Tag Archives: mobility

Side Entry Versus Rear Entry Wheelchair Vans

The question of a Rear Entry wheelchair van versus a Side Entry van often comes up in conversation when a first time buyer enters the accessible van market. There are several things to consider; first, the family or care giver needs to decide on where the wheelchair user is going to sit. If the person in the wheelchair is able to drive and will be independent there are other things to consider, but for now, let us stay with an assisted member of the family.

Door height is an issue. For that we need to know how tall the person sits in their wheelchair.

Scooter or Power chair is next. Size and weight combination will come into play as we move along in the discovery process.

Will the person transfer into a  seat or will they remain in their wheelchair while traveling?

Okay, now we get into seating. The side entry offers both mid-section and front seat options with tie-downs located throughout. In a rear entry van, the mid-section to rear of the vehicle, are the only seating options while remaining in the wheelchair.

There are five passenger seats available for family members in a side entry van versus six available seats in a rear entry. Both are in addition to whoever is in the wheelchair, which gives a total of six people in a side entry and up to seven in a rear entry.

For folks with a long wheelchair or scooter the rear entry is ideal. Over six feet of space is afforded to tie down the wheelchair and no turning to forward face is necessary.

A side entry requires up to eight feet accommodating the lowering of the ramp allowing access into your van. This may prohibit the use of the ramp while inside a garage or if someone parks to close while at the mall or a doctor’s appointment.

The rear entry does not have the blocked in problem, you are always accessing your van from the aisle.

In summation, like anything else, it is best to try before you buy. Our Mobility Center has both styles of wheelchair vans. See which style suits your lifestyle and then consider the purchase of either a new or used mobility equipped van. Always consult with your mobility product specialist for any additional questions you may have.

Toyota Mobility Rebate Information

Toyota Mobility Assistance Program
This 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.

  • Under this program, the cash reimbursement will be provided for the exact cost you paid to purchase and install qualifying adaptive driving or passenger equipment for transporting persons with physical disabilities
  • This offer applies to all purchased or leased new Toyota vehicles

The program also applies to purchasers of the Toyota Factory Installed Auto Access Seat, where the full $1,000 cash reimbursement will be paid directly to you.
Expect to receive payment within 6-8 weeks after all the paperwork is submitted. Incomplete paperwork will delay the payment.

Leased vehicles require advance written lessor approval of adaptive equipment installations.

Only vehicles sold or leased and delivered to a retail customer by an authorized Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. dealer are eligible under this program.

The adaptive equipment must be installed within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease.

A Reimbursement Application Form must be submitted to the Toyota Mobility Assistance Center within 90 days of complete installation of adaptive equipment

Qualifying adaptive equipment or conversion is defined as any aftermarket alteration or equipment installation on an eligible Toyota vehicle that provides to the disabled user convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle.

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Dodge/ Chrysler’s Mobility Rebate

Chrysler’s Automobility Program

Overview
Designed to help customers with permanent disabilities enter, exit and/or operate a new vehicle, Chrysler’s Automobility Program can help you do the things you love to do in life. And, we’ll help you hit the road in the style that suits you best. Our goal is to assist in lessening the burden of the financial cost of modifying your vehicle.

How the Program Works
When you buy or lease any new 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram or FIAT® vehicle from a participating dealership or FIAT studio, Chrysler will give you a cash reimbursement to help reduce the cost of installing the adaptive driver or passenger equipment on your vehicle. Leased vehicles must be leased for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible.

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.

Please consult a dealership or call Automobility Program Headquarters for eligibility requirements and program expiration dates.

A program application must be used to submit a claim for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the Chrysler Automobility Program. Through this program, Chrysler will provide a reimbursement to each eligible customer who installs qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a purchased or leased new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicle (unless discontinued or excluded earlier at the discretion of Chrysler Group LLC).

A medical doctor’s prescription or note may also be required for certain types of modifications. Consult a dealership for more information on which modifications require notes.

Reimbursement
Conversions to Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicles qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $1,000. Running boards qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $400. Alerting devices qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $200. These reimbursements will not be reduced or affected by any additional outside funding. Consult your dealer for complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Vehicles
Vehicles eligible for reimbursement include 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram and FIAT vehicles. Dodge Viper, Dodge Dart SE and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT® models are ineligible.

Financing
If you require assistance with financing an adapted vehicle purchase / lease, we can help you finance the cost of your new vehicle, as well as any modifications you make to it. Conventional financing is available through Ally Financial to all qualified new vehicle buyers.

Click HERE for the Application

Honda Mobility Rebate Information

Honda’s Mobility Assistance Program
The Honda Customer Mobility Assistance Program is proud to support the mobility needs of drivers and passengers with physical disabilities. Honda will provide a reimbursement of up to $1,000 to each eligible, original retail customer for expenses incurred to purchase and install qualifying adaptive equipment on any eligible purchased or leased Honda vehicle.

Adapting Your Vehicle
Honda suggests that you request a copy of the Department of Transportation brochure “Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with Disabilities.”  

The process includes these steps:

  • Determine your state’s driver’s license requirements.
  • Evaluate your needs – Contact the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) for further information.
  • Select the right vehicle – Consult with your evaluator, an adaptive installer and your local Honda dealer to determine the best Honda model to meet your needs.
  • Choose a qualified mobility equipment installer – Shop around and ask about qualifications, capabilities, experience, warranty coverage and service. Confirm that they are members of NMEDA.
  • 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.

Program Requirements
General

  • Only the original vehicle owner is eligible for reimbursement.
  • Modifications must be completed for the original owner or his/her immediate family.
  • Only new Honda vehicles retailed or leased in the United States from an authorized Honda dealership.
  • Only one reimbursement request per vehicle.
  • Lease-vehicle modifications may be subject to written lessor approval. The customer is responsible for determining and satisfying lease-contract requirements.
  • Honda will consider reimbursement for modifications made to vehicle after February 1, 2004.
  • The written reimbursement request must be received within 6 months of the adaptive equipment installation.

Adaptations, Modifications or Equipment Installation

  • Qualifying adaptive equipment or conversion is defined as: alterations or adaptive-equipment installation that provides to the disabled user convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle.
  • Adaptive equipment installation must have taken place within the time and mileage limits of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Alterations or adaptive equipment installation requires a prescription or medical documentation to be considered for reimbursement.
  • Reimbursement requests (invoices) will be compared against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site to verify that the alterer or repair business (individual, partnership or corporation) is registered with NHTSA and that the modification(s) are on the list of NHTSA exemptions.
  • If all conditions are met, Honda will provide up to a $1,000 cash reimbursement. Honda will be the secondary coverage in the case of two or more reimbursement sources.

Exceptions

  • Wheelchair or scooter hoists or ramps do not require a prescription, medical documentation or NHTSA exemption verification and NHTSA business registration for reimbursement consideration.
  • 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.
  • *A reimbursement made by another source, such as medical insurance, will be subtracted from the customer’s original total expense. (Example: Total expense $5,000, Insurance reimbursement $4,000, Customer expense, $1,000. The customer expense of $1,000 will be reviewed and considered for a maximum of $1,000 reimbursement.)

Important Customer Information

  • The selection of an equipment manufacturer and installer is solely the customer’s responsibility (Honda does not endorse any company or supplier involved in adaptive equipment. Mobility warranty, installation warranty and related liabilities are not the responsibility of Honda).
  • The reimbursement application form must be completed in its entirety and signed by the customer. It should be mailed along with a copy of all required supporting documentation. (See checklist on application).

Click HERE For the Honda Mobility Assistance Brochure

Service dogs

Service dogs can build your independence by boosting your mobility. These four-legged friends pull wheelchairs, function as a mobile cane for balance, and even perform many of the daily tasks you may have difficulty with.

While these “working dogs” are trained to retrieve dropped items, pull clothing on and off, and bring medication, their canine capabilities also prove to be essential in an emergency. For all of the reasons your furry friend is important to your daily routine, it’s equally important to ensure their safety during travel. Properly securing your service animal correctly in your vehicle can be a matter of life and death for both of you.

Just as you would secure your wheelchair with straps and other devices, you should secure your service animal properly and comfortably in your vehicle, as well. Be sure the car is properly ventilated and that crates or units are secured.

As a service dog usually stays by the owner’s side, a belt usually proves as the best option in securing your dog in the vehicle to guarantee his/her safety. Help your hound out with a body harness specifically made for canine car travel. Service vests can even be custom-made to better suit your animal and your vehicle.

Some dogs may get uncomfortable not being able to look out of the window and see where they are going, especially small dogs. The Snoozer Lookout helps satisfy your pooch’s curiosity and need to see. The Snoozer Lookout is a seat that allows your pet to sit higher while staying safely strapped in.

It goes without saying that properly securing your service animal not only keeps them safe from harm on the roadways, but also makes for a comfortable ride along with you.

Be Prepared For Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can take place at any moment and can come in any form from floods, severe weather, earthquakes and more, yielding unfortunate outcomes without warning.  Being prepared can save lives and planning is important; know who will help you if you need assistance or if you need to evacuate.

Be Informed
Ensure you have the proper equipment to stay up-to-the-minute on breaking news and changing weather patterns. You may need a radio for this, specifically one that runs on batteries so be sure you have extras. Know when, where and what local branches of organizations like American Red Cross, have planned in your specific location, and find out how they can help. Also, ensure you can maintain contact with those outside of your home, having a phone car charger and jumper cables could be essential.

Make a Plan
For people with mobility challenges, assistance can be crucial.

If are a caregiver, or if you have assembled a “Help Team” to assist a person in need:

  • Be helpful in letting others know exactly what you need and when you need it.
  • Contact family, friends, neighbors or social service agencies if and when possible.
  • Try to have someone available who can lift and carry heavy objects such as wheelchairs or other medical equipment.
  • Give at least one other person a key to the person’s home.
  • Each team member should have the contact information for the others.
  • Name a substitute caregiver in case the original is unavailable.

Develop an evacuation strategy with your “Disaster Team,” and consider the following:

  • Where are the closest special needs emergency shelters and what are the different routes you can take to reach them?
  • What supplies must you take with you that are used every day?
  • Whom should you inform that you are evacuating?
  • How much gas do you have and how much will much will you need? Be sure to keep your vehicle’s gas tank over 1/2 full at all times.

Make a Kit
Assemble your kit well in advance with the help of a list and be sure to include:

  • Water – Keep one gallon of water per person (and per pet) per day for at least three days. Make sure you replace the water every six months.
  • Food – Keep at least a 3-day stock of non-perishable food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration in a safe place. Include a manual can opener and eating utensils.

For those with mobility disAbilities:

  • Pair of heavy gloves to use while wheeling or making your way over glass and debris
  • Extra battery for your motorized wheelchair or scooter
  • Jumper cables or specific recharging device to be connected to an automobile’s cigarette lighter
  • Patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires
  • Spare cane or walker
  • Food, medicine, favorite toy, and other care items for your service animal
  • Plastic bags, disposable gloves, and other items for the animal’s care

Find out if you qualify for assistance and fill out a form in advance to ensure your safety should the need arise. And be aware of FEMA resources in your area, including their capabilities and the best way to reach them.

Rehabilitation Information

Rehabilitation describes specialized healthcare dedicated to improving, maintaining or restoring physical strength, cognition and mobility with maximized results. Typically, rehabilitation helps people gain greater independence after illness, injury or surgery.

Usually delivered by a diverse team of experts, rehabilitation blends many specialties for the best treatment plan, such as:

  • Physical therapy for increased strength and mobility
  • Occupational therapy for improved everyday living skills
  • Speech and language therapy for improved communication

Enhanced healing and function with rehabilitation therapy

Rehabilitation plays a critical role in healing, repair and recovery in a wide range of injuries, illnesses and conditions:

  • Improves speech, everyday skills and mobility in stroke, head injury and other neurological disorders
  • Strengthens bones and promotes muscular healing after total joint replacement surgery and other orthopedic surgery
  • Maximizes function and independence after spinal cord injury
  • And many others

Rehabilitation therapy pairs a team of expert doctors, nurses, therapists and other healthcare professionals with advanced technology. Each plan is custom-designed for the patient’s diverse individual needs.

Things You Should Know Before Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van

Whether your own wheelchair accessible vehicle is undergoing repairs or modifications or you’re testing the adaptive automobile waters before taking the plunge with the purchase of one, renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van is an affordable, convenient and comfortable way of improving your mobility.

If you’re looking to rent this type of vehicle, these are some good tips to keep in mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Handicap Van?
If you’re all about saving your pennies, there are many ways to reduce the cost of renting a wheelchair accessible van. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid renting an accessible vehicle airport. Enjoy lower taxes and minimal fees by going to a dealer or rental agency outside the airport grounds.
  • Reserve online whenever possible to take advantage of special offers.
  • Fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. More often than not, this will be less expensive than paying the fill-up fee or pre-paying for gas at the rental agency.
  • Don’t double up on insurance. If your personal auto insurance already covers you for rentals, make sure you don’t sign up for redundant coverage.

Where to Go
Many mobility dealers maintain a fleet of accessible cars or conversion vans for rental purposes. Identify and contact the location nearest you to find out if they have handicap vehicles available to meet your needs. There are also a number of companies that specialize in accessible rental vehicles.

When to Rent
A wheelchair accessible van or car can transform the lives of people with disabilities or temporary mobility impairment. Renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be particularly helpful when:

  • Your current wheelchair accessible vehicle requires repairs or maintenance over a period of multiple days.
  • You’re going on a road trip or long ride – a rented wheelchair accessible vehicle can make these much more comfortable. Even if you own a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you might still consider renting a vehicle in order to avoid putting the mileage and wear on your own van.
  • A loved one or family member with a disability visits. If you don’t own an accessible vehicle, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can facilitate transporting your friends and family.

When is Renting a Wheelchair Van Right for You?

To Fill a Gap During Repairs
When you need to make repairs to your wheelchair accessible vehicle or wheelchair van it is more difficult for you than the average car owner. What do you do when you don’t have the vehicle? Most of us don’t have a second wheelchair van we can use. When the repair is unexpected or more serious than anticipated, how do you manage? Do you cancel and reschedule all your doctors’ visits and planned activities for you and the people you care for? No! Simply make arrangements for a rental van so you can get yours repaired and still go on with your life.

To Accommodate a Visitor Using a Wheelchair
Are you or a wheelchair user you know flying into our area and need to have access to a wheelchair van rental? Would you like to have a grandmother or grandfather or other wheelchair-using relative come and spend some time with you and your family? A wheelchair van rental can give the freedom to come and stay without unnecessary barriers to family fun and mobility.

To Bring a Loved One Out From a Care Facility
For those in a nursing facility for an extended time-whether that is for a week, month or years-and those of us that care for them-visits and outings are critical for keeping spirits up and connections alive. A wheelchair van rental can make these outings better for everyone.

Wheelchair vans are much easier to use and enable most of us to handle getting someone in and out of the vehicle easily and without risk of injury or inconvenience.

Ease of use makes us all more likely to set aside the time and know that we can have a successful outing without the struggle of getting into and out of vehicles that are not wheelchair accessible

To Try a Wheelchair Van Before You Buy One
Buying a wheelchair van is a big decision and requires considerable care in making sure that the vehicle you choose will work for your particular situation. While all wheelchair vans have similarities, the differences are significant. The differences in height, width and shape may not seem like much to some. However, when you are in a wheelchair and have special equipment or physical limitations to accommodate, a couple of inches on one side or the other can be the key to complete happiness with your wheelchair van.

Maybe you think a wheelchair van would help your life but you have not been able to justify the expense. Sometimes trying it out can help you to feel that you are making the right decision. Maybe you will find that a wheelchair van is not right for you because of the fit, your family size or the conditions you drive in. Regardless, renting a wheelchair van can help you to assess that far better than a simple test drive.

When Your Disability is Only Temporary
Access to a wheelchair van can be a lifesaver when you are recovering from an injury or medical procedure that forces you to use a wheelchair for a limited period of time. Whether you have had surgery, or have suffered a broken bone or other injury, even an illness that limits your mobility, having to be in a wheelchair is not easy. Wheelchair van rentals can ensure that this temporary problem does not keep you restricted in your ability to make the most of the situation.

Having a wheelchair van rental accessible during your recovery means that the van is there when you need it. When you want to go for a ride, visit a friend or run to the store…

Using public transportation or medical transportations services limits your convenience and easy access to mobility

When you have recovered and no longer need the vehicle, simply return it to us and go on with your recovery and normal life.

For Doctor’s Visits and Medical Transportation
For the occasional doctor’s visit, using a transportation service may be a reasonable choice. However, when you are going through periods of multiple visits, testing, etc over several days or weeks or have a condition that requires regular, frequent appointments, the convenience of a wheelchair accessible van rental cannot be beat. Financially it will also work out to be less expensive in many situations.

When medical visits have got you running ragged, take some of the load off with a wheelchair van rental scheduled around your needs with the built in flexibility that comes with having it dedicated to you.

Do you want to take a detour on the way home from the doctor? Go out to lunch or do a little shopping? This is the kind of convenience that wheelchair accessible van rentals can provide.

For Special Occasions and Outings
Don’t let access to convenient wheelchair van transportation keep you from bringing your wheelchair-using loved ones to special events like weddings, birthdays, retirements and other “can’t miss” occasions. Wheelchair accessible van rentals enable you or that special person to attend significant occasions in the most convenient, comfortable and affordable manner possible.

For Road Trips and Vacations
Many people take rental wheelchair vans on long trips and vacations. Often, the wheelchair van or handicapped van they have is not large enough or dependable enough for their needs. Even with the excess mileage charges, the overall rental cost can fit into the vacation budget.

Top Tips For Helping A Student With A Disability Settle Into a University

Waving a child off to university for the first time is never easy. But if they also happen to have a disability, either physical or mental, the practical aspects of letting go become even more complicated.

Where possible, encourage your child to take the lead in establishing what your role should be. Finding ways to communicate about what they hope to achieve from their time at university, and helping them to plan the first few steps is a useful way for everyone to get used to the transition.


Identifying needs

Sit down together and have an honest conversation about how you both feel that disability affects your child’s life. What sort of support do you normally offer? What happens if nobody is there to support them? What makes it more difficult for him or her to manage their condition? What coping strategies make it easier?

Draw up a brief outline of what a regular day or week looks like, taking into account bad days as well as the best. You can use this to identify key needs and health risks – a handy reference point during university visits and open days, or when applying for disability support packages (like Disabled Students Allowance and Social Services support).

This is also a useful exercise to repeat after your child’s first term or year at university: how is it different to what you both expected? Are there any additional obstacles that you might need to address?


Choosing a university

It’s always worth visiting potential universities to get a realistic feel for how it suits your student child. An off-campus site may cause challenges for physically impaired students if they have to travel all over town for lectures, or if there are lots of cobbled streets or hills.

A lot of older buildings may not be fully wheelchair accessible. If getting lost is an issue, it’s a good idea to map out regular routes together and try them out a few times before term begins.

It’s also worth thinking about the impact of living on campus, and how different types of accommodation may impact study and socialising. Is the university near a good medical facility, for instance? Some students will want to consider how close to home they are: nothing is less cool than having your mum pay an unexpected visit when all your mates are over, but having somebody near enough to make the journey might be useful in emergencies.

Remember, all universities have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments to a course or building to cater for a recognised medical need. Speak to university representatives to find out who will be looking out for your child. All universities should have a disability support team, so get in touch to discuss the help that they can offer.


Creating a network

Working together, make a list of the people your child is able to turn to for assistance and support. This may be parents, friends, family doctors, tutors and / or university disability support teams. Encourage your child to have discussions with the people who support them about the assistance they think they might need. Is there somebody who can make a check-in phone call once a week? Would it help to plan regular reviews or a quick visit every now and then?

Make sure expectations are clear, but reasonable – it’s important that everybody’s needs are being met, including your own. If your child has organisational difficulties, they might want to stick the list on a wall, or somewhere easy to find in an emergency.

Don’t forget that when they are over the age of 18, they may be entitled to support from social services. Contact your local council for more information.


Applying for extra support

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) can offer helpful aids you may not have thought of: from adapted desks, to funding for taxis, to note takers. Information is available here.

DSA applications take a long time to be processed, and will need to be assessed by a representative before any funding or equipment is offered. It can also take months for this equipment to actually arrive, so make a note of deadlines and submit the applications as soon as you can.

These forms can be incredibly overwhelming: help to fill them out in as much detail as possible (as always, taking into account your child’s worst health days) may make the process less frustrating.


Being heard

Universities are huge, complex administrative bodies and it is easy to get lost within the system. If nobody speaks up when a student is facing challenges, even relatively small ones, it’s likely that they will be missed.

But part of the university experience is also about learning through making mistakes. Try not to panic if it seems that your child’s needs aren’t being met. Keep up the communication to make sure that these issues do not spiral out of control.

Being available during emergencies may be necessary, but for day to day issues, it will be a huge achievement every time the student in question is able to seek out the support they need themselves.

Pushing hard enough to ensure that all needs are being met can be frustrating and difficult, but nobody responds well to force. One of the hardest challenges for everyone involved with a disability can be finding the right tone to ask for what is necessary.Helping to find ways to communicate their own needs with confidence and positivity is probably the best gift you can offer at a time like this. Keep coming back to your initial plans and reassessing the situation. Your input and relationship will probably change along the way, but this is all just part of the process, and an entirely necessary part of becoming the parent of a grown-up human being.

Helping to find ways to communicate their own needs with confidence and positivity is probably the best gift you can offer at a time like this. Keep coming back to your initial plans and reassessing the situation. Your input and relationship will probably change along the way, but this is all just part of the process, and an entirely necessary part of becoming the parent of a grown-up human being.

Fibromyalgia Awareness

What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired). People with fibromyalgia have “tender points” on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.

People with fibromyalgia may also have other symptoms, such as:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Morning stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Problems with thinking and memory (sometimes called “fibro fog”).

A person may have two or more coexisting chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?
The causes of fibromyalgia are unknown. There may be a number of factors involved. Fibromyalgia has been linked to:

  • Stressful or traumatic events, such as car accidents
  • Repetitive injuries
  • Illness
  • Certain diseases.

Fibromyalgia can also occur on its own.

Some scientists think that a gene or genes might be involved in fibromyalgia. The genes could make a person react strongly to things that other people would not find painful.

Who Is Affected by Fibromyalgia?
Scientists estimate that fibromyalgia affects 5 million Americans 18 or older. Between 80 and 90 percent of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia are women. However, men and children also can have the disorder. Most people are diagnosed during middle age.

People with certain other diseases may be more likely to have fibromyalgia. These diseases include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (commonly called lupus)
  • Ankylosing spondylitis (spinal arthritis).

Women who have a family member with fibromyalgia may be more likely to have fibromyalgia themselves.

How Is Fibromyalgia Treated?
Fibromyalgia can be hard to treat. It’s important to find a doctor who is familiar with the disorder and its treatment. Many family physicians, general internists, or rheumatologists can treat fibromyalgia. Rheumatologists are doctors who specialize in arthritis and other conditions that affect the joints or soft tissues.

Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach. The team may include your doctor, a physical therapist, and possibly other health care providers. A pain or rheumatology clinic can be a good place to get treatment.

What Can I Do to Try to Feel Better?
There are many things you can do to feel better, including:

  • Taking medicines as prescribed
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising
  • Eating well
  • Making work changes if necessary.

What Research Is Being Done on Fibromyalgia?
The NIAMS sponsors research to help understand fibromyalgia and find better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent it. Researchers are studying:

  • Why people with fibromyalgia have increased sensitivity to pain.
  • Medicines and behavioral treatments.
  • Whether there is a gene or genes that make a person more likely to have fibromyalgia.
  • The use of imaging methods, such as magnetic resonate imaging (MRI), to better understand fibromyalgia.
  • Inflammation in the body and its relationship to fibromyalgia.
  • Nondrug therapies to help reduce pain.
  • Methods to improve sleep in people with fibromyalgia.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Wheelchair Vans A/C

Everything You Need to Know About Your Wheelchair Vans A:C


How does the A/C system work?

We all want the ultimate chill blasting out of our vents; especially when it comes to surviving summers heat. When the A/C system kicks in on those hot, sweaty days, that’s something we all cherish. But, believe it or not, there’s no ice machine inside your van (but at one time ice was used to cool people’s rides down). In fact, the cold air generated by your A/C system is actually hot air with hot gases removed during a multi-step process.

It really is thermodynamics but we’re not get into that. The cliff’s note version is simply about changes in pressure causing changes in temperature. Turn the A/C on and the compressor compresses the system’s refrigerant (Freon) raising its temperature. It loses heat as it flows through the condenser (that second radiator looking thing in front of the radiator). It passes through the receiver/dryer where contaminants and moisture are removed, and then on to the expansion valve/accumulator where the refrigerant is slowed down further, causing it to lose pressure and temperature before it gets to the evaporator. The evaporator is like a mini radiator (not to be confused with the heater core — they are two separate things) inside the dash of your vehicle that gets cold as it further lowers the refrigerants temperature and, additionally, removes moisture from the air. The ventilation system’s blower motor blows air over the cold evaporator and pushes cool air into the passenger compartment. Complicated, but refreshing!

