-697-6006

.2013 Toyota Sienna VMI Summit Silver VMi New England Wheelchair Van Boston

Consider a rear entry, says Jim Sanders
Although rear-entry vehicles don’t allow wheelchair users to park in the driver or front-passenger locations, Jim’s vision has always been to offer as many options possible including optional swiveling driver or front-passenger seat that may facilitate transferring from the wheelchair. (For more on the rear- versus side-entry question, see them at, the Bridgewater, MA Mobility Center.) To learn more, call 508-697-6006 .Believing that entering and exiting the van through the back sometimes avoids  barriers, Our viewpoint and vision has always been to offer as many options as is practical. Rear-entry, lowered-floor modification converts Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda and Toyota minivans. An automatic remote-control option can even activate the ramp and door. This vision and technology of lowering the vehicle closer to the ground and the ramp to a more comfortable angle for wheelchair access.

 

‘A mobility concept vehicle’ starts out as a accessible ground up conversion; that can even go green
A car or minivan hybrid concept vehicle can be designed custom for you from the ground up with safety and accessibility as its top priority.

mobility concept vehicle mobility center bridgewater, ma boston strong

Rental vehicles New locations are being added, before your next trip or give us a call to learn more at 508-697-6006. It’s may even be possible to rent a Rollx wheelchair-accessible Dodge or Chrysler minivan at selected airports around the country. Someone even told us Thrifty Car Rental, Dollar Rent-a-Car or Payless Car Rental companies were thinking about offer accessible vans at airports like T.F. Green airport 2000 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886, Manchester–Boston Regional Airport 1 Airport Rd, Manchester, NH 03103, Logan International Airport 1 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128
Cars and SUV’s Sport an attitude with a flair for the freedom to have different concept vehicles built with optional Motors depending on your needs a Scion xB might even work.If you’re just not the minivan type, consider the freedom of a concept vehicle, Want a custom sporty wheelchair-accessible vehicle? Click the remote: Simultaneously, the driver’s door swings open, the rear driver-side door gull-wings up and the ramp unfolds, ready for you to maneuver your wheelchair into driving position.

 

A similar conversion can be configured on the passenger side. Or if rear entry suits your needs, we offer you the freedom to pick a model that work best for you. Prices range from the low $30,000s for a manual rear-entry model to the low $500,000s for a one off concept vehicle with automatic side-entry. To learn more, call 508-697-6006
.

Hand controls and footless driving solutions
Systems from mechanical to servo actuated can be installed on most cars with automatic transmissions. The accelerator input can mounted within easy reach of the vehicle’s standard steering wheel, with the controls just inches away on either the right or left. Smoothly accelerate the vehicle remotely without use of your feel, designed to make hands only driving safe and easy.Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, installed prices start around $1,200, additionally we offer transportation of the vehicle to and from our mobility center. To learn more, call 508-697-6006
Buying used AMS pre-owned van might even be considered.Resale on them is typically incredibly low and these can be a ok deal if your able to bring it to a qualified mobility center to ensure it is in safe and working condition.

AMS pre-owned van bridgewater, ma newenglandwheelchairvan.com

There’s no getting around the fact that wheelchair vans are expensive; retrofitting new vans with accessibility equipment doesn’t come cheap. One way to cut costs is to buy a used van to avoid the  depreciation that happens when buying new.VMi New England offers many pre-owned vans outfitted with their new conversion equipment which can save buyers as much as $15,000 to $20,000.

Or, if you already have a fairly new Chrysler, Dodge or Volkswagen van, they may be able to convert it for you. Rear-entry conversions start at around $13,000, while side-entry conversions start at around $22,000, not including the price of the vehicle. To learn more, call 508-697-6006.

There are many grey market conversion vans available to you via the internet, ebay and private parties.

Many of these vehicles are being sold by direct marketing companies or individuals who bought them via the internet or ebay only to find out there were many problems with the van, it was unsafe and or wouldn’t work for there needs.

So in turn they are for sale again for what appears to be a great deal.

I wish i had a dollar for every customer who brought a “internet deal”, “used car dealer van”, “ebay wheelchair van deal” into our facility wanting to know what we could do to make it work for them.

Only to hear, i’m very sorry you didn’t visit with us before you purchased this van that your family member or friend in the wheelchair will not fit into the van.

Motorcycles

When it comes to motorcycles Jim Sanders has and will always promote accessible motorcycles and his personal belief that they offer the ultimate freedom when it comes to travel (unless it’s snowing in which case we need to talk about snowmobiles)

If you can operate a manual wheelchair, you may be able to drive a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle, says Sanders. Want a touring bike, a BMW, a KTM or how about a dirt bike. A remote-controlled drop-down ramp at the rear of the vehicle can be up fitted  allowing a rider to pull his or her chair into position, secure it with a push-button docking system, and ride off — no transferring necessary.

 

Bikes featuring a powerful BMW 1170 cc engine, a six-speed, two-button, thumb-operated gear shifter, and a rear-wheel-drive differential can be up fitted . Want a bike with a reverse gear for easier parking and maneuvering? To learn more, call 508-697-6006. If you can operate a manual wheelchair, you maybe able to drive a wheelchair-accessible motorcycle, says Sanders.

A remote-controlled drop-down ramp at the rear of the vehicle allows a rider to pull his or her chair into position, secure it with a push-button docking system, and ride off — no transferring necessary.

SUVs and trucks 

ryno wheelchair pick up truck bridgewater, ma boston, ma  newenglandwheelchairvan.com

A Stow-Away lift puts you inside

Bruno doesn’t sell wheelchair-accessible vehicles, but they do offer products that can be up fit  into vehicles.

Known for their home stair lifts and attachable vehicle lifts for transporting wheelchairs and scooters, they also make an add-on mechanism that may allow you to transfer you from a wheelchair up into the seat of a high-profile SUV or pickup.

 

Ryno no-transfer conversion for pickups 

Being a wheelchair user doesn’t mean you have to give up using a pickup truck. VMi New England has been offering pick up truck conversions for over 10 years allowing either driver-side or passenger-side entry into the cab of a GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado without ever having to transfer out of the wheelchair.

When activated with the remote control, the door opens from the cab, then the lift platform deploys which rests flat on the ground. The wheelchair user backs onto the platform, which then elevates up and into the cab as the door slides back into the closed position.

To learn more, call 508-697-6006.

 

Logan International Airport
General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport is located in the East Boston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, US. It covers 2,384 acres, has six runways, and employs an estimated 16,000 people.Wikipedia
Code: BOS
Elevation: 19′ 0″ (5.80 m)
Address: 1 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128
Phone: (800) 235-6426
Manchester–Boston Regional Airport
Manchester–Boston Regional Airport, commonly referred to simply as “Manchester Airport,” is a public airport located three miles south of the central business district of Manchester, New Hampshire on … Wikipedia
Code: MHT
Elevation: 266′ (81 m)
Address: 1 Airport Rd, Manchester, NH 03103
Phone: (603) 624-6539
T. F. Green Airport
T. F. Green Airport, also known as Theodore Francis Green Memorial State Airport, is a public airport located in Warwick, six miles south of Providence, in Kent County, Rhode Island, USA. Wikipedia
Code: PVD
Elevation: 55′ (17 m)
Address: 2000 Post Rd, Warwick, RI 02886
Phone: (888) 268-7222
Hours:

Open all.  –  See all
Conquest
conquest [ˈkɒnkwɛst ˈkɒŋ-]

n

1. the act or an instance of conquering or the state of having been conquered; victory
2. a person, thing, etc., that has been conquered or won
3. the act or art of gaining a person’s compliance, love, etc., by seduction or force of personality
4. a person, whose compliance, love, etc., has been won over by seduction or force of personality

 

 

Hand controls picture archive

Hand Controls

Call us with any of your hand control questions

 508-697-6006

Audi A4 Gen 2 (2001-2004)

 

Audi A6 Gen 2 (1998-2004)

Audi A6 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Audi A6 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Audi A6 Gen 3 (2005-2010)

Audi Q7 Gen 1 (2005-Present)

Audi Q7 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Audi Q7 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Audi Q7

hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

BMW 3 Series Gen 5 (2006-2011)

BMW 3 Series hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

BMW hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

BMW 3 Series hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

BMW hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

BMW 5 Series Gen 6 (2011-Present)

BMW 5 Series hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

bmw hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Mini Cooper Gen 1 (2001-Present)

Mini Cooper hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

mini cooper hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Buick Enclave Gen 1 (2008-Present)

Buick Enclave hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

buick hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Buick LaSabre Gen ()

Buick LaSabre hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

buick hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Cadillac CTS Gen 1 (2003-2007)

Cadillac CTS hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Cadillac Deville Gen 10 (1994-1999)

Cadillac Deville hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cadillac hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Cadillac DTS Gen 1 (2006-Present)

Cadillac DTS hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cadillac hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Cadillac Escalade Gen 2 (2002-2006)

Cadillac Escalade hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

escalade hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Astro Gen 2 (1995-2005)

 

 

Chevrolet Camaro Gen 5 (2010-Present)

Chevrolet Camaro hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

camaro hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Cavalier Gen 3 (1995-2005)

Chevrolet Cavalier hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cavalier hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Cobalt Gen 1 (2004-2010)

Chevrolet Cobalt hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cobalt hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Corvette Gen 5 (1997-2004)

Chevrolet Corvette hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

corvette hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Corvette Gen 6 (2005-Present)

Chevrolet Corvette hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

corvette hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Cruze Gen 1 (2008-Present)

Chevrolet Cruze hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cruze hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Equinox Gen 1 (2005-2009)

Chevrolet Equinox hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

equinox hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Equinox Gen 2 (2010-Present)

Chevrolet Equinox hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

equinox hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chevrolet Impala Gen 9 (2006-Present)

Chevrolet Impala hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chevrolet Monte Carlo Gen 6 (2000-2007)

 

Chevrolet Optra Gen 1 (2003-2008)

Chevrolet Monte Carlo hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

monte carlo hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chevrolet Silverado Gen 5 (1999-2006)

Chevrolet Silverado hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

silverado hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chevrolet Silverado Gen 6 (2007-Present)

Chevrolet Silverado hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

silverado hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Sonic Gen 1 (2012-Present)

Chevrolet Sonic hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

sonic hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Trailblazer Gen 1 (2001-2009)

Chevrolet Trailblazer hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

trailblazer hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chevrolet Venture Gen 1 (1997-2005)

Chevrolet Venture hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

venture hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chrysler Pacifica Gen 1 (2004-2008)

Chrysler Pacifica hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

pacifica hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Chrysler PT Cruiser Gen 1 (2000-2010)

Chrysler PT Cruiser hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

pt cruiser hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chrysler Town and Country Gen 2 (1996-2000)

Chrysler Town and Country hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

town and country and controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Chrysler Town and Country Gen 4 (2005-2007)

Chrysler Town and Country hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

town & country hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Avenger Gen 2 (2008-Present)

Dodge Avenger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

avenger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Caliber Gen 1 (2006-Present)

Dodge Caliber hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

caliber hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Dodge Caravan Gen 4 (1996-2000)

Dodge Caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Caravan Gen 6 (2005-2007)

Dodge Caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Caravan Gen 7 (2008-2010)

 

Dodge Caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

caravan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Challenger Gen 3 (2008-Present)

Dodge Challenger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

challenger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Durango Gen 2 (2004-2009)

Dodge Durango hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

durango hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Journey Gen 1 (2009-Present)

Dodge Journey hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

journey hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Magnum Gen 1 (2005-2008)

Dodge Magnum hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

magnum hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Ram Gen 2 (2009-Present)

Dodge Ram hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

ram hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford E Series Gen 2 (2008-Present)

 

Ford Escape Gen 2 (2008-Present)

Ford F-150 Gen 10 (1997-2003)

Ford F-150 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

f 150 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford F-150 Gen 11 (2004-2008)

Ford F-150 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

f 150 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Five Hundred Gen (2004-2007)

Ford Five Hundred hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

five hundred hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Focus Gen 1 (2000-2006)

Ford Focus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

focus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Freestar Gen 1 (2004-2007)

Ford Freestar hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

freestar hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Fusion Gen 2 (2010-Present)

Ford Fusion hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

fusion hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Mustang Gen 5 (2005-Present)

Ford Ranger Gen 4 (1998-2010)

Ford Ranger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

ranger hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Taurus Gen 4 (2000-2007)

Ford Taurus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

taurus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Taurus Gen 6 (2010-Present)

Ford Taurus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

taurus hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Ford Windstar Gen 2 (1999-2003)

Ford Windstar hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

windstar hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

GMC Canyon Gen 1 (2004-Present)

GMC Canyon hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

canyon hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

GMC Envoy Gen 2 (2002-2008)

GMC Envoy hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

envoy hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

Honda Accord Gen 6 (1998-2002)

Honda Accord hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

accord hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Honda Accord Gen 7 (2003-2007)

Honda Civic Gen 8 (2006-2011)

Honda Civic hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

civic hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Honda CRV Gen 2 (2002-2006)

Honda CRV hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

crv hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Honda Element Gen 1 (2003-2011)

Honda Element hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

element hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Honda Odyssey Gen 3 (2006-2010)

Honda Odyssey hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

odyssey hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Honda Ridgeline Gen 1 (2006-Present)

 

Hyundai Santa Fe Gen 2 (2007-Present)

Hyundai Santa Fe hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

santa fe hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Hyundai Sonata Gen 6 (2011-Present)

Hyundai Sonata hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

sonata hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Isuzu Rodeo Gen 2 (1998-2004)

Isuzu Rodeo hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

isuzu hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Jeep Cherokee Gen 3 (2005-2010)

Jeep Cherokee hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

cherokee hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Jeep Liberty Gen 1 (2002-2007)

Jeep Liberty hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

liberty hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Jeep Wrangler Gen 3 (2007-Present)

Jeep Wrangler hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

wrangler hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Kia Rondo Gen 1 (2007-Present)

Kia Rondo hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Kia Sephia Gen 2 (1998-2004)

Kia Sephia hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

sephia hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Kia Sorento Gen 1 (2002-2010)

Kia Sorento hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Kia Soul Gen 1 (2010-Present)

Kia Soul hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Land Rover Range Rover Gen 1 (2005-Present)

Land Rover Range Rover hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Lexus LS Gen 4 (2007-Present)

Lexus LS hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Lexus RX Gen 3 (2010-Present)

Lexus RX hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mazda 3 Gen 1 (2007-2009)

Mazda 3 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mazda 3 Gen 2 (2010-Present)

Mazda 3 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mazda MPV Gen 2 (1999-2006)

Mazda MPV hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mercedes GL Class Gen 1 (2006-Present)