Now that you know what being cool is all about, if you have problems being cool, call us to set up an appointment for an A/C Performance Check.

How often should my A/C be inspected?
You tell us. How’s the air feeling in your wheelchair van? Are you refreshed and cooled with full air flow when your A/C is pumping? Well, if you answered “Yes, I am  cooler than bein’ cool (ICE COLD!),” you can cross A/C inspection off your list.

For all the “No” respondents: do you fall into the “my A/C is not cold enough” or the “it’s taking way too long to cool down,” side of the spectrum? Stop sweating and stop in for an A/C Performance Check, we’ll have you back rolling down those hot summer streets cooler than ever. So chill, your A/C is only an inspection away from cooler days.

How often do I need my A/C system “recharged”?
Only when the cool breeze no longer feels as chilly as you remember. Simple enough. Now, it is true that a well maintained A/C system can go its entire life without needing a recharge. But, that’s if you’re extremely lucky.

If you start noticing your A/C isn’t reaching those refreshingly cool temperatures, have your system inspected. In this situation, most vans Honda, Toyota, Dodge and Ford will be low on Freon. And since the A/C is a sealed system, low Freon is a big sign that something is not right. It could be a small leak that needs attention or possibly part of the A/C is failing – bring it in and we’ll perform an A/C Performance Check and get to the root of the problem. We’ll get you back out there cruising with a nice, cool breeze again.

What is refrigerant?
Typically referred to by the DuPont trade name Freon, the most common Freons are R-12, R-134A, and soon, HFO-1234yf. Freon is pretty similar to motor oil and radiator coolant in that it is a working fluid designed for a specific system; In this case, your car’s A/C system.

Refrigerant is a specially formulated mixture that’s sole purpose for transforming hot air into cold air. It does this by absorbing and releasing heat, ultimately leaving cool air behind.

What exactly is Freon?
Sounds like an automotive A/C history lesson is in order. Well, welcome, pull up a seat and put on your thinking cap.

Freon, better known as R-12, was the primary chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) used in car A/C systems up until it was banned in the mid 1990s after the EPA discovered that it was depleting our planet’s ozone Layer. Talk about toxic.

The auto industry has since switched to the CFC free R-134a. Since the elimination of CFCs from the auto industry —and all industries for that matter—the ozone layer has regained its structure, and the ozone holes caused by CFCs are expected to fully close by about 2050 according to the EPA.

What is the Montreal Protocol? (R-12)
No, this isn’t a treaty you learned about in history class. The Montreal Protocol is actually the official title of the banishment of R-12 (Freon) and other CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons) emitting products from further use anywhere on the planet. And for good reason—CFCs were discovered to be tearing big holes in our ozone layer.

The Montreal Protocol was first signed into law in 1987. If the entire industrial world follows the environmental standards meant to eliminate the use of ozone depleting gases (in place in the United States since 1996), the ozone is said to fully recover by 2050.

The Montreal Protocol is why we now use R-134a instead of the ozone depleting R-12. Starting in 2013, certain U.S. vehicle models will begin transitioning to an even more efficient and safer cooling agent called HFO-1234yf. Talk about a mouthful. HFO-1234yf is said to have almost no environmental impact what-so-ever. And that’s something we can all look forward to.

What’s the difference between R-134a and R-12?
You can say the difference is so big that it has spared the fate of the entire planet. Not to get all deep on your psyche and all, but after it was discovered that R-12 and a whole multitude of products containing Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were destroying the ozone layer, environmental scientists immediately started work on an alternative cooling agents free of ozone depleting CFCs. That formula is R-134a: the standard and only refrigerant permitted in automotive A/C systems today.

R-134a, though safer, is not perfect:
Beginning in 2013, R-134a is being replaced by a new formula, HFO-1234yf, available on select U.S. car models. HFO-1234yf is the cleanest, safest refrigerant yet. And what’s even more important is that it has been studied and certified as leaving no impact on the environment what-so-ever. Talk about a great advancement in A/C technology that will help protect our planet for all those driven to cruise the open roads for many years to come.

But why replace R-134a?
Well, although R-134a was designed with the ozone layer in mind, it’s still made with chemicals that can harm the environment if they leak out of your A/C system or are disposed of improperly. With that known fact, international environmental scientists knew an even safer A/C refrigerant was out there waiting to be formulated.

HFO-1234yf is set to become the refrigerant standard:

  • It has been tested and found to leave behind virtually no impact on the environment.
  • If your A/C system should leak, there’s no longer an environmental freak out.

It’s all about the future generations of drivers. Our goal as automotive professionals is to provide the best care for your mobility vehicle while preserving the natural environment of the road your vehicle cruises down for many years to come.

How many parts make up a wheelchair van A/C system?
Your A/C system consists of five major parts, all working together to cool you off and all your passengers.

Most A/C systems are built with:

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Receiver dryer or Accumulator
  • Orifice tube or Expansion valve
  • Evaporator

Your A/C system also consists of hoses and refrigerant charging ports, but the significant work occurs in the five parts listed above. You can learn more about each part that makes up your A/C system starting with the next question. Cool.

What is the A/C compressor?
The compressor is the core, primary part of every A/C system. If you want to stay cool, a working compressor is essential. We’ve seen people try to create cold air with out one. Trust us, it doesn’t work.

The compressor:

  • Pressurizes the refrigerant that cools the air in your mobility van.
  • Senses temperature changes: Compressors monitor and control temperature output with an electrically operated clutch. This clutch turns on and off whenever you change the temperature, choose a different airflow setting or just when plain old air from outside drops or rises in temperature.
  • Powered by the serpentine belt: That winding belt under your hood is responsible for powering many crucial components, including your A/C compressor.

Signs of a worn compressor: Oil or Freon leaks, noise, and erratic or no operation are indications that a compressor may need to be replaced. We can inspect your car for leaks using special refrigerant detecting dyes and devices. You may not be able to see a leak, but our equipment, sometimes referred to as a “sniffer,” can detect—or sniff-out—a chemical leak even if no liquid is visible. Yea, you can say we’re pretty advanced over here.

What is an A/C condenser?
Consider it the master of turning hot refrigerant gasses into liquid. The condenser is mounted at the front of most vehicles, usually in front of the radiator. Air passes through the condenser, turning the hot refrigerant gas into a condensed, cooler refrigerant liquid.

An A/C condenser is:

  • Found In front of the radiator and often referred to as a mini-radiator
  • The master refrigerant cooler. And still champion. The Condenser radiates the hot refrigerant gasses that have entered from the compressor, reducing its temperature and pressure, turning it into a liquid that moves on to the A/C Dryer.

Signs of a worn condenser:

  • Leaks
  • Clogged, corroded or damaged fins or tubes
  • Poor air conditioning performance

What’s a receiver/dryer?
The receiver or dryer is found on vehicles with a thermal expansion valve. It’s the safety net responsible for trapping all harmful debris, moisture and liquids from reaching the compressor and other vital A/C parts.

The roles of the receiver/dryer:

  1. Separates gas from liquid. If liquid isn’t contained in the dryer, it can enter and destroy your compressor (Compressors aren’t designed to handle liquids. Only gas).
  2. Removes moisture. To trap moisture, a desiccant is used. Desiccant is similar to those moisture killing packets you find in the packaging of new electronic devices.
  3. Filters out contaminants. No one wants a contaminated A/C system. Contaminants can lead to accelerated parts wear and damaging corrosion.

Quick fact: If there’s any moisture present in your compressor, it can mix with the Refrigerant and create very damaging corrosive acids.

Symptoms of a worn receiver/dryer:

  • Poor air conditioner performance
  • Moisture on glass and/or inability of defroster to remove moisture from glass and windows

The receiver/dryer must be replaced in the following situations:

  • Anytime the A/C system is opened for repair, the reciever/dryer will need to be replaced.
  • Whenever a technician has determined moisture or debris has permanently damaged your receiver/dryer performance.

What is an accumulator?
An accumulator is similar to a receiver-dryer but only found on vehicles with an orifice tube. If you have an accumulator, that means you don’t have a thermal expansion valve.

The accumulator:

  • Monitors and controls the amount of refrigerant that enters the evaporator.
  • Stores excess Refrigerant so that it cannot enter and damage the compressor.
  • Filters debris and removes moisture from the A/C System.

When to replace the accumulator:

  • Anytime the A/C system is opened for repair, the accumulator will need to be replaced.
  • Whenever a technician has determined moisture or debris has permanently damaged your accumulator’s performance.

What is a thermal expansion valve/orifice tube?
The orifice tube or thermal expansion valve is located between the condenser and the evaporator. Its job is to constantly monitor the pressure and temperature of you’re A/C system in order to determine the exact amount of refrigerant that can safely enter your evaporator. An orifice tube may also contain a fine mesh screen to block contaminants from the rest of the system.

Quick fact: If too much or too little refrigerant enters the evaporator, you could have a big problem on your hands. The proper function of the thermal expansion valve or orifice tube is crucial for successful A/C system operation.

Signs of a worn orifice tube or thermal expansion valve:

  • Poor A/C system performance
  • When a technician has determined it has become dirty or clogged

What is an evaporator?
The evaporator is responsible for cooling air and removing moisture. If cold, refreshing air is hitting your face, your evaporator is working like a champ.

The evaporator:

  • Located right behind your dash. The evaporator is the last and most important stop before cold air can hit your face.
  • Cools air with refrigerant. Low pressure Refrigerant traveling through the evaporator absorbs heat from the passenger compartment dropping the temperature of the evaporator. Air blown over the cool surface of the evaporator then comes out the vents providing the chill you expect.
  • Commences cold air flow. The best and final stage. Cold air should now be blowing out your vents thanks to the hard work of the evaporator.

Symptoms of a worn evaporator:

  • Poor A/C system performance

What is a compressor clutch?
Before the compressor turns on, a special electro-magnetic clutch, conveniently called the “compressor clutch,” is necessary to engage and disengage the compressor cycle. The compressor clutch tells the compressor when to turn on or off so that the Freon (refrigerant) is correctly pressurized for use by the condenser which is then delivered to the evaporator where the chill begins.

Experiencing A/C problems with your Braun, VMI or Eldorado wheelchair van? call to schedule a A/C inspection today.

What is the clutch cycling switch?
The clutch cycling switch senses and controls the temperature in the evaporator core to prevent it from freezing. Although most cars can blow air at temperatures as low as 60 degrees, the temperatures inside the evaporator core can get cold enough to completely freeze the entire core. Not good! The clutch cycle’s job is to make sure the evaporator temperature doesn’t reach the point of glacier temperatures.

Symptoms of a failing clutch cycling switch:

  • Evaporator freezing up
  • Evaporator does not get cold enough

What is a refrigerant charge port?
This is where the magic happens. The refrigerant charge port is the connection point where new refrigerant can enter the system during an A/C system recharge. Your port is usually located on the bigger A/C hose near or on the accumulator.

Caution: Only properly equipped and qualified persons should perform A/C recharging services.

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.

BraunAbility MXV™: Wheelchair Accessible SUV

BraunAbility MXV™

The BraunAbility MXV™ features a never-before-seen door operation, an innovative in-floor ramp and removable seating. This innovative wheelchair accessible SUV represents a brand new era in mobility and we want you to be a part of it. Availability of this vehicle begins Summer 2015.

 

BraunAbility MXV™ Features

  • Fold flat 3rd row seats for extra cargo space
  • Integrated Ford keyfob
  • Nerf bar
  • Sliding shifter for increased space
  • In-floor and lighted ramp
  • Innovative seat design allowing more interior space
  • Removable driver and passenger seats

Sporty Looks and Feel

  • EPA Estimated 17city / 24 hwy / 20 combined
  • 6-Speed Automatic
  • Wheelbase 112.6″
  • Maximum Towing Capacity (estimated) – 5000 lbs.
  • Power Glide Door Integrated w/Factory Key Fob
  • 28″ In-Floor Ramp Width
  • 54 1/4″ Door Entry Height
  • LED Ramp Lighting System
  • Cantilever Seat Bases For Easy Removal

Interior View
The interior of the MXV allows for both front seats to be removed, and the middle seating is removed for wheelchair access. The 3rd row seats remain and allow for 4 passengers in the 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.

Great Career Options For Those With DisAbilities

In today’s highly-competitive workforce, finding a quality job can be a challenge. For individuals with disAbilities, the competition is even more extreme, but there are some positive changes on the horizon. Career opportunities are greater than they have ever been for individuals with disAbilities. This is largely credited to the ADA, which helps accommodate people with disAbilities and works to prevent discrimination within the workforce.

Here are a few great options for those with disAbilities to claim a spot on the workforce.

  • Working From Home
    From jobs as writers, salespersons or teachers through online courses, people with disAbilities have a wide variety of options available when it comes to working from home. There are also excellent opportunities for teaching gigs outside the home, as most schools are very wheelchair-friendly.
  • Working in Finance
    Accounting and financial jobs are viable career paths for those that need mobility help as office buildings have become more and more accessible throughout the years. Ernest & Young was listed as number one on Diversity Inc.’s “Top 10 Companies for People With DisAbilities” list. Also on the list was the Hardfort Financial Services Group.
  • Working with Computers
    Another great option for a career is one involving computers. This Internet and electronic age is booming. With more demand for people that are technologically savvy comes more prospects for job seekers. IBM is not only another one of the top employers for candidates with disAbilities but also a leader in computer technology. Computer systems analysts and software developers usually require a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences or a similar field, but technical vocation jobs are available for those without related degrees and require less schooling.
  • Legal Careers
    The legal world is another field that is accommodating for mobility assistance. Being a lawyer for those who share your disAbilities may even be your niche.  There are many other options for a legal career such as being a legal secretary, paralegal or legal assistant, all of which require certification but do not necessarily require a degree.
  • Government Jobs
    Lastly, the government is a great employer for people with disAbilities. Since the 1980s, federal employment has remained at 7 percent.

Where to Find your Career
The easiest place to start looking today is on online job boards. While there are many job boards to choose from, GettingHired.com accommodates people with disabilities by providing special search filters.

No matter where you start your search, it’s important to get out there and jump into the job hunt, knowing that the ADA, and yourself, can demand the necessary accommodations for equal opportunity in the workforce.

In-Floor Vs Fold-Out Ramps In Mobility Vehicles

If wheelchair ramps are the right option for your transportation needs, the following will shed some light on the types of ramps available for conversions and the unique benefits they each provide.

In-Floor Ramps
As their name suggests, in-floor ramps are stowed under the floor of wheelchair accessible minivans, creating additional interior room for improved maneuverability. These ramps allow for an obstruction-free doorway and clean, uncluttered interior. In-floor models also provide added safety, as there are no components on the floor of the van that one might struggle with.

Fold-Out Ramps
For strength and durability, fold-out ramps are great options for passengers in wheelchairs. When not in use, these ramps sit on the floor of wheelchair accessible vans and extend outward in a folding motion when deployed. Many models offer side rails for easy navigation and perforations of the ramp floors to allow for easy cleaning and debris removal. In addition, fold-out ramps are more budget-conscious than in-floor options.

Each of these options offers unique perks and both are fantastic options for anyone looking to increase their mobility and independence through the use of a handicap accessible van. If you need assistance deciding which of these models is right for you, don’t hesitate to call for more information. We are staffed by industry professionals and certified technicians, so they’re certain to be able to point you in the direction of the perfect ramp option for your transportation needs.

Be Prepared For Natural Disasters

Natural disasters can take place at any moment and can come in any form from floods, severe weather, earthquakes and more, yielding unfortunate outcomes without warning.  Being prepared can save lives and planning is important; know who will help you if you need assistance or if you need to evacuate.

Be Informed
Ensure you have the proper equipment to stay up-to-the-minute on breaking news and changing weather patterns. You may need a radio for this, specifically one that runs on batteries so be sure you have extras. Know when, where and what local branches of organizations like American Red Cross, have planned in your specific location, and find out how they can help. Also, ensure you can maintain contact with those outside of your home, having a phone car charger and jumper cables could be essential.

Make a Plan
For people with mobility challenges, assistance can be crucial.

If are a caregiver, or if you have assembled a “Help Team” to assist a person in need:

  • Be helpful in letting others know exactly what you need and when you need it.
  • Contact family, friends, neighbors or social service agencies if and when possible.
  • Try to have someone available who can lift and carry heavy objects such as wheelchairs or other medical equipment.
  • Give at least one other person a key to the person’s home.
  • Each team member should have the contact information for the others.
  • Name a substitute caregiver in case the original is unavailable.

Develop an evacuation strategy with your “Disaster Team,” and consider the following:

  • Where are the closest special needs emergency shelters and what are the different routes you can take to reach them?
  • What supplies must you take with you that are used every day?
  • Whom should you inform that you are evacuating?
  • How much gas do you have and how much will much will you need? Be sure to keep your vehicle’s gas tank over 1/2 full at all times.

Make a Kit
Assemble your kit well in advance with the help of a list and be sure to include:

  • Water – Keep one gallon of water per person (and per pet) per day for at least three days. Make sure you replace the water every six months.
  • Food – Keep at least a 3-day stock of non-perishable food that requires little cooking and no refrigeration in a safe place. Include a manual can opener and eating utensils.

For those with mobility disAbilities:

  • Pair of heavy gloves to use while wheeling or making your way over glass and debris
  • Extra battery for your motorized wheelchair or scooter
  • Jumper cables or specific recharging device to be connected to an automobile’s cigarette lighter
  • Patch kit or can of “seal-in-air product” to repair flat tires
  • Spare cane or walker
  • Food, medicine, favorite toy, and other care items for your service animal
  • Plastic bags, disposable gloves, and other items for the animal’s care

Find out if you qualify for assistance and fill out a form in advance to ensure your safety should the need arise. And be aware of FEMA resources in your area, including their capabilities and the best way to reach them.

Find Financial Resources for Your Mobility Needs

Far too often, you find it hard to afford many of the tools and resources that you need in everyday life. For that reason, there are several alternative ways to get funding that will ensure that you get the assistance you need to live a hassle-free life without worrying about breaking the bank.

Here are a few sources of financial assistance to look into if you are finding it hard to cover all of your mobility expenses.

Medicare:
Usually offered only through private companies, Medicare can be a good option for certain medical devices and equipment and is based on your medical necessity for the goods or services you may need help with.

Medicaid:
While there is no exclusive list in terms of medical equipment covered, cases are approved on a case-by-case basis. Medicaid is a great option to look into if your expenses and needs aren’t covered by Medicare.

The IRS:
Did you know that certain mobility aids such as adaptive driving equipment can be deducted from your federal taxes? Contact your local tax adviser to see what equipment and supplies you use regularly to see if they can be deducted.

State Programs:
Check with your state’s vocational rehabilitation agencies to see if your mobility needs are approved for financial assistance. If any of it helps you get to work or perform your job efficiently, you may be covered here. Aside from that, you may also want to check out your local Center for Independent Living to see if they have any other resources that you can look into for financial assistance.

Vehicle-Related:
If you’ve recently had any adaptive equipment or ramps installed in your vehicle—or, for that matter, if you’ve recently purchased wheelchair van—there are some dealerships that will reimburse you for such things. Check with your local mobility-friendly dealership to learn more.

With these resources at your disposal, you can hopefully stop worrying about money and focus more on living a stress-free life where your mobility needs are easily met.

Service dogs

Service dogs can build your independence by boosting your mobility. These four-legged friends pull wheelchairs, function as a mobile cane for balance, and even perform many of the daily tasks you may have difficulty with.

While these “working dogs” are trained to retrieve dropped items, pull clothing on and off, and bring medication, their canine capabilities also prove to be essential in an emergency. For all of the reasons your furry friend is important to your daily routine, it’s equally important to ensure their safety during travel. Properly securing your service animal correctly in your vehicle can be a matter of life and death for both of you.

Just as you would secure your wheelchair with straps and other devices, you should secure your service animal properly and comfortably in your vehicle, as well. Be sure the car is properly ventilated and that crates or units are secured.

As a service dog usually stays by the owner’s side, a belt usually proves as the best option in securing your dog in the vehicle to guarantee his/her safety. Help your hound out with a body harness specifically made for canine car travel. Service vests can even be custom-made to better suit your animal and your vehicle.

Some dogs may get uncomfortable not being able to look out of the window and see where they are going, especially small dogs. The Snoozer Lookout helps satisfy your pooch’s curiosity and need to see. The Snoozer Lookout is a seat that allows your pet to sit higher while staying safely strapped in.

It goes without saying that properly securing your service animal not only keeps them safe from harm on the roadways, but also makes for a comfortable ride along with you.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Searching For a Mobility Specialist Dealer

Now that you have made the decision to purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you need to shop around for the best provider. Many people turn to a mobility specialist dealer. Here are some considerations you may want to keep in mind when doing your research and shopping.

Stock
What vehicle brands does the dealer offer? Do they have a wide-range of vehicles for you to choose from? Do they provide both new and used choices? Do they convert other vehicles besides vans, like SUVs and trucks?

Range of Conversions
Does the company offer the ramp and product options that are specified to your needs? Do their vehicles provide the safety features and equipment you need?

Aesthetics
Which vehicle best fits your personality and will keep you happy in the long run?

Location
Is the dealer close to where you live?

Funds and Financing
Is purchasing from this provider beneficial to you in terms of cost? Do they provide a range of priced vehicles, or are all of their products around the same price?

Reviews
What have others said about this company? Are they a reputable dealer or have they had issues? Does the dealer provide feedback from previous customers or is it hard to find customer reviews?

On-Site Evaluations
In addition to the evaluation from a Certified Rehabilitation Specialist, will I receive another evaluation from the dealer? How will they know the equipment will fit properly? Will it be safe for me to drive?

Training
Once I have purchased my vehicle, how will I learn to use my new equipment? Will the dealer provide me training? Will they be available to address any questions I may have regarding the use of my equipment?

Customer Care
What does the company provide for you? Do they offer incentives like 24-hour local emergency service, warranties and/or trained Ability Specialists that can help you in your decision?

Dealers
Is the mobility specialist well informed and up-to-date on the technical skills necessary in today’s mobility market? Do they belong to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association – the industry association for safe and reliable transportation options for people with disabilities?

Each of these factors are important to consider during the buying process.

Checking Gifts Off That Holiday Shopping List

Trying to think of what to get everyone on that Holiday shopping list of yours can be a burdensome task. Fortunately, we have done our research to provide you with a great list of gift options.

Technology

  • Voice activated dialers let you speed dial contacts by just saying their name into your phone.
  • Amazon’s Kindle is a sleek, lightweight (weighing less than a paperback book) eBook reader. The sleek new screen makes it possible for those with limited mobility in their hands to turn the pages of a book.
  • Dragon speech recognition software makes it easier for anyone to use a computer. You talk, and it types. Use your voice to create and edit documents or emails, launch applications, open files, control your mouse, and more. Compatible with both Windows and Mac.
  • Intela Voice Activated Light Switch – By verbally saying a word or phrase, turn on or off lights and other appliances. The voice activated light switch works with nearly all small to medium devices.

Accessories

  • Gloves are always a good buy for a person who uses a manual wheelchair. You can find wheelchair gloves that are made from textiles and leather and that are infused with patented nanotechnology that allows the wearer to operate any touch screen device without removing the gloves.
  • The WeatherBreaker is a canopy that attaches to wheelchairs or scooters to protect you from the sun and rain.
  • The MiniTray attaches to your scooter or power chair armrest. When you need it, flip it up from the side. When not in use, flip it back down like an airline tray.
  • Armrest pouches and seatback bags are useful gifts for wheelchair users. They are perfect for storing cell phones, wallets, shopping items and much more.

Tools

  • An aluminum grabber bar is a great tool for those that have limited mobility. They add the advantage of independence instead of having to ask for assistance.
  • A dressing stick assists with putting on sweaters, shirts, pants, coats and more. There are also tools to assist in putting on shoes and socks as well to keep them on.

Experience

  • Give the gift of experiences. Everyone enjoys a night out at a nice restaurant, or a great play or comedy show. Look for vouchers and gift cards for local attractions online. Be sure to check with the establishment to ensure it is accessible.

Before purchasing, be sure the product will work for the particular person you are buying for, consider the product style and look and make sure you buy from a reputable supplier to ensure the product performs the function intended. Happy Holidays!

Accessible Vehicle Options

We hear a lot of talk about which accessible vehicle to buy. It all depends on your mobility needs and your lifestyle. There are several sizes to choose from:

Minivans
Minivans are taller than a sedan or station wagon and easier to maneuver than full-sized vans. Many have sliding doors as well as out-swing doors. They come in large, compact, mini and micro sizes.

Minivans can hold manual wheelchairs, many electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.

Full-Size Vans
Full-size vans are designed to transport cargo and/or groups of people. They are taller than other private vehicles and ideal for larger families or those with “cargo”- i.e. power wheelchairs.

Full-size vans are spacious enough for manual wheelchairs, 2 electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.

Sedans
It’s difficult for anyone to get into the back seat of a 2-door vehicle. A 4-door is easier. If you use a walker or wheelchair, you need a car with a roomy trunk and a low lip height for easier loading. Some sedans have a hatchback in place of a trunk lid – the entire back of the vehicle lifts up for easier loading.

Sedans and hatchbacks are roomy enough for portable manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs that can be disassembled, compact or partially dissembled scooters and walkers.