Mercedes GL Class hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mercedes ML Class Gen 2 (2006-2011)

Mercedes ML Class hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Mercedes Smart Car Gen 1 (2008-Present)

Mercedes Smart Car hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Altima Gen 3 (2002-2006)

Nissan Altima hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Altima Gen 4 (2007-2012)

Nissan Altima hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Cube Gen 3 (2009-Present)

Nissan Cube hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Maxima Gen 7 (2009-Present)

Nissan Maxima hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Rogue Gen 1 (2008-Present)

Nissan Rogue hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Sentra Gen 5 (2000-2006)

Nissan Sentra hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan Versa Gen 1 (2005-2011)

Nissan Versa hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Nissan X Trail Gen 1 (2001-2007)

Nissan X Trail hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Pontiac G5 Gen 1 (2005-2010)

Pontiac G5 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Pontiac Montana Gen 2 (2005-2009)

Pontiac Montana hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Pontiac Vibe Gen 1 (2003-2008)

Pontiac Vibe hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Pontiac Wave Gen ()

Pontiac Wave hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Saturn Ion Gen 1 (2003-2007)

Saturn Ion hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Scion XB Gen 1 (2004-2012)

Scion XB hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Subaru Forester Gen 2 (2003-2008)

Subaru Forester hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Subaru Outback Gen 3 (2004-2009)

Subaru Outback hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Subaru Tribeca Gen 1 (2005-Present)

Subaru Tribeca hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Suzuki Kizashi Gen 1 (2010-Present)

Suzuki Kizashi hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota 4 Runner Gen 5 (2010-Present)

Toyota 4 Runner hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Camry Gen 7 (2007-Present)

Toyota Camry hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Corolla Gen 8 (1997-2002)

Toyota Corolla hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Echo Gen 1 (1998-2005)

Toyota Echo hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Highlander Gen 2 (2008-Present)

Toyota Highlander hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Matrix Gen 1 (2003-2008)

Toyota Matrix hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Prius Gen 2 (2004-2009)

Toyota Prius hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Rav 4 Gen 2 (2001-2005)

Toyota Rav 4 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Rav 4 Gen 3 (2006-Present)

Toyota Rav 4 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Scion XB Gen 1 (2003-2007)

Toyota Scion XB hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Sienna Gen 2 (2004-2010)

Toyota Sienna hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Sienna Gen 3 (2011-Present)

Toyota Sienna hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Tacoma Gen 2 (2005-Present)

Toyota Tacoma hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Tundra Gen 2 (2007-Present)

Toyota Tundra hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Toyota Venza Gen 1 (2009-Present)

Toyota Venza hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volkswagon Golf Gen 2 (2006-2009)

Volkswagon Golf hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volkswagon Golf Gen 3 (2010-Present)

Volkswagon Golf hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volkswagon Jetta Gen 6 (2011-Present)

Volkswagon Jetta hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volkswagon New Beetle Gen 1 (1998-Present)

Volkswagon New Beetle hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volkswagon Tiguan Gen 1 (2009-Present)

Volkswagon Tiguan hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Volvo C70 Gen 2 (2006-Present)

Volvo C70 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

volvo c70 hand controls bridgewater, ma mobility center newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Driving Specific Considerations – Amputation

Driving Specific Considerations – Amputation

Foot Steering Wheelchair Van Massachusetts

Amputation

  • is the removal of all or part of a limb
  • can be the result of trauma or illness
  • or limb deficiency may also be present at birth
  • is not progressive but the advancement of disease can lead to additional amputation(s)

Potential Deficit Areas

  • loss of function at or above the amputation site
  • decreased range of motion and/or strength of the residual limb
  • decreased sensation at the amputation site
  • hypersensitivity at the amputation site
  • phantom Pain

Impact on Driving/Transportation

  • A modified vehicle, wheelchair lift or transfer seat may be needed for a person who now requires a scooter or wheelchair for mobility or has difficulty transferring into an unmodified vehicle.
  • The site of the amputation will determine if the person will need adaptive equipment to return to driving.
  • Adaptive driving equipment allow the person to compensate for an impaired ability to reach primary and secondary driving controls
  • Prior to driving with adaptive equipment, the person will need a driving evaluation.

Possible Vehicle Equipment Needs

Left Arm Loss
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power steering
  • Steering device
  • Directional cross over
  • Electric turn signal
  • Foot parking brake release modification
Left Leg Loss
  • Automatic transmission
  • Parking brake extension
  • Chest strap
Right Arm Loss
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power steering
  • Steering device
  • Electronic ignition
  • Crossover and/or gear shift extension
  • Wiper control modification
  • Console parking brake modification
  • Secondary/dash modification
  • Key extension
  • Electric ignition
Right Leg Loss

Possible Vehicle Equipment Needs

Loss of Both Arms
Loss of Three or Four Limbs
Loss of Both Legs

Accessible Vehicles And Adaptive Mobility Equipment Q&A

Accessible Vehicles and Adaptive Mobility Equipment Q&A

Rear entry vs. side entry. Buying online. Buying used. What do you need to know to get maximum benefit for minimum expense?

Good information is the key to saving money and getting the most value for the dollar when making a big-ticket purchase like a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

With that in mind, Seek out and find experts who truly care for answers to some common questions about adaptive mobility equipment.

Q: Can I just go to a car dealer down the street or do I need a certified mobility dealer?

A: Certified mobility dealers help consumers buy the right vehicle and adaptive mobility equipment to meet their mobility needs now and in the future. Future planning is especially important for people with muscle diseases that get progressively worse over time.

“There are so many different products out there, and technology has improved so much. We just want to help people make the right decision,” says Jim Sanders, president of Automotive Innovations based in Bridgewater, MA for over 25 years.

“Many times, consumers will go to a car dealer and buy [a vehicle] that can’t be modified or one that doesn’t fit their needs. And once you buy a vehicle, normally it’s very difficult to return it.”

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), a nonprofit organization that provides consumer guidance and ensures quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of mobility equipment. Members include mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals.

NMEDA member-dealers must follow the safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in addition to NMEDA’s own stringent guidelines.

Some dealers choose to enroll in NMEDA’s Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which requires them to adhere to national motor vehicle safety standards, and use proven quality control practices to yield the highest level of performance and safety. Automotive Innovations was the First Mobility Dealer in Massachusetts to enroll and exceed the safety standards.

“The QAP dealer is audited by an outside engineering firm to verify that technicians have been trained, make sure the dealer has insurance and make sure the facility is ADA-compliant,”

So it means the QAP dealer is going above and beyond.”

Other reasons to seek out a certified mobility equipment dealer include:

They provide a link to qualified service and repair, that it’s crucial to have done on a adapted vehicle serviced.

Some manufacturers of adapted vehicles sell directly to consumers, cutting costs by cutting out the middle man, says Jim Sanders, of VMi New England, based in Bridgewater, MA.

But expert assessment and “try before you buy” remain essentials for prospective buyers, with or without a dealer in the middle.

For example, We, a NMEDA QAP-certified member, send representatives to customers’ homes for assessment and test drives before they buy, and also offer unmatched service/maintenance to just about any modified vehicle including Rollx vans.

Q: Can I get a better price if I buy online rather than from a dealer?

A: As with any online shopping, the warning “buyer beware” rings true. Buying online without trying out different vehicles with different conversions can be a costly mistake. Furthermore there are many grey market converted vans being offered as quality conversions.

Online, clients are mostly shopping blind. Typically they have no idea how the vehicle they need will even work fro them, even if they have specific recommendations from a driver evaluator or occupational therapist.

“You definitely shouldn’t buy it online,” “There not trying to assess your needs by e-mail or over the phone. There just trying to sell you something.

Some online dealers even have a questionnaire on its Web site to try and give you the idea your getting what you need. But, it will never replace being able to go to a local mobility dealership and try the vans out first hand.

A mobility vehicle is probably the second-largest purchase after a house. You should see it, try it out, and make sure it’s something that will work for you. It’s horrible when people get something that they’re disappointed in.

Every vehicle is a little bit different — such as in the dimensions, electrical and fuel systems, or suspension modifications. “If you go online and buy [based] on price, you’re not really looking at the total package.”

While buying online maybe able to save money up front, it wont over the long term.

In addition to consumers missing out on the important local service contact that a mobility equipment dealer provides, these online deals or grey market vans are worth much less when it comes time to trade it in.

Where do you want to sit? If you plan to drive from your wheelchair, then a side-entry conversion is what you’ll need, unless you can transfer to the driver’s seat (rear entry). With a rear-entry conversion, the wheelchair user typically is positioned in the back or between two mid-row captain’s seats, while a side entry offers a wheelchair user multiple seating options in the driver, front passenger and middle sections.

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when buying a modified vehicle?

A: Manufacturers and mobility dealers agree that one of the most common — and costly — mistakes is buying the vehicle first and then shopping for the conversion or adaptive mobility equipment. Not all vehicles can be converted.

For example, If you purchase a minivan from a traditional car dealership you can hit a roadblock if it doesn’t meet specific requirements to have the floor lowered for a rear- or side-entry conversion.

Q: What are some good questions to ask a dealer or manufacturer?

A: Although buying a modified vehicle can be “a daunting experience,” says VMI’s Monique McGivney, it also can be “exciting and fun when you walk in armed with good questions and information.”

Prior to getting an assessment from a mobility dealer, evaluate your needs and try answering the following questions:

  • What vehicle will fit in my garage?
  • What kind of parking issues will I encounter where I live?
  • What is the size and weight of my wheelchair?
  • What is my seated height in the wheelchair?
  • How many people will ride in the vehicle?
  • In what part of the vehicle do I want to sit?
  • Will I be able to drive with hand controls?
  • Do I want a full-size van, minivan or alternative vehicle?
  • Do I want manual or power equipment?
  • Will an in-floor ramp or fold-out ramp meet my needs?
  • What is my budget, and do I have access to supplemental funding?

The first question mobility dealers usually ask a client is: “What is your seated height in the wheelchair?” From there, the dealer can advise whether a full-size or minivan is appropriate, and what kind of conversion is needed.

Be sure to ask the dealer about the warranty and how the vehicle can be serviced.

Q: Which is better: rear entry or side entry?

A: The most important difference between a rear- and side-entry conversion is that with a rear entry, wheelchair users can’t drive from their wheelchairs nor can they ride in the front passenger seat. From there, the choice comes down to personal preference and budget.

In recent years, because of quality, convenience and cost, there’s been a shift toward side entry vehicles. Rear entry is more of a frugal modification, involves a less of conversion process and is typically a little less expensive than a side-entry conversion.

Many people prefer side entry with a in-floor conversion for many safety reasons additionally because they can park almost anywhere and not worry deploying the ramp out into traffic. Also, side entry allows the consumer to ride in the passengers front position along with maintain the rear seats in a minivan because the conversion doesn’t affect that area.

Rear entry is harder to get out of compared to a side-entry.

Anyway you look at it side-entry vehicles are more versatile. For example, side entry allows someone with a progressively worsening condition to use the vehicle for a longer period of time. A wheelchair user can start out driving from his or her chair, and then move to several other positions in the vehicle when no longer able to drive.

Side-entry conversions typically are a little more expensive than rear-entry because they’re more intrusive and labor intensive. For example, with a minivan, the entire floor and frame must be removed and replaced with a lowered floor and new frame.

Q: What’s the difference between a fold-out ramp and in-floor ramp?

A: This decision comes down to safety, aesthetics, convenience and cost.

A fold-out ramp folds up into the vehicle, takes up valuable space in the passengers front area and must be deployed whenever the door is opened.

The in-floor ramp slides under the floor, so it safer for anyone seated in the passengers front position, mid-ship position, there’s no obstruction to the door, and other passengers can enter and exit without deploying the ramp. In-floor ramps only are currently only available for side-entry minivan conversions, and there is even a manual (unpowered) option.

In-floor ramps in addition to being safer will generally provide more room in the vehicle because there’s nothing blocking the doorway. The ramp is “out of sight, out of mind and may last longer because it doesn’t have to be deployed each time the side passenger door opens.

Fold-out ramps generally cost a little less than in-floor, and consumers can select from manual and power versions; a power fold-out ramp still costs less than an in-floor ramp.

If an in-floor ramp system breaks down or the vehicle loses power, VMI’s in-floor ramp systems have a backup system (sure-deploy) that bypasses the vehicle’s battery.

A lot of people just feel more secure knowing there isn’t a fold-out ramp next to them in the event of a accident.

Q: I use a wheelchair, but a van or minivan just isn’t “me.” Are they my only options?

A: You have some choices.

Lowered-floor conversions with fold-out ramps can be done on the Honda Element, Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Scion. The conversions are small and don’t fit as many people.

Due to them being built on a much smaller scale, the ones we have seen have not been built with the same level of quality of mini van conversion. Parts availability and repairs have been a problem, some of the companies that converted them are out of business and or have no support for “something they used to build”

For those who prefer to keep their standard car rather than purchasing a modified vehicle — and who can make the transfer from a wheelchair to a car seat — the answer may be as simple as a set of hand controls or a left foot gas pedal

Turning seats can be used in a wide range of vehicles, from sedans to SUVs and pickup trucks. A way to transport the wheelchair (like a rear lift) also is needed.

The rate at which your disease symptoms are worsening is one thing to consider when looking at turning seats — is it likely you’ll be able to transfer and ride in a car seat for many more years? Also, be sure to check with a mobility dealer to determine if your vehicle can accommodate a turning seat and a wheelchair lift.

Q: Why are modified vehicles so darned expensive?

A: A vehicle conversion can cost consumers upwards of $27,000 — and that’s just the cost for the conversion, not the vehicle. The total package can run between $45,000 and $80,000 — or more.

Besides the cost of the components, the reason it’s so pricey is that basically there is a lot of work involved to build a quality vehicle.

Modified vehicles from certified manufacturers and dealers must meet NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). That means all modified vehicles must be properly crash tested. (To learn more, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.)

It’s quite a labor-intensive process because of the customization. When you make structural modifications to a vehicle, you have to go through all of the crash testing, and you have to show that the vehicle is compliant again, and those tests are very expensive.

Most of the time lowering the floor in a minivan requires replacing or moving the fuel tank. Once the conversion is finished, the vehicle still has to meet the original requirements for evaporative emissions, in addition to NHTSA requirements.

Q: How can I pay less?

A: Consumers have some options.

Many consumers cut costs by purchasing pre-owned vehicles with new conversions, typically saving around $10,000 to $12,000.

The previous van owner already has absorbed the depreciation hit on a new van, which essentially occurs right after you’ve driven off the dealer’s lot.