Station Wagons
A station wagon has a old school connotation but they are typically roomier than a sedan and handy for loading with its tailgate at the rear. Fold-down rear seats accommodate either passengers or cargo.

Station wagons have ample space for manual wheelchairs, compact electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and walkers.

Depending on your budget, you can also adapt SUVs, Pick-up Trucks and some Sports Cars. With the rising price of gasoline you will want to consider how important good gas mileage is to you versus style and convenience.

Driving Safely In Winter

Unfortunately, snow isn’t the only thing to watch out for while behind the wheel of a wheelchair accessible vehicle during the colder months. There’s also slush, black ice and blizzards. Fortunately, with the correct driving techniques, each can be handled stress free and safely.

Be Prepared
First and foremost, if you’ll be driving in the snow anytime soon, be prepared. This means having you car winterized before it’s needed. Depending on your location this can mean installing both snow tires and winter windshield wipers. Be sure to contact your local NMEDA dealer to find out if there are any special precautions you should take to get your handicap van ready for the snow. Additionally, have your battery, defroster, and antifreeze checked and stock your vehicle with emergency supplies like blankets, flashlights, food, water, shovel, sand, and first aid. Also, it’s a good idea to always have at least a half tank of gas. This gives the car some extra weight to help prevent skidding, but it’s also is safer in the event of getting lost or stranded. Finally, be sure to plan for extra time to get to your destination. You should never feel rushed or feel as if you have an excuse to speed.

Driving in Snow
First things first, slow down! Ten to fifteen miles per hour is a good speed of thumb when driving in snow. Always give yourself more stopping room because even in mild conditions, a little bit of skidding can be common. Also, try not to use cruise control. Your reaction time will not only be delayed, but if your vehicle begins to slide it will continue to accelerate. Make turns gently and avoid changing lanes unless necessary. If you must switch lanes, turn your wheel gradually to avoid fish tailing.

In the event you do slide off the road, don’t immediately try to gun it out or else you may dig yourself in. First, try a gentle acceleration. If this doesn’t get you out, stop and turn your wheel side to side to push snow away from the tires. Your best bet is to then use a shovel to clear snow and then spread sand for traction, however if you have limited mobility or use a wheelchair (meaning maneuvering in the snow might be difficult), it might be best to call a family member or emergency road service to help you get back on the road.

Driving on Ice
Iced over roads are one of the most dangerous aspects of driving during the winter. Black ice is hard to spot because it’s almost invisible, but if you begin to slide over it, take your foot off both the brake and the accelerator. Let your car slide and try to keep the car straight until you get traction back. If you lose control and start going off the road, try to guide your car toward an area with minimal damage possibilities. In general, look out for shady spots where the sun can’t melt the ground because black ice is more likely found here.

Driving in a Blizzard
If a blizzard hits while you’re out on the road, turn on your lights so that other drivers can easily see you, avoid changing lanes and be sure to pull over if you feel unsafe. If you do pull over, just make sure to get away from traffic and turn on your hazard lights.

If possible, avoid driving in the snow completely. If you do need to go out, many counties and towns list what roads have been plowed and salted online, so check to see if you can plan a safer route.

Hopefully with these tips you’ll now have a better understanding of how to handle your vehicle on winter roads. In general, if there’s any snow, ice, or slush on the road, driving slower and giving enough stopping room will eliminate many of the problems you might face. Add some common sense and good judgment, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering inclement weather.

Service Dogs

Service dogs can build your independence by boosting your mobility. These four-legged friends pull wheelchairs, function as a mobile cane for balance, and even perform many of the daily tasks you may have difficulty with.

While these “working dogs” are trained to retrieve dropped items, pull clothing on and off, and bring medication, their canine capabilities also prove to be essential in an emergency. For all of the reasons your furry friend is important to your daily routine, it’s equally important to ensure their safety during travel. Properly securing your service animal correctly in your vehicle can be a matter of life and death for both of you.

Just as you would secure your wheelchair with straps and other devices, you should secure your service animal properly and comfortably in your vehicle, as well. Be sure the car is properly ventilated and that crates or units are secured.

As a service dog usually stays by the owner’s side, a belt usually proves as the best option in securing your dog in the vehicle to guarantee his/her safety. Help your hound out with a body harness specifically made for canine car travel. Service vests can even be custom-made to better suit your animal and your vehicle.

Some dogs may get uncomfortable not being able to look out of the window and see where they are going, especially small dogs. The Snoozer Lookout helps satisfy your pooch’s curiosity and need to see. The Snoozer Lookout is a seat that allows your pet to sit higher while staying safely strapped in.

It goes without saying that properly securing your service animal not only keeps them safe from harm on the roadways, but also makes for a comfortable ride along with you.

Mobility Seating and Restraints

Power Seat Bases
There are two popular power seat bases available for conversions; the four-way and six-way power seat bases.

  1. The four-way power seat base has a motorized action for the back and forth adjustment. This aids in transferring from or two the wheelchair or the van seat and it provides motorized rotation and forward or back movement. Some seat bases even provide up and down movement for height adjustment.
  2. The six-way power seat base includes all of the functions of the four-way power seat base, plus a motorized swivel. This seat base is used by individuals with limited muscle control in the upper extremities.

Removable Seat Base
This is a detachable seat, usually mounted on wheels or coasters.  It allows for easy conversion of the driver’s station for a wheelchair driver.  It stores in the rear of the van when not in use.

Power Pan
The power pan is designed to accommodate the disabled driver who cannot transfer from wheelchair to seat without assistance and must drive from a wheelchair.  It allows the driver who sits high in his or her wheelchair to lower the line of vision 2 ½ – 6″ (6 – 15 cm) by automatically lowering the vehicle floor in the driver’s station.

Wheel Wells
These channels are installed in a vehicle floor to lower the wheelchair driver thereby correcting visibility problems caused by excess height of the wheelchair when placed on the normal floorboard of the vehicle.

Restraints
There are two types of restraints that can be used to transport a wheelchair, manual and electric:

  1. Manual Restraint (“Tie-Down”)
    A system that cannot be operated from a wheelchair – it is operated by an attendant. When purchasing a tie-down, it is recommended that safety be considered. The most popular manual tie-down systems are the four point tie-downs; which are secured at four points of the wheelchair, thus making it a safer restraint.
  2. Electric Restraint (or Power Restraint)
    Designed for individual who are unable to fasten the manual systems, the electric system has one device mounted on the floor of the van and one mounted on the bottom of the wheelchair. When the device on the wheelchair is properly fitted into the one on the floor there is an audible click. This means that the chair is safely locked in place. The electric models also have a buzzer and/or light to indicate safe locking.

Torso Restraints
When driving a van from a wheelchair, chest harness and/or lateral trunk supports may be used together with lap belts and wheelchair restraints for those with diminished trunk musculature and balance.

Note: A seat belt and/or shoulder restraint should always be used with any tie-down system. Never depend on wheelchair locks (brakes) alone for safety when driving or being transported!

New York Updates the Handicap Symbol

You see them in parking lots, bathrooms, license plates and public transportation. It’s easily recognizable, yet most don’t think about them too much. It’s the handicap symbol, and in New York it’s getting a fresh look after 45 years.

What started as an illegal art project in Rhode Island by Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney soon transformed into a movement for change recognized by the government. Their original idea was to liven up the “stiff, robotic” look into a more active and human looking symbol. The message is to get away from presenting the look as a disAbility, and rather show that it is still a person in the chair who is still moving forward.

Inspiration for Mobility
An attempt to change the symbol in 1994 was proposed but failed. However, it did succeed as the inspiration for the new design, which was built on a grass-root platform spreading awareness through the right routes to reach real change. The biggest adopter so far is the state of New York, which signed the change into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In addition, NFL team Jacksonville Jaguars, the Boys and Girls Club in South Boston, and the Museum of Modern Art had all also updated their handicap logos to the new look.

The language of the symbol is also making a change. Using the word accessible now rather than handicap presents a more positive light on the symbol and thought process alike. The specific look of the logo now has the person leaning forward with arms back and wheel accented to appear spinning so that the overall appearance shows motion.

Handicap Symbol Represents Movement
No movement comes without concerns however, and the main issue presented with the Accessibility Icon Project is that it resembles an athlete and doesn’t represent the disabled as a whole. Though true from this perspective, the designer Sara Hendren pushes to move the focus away from a literal interpretation to its symbolism. The movement is not solely about a new look, but brings attention for us to take action and rethink disAbility in society.

Only time will tell if the project will gain national or even worldwide change. What is known though is that it starts conversations and gives people a new way to look at those different around them.

Things You Should Know Before Renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van

Whether your own wheelchair accessible vehicle is undergoing repairs or modifications or you’re testing the adaptive automobile waters before taking the plunge with the purchase of one, renting a Wheelchair Accessible Van is an affordable, convenient and comfortable way of improving your mobility.

If you’re looking to rent this type of vehicle, these are some good tips to keep in mind.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Handicap Van?
If you’re all about saving your pennies, there are many ways to reduce the cost of renting a wheelchair accessible van. Here are just a few:

  • Avoid renting an accessible vehicle airport. Enjoy lower taxes and minimal fees by going to a dealer or rental agency outside the airport grounds.
  • Reserve online whenever possible to take advantage of special offers.
  • Fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. More often than not, this will be less expensive than paying the fill-up fee or pre-paying for gas at the rental agency.
  • Don’t double up on insurance. If your personal auto insurance already covers you for rentals, make sure you don’t sign up for redundant coverage.

Where to Go
Many mobility dealers maintain a fleet of accessible cars or conversion vans for rental purposes. Identify and contact the location nearest you to find out if they have handicap vehicles available to meet your needs. There are also a number of companies that specialize in accessible rental vehicles.

When to Rent
A wheelchair accessible van or car can transform the lives of people with disabilities or temporary mobility impairment. Renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be particularly helpful when:

  • Your current wheelchair accessible vehicle requires repairs or maintenance over a period of multiple days.
  • You’re going on a road trip or long ride – a rented wheelchair accessible vehicle can make these much more comfortable. Even if you own a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you might still consider renting a vehicle in order to avoid putting the mileage and wear on your own van.
  • A loved one or family member with a disability visits. If you don’t own an accessible vehicle, renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle can facilitate transporting your friends and family.

How One Toys ‘R’ Us Trip Brought Mobility to Hundreds of Disabled Kids

These $200 alternatives to power wheelchairs are helping physically impaired kids get moving.

Cole Galloway’s workspace at the University of Delaware resembles a ransacked toy store. There are piles of plastic tubing, swim noodles, stuffed animals, and battery-powered Jeep and Barbie cars everywhere. But Galloway, 48, is a physical therapy professor and infant behavior expert whose lab has a very clear mission: to provide mobility to children with cognitive or physical disabilities.

Galloway started his infant behavior lab to study how children learn to move their bodies. He was particularly interested in finding ways to close what he calls “an exploration gap” — the difference between typically developing children and those who suffer from mobility issues due to conditions like cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. In 2007 Sunil Agrawal, a professor of mechanical engineering at the university, approached Galloway in a conversation he says went something like this: I’ve got small robots. You’ve got small babies. I wonder if we can do something together.

The two professors started building power mobility robots that let disabled children explore their surroundings with greater confidence and independence. But due to the cost and heft of the parts, their early vehicles cost tens of thousands of dollars and weighed up to 150 pounds, making them inaccessible to the families who needed them the most. Galloway’s solution to those problems came to him during a visit to Toys ‘R’ Us, where he saw he could shift his vision of “babies driving robots” to the lower tech “babies driving race cars.” It was then that Go Baby Go was born.

Unlike electric wheelchairs, which are usually reserved by kids above age three, Galloway’s cars can be used in the critical early years of development. He estimates that so far Go Baby Go has retrofitted an estimated 100 toy cars, a small dent for the more than half a million American children under the age of five who have mobility problems. To spread his mission, Galloway has traveled across the country, posted YouTube videos and spoken with dozens of parents. He hopes that others can learn from his work and build cars of their own: “If you’re not going to drop what you’re doing and come work for us, at least contact us — we’ll send you everything we have.”

Top Tips For Helping A Student With A Disability Settle Into a University

Students-400.jpg
Waving a child off to university for the first time is never easy. But if they also happen to have a disability, either physical or mental, the practical aspects of letting go become even more complicated.

Where possible, encourage your child to take the lead in establishing what your role should be. Finding ways to communicate about what they hope to achieve from their time at university, and helping them to plan the first few steps is a useful way for everyone to get used to the transition.


Identifying needs

Sit down together and have an honest conversation about how you both feel that disability affects your child’s life. What sort of support do you normally offer? What happens if nobody is there to support them? What makes it more difficult for him or her to manage their condition? What coping strategies make it easier?

Draw up a brief outline of what a regular day or week looks like, taking into account bad days as well as the best. You can use this to identify key needs and health risks – a handy reference point during university visits and open days, or when applying for disability support packages (like Disabled Students Allowance and Social Services support).

This is also a useful exercise to repeat after your child’s first term or year at university: how is it different to what you both expected? Are there any additional obstacles that you might need to address?


Choosing a university

It’s always worth visiting potential universities to get a realistic feel for how it suits your student child. An off-campus site may cause challenges for physically impaired students if they have to travel all over town for lectures, or if there are lots of cobbled streets or hills.

A lot of older buildings may not be fully wheelchair accessible. If getting lost is an issue, it’s a good idea to map out regular routes together and try them out a few times before term begins.

It’s also worth thinking about the impact of living on campus, and how different types of accommodation may impact study and socialising. Is the university near a good medical facility, for instance? Some students will want to consider how close to home they are: nothing is less cool than having your mum pay an unexpected visit when all your mates are over, but having somebody near enough to make the journey might be useful in emergencies.

Remember, all universities have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments to a course or building to cater for a recognised medical need. Speak to university representatives to find out who will be looking out for your child. All universities should have a disability support team, so get in touch to discuss the help that they can offer.


Creating a network

Working together, make a list of the people your child is able to turn to for assistance and support. This may be parents, friends, family doctors, tutors and / or university disability support teams. Encourage your child to have discussions with the people who support them about the assistance they think they might need. Is there somebody who can make a check-in phone call once a week? Would it help to plan regular reviews or a quick visit every now and then?

Make sure expectations are clear, but reasonable – it’s important that everybody’s needs are being met, including your own. If your child has organisational difficulties, they might want to stick the list on a wall, or somewhere easy to find in an emergency.

Don’t forget that when they are over the age of 18, they may be entitled to support from social services. Contact your local council for more information.


Applying for extra support

Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) can offer helpful aids you may not have thought of: from adapted desks, to funding for taxis, to note takers. Information is available here.

DSA applications take a long time to be processed, and will need to be assessed by a representative before any funding or equipment is offered. It can also take months for this equipment to actually arrive, so make a note of deadlines and submit the applications as soon as you can.

These forms can be incredibly overwhelming: help to fill them out in as much detail as possible (as always, taking into account your child’s worst health days) may make the process less frustrating.


Being heard

Universities are huge, complex administrative bodies and it is easy to get lost within the system. If nobody speaks up when a student is facing challenges, even relatively small ones, it’s likely that they will be missed.

But part of the university experience is also about learning through making mistakes. Try not to panic if it seems that your child’s needs aren’t being met. Keep up the communication to make sure that these issues do not spiral out of control.

Being available during emergencies may be necessary, but for day to day issues, it will be a huge achievement every time the student in question is able to seek out the support they need themselves.

Pushing hard enough to ensure that all needs are being met can be frustrating and difficult, but nobody responds well to force. One of the hardest challenges for everyone involved with a disability can be finding the right tone to ask for what is necessary.Helping to find ways to communicate their own needs with confidence and positivity is probably the best gift you can offer at a time like this. Keep coming back to your initial plans and reassessing the situation. Your input and relationship will probably change along the way, but this is all just part of the process, and an entirely necessary part of becoming the parent of a grown-up human being.

Helping to find ways to communicate their own needs with confidence and positivity is probably the best gift you can offer at a time like this. Keep coming back to your initial plans and reassessing the situation. Your input and relationship will probably change along the way, but this is all just part of the process, and an entirely necessary part of becoming the parent of a grown-up human being.

The Firefly Upsee

Stepping Out in the Upsee
The Firefly Upsee is a new device that helps children with disabilities walk with assistance from an adult. Though it didn’t hit the market until April 7, it was already creating a stir. Debby Elnatan was inspired to create the Upsee after watching her 5-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy, struggle with other walking devices. Now, for the first time, she can watch her little boy play soccer with his family.

A mother who invented a device to help her child walk is sharing her innovation on a grand scale — by putting her creation on the market.

Debby Elnatan said the strain of walking her son, Rotem, who has cerebral palsy, inspired her to design a harness that could enhance his mobility.

“Out of my pain and desperation came the idea for the Upsee and I’m delighted to see it come to fruition,” the Israeli mother said in a press release.

The nearly $500 device works somewhat on the principle of how parents often teach children to dance. But instead of young ones placing their feet on top of someone’s shoes, the Upsee places kids’ feet beside the grown-ups’ feet with specially designed sandals. The children stand facing forward and move as the grown-ups move.

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?

Connecticut Mobility Rebate Resources

Connecticut Disability Grants and Funds for Wheelchair Vans

Financial Aid Resources for Handicap Vans for Connecticut (CT) Residents
Welcome to your page for discovering disability grant possibilities for Connecticut residents. The organizational bodies below were carefully accumulated by The Mobility Resource as places for you to find funding or to receive assistance in finding funding for your new or used wheelchair van. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to buy or to install accessibility equipment like a wheelchair or scooter ram, lift, outwardly pivoting seats, or adaptive driving controls. Disability grants can help with the cost of any of it.

As you set out to uncover Connecticut-based financial aid resources, start with the state government agencies and other groups listed below. All can help with your dream of acquiring a handicap van for increased independence, self-determination, freedom and standard of living.

Remember, too, that there are foundations and organizations dedicated to your disability. Most are national, but maintain chapters in Connecticut. Contact these branches to learn about their disability grants and other funding sources they may know of.

Sources for Connecticut Disability Grants and Assistance:

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), State of Connecticut

Connecticut’s BRS is funded federally by the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the Rehabilitation Services Administration. Its goal is to help the state’s disabled find and maintain employment. It offers disability grants for those requiring special transportation to go into work and other support.

Department of Social Services
25 Sigourney Street, 11th Floor
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-4844 or toll free (800) 537-2549
brs.dss@ct.gov

Connect-Ability

Connect-Ability uses federal funds to improve access to employment for Connecticut’s disabled population. It works to break down the barriers that stand between the disabled and a rewarding job. This includes helping with transportation hurdles, and the group can help you get a handicapped-accessible van if you need it.

(866) 844-1903
info@connect-ability.com
Connecticut Aging and Disabilities Resource Centers (ADRCs)
ADRCs, operated jointly by the US Administration on Community Living and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, are major resources for senior citizens and persons with disabilities across the country. Offices are located all around the state.

Connecticut Association of Area Agencies on Aging (C4A)

C4A is comprised of five offices serving Connecticut’s elderly population. Direct funding tends to go to groups, not individuals, but the Agency can steer you toward appropriate funding sources for your accessible vehicle.

Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD)
The Connecticut CDD works tirelessly to provide access to education, meaningful work and community life for people with developmental disabilities. If you or a family member has a condition classified as a developmental disability, the Council may help fund your wheelchair van with a grant.
460 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106-1308
(860) 418-6160 or  (800) 653-1134

Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA)
VAs around the nation work to support our veterans. If you’re a disabled veteran living in Connecticut, this is your source for help. The VA often awards grants to meet the mobility needs of veterans injured in the line of duty. Money may also be available if you have a disability that was only aggravated during service, or if it came about during (or was exacerbated by) VA care.

287 West Street
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
(860) 616-3600

Connecticut Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)

This is Connecticut’s branch of a nationwide organization set up by law to promote the principles of equal access and independent living for Americans with disabilities. The 23-member Council is appointed by the Governor, and consists of a majority of disabled Connecticut residents. This is a good resource when looking for sources of financial aid for your wheelchair van.

Suites 132 & 134,
151 New Park Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Connecticut Tech Act Project (CTTAP)
CTTAP is dedicated to getting assistive technology to the disabled and elderly Connecticut residents who need it for full participation in school, work and community life. They teach you how to use equipment and even lend it out temporarily, and they can help you secure financial aid for the assistive technologies you could benefit from.

25 Sigourney Street, 11th Floor
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 424-4881 or (800) 537-2549

New England Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center
Persons with disabilities in Connecticut are served by The New England ADA Center, the area’s chapter of the National Network of ADA Centers. It endeavors to promote and strengthen the independence, self-determination, rights and quality of life of all state residents with a disability. This is an essential source of information and assistance while trying to locate all the disability grants for which you might qualify for acquiring a wheelchair van.
180-200 Portland Street

Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 695-1225 or (800) 949-4232

Obie Harrington-Howes Foundation (OHHF)

OHHF is a nonprofit that awards grant money to Connecticut residents who have suffered a spinal cord injury. Disability grants are given to promote mobility, independence and access to education.

P.O.Box 2221
Darien, CT 06820
(888) 265-5859

These are only some of the resources available for Connecticut disability grants and assistance.
If you work with or know of another Connecticut agency or organization that should be listed here, please let us know.
Rehabilitation Services

Office of Rehabilitation Services
The Office of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities become employed and live independently in the community. They provide a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Vocational Rehabilitation
The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.

Connecticut Disability Grants Handicap Funding CT
Buying a wheelchair van in Connecticut can be made financially easier through handicap funding, loans for the disabled, mobility finance programs, government assistance, and other accessible funding sources. Discover the largest directory of Connecticut disability grants to help cover the cost of buying a handicap van. AMS Vans is happy to deliver your handicap van to Connecticut and nationwide. Check Connecticut delivery prices for more details.

Disability Grants in Connecticut (CT)
The handicap grant foundations listed below may or may not provide funding for wheelchair vans to individuals. We have gathered this information from their respective websites as we work on building a list of disability grants and mobility resources. Please check with your local Connecticut disability funding program for complete details.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Awards hundreds of competitive grants and scholarships each year. In fact, in 2008, they distributed $8.9 million to hundreds of non-profit groups and students. Whether you’re seeking funding as an individual or on behalf of a non-profit organization, they welcome your interest in these opportunities.

How to Apply for Connecticut Disability Grants or Mobility Funding
Connecticut residents in search of handicap grants, mobility financing, disabled loans, government assistance, or other disability programs to buy a wheelchair van should contact any of the foundations listed. AMS Vans will work with one or more financial providers toward funding your wheelchair accessible van or vehicle conversion.

If you know of additional resources for Connecticut residents to find disability grants or other types of mobility funding, submit a foundation to AMS to help others who seek financing assistance.

The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.

Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

Connecticut Disability Grants Handicap Funding CT
Buying a wheelchair van in Connecticut can be made financially easier through handicap funding, loans for the disabled, mobility finance programs, government assistance, and other accessible funding sources. Discover the largest directory of Connecticut disability grants to help cover the cost of buying a handicap van. AMS Vans is happy to deliver your handicap van to Connecticut and nationwide. Check Connecticut delivery prices for more details.

Disability Grants in Connecticut (CT)
The handicap grant foundations listed below may or may not provide funding for wheelchair vans to individuals. We have gathered this information from their respective websites as we work on building a list of disability grants and mobility resources. Please check with your local Connecticut disability funding program for complete details.

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
Awards hundreds of competitive grants and scholarships each year. In fact, in 2008, they distributed $8.9 million to hundreds of non-profit groups and students. Whether you’re seeking funding as an individual or on behalf of a non-profit organization, they welcome your interest in these opportunities.

How to Apply for Connecticut Disability Grants or Mobility Funding
Connecticut residents in search of handicap grants, mobility financing, disabled loans, government assistance, or other disability programs to buy a wheelchair van should contact any of the foundations listed. AMS Vans will work with one or more financial providers toward funding your wheelchair accessible van or vehicle conversion.

If you know of additional resources for Connecticut residents to find disability grants or other types of mobility funding, submit a foundation to AMS to help others who seek financing assistance.

Maine Mobility Rebate Resources

Maine Disability Grants and Funds for Wheelchair Vans

Financial Aid Resources for Handicap Vans for Maine (ME) Residents
If you reside in Maine, there is an array of available sources for disability grants. Money may be applied to various aspects of independence and living, including toward purchasing a new or used wheelchair van. Funds can also often be applied to buying and installing vehicle modifications for handicapped accessibility, including lowered floors and equipment that facilitates entry and exiting in a wheelchair or scooter, mobility equipment lifts and hand controls for adaptive driving capabilities.
Persons with physical disabilities in Maine can contact the following nonprofits and state government agencies for help. Some provide disability grants themselves, while others will point you in the right directions for financial aid. A handicap van is well within reach once you investigate assistance options.

In addition to the resources below, contact state branches of groups dedicated to helping people with your particular disability.

Sources for Maine Disability Grants and Assistance:
Alpha One

Alpha One is a Maine Center for Independent Living. It helps state residents with a variety of mobility impairments and other special needs achieve a more self-reliant lifestyle. The organization provides grants directly and serves as an essential information resource.