Buying used can be beneficial for first-time buyers who want to try out a vehicle for a few years before buying new.

But if you plan to buy used, do some research and make sure the vehicle is structurally sound including the conversion. Ask for a vehicle history (CARFAX) report, and get the vehicle inspected by a mobility dealer to ensure it’s in good shape and was well taken care of.

Q: How do people manage to pay for it?

A: Many consumers used home equity loans to purchase a vehicle and adaptive equipment. But with home values decreasing.

Many dealers and manufacturers work with lending institutions that offer extended-term financing, including 10-year loans, allowing consumers to make lower, more affordable monthly payments. The downside is that consumers are locked into the vehicle for 10 years, and end up paying more in interest.

If you finance for 10 years, and you’re not going to keep the vehicle for that amount of time, you’re going to lose money when you try to sell or trade it because you haven’t paid off much of the balance.

When you buy a new vehicle, many car manufacturers offer mobility reimbursement programs (up to $1,000) to help offset the cost for the purchase and installation of adaptive equipment.

Hand Controls Offer Immense Freedom through Technological Innovation

Hand Controls Offer Immense Freedom through Technological Innovation

Ford Wheelchair Driver Van VMi New England

The world of mobility equipment has grown tremendously in the last few years. We’ve seen the rise of things like lowering suspensions, new innovations in wheelchair ramps and quite a bit more. However, few pieces of mobility equipment have affected users’ freedom in the way that hand controls have.

Hand Controls Massachusetts, RI, CT, VT, NH and Maine

Hand controls offer any individual with physical disabilities the chance to get back behind the wheel of their own vehicle. Here at VMi New England, we offer a range of the most advanced hand controls in the industry, designed to accommodate a variety of different needs.

For example, a servo gas brake includes options such as an accelerator lever that mounts directly next to  the existing steering wheel, which operates both the brakes and the accelerator from an easy-to-use lever mounted beside the steering wheel.

Of course, we also offer a steering wheel input system with a 2:1 turn ratio for easier maneuvering. The company’s gas/brake input lever is also a very convenient solution. MPD also manufactures a line of hand controls that can enable better control and convenience, even with limited hand mobility. For instance, their push/twist hand control solution lets drivers control the gas and brake by using pushing and twisting motions. They also offer a push/rock hand control system that works in a similar fashion.

Here at VMi New ENgland, we’re proud to bring our customers the highest quality hand control systems from the world’s top manufacturers. No matter what your driving needs might be, we have a solution that will give you the freedom and independence you deserve.

Amputee Driving Controls South of Boston, MA

Amputee Driving Controls South of Boston, MA

2013 GM Equinox Hand Controls Boston Amputee Driving Controls

VMi New England and Automotive Innovations promotes full implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other legislation which guarantees full participation in society for all people, regardless of disability. We are dedicated to helping with motor vehicle modifications to meet the needs and concerns of amputees.

Support:

We will do our best to provide motor vehicle mobility solutions and resources for people who have experienced the loss of a limb and those involved with their lives. We are a supplier and installer of handicap and amputee driving devices.

Driving after Amputation: Automotive Mobility Equipment for Amputees
Driving after amputation is possible with the right equipment and vehicle modifications

After a limb has been amputated, for any reason, a person is typically not able to drive an automobile the same way they did before. However, there are several adaptive devices that can enable an amputee to continue driving and maintain his or her independence. The site of amputation(s) will determine exactly what type of vehicle an amputee is able to drive, and what other types of adaptive mobility equipment will be necessary. Here is a general overview of the various amputations and what equipment might be necessary with each one:

VMi New England and Automotive Innovations Bridgewater, MA has installed the following amputee driving equipment for over 25 years:

Hand Controls Boston, MA

RIGHT LEG

•Amputee Left foot gas pedal
Hand Controls 
•Automatic Transmission
•Power Braking

BOTH LEGS

•Hand Controls for brake and accelerator
•Amputee Spinner Knob
•Automatic Transmission
•Emergency Brake Extension
•Chest Strap

EITHER ARM

•Automatic Transmission
•Amputee Steering Device
Reduced Effort Steering
Zero Effort Steering
Zero Effort Brake
•Modified Gear Shifter
•Electric Gear Shifter
Electric Parking Brake
•Modified Secondary Controls (turn signals, dimmers)

Not every vehicle can be modified appropriately, and if the amputee is also a permanent wheelchair user a lowered floor minivan or mobility van may be their only option. That is why it is necessary to first be evaluated by a driver rehab specialist and then follow up with a certified mobility specialist to look at all of your adaptive equipment options as recommended by your driving evaluator.

2012 VW Van Left Foot Gas Pedal

VMi New England and Automotive Innovations sells and installs all of the above equipment.
Set up an appointment to meet with a mobility specialist today and let us help you regain your independence after amputation.

From the Department of Veterans Affairs: Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE)

The Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program permits physically challenged persons to enter, exit, and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance.

Veterans are trained, through the VA Driver’s Rehabilitation Program, how to safely operate their vehicle on our nation’s roadways.

The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, UVLs (under vehicle lifts), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controlsleft foot gas pedalsreduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, and digital driving systems.

Additionally, VA’s program provides reimbursements for standard equipment including, but not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and other special equipment necessary for the safe operation of an approved vehicle.

PDF application for adaptive equipment

Automotive Innovations has a substantial inventory of wheelchair accessible vans in Bridgewater, MA, and would be happy to set up a time for a demonstration. Every day is a Abilities Expo just south of Boston with access to factory direct inventory of hundreds of wheelchair vans in every make, model, and color available.

The Left Foot Accelerator, like model 3545S, is an accelerator pedal for persons with limited or no use of the right leg requiring them to drive with their left leg. It is equipped with a guard to prevent the driver from inadvertently resting their right foot on the accelerator pedal. The Left Foot Accelerator incorporates a quick release mechanism and is easily removable without tools.

LFA The (LFA) was designed for the driver that has lost control of only his right foot.

Left Foot Accelerator By Automotive Innovations is a  leader in design & quality. The (LFA) is extremely adjustable allowing it to be used in virtually any vehicle. The (LFA) is also equipped with a quick disconnect allowing (LFA) to be released and removed from the vehicle when not in use. Only the mounting plate is permanently mounted to the floor.

2012 Toyota Camry Left Foot gas Pedal

A left foot accelerator pedal device which allows persons lacking sufficient functionality of the right foot or right leg to operate a motor vehicle accelerator pedal using their left foot. The device incorporates an accelerator pedal activator which engages the motor vehicle accelerator pedal and is operable attached by a main shaft to a left side accelerator pedal. The main shaft is supported by a base unit which is removable attached to a base plate affixed to the vehicle floor. By depressing left side accelerator pedal a person lacking functionality of the right foot may operate the vehicle while the device may be easily removed from base plate allowing a person of normal functionality to operate the vehicle.

Automotive Innovations is New England’s premier mobility controls dealer. A Quick Release Left Foot Gas Pedal with Pedal Guard allows the driver to accelerate with the left foot. This pedal is installed on the left side and is mechanically linked to the original manufacturers pedal. The Pedal Guard shields the original pedal thereby making it inoperable. This quality crafted pedal is fully adjustable. The lightweight design of the pedal along with its quick release feature makes it quick and easy to remove and install, as the Left Foot Accelerator Pedal with Pedal Guard slides in and out of a base that is bolted to the floor. This makes the a Left Foot Accelerator Pedal with Pedal Guard is a smart choice.

Pedal Extensions

Automotive innovations gas and brake pedal extensions adjust to allow 6″ to 12″ or longer if necessary of extended reach. Made of durable lightweight aluminum or steel, Pedal Extensionsprovide comfortable driving after installation. Pedal Extensions fold down out of the way to allow other persons to operate the vehicle. Pedal extensions must be installed by authorized dealers. They fit most American cars and vans. Call now for more information on price and available appointment times.

Left Foot Gas Pedal

Designed for people with limited or no use of their right foot, the quick release left foot gas pedal enables those drivers to utilize their left foot for gas operation. The pedal can be installed in any vehicle with an automatic transmission. No adjustments are necessary after installation, and the unit can easily be removed to allow other drivers to operate the vehicle. A pedal stop is part of the unit, and will not allow the right foot to inadvertently apply throttle.

Block Pedal Extensions

Our pedal extensions are fabricated from structural aluminum tubing with a non-skid surface. They have adjustable slots for two stainless steel clamps that go around the gas and brake pedals (can also be modified for clutch pedal extensions). Standard sizes range from 1″ to 4″ high. This is a semi-permanent installation.

Custom Foot Pedal Extensions

Automotive Innovations carries a full line of custom gas, brake, and clutch pedal extensions for all driver’s needs.

Left-Foot Gas Pedals:
Your vehicle can be modified to allow you to use your left foot to control the gas pedal. This modification is designed for quick installation and removal so your vehicle can be shared with other drivers not in need of this adaptation.

508-697-6006

info@VMiNewEngland.com

How to adapt your new or pre-owned vehicle to meet your needs after a stroke

How to adapt your pre-owned vehicle to meet your needs after a stroke

Easy Car Makeovers for Adaptive Driving

 CAN I DRIVE AFTER A STROKE newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Driving after a stroke is often a major concern for survivor’s and their loved ones. It prompts many questions about ability, safety and vehicle options. Often times, the physical disadvantages that result from stroke can compromise a survivor’s ability to operate their vehicle.

Advances in the vehicle modification industry have introduced new driving controls that are giving independence back to stroke survivors that want to drive. They allow them to get back behind the wheel in their own vehicle to go where they want to go, when they want to go.

Innovative vehicle modifications such as hand controls, left-foot accelerators, lifts and mobility seating can transform your personal vehicle into a vehicle that give you more freedom.

Mobility equipment dealers strive to remain at the forefront of the vehicle modification industry by providing cutting-edge technology and a full selection of adaptable equipment for your pre-owned vehicle.

Hand Controls For Stroke Survivors with Limited Use of their Feet

Automotive Innovations is New England’s  #1 hand control installation facility  manufacturer of hand controls and driving aids for the disabled. Hand control systems are specifically designed to give drivers the benefit of controlling a vehicle with both hands on the wheel making for a safer, smoother driving experience.

Unlike other manual and or servo hand control installers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, we have the ability to offer a custom fitment to your vehicle and you, for everything from a Fiat 500 to a Lamborghini Aventador no one else has the master craftsman, machining equipment and facility capable of performing a custom installation the way we can.

Push Rock hand controls have a handle in a vertical position; accelerating by rocking back in an arching motion using the fingers and/or the palm. There are several additional options to choose from:

  • Spinner knob: Attached to the steering wheel to allow controlled steering with use of one hand.
  • Single Pin: As an alternative to the spinner knob, this hand control was designed for clients that cannot open their hand fully.
  • Tri Pin: Great for an independent driver. It requires minimal gripping strength and/or reduced wrist stability.
  • V-Grip: This attachment is intended for drivers with moderate gripping strength.
  • Steering Wheel Extension: This device is individually customizable, so you can pick a diameter and height that best suits your needs. The easily removable device is completely compatible with any OEM steering wheel.

Servo electronic mobility controls offers driving control products that are safe and provide piece of mind every time you are on the road.

Servo Steering Servo gas brake

  • Lever  A gas/brake input with adjustable levels of force and travel from the full gas to the full brake position. It is designed for customers that have a wider range of motion and a larger effort level.
  • One handed steering and gas brake  A input that you can steer that is available in a two-axis configuration for gas/brake and steering It has a adjustable range of motion and very low levels  of force to operate. It is designed and custom build for each customers specific range of motion and abilities.
  • Wheel  A steering input that can be adjusted to less than 2 oz of force at the proper orthotic position of 3 3/8” from center. It is also able to be adaptable for customers that have a wider range of motion.

Left-foot Accelerator

Automotive Innovations offers the best left foot gas pedals with unmatched installations.  Left-foot accelerator are designed to offer a left foot gas pedal which acts exactly like your vehicle’s existing gas pedal. Our Left foot gas pedals are removable with features like a quick-release base so the entire assembly can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily.

Lifts for Stroke Survivors that use Wheelchairs or Walkers

Automotive Innovations can offer more solutions for the transportation of your mobility device than any other dealership in New England.

” Its worth the drive, I live in the western part of Massachusetts and will never trust my van with anyone other than Automotive Innovations. They have been taking care of me and my vans since 1996. When a company comes through for you time and time again whats that worth? For me it’s priceless and the drive is irrelevant.”

Chris P Whately, MA

  • Scooter & Wheelchair Lifts while are not always practical they do work in all types of vehicles. These fold-down wheelchair and scooter lifts make lifting and storing your manual folding wheelchair or scooter possible.

Mobility Seating

The mobility transfer seat is an innovative system for lower vehicles which can provide easer  access to an automotive seat. The seat power rotates out over the doorsill, bridging the gap for a safe transfer onto the seat. These seats are not always practical for every type of vehicle

Our goal is to match your lifestyle and your vehicle with equipment that will deliver independence.

Finding a Dealer That’s Up to Standards

Hand controls, left-foot accelerator, lifts and mobility seating offers opportunities for the stroke survivor to regain their mobility freedom in their pre-owned vehicle. You have just found the best mobility dealer in all of New England that offers a ever evolving selection of adaptable equipment.

It is important to select a reputable dealer to provide the adaptable equipment and installation for your pre-owned vehicle.

  1. Are they members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has vehicle conversion standards?
  2. Are they Quality Assurance Program (QAP) certified?
  3. Do they provide ongoing service and maintenance?
  4. Do they provide 24/7 emergency service?
  5. Do they provide training on the adaptable equipment?
  6. Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?

Adapting pre-owned vehicles provides stroke survivors with mobility freedom in the vehicle they love and are familiar with.

By: Jim Sanders, VMi New England

The Importance of Servicing Your Wheelchair Van and Adaptive Equipment

''VMi New England's Indoor Showroom" 1000 Main Street Bridgewater MA 02324

Located at 1000 Main Street in Bridgewater MA.

The Importance of Servicing Your Wheelchair Van and Adaptive Equipment

Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at Automotive Innovations, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer I know of offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

For example, we can maintain primary and secondary driving controls, as well as providing service for wheelchair and scooter lifts. Power seat bases, power door operators, wheelchair securement systems and other adaptive equipment are only a few of the areas that our certified technicians can service and maintain.

You’ll also find that we offer installation as well as service for a range of adaptive equipment like lowered floors, raised doors, adaptive steering controls, turning automotive seats and hand controls. All of our technicians are fully certified in mobility equipment so that you always know you’re in good hands with us.