South Portland Office:
127 Main Street
South Portland, ME 04106
(207) 767-2189 or (800) 640-7200
Bangor Office:
11 Bangor Mall Blvd., Unit A
Bangor, ME 04401
 (207) 941-6553

Bureau of Maine Veterans Service
This is the Maine state government’s resource for veterans of a branch of the US military. Disabled veterans are entitled to numerous benefits, often including grants toward wheelchair vans or handicap accessibility equipment and conversions.

Veterans in Maine may also find their local US Department of Veterans Affairs, based in Togus at their website.

Maine Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)
Maine’s ADRCs are scattered across the state, serving residents on a county-by-county basis. Use the link above to find your local office’s website and contact information. These Centers provide assistance and information to the elderly and people with disabilities.

Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

AAA is a national program providing aid on a state-by-state basis. Local chapters serve groupings of counties. Maine’s Agencies assist the elderly with a variety of needs, including securing vans for people who rely on scooters or wheelchairs. Use the provided website to locate your branch’s website and contact information.

Maine CITE

This agency is run by the Maine Department of Education and funded by the US Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration. They facilitate the acquisition of all types of assistive technology for state residents with disabilities.

University College
46 University Drive
Augusta, Maine 04330 USA
(207) 621-3195
iweb@mainecite.org

Maine Developmental Disabilities Council (MDDC)
Like all national DDCs, MDDC uses the Federally established definition of developmental disabilities. This group, a collection of individuals, families and agencies, is focused on promoting self-determination among state residents with developmental disabilities. Its services, assistance and information resources are many and varied.

139 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0139

(207) 287-4213 or (800) 244-3990

Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)

This sub-agency of the State of Maine’s Department of Labor, helps residents with disabilities secure employment. They can provide financial assistance and information for people with limited mobility who need a handicap van to hold down a job.

New England Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Centers

ADA Centers around the country help citizens with disabilities become more independent and fight to uphold their rights and quality of life. The New England chapter serves residents in this geographical area, including people in Maine.
180-200 Portland St., Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114

(617) 695-1225 or (800) 949-4232
ADAinfo@NewEnglandADA.org

Pine Tree Society (PTS)
PTS is a Maine-based nonprofit formed in 1936. It serves state residents with disabilities in many ways, including with the acquisition of assistive technologies.

P.O. Box 518
149 Front Street
Bath, Maine 04530
(207) 443-3341
info@pinetreesociety.org

These are only some of the resources available for Maine disability grants and assistance.
If you work with or know of another agency or organization in Maine that should be listed here, please let us know.
Rehabilitation Services

Office of Rehabilitation Services
The Office of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities become employed and live independently in the community. They provide a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Vocational Rehabilitation
The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.

Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

Maine Disability Grants Handicap Funding ME
In order to receive handicap funding in Maine, many residents use multiple sources of mobility funds available in Maine, such as disability grants, handicap loans, government assistance, and other help. Discover the largest source of Maine disability grants to help cover some or all of the money to fund handicap vans or wheelchair van conversions. AMS Vans can provide delivery of your handicap van to Maine and nationwide.

Disability Grants in Maine (ME)
Maine disability grants may or may not allocate funding for wheelchair vans. Check with the local Maine grant provider for more details.

mPower Loans
The mPower loan fund, also known as the Kim Wallace Adaptive Equipment Loan Program, is a citizen-funded loan program offering low-interest loans of $240 to $100,000 to assist in purchasing a handicap van.

Maine Cite 
The Maine Cite provides information on benefits disabled people can receive, as well as a few resources to find financing for citizens of Maine interested in buying a wheelchair accessible van.

How to Apply for Maine Grants or Mobility Funding
Maine residents seeking assistance with the purchase of mobility van conversions should contact one or more mobility funding programs listed above about disability grants offered. Once complete, AMS Vans is happy to work with one or all mobility funding sources such as grants for the disabled, church money, government funds, veterans’ programs or other financial outlets you have acquired to aid in the purchase of your wheelchair van. Please submit any other mobility funding resources for Maine residents or nationwide to AMS, so we can build the most comprehensive database of financial assistance programs for people with disabilities.

New Hampshire Mobility Rebate Resources

New Hampshire Disability Grants and Funds for Wheelchair Vans

Financial Aid Resources for Handicap Vans for New Hampshire (NH) Residents
For elderly and disabled people in New Hampshire, grants are readily available from a variety of sources to fund—in part or in its entirety—a wheelchair van. Perhaps you’re looking to purchase or lease a used or new handicap van or perhaps you’re hoping to install conversions like a wheelchair ramp, a scooter lift or adaptive driving controls to make a van more handicapped friendly.

Whatever the case may be, numerous New Hampshire agencies, organizations and foundations are standing by to provide financial aid or to help you locate sources for which you qualify. We’ve done the preliminary research for you. Peruse the resources below and contact any and all that are applicable to you.

We’d also like to remind you that disability-specific groups are a prime source for grants and other help. Find local New Hampshire chapters and inquire within.

Sources for New Hampshire Disability Grants and Assistance


Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS)
BEAS serves New Hampshire residents over the age of 60 and residents over the age of 18 who suffer from a chronic illness or disability. This is an excellent resource for information and all sorts of services and support.
129 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-9203 or (800) 351-1888

Governor’s Commission on Disability
This is an agency of the State of New Hampshire’s government. It is devoted to removing barriers from the lives of the state’s disabled population. Contact this body with your questions about securing disability grants you can put toward a wheelchair van.
57 Regional Drive, Suite 1
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2773 or (800) 852-3405

The Harry Gregg Foundation
This is a cross-disability charitable foundation providing direct financial aid to New Hampshire residents. It began in 1989, created in memory of its namesake, the founder of the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center.
1 Verney Drive
Greenfield, NH 03047
(603) 547-3311 ext. 1490 or (800) 394-3311 ext. 1490
hgf@crotchedmountain.org

Institute on Disability (IOD)
IOD works to improve access to assistive technologies for disabled people living in New Hampshire. This is a good source of information about acquiring and using such technology in the state. It is affiliated with the University of New Hampshire.
Assistive Technology
Institute on Disability
10 West Edge Drive
Suite 101
Durham, NH 03824
(855) 374-9969

New England Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center
The New England ADA Center serves persons with disabilities in New Hampshire. It works to preserve and increase the rights, independence, self-determination and quality of life of the state’s disabled population. Use this key resource to locate an array of disability grants to apply toward a wheelchair van.
180-200 Portland Street
Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 695-1225 or (800) 949-4232
ADAinfo@NewEnglandADA.org

New Hampshire Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)
For the elderly and disabled living in New Hampshire, the state’s ADRCs are available to provide information and assistance. Talk to a representative to learn about funding options for your handicapped-accessible vehicle. You can find your local office using the link above.

The New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities (NHCDD)
NHCDD offers disability grants to individuals and organizations, along with many other types of assistance. State residents with a condition meeting the Federal guidelines for a developmental disability are eligible for help from the Council.
21 Fruit Street, Suite #22
Concord, NH 03301-2451
(603) 271-3236

New Hampshire State Offices of Veterans Services
U.S. veterans who become disabled in the course of active duty or Veterans Affairs-sanctioned services, or whose disabilities are thus made worse, qualify for all manner of support and disability grants. New Hampshire veterans can often receive the full cost of a wheelchair van in financial aid.
275 Chestnut Street
Room 517
Manchester, NH 03101-2411
(603) 624-9230 or (800) 622-9230

New Hampshire Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)
This is New Hampshire’s chapter of the country’s SILCs. It is dedicated to helping the disabled lead more independent lives. It furthers this goal by providing reliable information, services and aid to state residents with disabilities.
Paula Ninivaggi
Statewide Independent Living Council
c/o Governor’s Commission on Disability
57 Regional Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-0476 or (800) 852-3405 ext. 0476
info@silcnh.org

New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)
Check in with the New Hampshire VR agency, which operates under the auspices of the state’s Department of Education. It assists disabled state residents in securing employment. If a handicap van is necessary for you to find or to get to work, financial aid is available.
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301-3860
(603) 271-3494
Lori.Temple@doe.nh.gov

These are only some of the resources available for New Hampshire disability grants and assistance.
If you work with or know of another New Hampshire agency or organization that should be listed here, please pass along any pertinent information to: Jim Sanders, Director of Interactive Marketing, Jims@abilityvan.info

Rehabilitation Services

Office of Rehabilitation Services
The Office of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities become employed and live independently in the community. They provide a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Vocational Rehabilitation
The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.

Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

Funding wheelchair vans through New Hampshire disability grants can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expense for new and used handicap van or a van conversion to be wheelchair accessible. We’ve gathered several resources for disability grants to aid you in your quest to buy a handicap van or convert a van to be wheelchair accessible. Once you’ve secured the handicap funding for your wheelchair van, AMS Vans is happy to deliver your handicap van to New Hampshire or nationwide.

Disability Grants in New Hampshire (NH)
The organizations listed below may or may not provide mobility funding for wheelchair van loans. For more details, check with the foundation and local New Hampshire grants providers.

AT in NH
Assistive Technology in New Hampshire is a program that provides access to assistive technology solutions through equipment re-use, explorations, loans and low-cost funding alternatives.

How to Apply for New Hampshire Grants or Mobility Funding
New Hampshire residents are welcome to submit all disability grants, handicap loans, government programs, fundraisers, or other mobility funds. We accepts all funding assistance programs to ensure your handicap needs are met. Help build the most complete list of grant information for the disabled by submitting any disability grants or mobility programs specific to the area of New Hampshire or nationwide.

Vermont Mobility Rebate Resources

Vermont Disability Grants and Funds for Wheelchair Vans

Financial Aid Resources for Handicap Vans for Vermont (VT) Residents
If you’re a resident of Vermont wondering how you’re going to afford a wheelchair van, you’ve come to the right page. We’ve gathered lots of information on resources for disability grants in your state. Whether you aspire to own a handicap van or to outfit one with accessibility conversions including: scooter or wheelchair lifts to turning automotive seating systems  to adaptive driving controls and everything in between, we’ve got you covered.

Below is a compilation of the primary Vermont-based sources of disability grants and other aid for individuals. A few of the resources don’t provide grants to individuals themselves, but they will prove enormously useful in locating financial aid options for a handicap van you might not uncover yourself during research.

In addition, contact Vermont-based branches of disability specific foundations and other groups that work with people who have a disability. They often offer grants themselves or they can help you locate some to apply for.

Sources for Vermont Disability Grants and Assistance:

Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL)
DAIL is an important contact in the Vermont state government for elderly and disabled residents. They provide information, services and other assistance. Get in touch for help locating available disability grants for which you may qualify.

103 South Main Street
Weeks Building
Waterbury, VT 05671-1601
(802) 871-3350

New England Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Center
Vermont residents looking for disability grants to apply toward a wheelchair van should definitely contact their branch of the National Network of ADA Centers, the New England ADA Center. It strives to preserve and further the independence, self-determination, rights and quality of life of the state’s disabled population.

180-200 Portland Street
Suite 1
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 695-1225 or (800) 949-4232
ADAinfo@NewEnglandADA.org

Office of Veterans Affairs (VA), State of Vermont
Vermont’s VA is your go-to place if you’re an in-state disabled US veteran. Along with the many other types of support, services and aid offered through the VA, disability grants are available to be applied to a wheelchair van or handicapped accessibility modifications. Grants are regularly awarded to veterans who become disabled in the line of duty or as a result of VA medical services.

118 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05620-4401
(802) 828-3379 or (888) 666-9844

Vermont Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC)
ADRCs are joint efforts of the US Administration on Community Living and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Each state has its own division, with multiple offices serving different counties. Elderly and disabled Vermont residents will find this to be an exceptionally useful resource when trying to acquire a wheelchair van. Follow the link to find your county office’s contact information.

Vermont Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
If you’re a senior citizen living in Vermont, this is a key resource for you. Through a variety of services and support, your state’s AAA helps you remain as independent and comfortable as possible during your later years.

30 Washington St.
Barre, VT 05641
(802) 479-0531 or (800) 642-5119
info@cvaa.org

Vermont Assistive Technology Program (ATP)
Vermont’s ATP provides support to disabled state residents who require assistive technology, including handicapped-friendly transportation. They offer training, information, technical assistance and more. They also loan out some assistive technology for short-term trials. Ask about where you can get disability grants to apply toward your wheelchair van.

Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC)
The National Association of DDCs operates state-based branches in most states. This Council is available to all Vermont residents who meet the definition of a person with a developmental disability as spelled out by federal law. They work tirelessly to protect and promote a high quality of life for people with these afflictions. This includes offering individual grants to help maintain mobility and other aspects of independence.

103 South Main Street
One North, Suite 117
Waterbury VT 05671-0206
(802) 828-1310 or (888) 317-2006
vtddc@state.vt.us

Vermont Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
Vermont’s DVR is dedicated to keeping the state’s disabled residents gainfully employed. Through a variety of hands-on approaches, the agency helps ensure you can find and keep a job. If this requires getting a handicap van, disability grants may be available to you. Search for an office location by city at the DVR website or reach the main office at:

103 South Main Steet, Weeks 1A
Waterbury, VT 05671-2303
(866) 879-6757

Vermont Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC)
Like its counterparts in all other states, the Vermont SILC is a legally mandated, nonprofit, non-governmental organization controlled by consumers. It is run by a council of 21 disabled members. It endeavors to promote the independence, self-determination and equality of persons with disabilities.

P.O. Box 56
Winooski, VT 05404
(802) 233-4908

Rehabilitation Services

Office of Rehabilitation Services
The Office of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities become employed and live independently in the community. They provide a variety of programs and services to empower individuals with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Vocational Rehabilitation
The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.

Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.

Disability Determination Services
The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

Links

Vermont Disability Grants Handicap Funding VT
Get handicap funding such as grants, disabled loans, mobility finance options, government programs, and other funds for accessible transportation. Find the largest source of grants for the disabled to cover some or all the costs associated with funding new or used handicap vans or wheelchair van conversions. Once you’ve secured the funding for your wheelchair van, AMS Vans is happy to deliver your handicap van to Vermont or nationwide.

Disability Grants in Vermont (VT)
Vermont disability grant programs may or may not provide funding for a handicap van. Check with the local Vermont grant provider for a complete list of requirements.

Opportunities Credit Union
The Opportunities Credit Union provides affordable financing and terms for disabled people living in Vermont to purchase a wheelchair van.

How to Apply for Vermont Grants or Mobility Funding
Vermont residents in search of handicap grants, mobility financing, disabled loans, government assistance, or other disability programs to buy a wheelchair van should contact the foundations listed. We will work with all approved grants and funding resources you’ve received to get you your handicap van or accessible conversion as soon as possible. If we missed a grant program you’re familiar with, please let us know so we can add it to our list of mobility funding sources in Vermont.

Massachusetts Mobility Van Resources

Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)

Description:
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is the state advocacy agency for people with disabilities. MOD’s goal is to make sure that people with disabilities have the legal rights, opportunities, support services, and accommodations they need to take part in all aspects of life in Massachusetts. MOD helps people of all ages.

One of MOD’s main duties is to make sure that the state government, the local governments, and private organizations comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. MOD informs residents about their rights under the law, investigates complaints, and works to correct any violations. MOD services are free.

Services: The Massachusetts Office of Disability has three main programs:

  • The Government Services Program provides technical assistance and advice to state and local governments on all disability-related issues. MOD makes sure that government regulations and policies meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. MOD offers guidance to public service agencies and makes public policy recommendations on behalf of residents with disabilities.
  • The Client Services Program helps individuals who need help with disability-related problems. MOD operates an information and referral system to help residents find the services they need and learn about their legal rights. MOD also investigates complaints and helps correct civil rights violations. MOD’s Client Assistance Program (CAP) helps residents who are having problems with federally funded vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs.
  • The Community Services Program helps communities become more responsive to the needs of residents with disabilities. MOD trains individuals and community organizations to advocate for the rights of the disabled. MOD offers technical assistance and information about accessibility laws. The goal is to improve access to public and private places, programs, and services for people with all types of disabilities.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108

Telephone: 617-727-7440
Toll-free: Voice/TTY: 800-322-2020
Fax: 617-727-0965

Web site: Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

Description:
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) helps people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The MRC serves Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The MRC helps people with all types of disabilities except blindness. Legally blind residents can get services from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

Services:
The MRC is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Community Services (CS), and Disability Determination Services (DDS). The MRC also assists with public benefit programs, housing, transportation, and consumer issues. Some MRC programs and services have specific eligibility requirements. Most are free.

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program helps people with disabilities find work or go back to work. The VR program works with various organizations in the community to help create jobs for Massachusetts residents with disabilities.

The Office of Community Services (CS) offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities live independently in their communities:

  1. The Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services (BISSCS) program helps Massachusetts residents who have externally caused traumatic brain injuries.
  2. Protective Services tries to prevent the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of people with disabilities by their caregivers.
  3. Independent Living Centers provide advocacy, personal care management, and independent living skills training.
  4. The T22 (Turning 22) Independent Living Support Program helps young people with physical mobility disabilities who want to live independently in their communities.
  5. The Home Care Assistance Program for disabled adults under age 60 provides help with homemaking tasks (see Home Care Assistance Program).
  6. Other in-home and community living support services are also available.
  7. The Assistive Technology (AT) Program buys and installs assistive devices and provides training and follow-up for users.
  • Disability Determination Services (DDS), funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), determines medical eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Disability examiners use medical and vocational information to make their decisions.

MassMATCH

Web site: MassMATCH

MassMATCH is a statewide program to help Massachusetts residents with disabilities find, pay for, and use assistive technology (AT) that can make a difference in their lives. The MassMatch web site offers information and advice about:

  • assistive technology (AT) products
  • AT demonstration centers
  • AT funding sources (insurance, loans, government assistance, private charities)
  • where to buy, borrow, swap, and sell AT equipment

MassMATCH (Maximize Assistive Technology in Consumers’ Hands) is a partnership between the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, other state human services agencies, and community-based organizations.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Fort Point Place, Suite 600
27 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210-1616

Telephone: Voice/TTY: 617-204-3600
Toll-free: Voice/TTY: 1-800-245-6543
Disabled Persons Protection Hotline: 1-800-426-9009
Ombudsman: 617-204-3603
Fax: 617-727-1354

Web site: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)

Description:
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) provides rehabilitation and social services to legally blind Massachusetts residents of all ages. These services help people who are legally blind live independently as active members of their communities. The MCB contacts all legally blind people in the state to offer support services.

Eye care providers in Massachusetts are required by law to report all cases of legal blindness to the MCB. The MCB keeps a confidential registry of all legally blind people in the state. The Commission issues Certificates of Legal Blindness to people on its register. These certificates allow legally blind residents to get exemptions and deductions on income tax, property tax, and auto excise tax. The Commission also issues an identification card, similar to a driver’s license, for personal identification and proof of legal blindness.

Services: The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind provides the following services:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), including diagnostic studies, counseling and guidance, individual plans for employment (IPE), restorative and training services, rehabilitation and mobility instruction, assistive technology, adaptive housing, job placement, and post-employment services
  • Assistive technology
  • Independent living social services, including homemaking assistance, assistive devices, mobility instruction, and peer support groups
  • Specialized services for blind seniors (BRIDGE program)
  • Specialized services for blind children, including referrals for early intervention, public benefits, respite care, and socialization and recreation programs
  • Specialized services for blind/deaf individuals and others with multiple disabilities
  • Rehabilitation instruction, including Braille and typing, use of low-vision devices, labeling and record keeping, food preparation, home safety, and self-care techniques
  • Orientation and mobility instruction, including guide dogs
  • MassHealth services for financially eligible people who are legally blind, including long-term care services, hospital services, personal care attendants, private duty nursing, and transportation services
  • Consumer assistance and advocacy for issues related to blindness such as housing and job discrimination, guide dog issues, or transportation problems

Most services are offered free of charge to all registered legally blind Massachusetts residents. Some services have additional eligibility requirements.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
48 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02111

Toll-free Voice: 800-392-6450
Toll-free TDD: 800-392-6556
Fax: 617-626-7685

Web site: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)

Description:
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is the state government agency that works on behalf of Massachusetts residents who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The MCDHH serves as an advocate to make sure that deaf and hard-of-hearing residents have the same access to information, services, education, and other opportunities as the hearing population.

Services: Some of the services that the MCDHH provides are:

  • Communication access, training, and technology services
  • Case management services, including specialized services for children
  • Interpreter and CART translation services
Note: CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) service translates spoken words into a visual print display that can be read on a computer monitor or other display device.
  • Independent Living Programs, including peer mentoring, assistive technology, consumer education, self-advocacy, and other independent living skills

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
600 Washington Street 
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone: 617-740-1600 / TTY: 617-740-1700
Toll-free: Voice: 1-800-882-1155 / TTY: 1-800-530-7570
Fax: 617-740-1880
Web site: Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)

The Savvy Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Loss
 MCDHH Resource Directory
Regional Offices of the MCDHH
Interpreter and CART Services
Independent Living Services

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)

Description:
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health is the state agency that oversees treatment programs, support services, regulations, and public policy for Massachusetts residents with mental illness. The DMH supports a community-based system of care.

The Department of Mental Health serves adults with long-term or serious mental illness, and children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. For adults, the mental disorder must be persistent and must interfere with the ability to carry out daily life activities. For children, the disorder must limit the child’s ability to function in family, school, or community activities.

Residents must file an application and get DMH approval before they can get services. Applications are available on the DMH web site at DMH Service Application Forms and Appeal Guidelines. Applicants can get short-term services while waiting for DMH approval for continuing care.

Services:
The DMH provides continuing care services to Massachusetts residents who cannot get needed services from other agencies or programs. DMH services include:

  • continuing care inpatient facilities
  • residential treatment centers
  • in-home treatment
  • outpatient services
  • skills training
  • supported employment
  • case management

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Central Office
25 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114

Telephone: 617-626-8000
TTY: 617-727-9842
E-mail: DMH Email
Web site: Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
DMH Local Offices: DMH Offices

Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

Description:
The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is the state agency that provides support services to Massachusetts residents with intellectual disabilities. The DDS works with many provider agencies throughout the state to offer services to adults and children and their caregivers. Individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families play an active role in making decisions about their lives and in choosing the support services they want and need.

The DDS has an application for services that must be completed before services can be approved. The application is available on the DDS web site: Application for DDS Eligibility

Services: The DDS offers a wide range of support services for adults, including:

  • Service coordination
  • Housing options
  • Employment skills training and transportation to work
  • Non-work related skills training
  • Family support services, including respite care
  • Life skills training and support (food shopping, cooking, etc.)

DDS’s services for children include:

  • Service coordination
  • Family support services, including respite care
  • Partnership program for families of children with significant health care needs
  • Autism support centers
  • After-school and summer camp programs

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
Central Office
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118

Telephone: Voice: 617-727-5608
TTY: 617-624-7783
Fax: 617-624-7577

Web site: Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

Local DDS offices: DDS Area Office Locator

Disability Law Center (DLC)

Description:
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is a private non-profit law firm that gives free legal assistance to Massachusetts residents with disabilities who have been discriminated against because of their disability.

The Disability Law Center helps people with all types of disabilities, including physical, psychiatric, sensory, and cognitive. The DLC provides legal help with problems such as discrimination, abuse or neglect, or denial of services, when they are related to a person’s disability.

Services:
Services include information and referral, technical assistance, legal representation for individuals and groups, and advocacy. The Disability Law Center helps with disability-related legal problems in these areas:

  • Access to community services
  • Special education
  • Health care
  • Disability benefits
  • Rights and conditions in facilities

The DLC does not have the resources to help everyone who has a disability-related legal problem. The DLC sets priorities each year based on the needs of the community. See DLC Priorities. The DLC chooses cases that will have the most impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Contact Information:
Disability Law Center (DLC)
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, MA 02108

Voice telephone: 617-723-8455 / 800-872-9992
TTY: 617-227-9464 / 800-381-0577

Web site: Disability Law Center

DisabilityInfo.org

Description:
The DisabilityInfo.org web site helps people with disabilities, their families, and service providers find disability-related resources in Massachusetts. It has information on a wide variety of programs, agencies, and services for Massachusetts residents with disabilities.

The site is maintained by New England INDEX, a nonprofit technology group. New England INDEX collects information from over 100 members of the Massachusetts Network of Information Providers for People with Disabilities (MNIP) and puts the information on one web site for easy access.

Services:
On the DisabilityInfo.org web site, you can find:

  • disability programs, services, and agencies in Massachusetts
  • disability consultants, including advocates, educators, therapists, counselors, and other specialists
  • physicians and dentists with experience working with people with disabilities
  • local and regional offices for human service agencies
  • local disability agencies that you can call for help
  • fact sheets about many different types of disabilities
  • disability-related laws and regulations
  • disability news
  • information about assistive technology
  • other resources for people with disabilities

Contact Information:
Web site: DisabilityInfo.org

New England INDEX
200 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6319

Telephone: 781-642-0248
Toll-free: Voice: 800-642-0249
Toll-free: TTY: 800-764-0200

E-mail: info@DisabilityInfo.org

Dodge/ Chrysler’s Mobility Rebate

Chrysler’s Automobility Program

Overview
Designed to help customers with permanent disabilities enter, exit and/or operate a new vehicle, Chrysler’s Automobility Program can help you do the things you love to do in life. And, we’ll help you hit the road in the style that suits you best. Our goal is to assist in lessening the burden of the financial cost of modifying your vehicle.