Automotive Innovations has also created a innovative and ever evolving maintenance program over the past 25 years for our customers. We know that making sure your vehicle and adaptive equipment is in good condition is important to you, but we also understand that it can be difficult for you to tell when or if something needs service or repair. That’s why we started our operational preventative maintenance program over 20 years ago. This program ensures that your wheelchair van or mobility equipment is always in the best operational condition possible, but also assesses the need for repairs or replacement most of the time before anything happens.

We’re dedicated to giving you the peace of mind that you deserve and the maintenance you need to maintain your freedom at all times.

Three Questions to Ask Your Mobility Consultant about Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Three Questions to Ask Your Mobility Consultant about Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

When beginning your search for a wheelchair van in MA, RI, CT, VT, NH & ME, it is important to know which questions to ask your Mobility Consultant.  This could be the first time that you are going through this process, and VMi New England and Automotive Innovations wants you to have a memorable experience.

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan CR121019 Inside Front Right Veiw View

We encourage your questions to help make purchasing your wheelchair accessible vehicle enjoyable and educational. Here are five of our most frequently asked questions proposed to our Mobility Consultants.

 Do you have a service department for wheelchair van repairs?

Our technicians are highly trained and certified and are able to handle any problems you may have with your wheelchair accessible van.  By adhering to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), becoming a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) facility, Automotive Innovations has shown its dedication to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities every day.

Can I test drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle before I purchase one?

Yes you can!  Our “Try Before You Buy” program means that you can test out our vehicles before you make your purchase, so that you can determine which vehicle will suit your needs.  Please contact us for more details.

How do you determine which wheelchair accessible vehicle will be right for me?

Our consultants take every step to get to know our customers to ensure that you purchase the right wheelchair accessible vehicle for you. Our Mobility Consultants go through a detailed step-by-step process to learn about your specific needs in order to get you the proper wheelchair van type, size and modifications to your wheelchair van.This mobility update has been brought to you by Vmi New England and Automotive Innovations your Bridgewater, MA New England NMEDA Mobility Dealer – Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features?

Contact us your local mobility equipment and accessibility expert!

Jim Sanders is one of of the most experienced people in the country at building High-Tech driving equipment and vans for passengers and individuals who drive from a wheelchair. He offers a unmatched practical and theoretical foundation in the application of vehicle modifications for individuals with disabilities. With over 25 years experience, he continues to spearhead new and exciting technological advancements in this growing and emerging market.

Shoppers in Search of a Dodge Wheelchair Van Near Boston, MA Save on Models with Mobility Sales Event

Shoppers in Search of a Dodge Mobility Van Near Boston Save on Models with Sales Event

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Front Seat wheelchair View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Rear Left Side Veiw 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Rear Right Side View

Shoppers in search of a new Dodge Wheelchair Van near Boston will have the opportunity to save on 1999 – 2013 and 2014 models at VMi New England. The dealership is celebrating the out of this world sales event, giving shoppers the opportunity to save tons!

Shoppers seeking a Dodge near Boston can take advantage of savings that are out of this world! VMi New England is celebrating the Out of This World Sales Event right now. If you’re in the market for a new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Ram, Ability vehicle check out the Mobility vehicles available at the sales event!

The Sales Event is going on now at VMi New England. If you’re in the market for a Dodge Mobility Van near Boston, take advantage of the incredible savings available right now!

Shoppers looking to take advantage of Out of This World savings should visit VMi New England today. Some of the most popular models are available at incredible prices, including mobility equipment for the Jeep Wrangler, Ram 1500, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300. If you are looking to upgrade, accessorize or buy, now is the time to save at VMi New England.

Shoppers at VMi New England Enjoy Savings That are Out of This World


Shoppers seeking a Dodge near Boston will receive Out of This World savings on mobility equipment like hand controls, left foot gas pedals and spinner knobs for the 2012 Jeep Liberty, 2013 Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Dart, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Patriot, Dodge Journey, Ram 1500, Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Charger, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Dodge Grand Caravan, Ram 2500, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, 2014 Jeep Compass, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

With low monthly payments, shoppers at VMi New England will certainly get their money’s worth at the Sales Event! If you’re shopping for the long term, not a problem! We’ve got Out of This World savings for all of our shoppers. With savings up to $10,000 on left over and used wheelchair vans as well as special financing offers, you won’t want to pass this deal up.

Visit us today to save on the new Dodge Mobility Van you’ve been dreaming of. For more information about VMi New England online at newenglandwheelchairvan.com or call 508-697-6006 today!

email us at info@newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Dodge Families In MA Are Thrilled With The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

May 18th, 2013

VMi New England, a leading Dodge Mobility dealer in MA, is proud to announce that the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is the best-selling and most-awarded minivan!  Offering a spacious and comfortable interior, impressive entertainment features, and great safety, the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is perfect for Massachusetts families.

The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan is available at five different trim levels, including the Grand Caravan AVP, the Grand Caravan SE, the Grand Caravan SXT, the Grand Caravan Crew, the Grand Caravan R/T.  All five 2013 Grand Caravan trim levels feature a 3.6L V6 VVT engine with the choice between a six-speed automatic transmission or an AutoStick automatic transmission.

The 2013 Grand Caravan receives an EPA estimated 25 mpg highway, and offers seating for up to seven passengers.  All of the trim levels except for the Grand Caravan R/T offer cloth low-back bucket seats.  The 2013 Grand Caravan R/T features leather-trimmed bucket seats.  The Grand Caravan R/T also offers power driver and front passenger seats and a two-way power adjustable driver lumbar support.  Thanks to foldable seating, the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan offers up to 143.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, perfect for fitting everything you’ll need on a family roadtrip!

The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan also offers a number of entertainment features to keep the family occupied on long drives!  Available entertainment options include a 6.5-inch touch screen display, a 40 GB hard drive, audio jack input, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Uconnect featuring a CD player, DVD player, and MP3 capabilities.

Impressive Safety Features

The 2012 Grand Caravan was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and there are many great safety features included in the 2013 Grand Caravan to give you peace of mind when driving around your most precious cargo.  The 2013 Grand Caravan comes standard with seven airbags, including front multistage airbags, a driver inflatable knee-bolster airbag, front seat-mounted side airbags, and side-curtain airbags in all rows.  It also features active front head restraints, Electronic Stability Control, Roll-Resistant tires, and other accident-avoidance measures.  The 2013 Grand Caravan also includes impressive security features, including keyless entry with immobilizer.

For more information about the 2013 Grand Caravan, visit the VMi New England website or call (508) 697-6006.  VMi New England offers a full line-up of new Dodge mobility wheelchair accessible models, as well as used vehicle options from a number of different automotive brands.

Posted in VMi New England

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Trunk Open Seats Up View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan  Steering Wheel and Dash View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan  Steering Wheel and Dash  Side View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Inside Front Right Veiw View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Inside Front Left Veiw View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Inside Back Right Veiw View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Inside Back Left View View 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Front Seat View

Bridgewater’s Sullivan Tire: Touch-A-Truck Event on Sunday

Bridgewater: Sullivan Tire
Sullivan Tire

Sullivan Tire will host a Touch-A-Truck event at the Bridgewater store Sunday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will benefit the Old Colony YMCA in East Bridgewater.
Kids of all ages are invited to explore, climb upon, touch and learn about many of the large, unique working trucks they see every day.
Along with unique working trucks they will be able to learn about wheelchair accessible vans and help spread awareness about the different mobility equipment and mobdifications available.
The cost is $10 per carload and proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Annual Campaign.
Sullivan Tire is at 300 Bedford St. (Route 18) in Bridgewater.
For more information, call 508-659-5255.
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Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis can affect individuals in varying ways including tingling, numbness, slurred speech, blurred or double vision, muscle weakness, poor coordination, unusual fatigue, muscle cramps, bowel and bladder problems and paralysis. Due to these symptoms, special equipment or accommodations may need to be made to aid a person in safely maintaining their mobility independence for as long as possible.