How the Program Works
When you buy or lease any new 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram or FIAT® vehicle from a participating dealership or FIAT studio, Chrysler will give you a cash reimbursement to help reduce the cost of installing the adaptive driver or passenger equipment on your vehicle. Leased vehicles must be leased for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible.

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.

Please consult a dealership or call Automobility Program Headquarters for eligibility requirements and program expiration dates.

A program application must be used to submit a claim for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the Chrysler Automobility Program. Through this program, Chrysler will provide a reimbursement to each eligible customer who installs qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a purchased or leased new Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicle (unless discontinued or excluded earlier at the discretion of Chrysler Group LLC).

A medical doctor’s prescription or note may also be required for certain types of modifications. Consult a dealership for more information on which modifications require notes.

Reimbursement
Conversions to Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicles qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $1,000. Running boards qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $400. Alerting devices qualify for a maximum reimbursement of $200. These reimbursements will not be reduced or affected by any additional outside funding. Consult your dealer for complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Vehicles
Vehicles eligible for reimbursement include 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Chrysler, Jeep®, Dodge, Ram and FIAT vehicles. Dodge Viper, Dodge Dart SE and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT® models are ineligible.

Financing
If you require assistance with financing an adapted vehicle purchase / lease, we can help you finance the cost of your new vehicle, as well as any modifications you make to it. Conventional financing is available through Ally Financial to all qualified new vehicle buyers.

Click HERE for the Application

Honda Mobility Rebate Information

Honda’s Mobility Assistance Program
The Honda Customer Mobility Assistance Program is proud to support the mobility needs of drivers and passengers with physical disabilities. Honda will provide a reimbursement of up to $1,000 to each eligible, original retail customer for expenses incurred to purchase and install qualifying adaptive equipment on any eligible purchased or leased Honda vehicle.

Adapting Your Vehicle
Honda suggests that you request a copy of the Department of Transportation brochure “Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with Disabilities.”  

The process includes these steps:

  • Determine your state’s driver’s license requirements.
  • Evaluate your needs – Contact the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) for further information.
  • Select the right vehicle – Consult with your evaluator, an adaptive installer and your local Honda dealer to determine the best Honda model to meet your needs.
  • Choose a qualified mobility equipment installer – Shop around and ask about qualifications, capabilities, experience, warranty coverage and service. Confirm that they are members of NMEDA.
  • 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.

Program Requirements
General

  • Only the original vehicle owner is eligible for reimbursement.
  • Modifications must be completed for the original owner or his/her immediate family.
  • Only new Honda vehicles retailed or leased in the United States from an authorized Honda dealership.
  • Only one reimbursement request per vehicle.
  • Lease-vehicle modifications may be subject to written lessor approval. The customer is responsible for determining and satisfying lease-contract requirements.
  • Honda will consider reimbursement for modifications made to vehicle after February 1, 2004.
  • The written reimbursement request must be received within 6 months of the adaptive equipment installation.

Adaptations, Modifications or Equipment Installation

  • Qualifying adaptive equipment or conversion is defined as: alterations or adaptive-equipment installation that provides to the disabled user convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle.
  • Adaptive equipment installation must have taken place within the time and mileage limits of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
  • Alterations or adaptive equipment installation requires a prescription or medical documentation to be considered for reimbursement.
  • Reimbursement requests (invoices) will be compared against the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Web site to verify that the alterer or repair business (individual, partnership or corporation) is registered with NHTSA and that the modification(s) are on the list of NHTSA exemptions.
  • If all conditions are met, Honda will provide up to a $1,000 cash reimbursement. Honda will be the secondary coverage in the case of two or more reimbursement sources.

Exceptions

  • Wheelchair or scooter hoists or ramps do not require a prescription, medical documentation or NHTSA exemption verification and NHTSA business registration for reimbursement consideration.
  • 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.
  • *A reimbursement made by another source, such as medical insurance, will be subtracted from the customer’s original total expense. (Example: Total expense $5,000, Insurance reimbursement $4,000, Customer expense, $1,000. The customer expense of $1,000 will be reviewed and considered for a maximum of $1,000 reimbursement.)

Important Customer Information

  • The selection of an equipment manufacturer and installer is solely the customer’s responsibility (Honda does not endorse any company or supplier involved in adaptive equipment. Mobility warranty, installation warranty and related liabilities are not the responsibility of Honda).
  • The reimbursement application form must be completed in its entirety and signed by the customer. It should be mailed along with a copy of all required supporting documentation. (See checklist on application).

Click HERE For the Honda Mobility Assistance Brochure

Toyota Mobility Rebate Information

Toyota Mobility Assistance Program
This 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.

  • Under this program, the cash reimbursement will be provided for the exact cost you paid to purchase and install qualifying adaptive driving or passenger equipment for transporting persons with physical disabilities
  • This offer applies to all purchased or leased new Toyota vehicles

The program also applies to purchasers of the Toyota Factory Installed Auto Access Seat, where the full $1,000 cash reimbursement will be paid directly to you.
Expect to receive payment within 6-8 weeks after all the paperwork is submitted. Incomplete paperwork will delay the payment.

Leased vehicles require advance written lessor approval of adaptive equipment installations.

Only vehicles sold or leased and delivered to a retail customer by an authorized Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. dealer are eligible under this program.

The adaptive equipment must be installed within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease.

A Reimbursement Application Form must be submitted to the Toyota Mobility Assistance Center within 90 days of complete installation of adaptive equipment

Qualifying adaptive equipment or conversion is defined as any aftermarket alteration or equipment installation on an eligible Toyota vehicle that provides to the disabled user convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle.

Audi Mobility Rebate Information

2013 Audi Mobility Rebate Program
Will Offer $1,500 in assistance for approved adaptive equipment.

Audi is pleased to announce that they are continuing the 2013 Mobility Assistance program for handicap hand controls that are installed on any qualifying Audi model. They will also consider other types of handicap assists (such as hydraulic lifts for scooters, etc.) on a case-by-case basis. All exception requests should be made directly to mobilityassistance@audi.com.

Audi will offer $1,500 in assistance for hand controls (or other approved handicap assistance devices) to anyone who purchases or leases a new Audi or CPO Audi vehicle (Dealer demonstrator vehicles are also included). The client should contact an adaptive equipment retailer of their choice for information concerning the purchase and installation of such equipment.

Required documentation
To qualify for payment, the client must submit the following documentation:

  • Name, address, home and secondary phone numbers.
  • A photocopy of a signed Purchase (Bill of Sale) or Lease Agreement for a new Audi or Audi CPO vehicle.
  • A photocopy of a paid invoice for hand control installation (or other approved assistance devices) on the Audi model purchased or leased.

All payments will be made directly to the Audi owner approximately four weeks after submission to Audi. Documentation should be submitted, faxed or emailed to:
Audi of America, Inc.

ATTN: Audi Mobility Assistance Program
3800 Hamlin Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326

Phone: +1-800-822-AUDI (2834)
Fax: +1-248-754-6513
Email: mobilityassistance@audi.com

Fiat Mobility Rebate Information

Fiat 500 equipped with hand control devices for individuals with physical disabilities save $200

Save $200 on the installation of any new hand controls in your new or used Fiat for the month of July in 2013

Do you have a Fiat 500 and are in need of it being equipped with a set of hand controls or other mobility devices for individuals with physical disabilities.

We offer a lifetime guaranty on our installation. If you ever feel there is something wrong with your hand controls (even if we didn’t install them) please come in to our Bridgewater, MA Mobility Center for a free inspection by a certified mobility craftsman.

If you looking to have mobility equipment expertly installed by master craftsman call 508-697-6006 Automotive Innovations Bridgewater, MA

We will alter your automobile to suit your mobility needs, help you find the perfect hand controls or mobility equipment for your vehicle and install it expertly for you.

Mercedes-Benz Mobility Rebate Information

If you have special transportation needs and require mobility equipment installed in your new Mercedes-Benz you could be eligible for the Mobility Program.

If you are eligible for this program, MBUSA will defray part of the cost for adaptive equipment installed by an NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) certified mobility installer on a purchased or leased new Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Click and download the PDF below for the program application and to learn more about program details, eligibility and available reimbursement amounts.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES
Through this program, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC will provide a reimbursement to eligible customers who install qualifying adaptive driver or passenger equipment on a purchased or leased new Mercedes-Benz vehicle during the program period which may be discontinued by MBUSA at it’s discretion.

  • This program applies to vehicles sold or leased and delivered through an authorized U.S. MB dealer on which adaptive equipment has been installed by an NMEDA certified mobility installer.
  • The adaptive equipment must be installed within six months of new vehicle purchase or lease. An application form with all required supporting documentation must be submitted to the Customer Assistance Center within 60 days of complete installation of adaptive equipment. Note that all adaptations must have medical documentation.
  • Adaptive equipment is defined as equipment that is required by persons with a permanent disability to drive, enter, exit and/or be transported safely in a Mercedes-Benz motor vehicle. Factory-optional equipment is not reimbursable under this program. A prescription or note from a licensed medical doctor on physician’s letterhead with a specific diagnosis is required for reimbursement.
  • Conversions to M-Class, G-Class, GL-Class, GLK-Class and R-Class models may be reimbursed up to a maximum of $1,000. Conversions to all other eligible Mercedes-Benz models qualify for reimbursement up to a maximum of $750. Side steps or running boards qualify for reimbursement up to $400 out of the maximum reimbursement available.
  • The application form must be completed in its entirety along with all required documentation and signed by the customer and dealership.
  • Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC will be the final judge as to the eligibility, interpretation and fulfillment of all elements of this program. Any payment or benefits received are subject to the Program Guidelines. Payments made by Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC hereafter constitute good will reimbursements to assist new Mercedes-Benz purchasers with the installation of special need mobility equipment and such payment does not represent any approval of the equipment or installation method or otherwise constitute a representation or warranty regarding the fitness, quality, appropriateness, effectiveness or suitability for use with Mercedes-Benz products or any other warranty of any type with respect to the equipment or its installation.
  • A copy of the application form, a copy of the adaptive equipment company’s itemized paid invoice, vehicle registration and a prescription or note from a licensed medical doctor on physician’s letterhead stating the specific diagnosis (when required) must be mailed to the following address:

CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER
3 MERCEDES DR.
MONTVALE, NJ 07645

Customer is responsible for submitting this application. Payment to the individual customer will be mailed within six weeks after receipt of an approved claim form and all required documentation.

Please call Customer Assistance Center with Any Questions:
1-800-FOR-MERCedes

Click HERE for the application form along with the guidelines

Kia Mobility Rebate Information

Military Offers

Special Offers for members of the United States Armed Forces that are active, reservists, retirees, have received and honorable discharge or military members that are on disability from the United States Armed Forces, including spouses.

For More Information:

  • Click this link: Military Offers
  • Enter your zip code
  • Click on the offers to see details

Jaguar Mobility Rebate Information

Jaguar Mobility Program
The Jaguar Mobility Headquarters can assist in locating assessment centers, equipment dealers and installers, and potential resources for financial assistance.

For further information on the Jaguar Mobility Program call 1-800-207-5517 or TTY 1-800-833-0312 .

Nissan Mobility Rebate Information

MOBILIZE AND GET
REIMBURSED UP TO $1000

The Nissan Mobility Assist Program is committed to making every Nissan vehicle accessible. To help make this happen, we’re offering up to a $1,000 reimbursement on your purchase and installation of qualified adaptive equipment. It’s a simple process that you can manage directly through the Nissan Mobility website.

Mobility Information
Please contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for additional information on equipment and registered installers

Overview
Purchase or lease a new Nissan through a participating Nissan dealer  Within 6 months, have qualifying adaptive equipment installed by a NHTSA-registered  installer

Complete “Nissan Mobility Form” online and submit all applicable documentation through fax or email within 90 days of installation.

Documentation includes: vehicle sale or purchase agreement, copy of invoice from NHTSA-registered installer, proof of customer payment (receipt) for equipment/installation, medical documentation as described in the program rules, lessor written letter of approval (if applicable), medical insurance statement (if applicable)  Receive reimbursement of up to $1,000 from Nissan

Program Rules
Retailed vehicles only; vehicle must be purchased or leased from a participating Nissan dealer after 4/2/2013  Used sales and Fleet sales are not eligible under this program Nissan Mobility Assist reimbursement cannot be applied toward the purchase or lease of the vehicle

Only one reimbursement per vehicle may be made  All leased vehicle modifications should be approved by lessor For existing leases through Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC), the following types of adaptive equipment have been pre-approved: Hand Controls, Wheelchair/Scooter Lift, Left Foot Accelerator, Turning Automotive Seating Adaptive equipment must be installed after vehicle has been retailed and within 6 months of purchase or lease from an authorized Nissan dealer.

Requests for reimbursement must be made within 90 days after the equipment is installed Adaptive equipment must be medically necessary in order to operate the Nissan vehicle or transport passengers with a documented physical disability To receive reimbursement for vehicle modifications, medical documentation must be submitted to Nissan clearly stating the disability or impairment for which the equipment is intended.

The documentation must be prepared on official letterhead of and signed by a licensed, certified medical professional Installer must be registered with NHTSA and customer must provide Nissan with a receipt from the installer Nissan Accessories are not eligible for reimbursement     Exceptions
Nissan will not provide reimbursement for the purchase and/or installation of equipment that has already been fully claimed and fulfilled by medical insurance  A reimbursement made by another source, such as medical insurance, will be subtracted from the customer’s original total expense. (Example: Total expense $5,000, Insurance  reimbursement $4,000, Customer expense, $1,000. The customer expense of $1,000 will  be reviewed and considered for a maximum of $1,000 reimbursement.)

Warranty Information
Adaptations are not warranted by Nissan, please consult with your installer and/or equipment provider for warranty information  Contact Information  The vehicle modifications must fall within those permitted under the NHTSA exemption as set out in 49 CFR §595.7  Expect to receive reimbursement within 6-10 weeks after all required paperwork has been received by Nissan
Any damage to the vehicle due to adaptive equipment or its installation may void or not be covered under the Nissan New Vehicle Limited Warranty Nissan assumes no responsibility for death, injuries, or damage related to the installation of adaptive equipment

Requests for assistance may be submitted via email Applicable claim documentation may be submitted via fax at 888-912-2409

Ford Mobility Rebate Information

Program Details
The Ford Mobility Motoring adaptive equipment reimbursement of up to $1,000, or up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support or running boards, is available on any new Ford or Lincoln vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period. Maximum reimbursement per vehicle is $1,000. Your Ford or Lincoln dealer has complete program details.

For example: If the cost of adding adaptive equipment is less than $1,000, your cash reimbursement will be for the exact amount of the adaptive equipment. Your Ford or Lincoln dealer has complete program details.

New Program Guidelines

Major structural vehicle modifications to accommodate the installation of wheelchair lift or ramp MUST be completed by a Ford Authorized Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) to be eligible for reimbursement. This change will be effective for any units modified after March 31,2011.

Raised roof and lowered floor conversions alone do not meet the eligibility requirements. 

Documentation must show that mobility adaptive equipment (such as a wheelchair lift, ramp or adaptive controls) was installed on the vehicle.

Adaptive equipment is defined as devices that make it easier for persons with permanent physical disabilities to drive or be transported in a vehicle. For more information about adaptive equipment please click on the “Adaptive Equipment Eligibility” page in the navigation bar.

Eligible Vehicles

All new model Ford or Lincoln Cars, Vans, CUVs ,SUVs and Trucks sold or leased during the program period. Eligible vehicles must have installation of the qualifying adaptive equipment within one year of reported purchase/lease date to the ultimate consumer.

New vehicles acquired from a U.S. Ford Authorized Pool Converter are eligible for the program.

Used units, including those previously in rental service, lease service or repurchased vehicles by Ford Motor Company that are available for resale, are not eligible.

Eligible Customers
Customer must be the end-user of the vehicle that requires installation of qualifying adaptive driving or assistance equipment, or passenger aid equipment. The end-user may also be defined as an organization, church, assisted living facility, nursing home, municipality, city, state or federal government.

Claims may be made for adaptive equipment required by a family member of the owner/lessee of an eligible vehicle, providing the equipment be permanently fitted to the vehicle.

*Includes all new Ford and Lincoln vehicles when purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period.

Modification Eligibility
To be eligible for the Ford Mobility Motoring reimbursement, any/all structural modifications must in their entirety make the vehicle viably useful for the individual(s) for whom the modification is being made. Claims for modifications that may, in part, be commonly recognized as consistent with mobility modifications, but by themselves do not create a completed vehicle for use by the intended individual(s) are not eligible.

Major structural vehicle modifications to accommodate the installation of wheelchair lift or ramp MUST be completed by a Ford Authorized Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) to be eligible for reimbursement. This change is in effect for any units modified after March 31, 2011.

Examples of major structural vehicle modifications include, but are not limited to, raised roofs or door openings and lowered floors. Non-structural vehicle adaptations (adaptive equipment) such as bolt on items or driving aids do not require the work to be completed by a Ford Quality Vehicle Modifier.

Raised roof and lowered floor conversions alone do not meet the eligibility requirements. Documentation must show that mobility adaptive equipment (such as a wheelchair lift, ramp or adaptive controls) was installed on the vehicle.

Adaptive Equipment Eligibility
Finding the Right Mobility Dealer
Choosing a company to provide your adaptive equipment is an important decision. Be sure to ask about credentials, experience, warranty coverage and service after the sale.

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association
NMEDA is a non-profit organization composed of dealers, automotive manufacturers, rehabilitation professionals and mobility equipment providers that encourages professionalism and works to establish national guidelines and standards for the mobility best practices. To view a list of current members, go to www.nmeda.org. NMEDA Quality Assurance Program, QAP, is a nationally recognized accreditation program for the adaptive mobility equipment industry. As such, the companies involved have been certified to comply with NMEDA quality control processes, have the proper insurance and have obtained the applicable training from the adaptive equipment manufacturers they represent.

Carriers

Price Range : $500 – $4,000

Bumper-Mounted Carrier – allows manual wheelchairs to be mounted on bumper. Most of the bumper-mounted carriers can be removed to allow access to the trunk.

Car Top Carrier – an electric motor-driven hoist operates by switches. A steel pin lowers to pick up a manual wheelchair, which folds as it rises to the carrier.

Hitch-Mounted Carrier – tilts down when loading the wheelchair and then easily tilts up and locks into place.

Pickup Truck Carrier – stores the wheelchair in the bed of the truck after the wheelchair has been folded and picked up by an electric-driven motor. Certain manufacturers’ carriers will pick up the rigid chair, power wheelchair or a scooter not folded.


Parking Brake Extensions
Price Range : $50 – $900

Electric Parking Brake – motorized and can be set and released by a switch located within easy reach of the driver. Ideal for those with limited foot and leg strength.

Manual Parking Brake – for those with limited foot and leg strength. It is a handle attached to the parking brake and is long enough to operate by hand.

Hand Controls
Price Range : $360 – $2,000

Electrical
Electronic Hand Controls – this technology comes in two segments: Primary and Secondary Controls. Primary controls operate the gas, brake and steering functions. Products are usually combinations of joysticks and levers. Secondary controls operate all other vehicle functions. Products include voice activated controls, touch pads and power headrests. Please note: electronic controls do not fit in the price range above as each modification is unique to the individual. Please see your installer for an estimate.

Push Pull Control – brakes the vehicle when pushed toward the floor and accelerates the vehicle when pulled upward.

Push Right Angle Pull Hand Control – push the handle upward toward the instrument panel to brake and pull it downward at a right angle to accelerate.

Push Twist Control – similar to accelerating on a motorcycle. The handle is twisted to accelerate and pushed toward the floor to brake.

Quad Hand Controls – consists of an extra L–shaped bracket attached to the hand controls.

Mechanical
Push/Rotary Control – operates by pushing forward to apply the brakes and rotating backward to apply the gas.

Lifts
Price Range :$600 – $18,000

An Automatic lift will fold, unfold, lower and rise by operating a switch on either side of the lift, on the dash or outside the van. The Semi-Automatic lift operates similar to the automatic lift, but requires manual folding and unfolding of the platform.

Electrical Mechanical Lift – operates by chain or screw rod and depends upon the power provided by the battery.

Hydraulic Lift – uses a pump and cylinder to raise and lower the lift in conjunction with the van’s battery.

Outside Lift – requires installing a trailer hitch as the scooter is carried on the outside of the vehicle.

Pickup Truck Lift – picks up the scooter and stores it in the bed of the truck. It can lift a rigid chair (manual), an electric scooter or a power wheelchair.

Platform Lift – (as shown above) requires either two side doors or one sliding door on a van and is stored either on the side, the rear or under the floor of the van.

Rotary (Swing) Lift – beneficial because of the parking conveniences, due to less room needed to enter and exit the van. This device swings into the van and the lift platform sits on the floor in the middle of the van.

Trunk Lift – puts the scooter into the trunk, provided the scooter measures less than the trunk.

Under-the-Floor Lift – only pump and motor are located inside.Door Openers
Price Range : $800 – $2,000

Chain Door Opener – slide door that travels in a track, located at the top of the van.

Pivot Arm and Push/Pull Gear Door Opener – opens double–out doors outward.

Power Assist Seats
Price Range : $1,800 – $6,800

Rotating Seat – This system for lower vehicles provides easy access to an automotive seat. The seat rotates out over the doorsill, bridging the gap for a safe transfer onto the seat. Once you’re on, the seat rotates back into the vehicle. Both manual and power versions are available.

Rotating and Lift Seat – This system for higher vehicles provides easy access to an automotive seat. The seat rotates, comes out of the vehicle, and lowers toward the ground, eliminating the climbing and twisting normally required to enter a higher vehicle. Units are powered out and down; however, some models are equipped with manual rotation, while others have powered rotation.

Steering Devices
Price Range : $50 – $350

Amputee Ring – designed best for those with prosthesis. The hook of the prosthesis will fit into the ring and remain in place while driving.

“Para” Spinner Knob – consists of a base, which is adjustable, and a detachable knob that can be comfortably gripped with one hand.

Palm Grip – ideal for someone who has control of the wrist but is limited in grip strength. The hand is always held flat to the steering wheel while driving.

Quad Grip with Pin – a 3/8″ steel shaft from a stiff leather cuff that inserts into the spinner base. A stable wrist is required. The pin may be attached on a horizontal or a vertical position.

Quad Steering Cuff or Splint – a wrist cock up splint with a post attached in a
vertical or horizontal position. It is ideal for persons either lacking hand and wrist function or those unable to use the above steering devices.

Spinner Cuff – operates as the hand is held in place by a cuff and fastened with Velcro. A lockable short rod is placed in the base of the steering wheel near the palm of the hand to allow the person to steer.

Tri-Post or Tri-Pin Spinner Knob – stabilizes & secures the hand & wrist while driving.

V-Grip or U-Grip – hand controls keep the hand in an upright position and in place while driving. It is used primarily by persons who have adequate use of wrist movements.

Deep Dish Steering Wheel – used for those who have limited reach to be able to turn the wheel safely due to its smaller size.

Foot Steering Controls – for drivers who need to maneuver the vehicle by their feet.

Horizontal Steering – the steering column is easily adjusted by motorization for those drivers with limited reach.

Steering Column Extension – the steering column is extended by 2-6 inches allowing room to steer for individuals driving from their wheelchairs.

Joystick – very similar to the joystick on a wheelchair, this larger scaled version allows the driver to maneuver the vehicle.

Low Effort Steering – reduces the effort needed to steer by approximately 40 percent.

Reduced Effort Steering – for drivers who have limited use of their upper extremities.

Servo Controls – unlike the other hand controls, these operate by an auxiliary motor, rather than the pressure of an individual’s hand. It reduces the amount of strength needed by the driver.

Zero Effort Steering – reduces the effort needed to steer by approximately 70 percent.

Wheelchair Restraints
Price Range : $50 – $2,000

Electric Restraint System – consists of a device on the bottom of the chair and another device on the floor of the van. When the two devices are properly aligned, a lock will sound and the wheelchair will not move.

Manual Restraints or Tie-Downs System – requires an attendant because it cannot be operated from the wheelchair. Four straps are snugly placed around the four wheelchair wheels to help prevent rolling during vehicle movement.

Upper Torso Restraint – used in addition to the wheelchair restraints for those with weak muscles in the upper torso area and poor balance.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.

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.

Reimbursement Assistance
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.

Frequently asked Questions

How do I apply for reimbursement?
Contact the Customer Care Center at (800) 952–2248 and a representative will assist with contacting your dealer.

What is the time period of the Ford Mobility Motoring Program and which vehicles are eligible?
Please visit your Ford or Lincoln dealer for complete program details including program effective dates and eligible vehicles.

How soon after I purchase or lease my new vehicle do I have to complete the adaptive equipment installation?
Claim must be submitted within 12 months of the reported sale date.

How do I receive my Ford Mobility Motoring financial reimbursement?
When the adaptive equipment installation has been completed on your new vehicle, either you or the adaptive equipment dealer will take the paid adaptive equipment invoice to the Ford or Lincoln dealer where you purchased or leased your new vehicle. You will receive a check mailed to you directly from Ford for up to $1,000 toward the cost of your adaptive equipment or up to $200 on after-market alert hearing devices, lumbar seats and running boards. Total reimbursement is not to exceed $1,000.

How long does it take to receive my check?
It usually takes 7-10 business days after the dealer submits the authorized claim and the claim is approved by Ford.

What adaptive equipment qualifies for the financial reimbursement?
Adaptive equipment is defined as any installed device that makes it easier for persons with disabilities to drive or be transported in a vehicle. Equipment that can be factory installed, or is considered a factory option by Ford, is not eligible. Equipment which is not clearly related to a specific medical need, such as after–market alert hearing devices, swivel seats, pedal extensions and running boards, will require original medical documentation clearly detailing the physical disability or permanent impairment for which the equipment is intended. This documentation must be prepared by a licensed, certified medical or medical–related professional.

May I go to any adaptive equipment installer or must I go to someone on your State Resource Guide listing?
You may take your vehicle to the adaptive equipment installer of your choice. The list provided for reference only and no endorsement is intended. You should verify information, check with adaptive equipment manufacturers and obtain complete references before any services are rendered.

Is it necessary for me to visit an assessment center before I qualify for Ford Mobility Motoring reimbursement?
No. If you already have equipment you’re going to transfer, or you know what equipment you need, it is not necessary for you to have an evaluation at an assessment center. However, it could be beneficial to have an evaluation every four years.

May I use the financial reimbursement toward the purchase or lease of my vehicle?
No. The Mobility reimbursement can only happen after you have supplied your Ford or Lincoln dealer with the paid invoice for your adaptive equipment installation.

Does newly purchased used adaptive equipment qualify?
Yes. As long as you have a paid receipt, newly purchased used equipment acquired for your installation will qualify for reimbursement.

Can the Ford Mobility Motoring financial reimbursement be used in combination with other incentives or rebates?
Yes. The Ford Mobility Motoring financial reimbursement may be combined with all other public and private offers, including the “Commercial Connection Program”, in effect at the time of purchase or lease.

Are Ford Mobility Motoring benefits available if I purchase or lease a new vehicle under the Ford A, X or Z Plans?
Yes. A, X and Z Plan vehicles are eligible as long as they otherwise meet plan provisions.

Are used vehicles, or vehicles which have previously been in rental or lease service, eligible?
No. Only new models purchased or leased from a Ford or Lincoln dealer are eligible.

Will Ford Mobility Motoring cover the cost of transferring my equipment from my old vehicle to a new vehicle?
Yes. The cost of the transfer installation to your new vehicle is covered with a paid receipt.

If I have a family member who requires adaptive equipment assistance to enter or ride in my new vehicle, will Ford Mobility Motoring cover the cost of the equipment for that person?
Yes. Adaptive equipment required to transport a person with a physical disability is covered up to the maximum of $1,000 and up to $200 on after–market alert hearing devices, lumbar seats and running boards. Total reimbursement is not to exceed $1,000.

Volkswagen Mobility Rebate

Volkswagen provides up to $1,000 towards the purchase and installation of mobility-access equipment in a new VW Routan. If modifications are less than $1,000, that amount is reimbursed.

Acura Mobility Rebate Information

Mobility Overview
Enhancing mobility for drivers with disabilities.

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.
To download an application form, click here

Program Elements

Acura suggests that you request a copy of the Department of Transportation’s brochure, “Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with Disabilities.” Copies are available by visiting www.NHTSA.DOT.GOV . Search using key words “Adapting Motor Vehicles”. The process of adapting your vehicle includes the following steps:

  • Know your state’s driver’s license requirements.
  • You may wish to contact the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) to help identify the adaptive equipment that best meets your needs.
  • Select the right vehicle by collaborating with your evaluator, as well as a vehicle modification installer and your local Acura dealer before deciding on the best Acura model for you
  • Choose a qualified equipment installer to modify your vehicle. Take the time to find out about credentials, experience, references, warranty coverage and the services they provide. Make sure they are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has established vehicle conversion standards.
  • 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.

Adaptions, 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 Proccess
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?
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) provides a directory of dealers in your area.

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.

Volvo Mobility Rebate Information

Mobility by Volvo is an extension of the Volvo philosophy that travels with you from your retailer to your driveway. Our goal is to assist you, providing you with transportation solutions found within the extraordinary comfort and safety of a specially adapted Volvo.

Mobility by Volvo Program Reimbursemeny

  • Up to $1,000 toward the cost of adaptive equipment added to an eligible new Volvo
  • Up to $200 on alert hearing devices
  • Maximum reimbursement is $1,000.

You may contact Volvo to request an Information Kit or click to download the following resources:



Start the Reimbursement Process
To receive your reimbursement, you or your retailer must obtain a Mobility by Volvo Claim Form. You may contact the Mobility by Volvo Center at (800) 803-5222 or complete the Contact Us Form , to receive the Claim Form.

Eligible Adaptive Equipment
“Adaptive equipment” includes all permanently installed mobility devices, necessary for a person with a physical disability to drive, or be transported in, a vehicle. Options available from the factory or the retailer for installation, such as running boards and power-assisted seats, are not considered eligible for reimbursement.

Although a Driver Assessment Center is likely your best authority on what is right for you or a family member, here are examples of adaptive equipment installations available for Volvo vehicles, approved by Mobility by Volvo:

  • Carriers
  • Lifts/Hoists
  • Driving Aids/Hand Controls

Mobility by Volvo TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  • Offer is limited to $1,000 toward the cost of adding adaptive equipment, and $200 on an alert hearing device, per vehicle. Maximum reimbursement is $1,000. Offer only available to legal U.S. residents. Offer is not transferable.
  • Offer only available for purchases of 2012 or 2013 model year new vehicles, properly retired courtesy cars, and retired demonstrators. Offer cannot be applied to the purchase of any other model year Volvo or Volvo courtesy car, models sold directly or indirectly outside of the United States, and/or VCIC (overseas delivery) program sales. Vehicles purchased as used are not eligible.
  • Claims must be submitted within 180 days of vehicle purchase.
  • Factory or retailer installation options, such as running boards and power-assisted seats, are not considered eligible for reimbursement.
  • Offer cannot be used toward the cost of the purchase or installation of Volvo options or accessories, and the payment of sales tax. This offer is subject to federal, state and local taxes.
  • Consumers should verify modification information and obtain complete modifier references before having the vehicle modified.

Contact your local Volvo retailer for complete details.



Volvo New Car Warranty
Damage caused by unapproved or improperly installed adaptive equipment, alert hearing devices and accessories will not be covered under the Volvo New Car Warranty. Owners should refer to the Volvo Warranty and Service Records Information booklet for additional warranty information. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, assumes no responsibility for death, injury or expenses that my result from the installation of adaptive equipment, alert hearing device and non-genuine Volvo Accessories.


Note: The adaptive equipment listed above is subject to change and should be used for reference purposes only. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, is providing this information for assistance and reference purposes only—no endorsement is intended. The quality of services and/or equipment provided by others can only be assured by the supplying organization. Consumers should verify information and obtain complete references before beginning any vehicle adaptation.

Subaru Mobility Rebate Information

The Subaru Mobile-It-Ease™ Program provides reimbursement of up to $500 on new Subaru vehicles from authorized Subaru dealers in the United States to help qualifying owners get necessary vehicle modification due to medically recognized physical disabilities.

Subaru Legacy, Outback, Impreza, Forester and Tribeca models can be modified to provide added features, including but not limited to:

  • Left-hand gear shifter
  • Hand and foot controls
  • Servo-assisted controls
  • Steering devices
  • Pedal extensions
  • Turn-signal modification

Subaru is proud to bring the active safety and reliability to as many drivers as possible.
See brochure for complete details.

Enroll in the Program

Get the Form

Download, print, complete and sign the Claim Form

Gather Documents

  1. Original Claim Form, completed and signed
  2. Purchase order from a Subaru dealership
  3. Doctor’s letter or prescription describing the condition and modification necessary
  4. Receipt from the installation facility that clearly shows payment was made in full


Mail the four documents to:
Submit Claim
Subaru of America, Inc. Customer Dealer Services Department
P.O. Box 6000
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Please allow at least four to six weeks for processing.

Qualifications

  • Applies only to the purchase of new Subaru vehicles from authorized Subaru dealers in the United States.
  • The Mobile-It-Ease™ program covers only necessary equipment to adapt an eligible Subaru vehicle for persons with disabilities. The adaptations require a prescription or letter from a medical doctor. (Subaru factory optional equipment is not reimbursable under this program.)
  • Subaru will reimburse up to $500 of vehicle modifications
  • Vehicle modifications must be made within six months of vehicle purchase. A properly completed Claim Form for reimbursement along with all necessary supporting documentation (listed above) must be submitted to Subaru of America, Inc.’s CDS Department within 180 days of installation (refer to address on claim form).
  • Subaru of America, Inc.’s decision on eligibility is final.

Adaptations
The following items are considered obvious adaptations that would qualify for this program, though they may not apply to your vehicle. If your adaptation is not on this list, or if you have any questions, please call 1-800-SUBARU-3 for approval.

  • Reduced Effort Brakes
  • Driving Consoles
  • Elbow Switches
  • Emergency Back-Up Brake System
  • Foot Control Steering
  • Gear Selector Lever for Left Hand
  • Hand Controls
  • Left Foot Accelerator
  • Parking Brake – Electric
  • Parking Brake – Extension Lever
  • Quad Key Holder/Turner
  • Servo Assisted Controls
  • Siren Detectors
  • Steering System – Emergency Back-Up
  • Steering System – Reduced and Zero Effort
  • Turn Signal Lever for Right Hand
  • Wheelchair and/or Scooter Lifts or Ramps
  • Wheelchair Carrier on Top of Vehicle
  • Steering Devices


(Factory Option Power Seats NOT ELIGIBLE for reimbursement.)

General Motors Mobility Rebate Information

Through the GM Mobility 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.

PLUS
Two extra years of standard OnStar® service, at no additional cost on all 2011–2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles equipped with OnStar. The Directions & Connections® Plan is standard for six months on most 2012-2014 GM vehicles.

Taking advantage of both offers is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Buy or lease an eligible, new 2012–2014 Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle equipped with OnStar.
Vehicles that are not eligible: All Cadillacs. 2013 Chevrolet Caprice, Captiva Sport, Spark, Volt, Buick Encore and Verano are not eligible.
  2. Purchase and install (or reinstall) your eligible adaptive mobility equipment.
  3. Apply for GM Mobility Reimbursement:
    • Download an Application Form
    • Request an Application by Mail

The purchaser and the GM dealer representative will need to complete and sign the reimbursement application, than submit the application with a paid receipt for the mobility equipment and installation.

If you’re uncertain of the eligibility of the adaptive equipment or vehicle you’re considering purchasing or leasing, call the GM Mobility Assistance Center at 1-800-323-9935.

The GM Mobility Reimbursement Program offer with OnStar is valid through 9/30/13. To qualify for the reimbursement offer, vehicles must be adapted and a claim must be submitted within 6 months from the date of purchase/lease. To take advantage of the OnStar® offer, vehicle must be equipped with OnStar. The OnStar offer has no redeemable cash value and is nontransferable. Other program rules apply. For offer details, visit your local dealer/retailer or call the GM Mobility Assistance Center at 1-800-323-9935.

OnStar Offer
OnStar®1 is more than a button you push – it’s a connection you make with the outside world. Every day. It’s powerfully simple services take care of you and take you places.

Services like Automatic Crash Response that alerts OnStar for help even if you can’t ask for it. And Turn-by-Turn Navigation that can keep you on course, whether you’re traveling around the block or across the country. And so much more.

Customers who receive GM Mobility reimbursement on an eligible vehicle get two extra years of standard OnStar service. This OnStar mobility offer is at no additional cost and is on top of the standard OnStar service included on new OnStar equipped GM vehicles. Directions & Connections® Plan is standard for six months on most 2012-2014 GM vehicles.

OnStar. Safely connecting you in ways you never thought possible. Live on.

Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I apply for GM Mobility reimbursement?
Either download a printable application form or submit an online request. We’ll mail you a complete brochure including an application form.

How can I make sure my vehicle is eligible?
For the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program, in effect until September 30, 2013, you must purchase or lease1 a new and unused (not previously titled) 2012, 2013 or 2014 Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle. To qualify for two extra years of standard OnStar® service, vehicle must be a 2012–2014 Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle equipped with OnStar. To confirm eligibility of your vehicle, call the GM Mobility Assistance Center at 1-800-323-9935. You will need your vehicle identification number (VIN). Confirmation of vehicle eligibility does not imply claim approval.

What adaptive equipment qualifies for reimbursement?
See complete list of eligible adaptive equipment. Except for OnStar TTY equipment and safety belt extenders, GM regular production options and GM Accessories are not eligible for GM Mobility reimbursement. This includes, but is not limited to, assist steps and running boards. Repairs and adjustments to equipment are also not eligible for reimbursement. Safety belt extenders are not eligible for the OnStar offer.

Is used adaptive equipment eligible?
Yes, provided it is on the list of eligible adaptive equipment and purchased from and installed by a licensed equipment installer. The cost to transfer equipment installed in your previous vehicle to your new eligible vehicle is also reimbursable.

Are assist steps/running boards eligible for reimbursement?
Assist steps/running boards are reimbursable if they are not available as a regular GM production option or dealer-/retailer-installed accessory, regardless of whether the vehicle is bought out of dealer stock or ordered. A maximum $200 GM Mobility Reimbursement is allowed. A physician’s signature and description of your disability/limitation are required. Call the GM Mobility Assistance Center if you have questions.

Can I incorporate reimbursement into the terms of my vehicle sales contract?
It may be possible. Contact your Chevrolet, Buick or GMC dealer for details.

Can I use the reimbursement with other factory rebates and incentives?
Yes. The GM Mobility Reimbursement incentive may be combined with other publicly offered incentive programs that are in effect at the time of purchase or lease, including most fleet and commercial incentives.

How soon after I purchase/lease my new vehicle do I have to complete the equipment installation and apply for reimbursement?
To take advantage of the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program, you must have the vehicle adapted and submit a claim within 6 months of the date of purchase/lease. Other program rules apply.

Are there any other ways I can offset the cost of purchasing adaptive equipment?
The cost of durable automotive adaptive equipment for use by persons with disabilities may be offset with federal income tax credits and deductions, state sales and use tax deductions, funding through state rehabilitation vocational agencies, and medical insurance providers. Consult with your tax advisor/preparer, appropriate state social service agency, and/or insurance provider to see what benefits you might be eligible for. Your savings could be substantial.

Mobility Financial Assistance

Ally Financing
Qualified customers can finance qualified aftermarket mobility equipment with their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle through Ally mobility vehicle financing programs available at local GM dealers/retailers. Ally extended-term financing or the Ally Smart Lease program may be able to make your vehicle purchase even easier.1 Visit ally.com/auto or your local GM dealer for more details.

SmartLease Eligibility (new and used vehicles)

  • Eligible adaptive conversions are limited to those that can be removed from the vehicle at lease termination without affecting the original configuration or condition of the vehicle. Examples include wheelchair storage devices and hand-brake devices.
  • If the physical structure of the vehicle must be modified to accommodate the adaptive conversion, the vehicle remains eligible for conventional retail financing but not for SmartLease. Examples include raising or lowering all or part of the floor of a van, altering the size of any of a vehicle’s door openings, cutting or reshaping any part of the body or frame of a vehicle to accommodate lifting mechanisms, etc.
  • Qualified adaptive conversions and/or their installation may be capitalized but not residualized.
  • The Addendum must be signed by the customer, stipulating that the equipment will be removed at lease termination/contract end and the vehicle returned to its original condition, subject to normal wear and tear. The addendum states that the customer will bear the costs for removal of adaptive conversions.

SmartLease Addendum

GM Mobility Reimbursement Program (new vehicles)
Financial mobility financing for eligible adaptive equipment is available through the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program. New vehicle purchasers/lessees who install or reinstall eligible adaptive mobility equipment on their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles can receive a combination of financial assistance and the protection and convenience of OnStar®:

Up to $1,000 reimbursement for eligible adaptive equipment.
PLUS two additional years of standard OnStar service on qualified Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles.

Department of Veterans Affairs
U.S. military veterans may be eligible for financial assistance through their VA benefits when equipping a vehicle with adaptive equipment. Call 1-800-827-1000 or visit www.va.gov for more information.

Are there any other ways I can offset the cost of purchasing automotive adaptive equipment?
The cost of durable automotive adaptive equipment for use by persons with disabilities may be offset with federal income tax credits and deductions, state sales and use tax deductions, funding through state rehabilitation vocational agencies, and medical insurance providers. Consult with your tax advisor/preparer, appropriate state social service agency and/or insurance provider to see what benefits you might be eligible for. Your savings could be substantial.

Mobility Resources

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)
When selecting mobility equipment installers, shop around and inquire about their qualifications, capabilities, experience, warranty and service practices. Ask for references. Ask if they are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) and if they are QAP-certified. NMEDA is committed to providing automotive adaptive equipment solutions for people with disabilities. In this effort, NMEDA has implemented the Quality Assurance Program (QAP), a nationally recognized accreditation program for mobility equipment dealers.

The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
ADED is devoted to helping individuals with disabilities locate driver evaluators and trainers who can conduct an assessment of a person’s abilities (cognitive, perceptual and physical) and adaptive equipment needs, an important step in the selection process. Call 1-866-672-9466 or visit www.driver-ed.org for more information.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
There are many variables to consider when obtaining adaptive equipment for your vehicle. We suggest you request a copy of the Department of Transportation brochure “Adapting Motor Vehicles For People With Disabilities” by calling 1-888-327-4236 or visiting www.nhtsa.gov. Following a proven process can help you avoid costly mistakes when purchasing and modifying a vehicle with adaptive equipment.

Other Resources

  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Resource
  • Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
  • Eastern Michigan Deaf & Hard of Hearing Information Site
  • Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America guide to accessible gasoline stations
  • Mobility Corner
  •  National Organization on Disability

Lexus Mobility Rebate Information

 Reimburses the vehicle owner up to $1,000 cash for after-market adaptive equipment for drivers and/or passengers when installed on any eligible Lexus vehicle purchased or leased new. This applies to model years 2001 and later. For details, refer to the Assistance Guidelines and Reimbursement Application Form. Forms are also available from your local Lexus dealer or from most adaptive-equipment installers.

Lexus Financial Services Mobility Financing
Available upon credit approval through Lexus Financial Services and participating Lexus dealers. Provides flexible, extended-term financing when persons with physical disabilities or their families purchase a new Lexus vehicle with the installed adaptive equipment (including installation costs). Please contact your local participating Lexus dealer for details.

Assistance Guidelines
Lexus will reimburse the cost up to $1,000 to each eligible, original retail customer for purchasing and installation of qualifying adaptive driving or passenger equipment for transporting persons with physical disabilities. This offer applies to all Lexus vehicles purchased or leased new in 2001 or later. Leased vehicles require advance written lessor approval of adaptive-equipment installations.

  1. Only new vehicles sold or leased and delivered to a retail customer by an authorized Lexus dealer are eligible for reimbursement. Fleet incentive recipients are not eligible.
  2. The adaptive equipment must be installed within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease. A Reimbursement Application Form must be submitted to Lexus Customer Satisfaction within 90 days of complete installation of adaptive equipment.
  3. Qualifying adaptive equipment or conversion is defined as any after-market alteration or equipment installation on an eligible Lexus vehicle that provides the disabled user with convenient access and/or the ability to drive the vehicle. Lexus factory options and Lexus accessories are NOT eligible for reimbursement.
  4. A prescription or note from a licensed medical doctor on physician’s letterhead is required for reimbursement, except as noted below. For a limited number of adaptations, such as hand controls and wheelchair or scooter hoists or ramps, no medical note or prescription is required. Running boards, alerting devices, pedal extenders and similar adaptations must have medical documentation. Running boards, trailer hitches and pedal extenders are not reimbursable if they are available as a factory option or dealer-installed accessory. For pedal-extender reimbursement, the customer must be medically diagnosed with a dwarfism condition. Questions about other adaptations should be directed to Lexus Customer Satisfaction at (800) 255-3987.
  5. The Reimbursement Application Form must be completed in its entirety and signed by the customer and the selling dealership. It should be mailed along with a copy of the vehicle sales or lease agreement, the adaptive-equipment company’s paid invoice showing payment by the vehicle’s owner, a Lessor Letter of Authorization (for leased vehicles), and a prescription or note from a licensed medical doctor on physician’s letterhead (when required) to the following address:LEXUS CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
    19001 SOUTH WESTERN AVENUE
    MAIL DROP L201
    TORRANCE, CA 90509-2991

Payment to the individual Mobility Assistance Program customer will be sent within 3-4 weeks after receipt of an approved claim form and all required documentation.

Please call Lexus Customer Satisfaction with any questions:
(800) 255-3987 or (800) 443-4999 – TDD

Steps To Mobility
Lexus supports the steps detailed in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s brochure, Adapting Motor Vehicles for People With Disabilities. Copies are available by calling (888) 327-4236 or visiting www.nhtsa.dot.gov. The process includes these five steps:

  1. Determine your state’s driver’s license requirements.
  2. Evaluate your needs.
Use the Mobility Resources below to contact your local driver-assessment specialist to help identify the adaptive equipment most suited to your needs.
  3. Select the right vehicle.
Consult with your evaluator, an adaptive-equipment installer and your local Lexus dealer to determine the Lexus model that’s best for you.
  4. Choose a qualified mobility equipment installer.
Always ask about qualifications, capabilities, experience, warranty coverage and service. Confirm they are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has established vehicle conversion standards.
  5. Obtain training on the use of the new equipment.
When this process is complete, follow the Assistance Guidelines above, complete and submit the Reimbursement Application Form within 90 days of adaptive-equipment installation. You can recover up to $1,000 of the cost of your adaptive equipment and/or conversion. In addition to the printable version on this Web site, forms are also available from your local Lexus dealer, from an adaptive-equipment installer or upon request by calling Lexus Customer Satisfaction at (800) 255-3987.

Mobility Resources

Driver Assessment Specialists:
Contact a mobility equipment dealer in your area for advice on a driver assessment specialist to evaluate your vehicle

Operation Independence

Operation Independence wheelchair accessible vehicles for veterans
Operation Independence is an awareness campaign to help Veterans understand and utilize their vehicle mobility benefits such as the auto allowance grant and the automobile adaptive equipment program. These benefits along with the assistance of a VMI Select Dealer can help a Veteran select and purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle that best fits their needs.

VMI is the premier manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans. VMI Dealers, such as VMi New England, are experts in mobility assessment and customization. Together we have combined our knowledge with the Paralyzed Veterans of America to increase awareness with disabled Veterans regarding VA vehicle benefits, and help them get the benefits they have earned while serving our country.

VMI and Select Dealer Networks, such as VMi New England, will help give Veterans a $1000 rebate towards a van that will be converted for wheelchair accessibility.

Tips to Save Money When Converting Honda Wheelchair Vans

New and Used Honda Odyessey wheelchair accessible vans for sale at VMi New England Mobility Center
Transforming a Honda Odyssey into an ideal wheelchair accessible van can be an overwhelming experience. Not only are you making important decisions, you are also confronting hefty price tags.

Conversions are not cheap. That is not just true with Honda vehicles either. The process involved in taking a “factory” vehicle and transforming it into safe, smart, reliable wheelchair transportation vehicle is a major undertaking. You will be dealing with skilled professionals who use the best possible equipment–and who expect to be compensated accordingly.

Fortunately, you can do a few things to keep your bill down. Your Honda wheelchair van will never be a “steal,“ but it can feel like a bargain if you follow these recommendations.

Proper Needs Assessment
You should undergo an evaluation from a licensed professional before making a purchase. They will give you a full report of the adaptations you will need in a wheelchair vehicle. They will also talk with you about those different options and what you must have, comparing that to other options.

In some cases, that report may say you will need a ramp. Obviously, you should follow the recommendation. However, the report may leave some discretion in terms of what ramp you will want to buy. Do you really need a full power option or could you function with a spring-assisted ramp? The goal here is to select adaptations that meet your needs while avoiding overspending on those that exceed your actual needs.

Remember, the average wheelchair van may only last ten years. That means you are buying the Odyssey you need now. You are not trying to “have all the bases covered” for your later years. This is not a lifetime decision.

Understanding Funding and Financing Options
You should look for every available source of funding assistance for your Honda wheelchair van. Are you eligible for a federal or state program that can help reduce costs? Is there a mobility rebate available? Did you serve in the military and follow-up on potential Veteran’s Administration assistance? Will your health insurance or worker’s compensation coverage help with the conversion bill? You may or may not find ways to decrease costs, but it is definitely worth a long look.

If you are financing, you should be certain you are getting the best possible deal on your loan. You can get financing for a Honda wheelchair van from your bank, an auto finance company, a home equity loan or a variety of other sources. You should be choosing the best option available. If you have not yet purchased your Odyssey, talk with your Honda wheelchair van dealer. They may be able to bundle the price of your conversions into your auto loan.

Shop Wisely
You should do extensive comparison shopping before making decisions about your disability equipment dealer and conversion manufacturer. You do not want to cut corners on quality or safety to save money, but you do want to be sure that you are getting the best possible deal from qualified professionals.