Physical Considerations: The following are considerations for selecting a vehicle: 

Driving a sedan: The Individual must be able to do the following:

  • Open and close the Door
  • Transfer in and out of the vehicle
  • A wheelchair/scooter must be able to be stored and retrieved. Special equipment is available to aid with storage.

Driving a Van: Options may include a mini-van with a lowered floor and a ramp or a full size van with a lift. Specialized modifications allow a person to transfer to the driver’s seat or drive from a wheelchair. Technology may be able to compensate for the loss of strength or range of motion such as:

  • Reduced effort steering and/or brake systems to compensate for reduced strength.
  • Mechanical hand controls allow for operation of the gas and brake using upper extremities.
  • Servo brake/ accelerator systems compensate for reduced strength/range of motion of arms.
  • If spasticity is difficult to manage, it may lead to an inability to drive. 

Visual Changes: 

  • May be severe enough that driving is precluded or night driving is prohibited.
  • If double vision is intermittent and can be monitored independently, then driving may be limited to avoid driving during an exacerbation.
  • Sunglasses may help with glare sensitivity.
  • Compensate for loss of peripheral vision with special mirrors and head turning.
  • Learn order of traffic signals to aid with color vision impairment.

Cognitive Issues:

  • Need to regulate emotions and avoid driving when upset, angry or overly emotional.
  • May be limited to familiar routes if some loss of memory or problem solving but still enough judgment to drive.

Decreased Energy:

  • Energy conservation is vital.
  • May require assistance with wheelchair loading to save energy for driving.
  • Air conditioning aids with managing warm climates.

Medications:

  • Seek the physician’s input regarding side effects which may impair driving.
  • Monitor when medications are taken. Don’t drive when sleepy or just before or after medicating

If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation, give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive.

  • Visual Perception
  • Functional Ability
  • Reaction Time
  • Behind-the-wheel evaluation

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a congenital defect in which part of one or more vertebrae (the bone structure that surrounds the spinal column), fail, to develop completely, leaving part of the spinal cord exposed. It can occur anywhere on the spine but is most common in the lower back. The severity of the condition depends on how much nerve tissue is exposed. Frequently special adaptations on a vehicle are necessary for independent driving. The person with spina bifida may also have impairments in the ~areas of vision, perception (how the brain interprets what the eyes see) or learning. Adaptive driving equipment is frequently used for physical problems. A spinner knob and hand controls can be used if a person is unable to use either foot for gas or brake. Specialized modifications can also allow a person to transfer to the driver’s seat or drive from the wheelchair in a van or minivan. 


Common factors that can affect safe driving:

  • Limited range of motion and strength
  • Difficulty with coordinated movements
  • Visual impairments (poor acuity)
  • Trouble visually scanning or tracking quickly
  • Learning difficulties
  • Impaired judgment in complex situations
  • Slow processing and reaction time


A driver rehabilitation evaluation will examine the strengths and weaknesses of each individual as related to the driving task. The goal is independent, safe driving. No modifications or vehicle selection should be made until the person has completed a driver evaluation.

If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation, give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive. 

  • Visual Perception
  • Functional Ability
  • Reaction Time
  • Behind-the-wheel evaluation

Spinal Cord Injury

After a spinal cord injury has occurred, a person is no longer able to drive an automobile in the normal manner. However, there are several types of adaptive equipment and vehicle modifications that can allow an individual with a spinal cord injury to drive. Depending on the level of injury and functional ability, either a sedan or van may be an appropriate vehicle choice.
The following are considerations for selecting a vehicle:

Driving a sedan:  When considering the use of a sedan, the individual must be able to do the following:

  • Lock and Unlock the door
  • Open and close the door
  • Transfer to and from the wheelchair
  • Store and retrieve the wheelchair (either independently or with a wheelchair loading device)
  • Since characteristics and dimensions of vehicles vary, it is important that the individual performs these functions in the vehicle being considered prior to purchase. A driver rehabilitation specialist can provide recommendations for sedan selection.
Driving a van:  If an individual is unable to drive a sedan, there are several options available for driving a van. Specialized modifications can allow a person to transfer to the driver seat or to drive from the wheelchair.

There are several levels of driving control technology to compensate for the loss of strength and/or range of motion. Some of these include:

  • Reduced effort steering systems to compensate for reduced strength
  • Servo brake and accelerator control to compensate for reduced range of motion and strength.
  • Servo driving systems, allowing one hand operation of brake, accelerator and steering.
  • Adaptive equipment and vehicle modifications for wheelchair access are available for some full-size and mini vans; however, all vans are not suitable for modifications. We can assist in making the correct van choice and can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine a persons ability to drive.
If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation, give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive.
  • Visual Perception
  • Functional Ability
  • Reaction Time
  • Behind-the-wheel evaluation

Government Grants for People with Disabilities

Find government grants and financing for handicap vehicles for people with disabilities nationwide. Money can be located with a little patience and a lot of research through various government programs. We’ve compiled a list of the most well-known government grant programs to assist your search for help funding a wheelchair van.When paying for a handicap van, you can use money from government grant programs for people with disabilities, as well other funding resources like disability grants, loans, fundraiser money, foundation endorsements, or any other funding source. We’ll work with your chosen foundations or any government grant program, after they verify financial assistance, to get you on the road!

To learn more about applying for wheelchair van grant funding to buy a handicap van or convert a pre-owned minivan, read “How to Apply for a Grant for Wheelchair Vans, Mobility Equipment, or Minivan Conversions.”

Government Wheelchair Van Financing Resources
Fund your wheelchair van with these government grant programs provided by the U.S. government and locally in your state.

Administration for Children & Families
On this website, new funding opportunities are displayed as they become available.

Grants.gov
The U.S. government resource listing federal grants available.

Medicaid
Sometimes provides assistance when children or other special circumstances are involved.

Medicaid/Department of Human Services (DHS)
Children are screened as part of the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program of Medicaid. Under Medicaid’s “rehabilitative services,” people often receive handicap van or lift funding to achieve their “best possible functional levels.”

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Located within each state’s Department of Human Services (per state), helps you prepare for work, train for a job, find a job, or keep a job as early as high school. Services are prioritized according to the severity of the disability.

Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
Check your state’s branch for grant availability.

Division of Developmental Services (DDS)
Check your state’s branch for grants.Those with Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the Social Security Administration can contact the agency about its Plan to Achieve Self Support(PASS). A PASS plan sets aside income to buy equipment or services in a way that keeps income, as well as resources, below the SSI eligibility cut-off so there are no reductions in benefits. The emphasis is on whether the handicap van or equipment will help the SSI recipient become vocationally self-sufficient. It’s important for an individual to contact and receive the approval of Social Security before setting up a PASS plan. Once money has been set aside for a PASS, spending it on something else can result in the loss of SSI benefits.Please note: You can use multiple sources of funding that include grants, loans, and other funding assistance. If you’re unable to find government grants for people with disabilities or need to acquire more money to help pay for your wheelchair van and/or mobility needs, check out more opportunities at our mobility finance page.