Making wise equipment selections based on your actual needs, investigating all funding and financing options and being a motivated, well-informed shopper who’s willing to negotiate can help you find the best possible deal.

With a little extra effort, you may be able to dramatically decrease the amount of money you spend on your Honda wheelchair van.

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.

Funding Your Wheelchair Van with a Grant


Mobility beyond the wheelchair is out there, but so often, it’s out of reach financially for individuals with disabilities who have spent thousands on medical care. There are several avenues that lead to funds for a wheelchair accessible vehicle or adaptive equipment for driving, like loans, government assistance, mobility rebates and grants. So what’s great about grants?

Grant money doesn’t need to be repaid, which makes it especially attractive. What’s more, grant opportunities are plentiful; relevant grant-making organizations and foundations will supply partial or complete funding on wheelchair accessible vans for sale or assistive equipment; and you can combine funds from several sources to purchase the freedom and independence an accessible vehicle provides. Obtaining a grant to fund an accessible vehicle requires patience, perseverance and a detailed application process. Though it sounds daunting, these tips will help you navigate the process:

  • Be Patient

Grant providers don’t work in your time frame. They process thousands of applications just like yours, so you may wait longer than you’d like for a response. Expressing your aggravation to the grant provider might be counterproductive. Lowering your expectations will also lower your level of frustration during your quest for grant money. If you’re prepared for progress to move slowly, you’ll be thrilled if it takes less time than you expect.

  • Be Prepared with Necessary Information

With the likelihood you’ll want to apply to several granting institutions, it simply makes sense to have your basic information gathered and quickly accessible, so you can begin filling out an application as soon as you’ve identified another potential grant opportunity. Though the requirements on grant applications vary, you’ll need personal information on all of them, such as your Social Security Number, driver’s license number (if you have one), marital status, financial information and personal background details. It’s all about expediting the application process on your end. Keep in mind that funding organizations have different policies and requirements, so you’ll need to be flexible.

  • Line up Medical Records and References

Granting institutions will want to see your medical records. Your physician can provide you with a copy. Some physicians prefer to send your records directly to the granting institution. Either way, be sure your physician understands why you need your medical records. While you’re at it, ask your physician to write a letter of recommendation. It’s not necessary, but a letter from your physician, written on letterhead stationery, can often be helpful when applying for a grant. Ask that the letter be addressed to a generic individual (“Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern”), so you can include a copy with each application.

Now’s the time to get references to support your efforts – ask close friends, neighbors, colleagues, church members and anyone who you believe will provide convincing, compelling input about your character and disability. Funding organizations want their personal perspective about your accomplishments, your attitude and how you manage your disability on a daily basis. Your references can also comment on how grant money to buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle would improve your present lifestyle.

  • Make Your Case

Your mission is to help the funding organization understand your personal history, your challenges and the impact any hardships have had on your life. Be honest and persuasive in telling your story to the grant provider (including an articulate, straightforward narrative, 1-2 pages in length), describing your plans for the funding and its potential positive effect on your future. Focus on setting yourself apart from other applicants with an emotional, inspiring account. You’re in competition for a limited amount of money, so this is important.

  • Research and Identify Appropriate Granting Institutions

You now have the necessary documents and backing to begin applying for grants. Start your research with these handicap van grants, sorted by location, medical need, veterans, special needs children and others to find one or more grants for your specific situation. If you search the Internet, use “disability grant providers,” “disability grants” and other relevant keyword phrases to find foundations and organizations. If you’re a disabled veteran, check with the Veterans Administration. Remember, you can combine sources to amass as much money as possible for your wheelchair van or adaptive equipment.

Organizations that support specific conditions often provide grants to people living with that disorder. Examples include United Cerebral Palsy, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

When you’ve identified a potential granting organization, read their mission statement and get an application form. Craft a cover letter in which you align your needs with the organization’s goals to demonstrate how you can help achieve the provider’s objectives. This is essential information for the funding organization.

  • Contact the Grant Providers

If at all possible, speak or write to the person in charge when you begin the application process to fund your handicap van. Typically, assistance programs will assign a project officer or contact person to help you through the details. Always be polite and thank them for their time. Through this direct line of communication, you can have your questions and concerns addressed. Get a contact name, phone number and email address for every organization to obtain status updates on your application. Request information on their timeline for choosing a candidate for the funding opportunity.

  • Stay Organized and Aware

With multiple applications at different stages in the process, it’s essential to keep track of your documents and deadlines. You should be able to put your hands on documents and paperwork at any given moment. Devise a system to remind yourself of important dates and deadlines, and be sure everything is submitted on time. Stand out from other applicants by demonstrating your desire to earn their financial assistance – meet all deadlines and stay up-to-date on the status of your applications.

Keep copies of all of your applications (electronic or paper copies, or both), and save any confirmation numbers or application numbers you may receive in a safe, readily accessible place. You may be asked for them at some point.

It may take time and effort to get the funding you need for a wheelchair van or adaptive equipment, but it’s absolutely worth it to gain the freedom and independence that can change your life.

Winter-Maintenance Tips for Your Wheelchair Van

Winter Driving
Maintain Your Mobility Equipment

We recommend keeping the bottom door track of your handicapped van clear of any debris by vacuuming out the track every 2 or 3 weeks. Debris in the bottom track will cause the door motor to work harder and even weaken or burn out prematurely. Such problems will only be more of an inconvenience in cold weather.

Check Your Brakes
Make sure your brakes are in good working condition. You should never postpone having brake work done because you never know when you might have to drive on snowy or icy roads.

Check Your Lights
Headlights are essential in snowy weather; not only do they help you see clearly, but they also help others see you. So you make sure your lights are clean and that all bulbs and fuses are working properly.

Remember Your Fluids
We advise having all fluids (including brake fluid, antifreeze, washer fluid, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, etc.) checked and “topped off.” In addition, we also recommend that you consider keeping a half tank of gas in your accessible vehicle at all times–you don’t want to run out of gas in an emergency.

Don’t Forget Your Battery
Having your battery checked is especially crucial for handicapped accessible vans. The cold weather is strenuous on any battery but even more so on an accessible van’s battery. An accessible van has to power ramps, lifts, and doors, so it uses more battery power than other minivans. A common problem we see at our Mobility Center is customers who do not drive their accessible van enough to keep the battery charged and healthy. You can keep the battery charged by driving your vehicle more than 3 hours a week or by using a battery charger. Under normal conditions, batteries will typically last for 3½ years, so if your battery is older than that, we recommend that you make sure that it’s in good condition or think about replacing it.

Good Tire Maintenance Is Crucial
Good tires might be one of the most essential driving tools in winter weather. Worn, bald, badly aligned, or badly balanced tires can cause accidents in any type of slippery weather. You’ll need to test the air pressure and tread on your tires and have your tires rotated so that the better ones are in the front for more traction and control. If you need new tires soon, don’t wait, get them now! If you have snow tires and live in areas with heavy and frequent snowfall, don’t hesitate to use them.

Don’t Forget Your Windshield
Taking care of the windshield on your wheelchair van entails more than having good wipers. Windshields on minivans and full-sized vans are large, so having good wipers and properly functioning rear and front defrosters are musts. Also, small dings in a windshield can become large cracks when it’s cold. Cracks are a result of the stress of having freezing temperatures on the outside of the windshield and the warm heater on the interior of the windshield. If this occurs, fix the ding and avoid the risk of replacing a costly van-sized windshield!

Snow Equipment
If you ever get stuck or break down in snow or other inclement winter weather, having the appropriate equipment to get yourself out of your vehicle is important. We recommend keeping a shovel, sidewalk salt, snow scraper/brush, jumper cables, spare tire, jack, and flares in your vehicle during the winter months. Also, if you live in an area with frequent and/or heavy snowfall, keep tire chains in your vehicle for extra traction.

Emergency Kit
Another recommendation is keeping a snow emergency kit in your car. Your emergency kit should include a cell phone, a cell-phone car charger, a blanket, a flashlight with good batteries, hand warmers, snacks, and water. Your kit should be able to keep you relatively comfortable while waiting in your vehicle for assistance to arrive. Please remember, if you’re waiting in your vehicle for assistance, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear of any snow or ice so carbon monoxide won’t enter the vehicle.

Lastly, we always recommend that, if you can, you stay in when the road conditions are bad. However, if you need to venture out, here are some precautions to remember when driving in bad weather:

Clear All Snow Off Your Vehicle
Make sure that you clear all of the snow and ice off of your vehicle before you go anywhere. Ice and snow clumps that aren’t cleared off can be very dangerous because they can suddenly shift and obstruct your view or fly off your vehicle into another driver’s view. Allow yourself extra time before venturing out to take the steps needed to clear all of the snow off your accessible vehicle—even if it includes asking a friend or neighbor for assistance.

Slow Down
Reducing your speed by 50% allows more control over your vehicle in the event that you begin to skid or hydroplane. However, slowing down too much or stopping on heavy snow-filled roads can cause a vehicle’s tires to spin and get stuck in the snow. While driving in snow, you should keep some momentum so that your tires are continuously moving and you don’t lose traction.

Recovering From a Skid
If you’re driving in inclement weather and your vehicle starts to skid, the best thing to do is to steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go—and not hit your brakes. Your normal reaction might be to brake, but that can make the wheels lock up, making steering difficult. Driving in the snow can be dangerous, so if you aren’t comfortable, try to avoid the roads in severe weather.

Rust Prevention
Prevention is better than a cure. There are a number of products that can offer prevention against rust. Products are available either as oils, waxes, fluids and coatings.  The range is vast, but our rust prevention processes, product, plan and application has been found to be most effective. Our rust proofing is ever evolving and has been for over the past 25 years.

  • Our rust proofing formula does more than just cover the metal required, we apply it as a high-pressured spray, ensuring protection to your handicap accessible vehicle’s most critical areas by penetrating, displacing existing moisture and protecting the many vulnerable crevices of your automobile.

 

As seen in the picture below this van has heavy rust and metal fatigue due to a lack of maintenance.
IMG_0697Once the rust is this bad there’s not much we can do other than replace the van.
So call us or come in today to rust proof your van before it’s too late.

How Car Insurance Fees Can Be Lowered For Handicapped Drivers

DSC_4322
One common misconception about car insurance is that handicapped drivers pay more for coverage than non-handicapped drivers. This simply is not true. Federal law prevents car insurance companies from discriminating against handicapped drivers due to their disabilities. Many states have additional laws on the books, and even if car insurance companies were allowed to discriminate, they would likely discriminate in favor of handicapped drivers; statistically speaking, they are more careful than non-handicapped drivers and much less likely to be involved in accidents. Nevertheless, handicapped drivers need the lowest possible rates on car insurance just as much as all other drivers, and it is worthwhile to know a few ways that they can cut their car insurance fees.

Handicapped drivers should first look for safety discounts because this is one of the fastest ways to change premium rates without adjusting the coverage levels. Many car insurance companies offer safety discounts for any drivers who have vehicles with special safety features like side airbags and anti-lock brakes. You can find out whether your car insurance company offers these discounts by studying your policy contract or simply by calling your car insurance agent and asking about available options. If your car is already outfitted with safety features, you are wasting money by not asking for discounts, and if your car is not outfitted, you might look into having some low-cost safety measures installed to keep your car insurance fees low. Ask whether modifications that you have made to a car for your handicap qualify for discounts; even something like oversized mirrors can often have a positive effect on premiums. Other discounts will apply to handicapped drivers who take road safety courses, students, and even drivers who have simply kept their insurance coverage up for a specified length of time. The key is to ask-you will often be surprised at how quickly your car insurance fees will drop.

Online car insurance websites can also help handicapped drivers to find lower rates. Reputable websites will not ask about a driver’s handicap or even inquire as to the handicap status of the driver. Instead, car insurance websites will ask questions about your vehicle and driving record to determine how much of an insurance risk that you pose, and this information will be submitted to car insurance companies in order to return a few quotes. These websites make it easy to look at your insurance options, which in turn, can help a driver to find a better policy than what he or she currently has. Always take the time to compare car insurance quotes. Handicapped drivers and all other drivers can benefit from this, as it is the best possible way to keep rates down.

How Ford Wheelchair Van Insurance Really Works

If you’re ever in a accident in your wheelchair van and have insurance questions or need your to have repairs made contact the experts at the Mobility Center in Bridgewater, MA with your questions 508-697-6006

2013 Ford Tuscany Wheelchair Van

Buying insurance can be a complicated process. For those of us who haven’t spent a great deal of time thinking about insurance and how it works, purchasing insurance for a wheelchair van can be rather intimidating. So here is a little information about the way Ford wheelchair van insurance really works.

Information about Coverage
Your Ford wheelchair van insurance is made up of individual elements. When one talks about vehicle insurance, they’re actually referring to a combination of different forms of insurance with different purposes.

For example, you can buy liability insurance. That will pay for any damage you might cause if you have an accident. Liability insurance is a legal requirement. Bodily injury liability coverage will defray the medical expenses of anyone who may be injured by your vehicle in an accident.

Due to the high number of people who fail to meet their state-mandated legal obligations, many Ford wheelchair van drivers purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. This feature of a policy will protect you in the event that another driver collides with you and doesn’t have adequate coverage.

There is insurance designed to cover all of our own medical expenses if you’re in an accident and most new vehicle buyers purchase comprehensive policies that cover damage caused by vandalism, weather, and virtually any other mishap. If you are still making payments on a financed vehicle, the lender will generally require proof of comprehensive coverage as a term of the loan.

Those are only a few of the different forms of coverage that may be involved in covering your Ford. Different policies have different benefits and various insurance companies offer variations on the same theme. You may be interested in hearing about some of the other forms of protection they offer when insuring your wheelchair van.

Information of Rate Determinations
Now that we’ve discussed what you’re buying, we can explore why it costs so much! Most of us find insurance rather expensive and many wonder why different people may be subject to wildly different rates. There are a number of factors at play.

The most significant factor in setting insurance rates is the driver. Insurance companies evaluate data and look at multiple variables to determine how likely you are to be in an accident or to file a claim.

That’s why a 45-year old with a perfect driving record pays less for the same coverage than an 18-year old who’s already collected numerous. Your age is just one example of the many demographic variables influencing your rates. Your driving history is another.

Unfortunately, that means you’ll pay more than most people when you insure your Ford wheelchair van. Even if you are a fantastic driver, the overall statistics do indicate that drivers with disabilities are more likely to be involved in claims and accidents. US federal law prohibits insurance companies from discrimination based on disability, but they can consider those statistics when determining rates.

Your Ford wheelchair van will also influence how much you pay for your insurance. Again, the insurance companies base their rates on all available data and they have a very good idea of how much different vehicle types cost to repair and how likely they are to be involved in a claim. That’s why a sports car will cost more to insure than a dull four-door sedan.

It’s also another reason while you will be paying more than the average for your wheelchair van insurance. Wheelchair vans tend to cost a great deal to repair and data does indicate that they are more likely than many vehicle types to be involved in insurance claims. Additionally, wheelchair van owners need to be certain that their special equipment and modifications are insured. That drives up the price of their policies even more.

Insurance can be complicated and you need to be considerate when making decisions. Having at least a basic understanding of coverage types and the factors influencing the price of insurance should help.

Wheelchair Van Fundraiser

Keep Newey Mobile Campaign

Keep Newey Mobile The Keep Newey Mobile Campaign is a fundraising effort for Josh Newey of Bridgewater, MA. This was created to raise funds to replace his current mobility van; a rusty and unreliable ’99 Caravan with 210,000 miles! We welcome your participation through online donations, or by attending our event.

Make a donation towards Josh’s new wheelchair accessible van here!

The next event for the Keep Newey Mobile Campaign is  a Craft and Vendor Fair organized by the Bridgewater Community Lions Cub which is being held at our Mobility Center!

Bridgewater Lions Club

Start your holiday shopping a little early and help support The Keep Newey Mobile Campaign! All proceeds go toward a new wheelchair accessible van for Josh!

When:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
10 AM -3 PM

Where:
VMi New England Mobility Center
1000 Main Street
Bridgewater, MA

Vendors:
Silpada, Tastefully Simple, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Thirty- One, Pampered Chef, and Scentsy. There will also be various crafters.

 

Keep Newey Mobile!

Join us at our Mobility Center this Saturday to help Keep Newey Mobile

Keep Newey Mobile - VMi New England

This event – a Craft and Vendor Fair is being held by the Bridgewater Community Lions Club to benefit the Keep Newey Mobile Campaign.

The Keep Newey Mobile Campaign is a fundraising effort for Josh Newey of Bridgewater, MA. This was created to raise funds to replace his current mobility van; a rusty and unreliable ’99 Caravan with 210,000 miles! We welcome your participation by attending this event, and/or through online donations.


Bridgewater Lions Club
When:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
10 AM -3 PM

Where:
VMi New England Mobility Center
1000 Main Street
Bridgewater, MA


Vendors:

Silpada, Tastefully Simple, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Thirty- One, Pampered Chef, and Scentsy.
There will also be various crafters.

_________________________________________________

Josh’s Story

Growing up in a rural town in western Massachusetts, Josh always loved adventure and the outdoors. He was an active member of the Boy Scouts and a motorsports enthusiast. Josh couldn’t get enough of go-karts, snowmobiles, dirt-bikes, radio controlled toys, tractors, trucks, and anything else with a motor! Some of Josh’s favorite projects as a child and teen included rebuilding small engines and restoring snowmobiles. Josh attended a vocational-agricultural high school and was planning a career in equipment operation, maintenance and repair.

January 11th 1997 is the day Josh describes as the “best and worst day of his life”. Josh was 19 years old and in northern Vermont doing one of his favorite activities, snowmobiling with friends. As nighttime approached and the weather turned poor, visibility was low. Unfamiliar with the trails, and trying to maintain pace with the others in the group Josh came to a bend in the trail and was not able to make the turn quickly enough. He went off the trail and his head collided with a tree branch, breaking his neck and compromising his spinal cord. Josh also suffered a severe compound leg fracture. Josh’s accident was far out in the woods and although he never lost consciousness, it was only because of exhausting efforts by some of the others he was riding with that his life was saved. They knocked on doors seeking a phone to call for emergency help while others stayed behind to stabilize Josh. With the help of good Samaritan locals using a ladder as a backboard, he was carried to the back of a pickup truck, and transported to a location where an ambulance could finally take him to the hospital.

After being diagnosed with a C5/6 incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), Josh was left a quadriplegic. He has paralysis from the chest down, with limited use of his arms and hands. He spent 4 months in acute rehabilitation learning to care for himself, transfer to and from his wheelchair, and how to embrace this new lifestyle. He moved to the South Shore of MA to live with his father so he could be closer to the medical resources he needed including outpatient therapy. The next several years were spent striving towards living an independent life again. After 3 years and some generous donations, Josh was physically as well as financially ready to drive again with the use of an accessible van and hand controls. The very same van we’re trying to replace with this campaign. (After 13 years & 206,000 miles it has served him well but it is used up!)

Josh attended Bridgewater State College and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He was a member of the Peer Leadership Program, the Public Relations Student Society of America, and he managed the swim team. He later returned to school for a post-baccalaureate certificate in Graphic and Web Design.

Today,  36-year-old Josh lives on his own in Bridgewater MA., works part-time as a marketing specialist, and strives to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. He is completely independent and a social creature by nature. Josh enjoys live music, traveling, visiting with friends and family, and anything related to motorsports!

Josh is an amazing human being who has overcome so many obstacles while maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude. He takes every day as it comes and his favorite expression is “Let the Good Times Roll”.

Massachusetts Mobility Resources

Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)
Description:
The Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) is the state advocacy agency for people with disabilities. MOD’s goal is to make sure that people with disabilities have the legal rights, opportunities, support services, and accommodations they need to take part in all aspects of life in Massachusetts. MOD helps people of all ages.

One of MOD’s main duties is to make sure that the state government, the local governments, and private organizations comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. MOD informs residents about their rights under the law, investigates complaints, and works to correct any violations. MOD services are free.

Services: The Massachusetts Office of Disability has three main programs:

  • The Government Services Program provides technical assistance and advice to state and local governments on all disability-related issues. MOD makes sure that government regulations and policies meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. MOD offers guidance to public service agencies and makes public policy recommendations on behalf of residents with disabilities.
  • The Client Services Program helps individuals who need help with disability-related problems. MOD operates an information and referral system to help residents find the services they need and learn about their legal rights. MOD also investigates complaints and helps correct civil rights violations. MOD’s Client Assistance Program (CAP) helps residents who are having problems with federally funded vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs.
  • The Community Services Program helps communities become more responsive to the needs of residents with disabilities. MOD trains individuals and community organizations to advocate for the rights of the disabled. MOD offers technical assistance and information about accessibility laws. The goal is to improve access to public and private places, programs, and services for people with all types of disabilities.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place, Room 1305
Boston, MA 02108
Telephone:617-727-7440
Toll-free: Voice/TTY: 800-322-2020
Fax: 617-727-0965
Web site: Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
Description:
The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) helps people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The MRC serves Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The MRC helps people with all types of disabilities except blindness. Legally blind residents can get services from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind.

Services:

  • The MRC is the state agency in Massachusetts responsible for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Community Services (CS), and Disability Determination Services (DDS). The MRC also assists with public benefit programs, housing, transportation, and consumer issues. Some MRC programs and services have specific eligibility requirements. Most are free.
  • The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program helps people with disabilities find work or go back to work. The VR program works with various organizations in the community to help create jobs for Massachusetts residents with disabilities.
  • The Office of Community Services (CS) offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities live independently in their communities:
  1. The Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services (BISSCS) program helps Massachusetts residents who have externally caused traumatic brain injuries.
  2. Protective Services tries to prevent the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of people with disabilities by their caregivers.
  3. Independent Living Centers provide advocacy, personal care management, and independent living skills training.
  4. The T22 (Turning 22) Independent Living Support Program helps young people with physical mobility disabilities who want to live independently in their communities.
  5. The Home Care Assistance Program for disabled adults under age 60 provides help with homemaking tasks (see Home Care Assistance Program).
  6. Other in-home and community living support services are also available.
  7. The Assistive Technology (AT) Program buys and installs assistive devices and provides training and follow-up for users.
  • Disability Determination Services (DDS), funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA), determines medical eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Disability examiners use medical and vocational information to make their decisions.

MassMATCH
MassMATCH is a statewide program to help Massachusetts residents with disabilities find, pay for, and use assistive technology (AT) that can make a difference in their lives. The MassMatch web site offers information and advice about:

  • assistive technology (AT) products
  • AT demonstration centers
  • AT funding sources (insurance, loans, government assistance, private charities)
  • where to buy, borrow, swap, and sell AT equipment

MassMATCH (Maximize Assistive Technology in Consumers’ Hands) is a partnership between the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, other state human services agencies, and community-based organizations.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Fort Point Place, Suite 600
27 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210-1616
Telephone: Voice/TTY: 617-204-3600
Toll-free: Voice/TTY: 1-800-245-6543
Web site: MassMATCH

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
Description
:
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) provides rehabilitation and social services to legally blind Massachusetts residents of all ages. These services help people who are legally blind live independently as active members of their communities. The MCB contacts all legally blind people in the state to offer support services.

Eye care providers in Massachusetts are required by law to report all cases of legal blindness to the MCB. The MCB keeps a confidential registry of all legally blind people in the state. The Commission issues Certificates of Legal Blindness to people on its register. These certificates allow legally blind residents to get exemptions and deductions on income tax, property tax, and auto excise tax. The Commission also issues an identification card, similar to a driver’s license, for personal identification and proof of legal blindness.

Services: The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind provides the following services:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), including diagnostic studies, counseling and guidance, individual plans for employment (IPE), restorative and training services, rehabilitation and mobility instruction, assistive technology, adaptive housing, job placement, and post-employment services
  • Assistive technology
  • Independent living social services, including homemaking assistance, assistive devices, mobility instruction, and peer support groups
  • Specialized services for blind seniors (BRIDGE program)
  • Specialized services for blind children, including referrals for early intervention, public benefits, respite care, and socialization and recreation programs
  • Specialized services for blind/deaf individuals and others with multiple disabilities
  • Rehabilitation instruction, including Braille and typing, use of low-vision devices, labeling and record keeping, food preparation, home safety, and self-care techniques
  • Orientation and mobility instruction, including guide dogs
  • MassHealth services for financially eligible people who are legally blind, including long-term care services, hospital services, personal care attendants, private duty nursing, and transportation services
  • Consumer assistance and advocacy for issues related to blindness such as housing and job discrimination, guide dog issues, or transportation problems

Most services are offered free of charge to all registered legally blind Massachusetts residents. Some services have additional eligibility requirements.

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
48 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02111
Toll-free Voice: 800-392-6450
Toll-free TDD: 800-392-6556
Fax: 617-626-7685
Web site: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
Vocational Rehabilitation Client Services Manual
Technology for the Blind
Laws and Regulations
Locations of MCB offices

Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
Description:
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) is the state government agency that works on behalf of Massachusetts residents who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The MCDHH serves as an advocate to make sure that deaf and hard-of-hearing residents have the same access to information, services, education, and other opportunities as the hearing population.

Services: Some of the services that the MCDHH provides are:

  • Communication access, training, and technology services
  • Case management services, including specialized services for children
  • Interpreter and CART translation services
    Note: CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) service translates spoken words into a visual print display that can be read on a computer monitor or other display device.
  • Independent Living Programs, including peer mentoring, assistive technology, consumer education, self-advocacy, and other independent living skills

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
Executive Office of Health and Human Services
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone: 617-740-1600 / TTY: 617-740-1700
Toll-free: Voice: 1-800-882-1155 / TTY: 1-800-530-7570
Fax: 617-740-1880
Web site: Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
The Savvy Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Loss
MCDHH Resource Directory
Regional Offices of the MCDHH
Interpreter and CART Services
Independent Living Services

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Description:
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health is the state agency that oversees treatment programs, support services, regulations, and public policy for Massachusetts residents with mental illness. The DMH supports a community-based system of care.

The Department of Mental Health serves adults with long-term or serious mental illness, and children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances. For adults, the mental disorder must be persistent and must interfere with the ability to carry out daily life activities. For children, the disorder must limit the child’s ability to function in family, school, or community activities.

Residents must file an application and get DMH approval before they can get services. Applications are available on the DMH web site at DMH Service Application Forms and Appeal Guidelines. Applicants can get short-term services while waiting for DMH approval for continuing care.

Services:
The DMH provides continuing care services to Massachusetts residents who cannot get needed services from other agencies or programs. DMH services include:

  •  continuing care inpatient facilities
  • residential treatment centers
  • in-home treatment
  • outpatient services
  • skills training
  • supported employment
  • case management

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
Central Office
25 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114
Telephone: 617-626-8000
TTY: 617-727-9842
E-mail: DMH Email
Web site: Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
DMH Local Offices: DMH Offices

Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
Description
:
The Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) is the state agency that provides support services to Massachusetts residents with intellectual disabilities. The DDS works with many provider agencies throughout the state to offer services to adults and children and their caregivers. Individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families play an active role in making decisions about their lives and in choosing the support services they want and need.

The DDS has an application for services that must be completed before services can be approved. The application is available on the DDS web site: Application for DDS Eligibility

Services: The DDS offers a wide range of support services for adults, including:

  • Service coordination
  • Housing options
  • Employment skills training and transportation to work
  • Non-work related skills training
  • Family support services, including respite care
  • Life skills training and support (food shopping, cooking, etc.)

DDS’s services for children include:

  • Service coordination
  • Family support services, including respite care
  • Partnership program for families of children with significant health care needs
  • Autism support centers
  • After-school and summer camp programs

Contact Information:
Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services
Central Office
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Telephone: Voice: 617-727-5608
TTY: 617-624-7783
Fax: 617-624-7577
Web site: Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS)
Local DDS offices: DDS Area Office Locator

Disability Law Center (DLC)
Description:
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is a private non-profit law firm that gives free legal assistance to Massachusetts residents with disabilities who have been discriminated against because of their disability.

The Disability Law Center helps people with all types of disabilities, including physical, psychiatric, sensory, and cognitive. The DLC provides legal help with problems such as discrimination, abuse or neglect, or denial of services, when they are related to a person’s disability.

Services:
Services include information and referral, technical assistance, legal representation for individuals and groups, and advocacy. The Disability Law Center helps with disability-related legal problems in these areas:

  • Access to community services
  • Special education
  • Health care
  • Disability benefits
  • Rights and conditions in facilities

The DLC does not have the resources to help everyone who has a disability-related legal problem. The DLC sets priorities each year based on the needs of the community. See DLC Priorities. The DLC chooses cases that will have the most impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Contact Information:
Disability Law Center (DLC)
11 Beacon Street, Suite 925
Boston, MA 02108
Voice telephone: 617-723-8455 / 800-872-9992
TTY: 617-227-9464 / 800-381-0577
Web site: Disability Law Center

DisabilityInfo.org
Description:
The DisabilityInfo.org web site helps people with disabilities, their families, and service providers find disability-related resources in Massachusetts. It has information on a wide variety of programs, agencies, and services for Massachusetts residents with disabilities.

The site is maintained by New England INDEX, a nonprofit technology group. New England INDEX collects information from over 100 members of the Massachusetts Network of Information Providers for People with Disabilities (MNIP) and puts the information on one web site for easy access.

Services:
On the DisabilityInfo.org web site, you can find:

  • disability programs, services, and agencies in Massachusetts
  • disability consultants, including advocates, educators, therapists, counselors, and other specialists
  • physicians and dentists with experience working with people with disabilities
  • local and regional offices for human service agencie
  • local disability agencies that you can call for help
  • fact sheets about many different types of disabilities
  • disability-related laws and regulations
  • disability news
  • information about assistive technology
  • other resources for people with disabilities

Contact Information:
Web site: DisabilityInfo.org
Database search
Get help from a local agency
Fact sheet library
Contact us
New England INDEX
200 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6319
Telephone: 781-642-0248
Toll-free: Voice: 800-642-0249
Toll-free: TTY: 800-764-0200
E-mail: info@DisabilityInfo.org

Mobility Resources For Massachusetts Residents

How do I get a disabled parking placard?
If you are legally blind or cannot walk more than 200 feet without rest or assistance, you can get a disabled parking placard from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Your doctor or other medical professional must certify your medical condition. You can get a temporary placard or a permanent placard depending on how long your condition will last. The placard is free.

You can get an application for a disabled parking placard at any RMV Branch Office or from the RMV web site: Medical Affairs Forms. You should complete and sign the first page of the application, then have your health care provider complete and sign the second page. Mail or bring the completed application to the RMV.

  • If you mail your application, allow 30 days for the Medical Affairs office to process it. Send your application to:
    Medical Affairs/ RMV
    P.O. Box 55889
    Boston, MA 02205
  • If you bring your application to the office, Medical Affairs will process it the same day. The walk-in address is:
    Medical Affairs/ RMV Office
    25 Newport Ave EXT
    Quincy MA

You are allowed to use the placard only when you are in the vehicle, or when you are being dropped off or picked up. For more information, see Disabled Parking FAQs on the RMV web site.

If you lose your placard, you can apply for a duplicate. For instructions, see Applying for a Duplicate Placard on the RMV web site.

How do I find adaptive driver’s education classes?
If you need specialized driver’s education because of your disability, you can get adaptive driving lessons at one of the schools listed on the Registry of Motor Vehicles web site at Specialized Driver’s Education Programs (at the bottom of the page). Programs are customized to meet your needs, and can be adapted for a wide range of physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities. Vehicles with hand controls and other specialized equipment are available.

Adaptive driving programs include:

How do I get a health care proxy?
A health care proxy is a simple legal document that allows you to choose someone to make medical decisions for you, if, for any reason, you are unable to make these decisions yourself.

You can find information about health care proxies on our Advance Care Planning page. Please follow this link: How do I get a health care proxy?

How do I make a living will?
A living will is a document in which you describe the type of medical treatment you want if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious. It allows you to make end-of-life decisions while you are physically and mentally competent to do so.

You can find information about living wills on our Advance Care Planning page. Please follow this link: How do I make a living will?

How do I get a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order?
You have the right to decide if you want medical workers to use CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to try to save your life if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. This is a decision you should make with your doctor, family members, and other people you trust. If you do not want CPR to be used, you must get a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order from your doctor.

You can find information about DNRs on our Advance Care Planning page. Please follow this link: How do I get a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order?

How do I give someone permission to see my medical records?
A federal law known as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protects the privacy of your medical information. HIPAA limits the ways doctors, pharmacies, other health care providers, health insurance companies, nursing homes, and Medicaid/Medicare can share your personal health information.

You can find out how to give health care providers permission to share your medical information on our Advance Care Planning page. Please follow this link: How do I give someone permission to see my medical records?

How do I get a power of attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document in which you give another person (your “agent”) the right to handle financial and legal matters for you.

You can find information about naming a power of attorney on our Advance Care Planning page. Please follow this link:How do I get a power of attorney?

How do I get a Massachusetts ID card?
If you do not have a driver’s license and you are a resident of Massachusetts, you can get a Massachusetts ID card to use as official identification and proof of age. You can get an ID card at any full-service Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office.

You can find information about Massachusetts ID cards in our “How Do I …? section for seniors. Please follow this link:How do I get a Massachusetts ID card?

How do I get a service animal?
A service animal is a dog or other animal that has been specially trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. A service animal performs tasks that the person with the disability cannot do independently. For example, service animals can be trained to help people who are blind or deaf, are mobility impaired, have diabetes or seizure disorders, are autistic, or have other physical or mental disabilities.

For a list of organizations that provide service dogs, see:

Eligibility requirements and costs vary from one organization to another. Many organizations provide service animals for free, but ask you to pay your own expenses while attending training sessions. An interview is usually required before you are accepted into a program.

Massachusetts Disability Grants Handicap Funding MA
People with disabilities in Massachusetts can solve their lack of funding for handicap needs, such as a wheelchair van, through disability grants, financing programs, loans, and more. Browse the largest resource for Massachusetts disability grants to help pay for new wheelchair vans or handicap accessible van conversions. AMS Vans will deliver handicap vans to Massachusetts or nationwide.

Disability Grants in Massachusetts
The handicap funding for the disabled listed below may or may not assist in financing a handicap van. Check with the local Massachusetts grant provider for a complete list of requirements.

The Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program: The Massachusetts ATLP provides people with disabilities access to low-interest cash loans to purchase handicap vans and vehicle modifications to accommodate a wheelchair.

How to Apply for Massachusetts Grants or Mobility Funding
Massachusetts residents seeking assistance with the purchase of handicap vans for sale should contact the mobility funding programs listed above about disability grants offered. We are delighted to accept all funding assistance programs to ensure your handicap needs are met. If we missed a grant program you’re familiar with, please let us know and we will add it to our list of mobility funding sources in Massachusetts.

Prepare Your Mobility Equipment For the Colder Weather

Cold temperatures not only slow wheelchair users down, but can also slow down their vans and accessible equipment. For example, if you use a hydraulic wheelchair lift, you may have noticed that the colder the weather, the slower the lift reacts. The cold thickens the fluid, making it move slower through hoses, valves and cylinders.

There’s not much you can do about that, but preparing other equipment for cold weather is important to help avoid accidents and breakdowns.

If you live in the New England area · call our Mobility Center today (508) 697-8324 · We’ll rust proof your wheelchair accessible vehicle, give you an oil change, tune-up, and/or semi-annual ramp/lift service and have any other accessible equipment checked before the temperature dips. If you ask we can also check your battery, antifreeze level, heater, brakes, defroster and thermostat.

Do It Yourself:

  • Purchase winter wiper blades that cut through snow and ice.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full. It reduces condensation and makes your vehicle easier to start on cold mornings.
  • Buy tires that have MS, M+S, M/S or M&S on them, meaning they meet the Rubber Manufacturers Association guidelines and can bite through mud and snow.
  • For better traction and control, rotate tires so the best ones are in the front.
  • Get an electric engine block heater. It warms the engine so the motor can start. It connects to normal AC power overnight or before driving. In extremely cold climates, electrical outlets are sometimes found in public or private parking lots. 
  • Cold weather is tough on accessible van batteries. Buy one with greater starting power, higher cold cranking amps and reserve capacity for energy when the engine isn’t running.
  • Use synthetic oil to make starting a cold engine easier.

Before you drive:

  • Keep rock salt on hand to melt ice off walkways for a safer wheelchair ride.
  • Clean the snow off the roof and hood so it doesn’t “avalanche” onto the windshield and block your vision.
  • Clear the head and tail lights for best visibility.
  • Scrape the ice off mirrors and windows.

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Here at VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations we’ll service and repair your wheelchair accessible vehicle and/or equipment even if you didn’t buy it from us! So bring us your mobility van no matter the year (old or new), chassis (Honda, Dodge, Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, excreta..), or conversion (Side Entry, Rear Entry, VMI, Braun, Ricon, Rampvan, Elorado, Amerivan, excreta..)!!

10 Simple Ways to Get Your Conversion Van Ready for winter

Winter Driving ahead

For anyone living in a northern state, Winter means rain, sleet, slush, snow and ice. Driving along icy roads is tricky at the best of times, and there’s not always a plow available to get your road clear in time to go to work for the day. Why not make your life a little easier now, by preparing your conversion van for the coming winter? You can do many small things before the snow starts to fall to make your winter that much easier to handle.

1. Get an oil change. Specifically, get the right sort of oil change. Oil won’t freeze in the kind of temperatures we see in the north, but it will get thicker. Thicker oil does a worse job of keeping your engine lubed up, which means more wear and tear on the moving parts you definitely don’t want to replace. Dirty oil gums up even worse, so get that oil changed before the temperatures drop.

2. Take steps to ensure visibility at all times. The most important and most neglected fluid for visibility is windshield washer fluid. Topping up that tank will save you plenty of headaches when you have to scrape frost off the glass or wait for a heater to melt it. A blast with wiper fluid and a few passes of the wipers will clear it right up. It helps if you clean your windshield inside as well. Of course, you should also have a good snowbrush and ice scraper stored away in the trunk or back seat. 

3. Perk up your battery. The cold and wet conditions of a typical winter can wreak havoc on a battery. Connections will corrode and the batter may lose the ability to hold a charge. The older a battery is, the more likely you’ll run into issues along the way. Most auto shops can test your battery’s ability to hold a charge, and can tell you if you need a new one. Get it looked at before you end up stalled on the side of the freeway.

4. Check the belts and hoses in your engine. Belts and hoses are made of rubber and plastic, which tend to get brittle as they age. The addition of road salt and icy water splashing up onto them only makes the process faster. Take your conversion van in to have it services and pay special attention to the belts and hoses, so you don’t end up dropping fluid or finding a snapped belt while you drive. 

5. Monitor your tire pressure. In wet and icy conditions, traction is key to keeping your conversion van on the road. Your tires are made to function best at a certain level of inflation, which varies depending on the tire. As the temperatures get colder, the pressure of the air in your tires will drop, at about 1 PSI per ten degrees. Keeping your tires inflated properly keeps them working as best they can. 

6. Switch to snow tires, if applicable. Snow tires aren’t for everyone. If you live in the middle of the city and the roads are plowed several times a day, you probably don’t need a lot of extra traction from your tires. On the other hand, if you live in an area with plenty of hills and the plows come few and far between, winter tires might be a good option. 

7. If you have four-wheel drive in your vehicle, test it out. Make sure the system engages smoothly. Since you probably don’t use the system much during the summer, it might have an issue that you don’t notice. Better to get it tested now than to discover it doesn’t work when you need it. Don’t forget to make sure that anyone driving your vehicle knows how to turn the system on and off. For new drivers experiencing their first winter in their parents’ conversion van, this can be all new. 

8. Check your engine coolant. Most conversion vans run on something between pure antifreeze and a half and half mixture of antifreeze and water. Diluted antifreeze is perfectly fine. It would take ridiculously low temperatures to freeze even a half and half mixture, so there’s no sense in wasting half a gallon of coolant when you don’t need it. You can test the mixture of antifreeze yourself, or take it to a mechanic. Check to see if your vehicle uses a special kind of antifreeze as well. Just remember that if you replace your antifreeze yourself, you need to dispose of the old coolant properly. It’s harmful to the environment and illegal in most places to pour antifreeze down the drain. 

9. Stock up on supplies and put together an emergency kit. In the event that something breaks and you’re stranded, having an emergency kit is a lifesaver. Here’s an idea of what you should have in your kit:

  • Blanket, boots, gloves and warm clothes
  • Emergency food and water
  • A snow brush, ice scraper and a small shovel
  • A flashlight with spare batteries and a set of road flares
  • Windshield wipers and extra fluid
  • Repair items like jumper cables, a tool kit, a tire pressure gauge and a spare tire
  • A first aid kit

10. Don’t forget your training. All the tools and supplies in the world won’t help you if you don’t know what to do when you’re broken down. If you’re likely to be stranded for an extended period, light flares for the front and back of your vehicle. Run the engine and heater only for short durations to save gas. Wear your warm clothes to keep warm instead. To prevent your conversion van from freezing shut, crack the window slightly. If you have hard candies with you, you can munch on them to keep your mouth from drying out. Of course, make sure you have contact numbers and a way to call for help if you do end up stranded.

Side Entry Versus Rear Entry Wheelchair Vans

2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT rear entry wheelchair van newenglandwheelchairvan.com12 VS 2013 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar

The question of a Rear Entry wheelchair van versus a Side Entry van often comes up in conversation when a first time buyer enters the accessible van market. There are several things to consider; first, the family or care giver needs to decide on where the wheelchair user is going to sit. If the person in the wheelchair is able to drive and will be independent there are other things to consider, but for now, let us stay with an assisted member of the family.

Door height is an issue. For that we need to know how tall the person sits in their wheelchair.

Scooter or Power chair is next. Size and weight combination will come into play as we move along in the discovery process.

Will the person transfer into a  seat or will they remain in their wheelchair while traveling?

Okay, now we get into seating. The side entry offers both mid-section and front seat options with tie-downs located throughout. In a rear entry van, the mid-section to rear of the vehicle, are the only seating options while remaining in the wheelchair.

There are five passenger seats available for family members in a side entry van versus six available seats in a rear entry. Both are in addition to whoever is in the wheelchair, which gives a total of six people in a side entry and up to seven in a rear entry.

For folks with a long wheelchair or scooter the rear entry is ideal. Over six feet of space is afforded to tie down the wheelchair and no turning to forward face is necessary.

A side entry requires up to eight feet accommodating the lowering of the ramp allowing access into your van. This may prohibit the use of the ramp while inside a garage or if someone parks to close while at the mall or a doctor’s appointment.

The rear entry does not have the blocked in problem, you are always accessing your van from the aisle.

In summation, like anything else, it is best to try before you buy. Our Mobility Center has both styles of wheelchair vans. See which style suits your lifestyle and then consider the purchase of either a new or used mobility equipped van. Always consult with your mobility product specialist for any additional questions you may have.

Keep Calm It’s Only An Extra Chromosome

keep calm its only extra chromosome - Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Despite the incredible number of medical advances which have enriched and extended the lives of people with Down syndrome, Trisomy 21 continues to be extremely misunderstood. Many people look at Down syndrome through the lens of outdated stereotypes and misconceptions.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month, celebrated each October, is one way to change that. The goal of Down Syndrome Awareness Month is, of course, to spread awareness, to educate about Down syndrome, and to celebrate people who have Down syndrome, and their abilities and accomplishments.

Facts about Down syndrome:

  • What is Down syndrome?
    Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome, is a genetic disorder which is caused by a full or partial third copy of the 21st chromosome. There are three types of Down syndrome. Trisomy 21, or nondisjunction, is the most common kind, seen in 95% of Down syndrome cases. The extra chromosome is present in every cell in the body. Translocation Down syndrome occurs in about 4% of Down syndrome cases and is caused by a partial copy of the 21st chromosome breaking off and attaching to another chromosome (usually the 14th chromosome). Finally, Mosaic Down syndrome is the rarest case, seen in about 1% of Down syndrome cases. Mosaic Down syndrome happens when the nondisjunction of an extra chromosome is present in some, but not all, of the body’s cells. Some cells will have 47 chromosomes, while the rest will have the typical 46 chromosomes.

 

  • Is Down syndrome rare?
    No, Down syndrome is not rare. It is the most commonly occurring genetic disorder or birth defect. One out of every 691 babies born in the United States will have Down syndrome, and there are over 400,000 people who have Down syndrome living in the United States. Down syndrome occurs in all races, and while women are at a greater risk of conceiving a child with Down syndrome as they get older, the majority of babies with Down syndrome are born to younger mothers.

 

  • What are the effects of having Down syndrome?
    People with Down syndrome usually have hypotonia, or low muscle tone, and developmental delays. Early intervention programs and therapies are able to help children with Down syndrome reach the same milestones as typical children, albeit at a slightly longer pace. The rate at which the person with Down syndrome reaches these milestones, as well as the developmental delays he or she has, will be highly individual. There usually are cognitive delays as well, ranging from mild to moderate. It is important to remember, though, that each person with Down syndrome is different, just like typical people. People with Down syndrome are also at increased risk for various medical conditions, such as heart defects, hearing problems, thyroid conditions, childhood leukemia, and Alzheimer’s. However, medical advances have made most of these issues highly treatable, to the point where people with Down syndrome have life expectancies similar to those of people with typical chromosomes.

 

  • What are the physical characteristics of Down syndrome?
    There are common markers for Down syndrome, which include almond-shaped eyes, a single crease in the palm, flat facial features, small ears, and extra space between the big toe and second toe. However, each person with Down syndrome is an individual, so some people may exhibit many of these characteristics, while others will not have any.

 

  • Can people with Down syndrome lead normal, fulfilling lives?
    People with Down syndrome often do work and make contributions to society. They also get married, as well as have friendships and other meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, most men with Down syndrome cannot have children, or have a lower fertility rate than typical men. About 50% of women with Down syndrome are able to have children. Thirty-five to fifty percent of children born to a mother with Down syndrome will also have Down syndrome, or other developmental delays. Most importantly, people with Down syndrome do lead happy, fulfilling lives. Studies have consistently shown that people with Down syndrome overwhelmingly report being happy with themselves, their lives, and how they look.

 

  • Are people with Down syndrome always happy?
    No. People often refer to people with Down syndrome as always happy, or as constantly full of love and joy, but this does a disservice to people with Down syndrome. They experience the full range of emotions, just like everyone else. Reducing them to one emotion or one feeling reduces them to less of a person. They feel happiness, along with sadness, anger, frustration, and countless other feelings, and they deserve to have those feelings acknowledged.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Facts & Figures

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2013 facts & figuresHeld each October, Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues. The opportunity to earn a living and be self-supporting is a broadly held goal by Americans. Work is a foundation of stability for individuals and can give one’s life meaning and purpose.  Unfortunately, the rate and level of employment for people with disabilities is staggeringly low. Labor force participation is 22% for people with disabilities as compared to 69% for people without disabilities.

Additional Mobility Resources in Massachusetts

Additional Mobility Resources in Massachusetts

additional-mobility-resources-in-massachusetts newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Non-Profit Organizations

Independent Living Centers

  • Center for Living and Working – Worcester, MA
  • Independent Living Center of the North Shore & Cape Ann, Inc. – Salem, MA
  • Kennedy Donovan Center – Foxboro, MA
  • Northeast Independent Living – Lawrence, MA

Veteran Administration Hospitals/Organizations

Rehabilitation Centers/Hospitals

  • Center for Comprehensive Services – Braintree, MA
  • Health South – Woburn, MA
  • Spaulding Rehab – Boston, MA

Adaptive Driver Evaluators

  • Adaptive Driving Programs – Dedham, MA

 

It’s all about choices

It’s all about choices wheelchair vans newenglandwheelchairvan.com

The theme of the website revolves around choice and making a knowledgeable decision. The site has reviews on manual rigid frame models, folding wheelchairs and power chairs. They even have a section on all-terrain wheelchairs and sports wheelchairs. Just about every type of mobility device is represented. One of the more popular wheelchairs in the rigid frame section is the Ti Lite ZRA with 42 user postings. Overall, they have a 3.76 end user rating. Among the highest rated rigid frames with a 5.0 rating, but with only 10 user reviews is the Lasher Sport, Llc BT-Mg.

To see what people are saying about your wheelchair or one that you may be looking at getting in the future, go to wheelchair reviews.

Scooter Reviews for Three and Four Wheeled Models

The website also has reviews and ratings for scooters. These include 3-wheel scooters, 4-wheel scooters, and lightweight scooters. Among the top reviewed in the lightweights is the Pride Mobility Go Go. To see the scooters listed and which one sounds like the right fit for your needs, go to scooter reviews.

About United Spinal

United Spinal was founded in 1946 by a group of paralyzed WWII veterans in New York City who advocated for greater civil rights and independence for themselves and their fellow veterans. Today, United Spinal is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). Its 35,000 members are of all ages and backgrounds and membership is free.

Other Resources

Other online websites for learning about different wheelchair makes and models include Spin Life and Disabled World. Getting as many opinions as you can from friends and support groups is highly suggested to find the right chair to meet your needs and personal preferences. Making a knowledgeable decision by doing a little research online may save you time and money.

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

 

2010 Chrysler Town and Country · For Sale

We just took in a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country LMT as a trade-in for a converted van.

Additional Information

• 10,421 miles
• 4.0L V6 SFI SOHC 24V
• Fuel Type: Gasoline
• MPG City/Hwy: 17 city/24 hwy

Pictures

2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 front left 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 front right 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 rear right 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854  rear left side 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 front side interior view 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 interior front passenger view 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 front interior view 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 dash 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 interior front  view 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 dvd player 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 interior rear seats 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 interior rear view2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 interior left rear floor view 2010 Chrysler T&C No Conversion 2A4RR8DX4AR421854 trunk open seats up view

 

Trade-Ins
We accept both converted mobility vehicles and non-modified vehicles as long as the vehicle is in very good condition. It is also preferred that the vehicle is under 10 years old with odometers at 100,000 miles or less.

Aging & Disability Resource Consortium

have a safe journey sign

Aging & Disability Resource Consortium

The Aging & Disability Resource Consortium (ADRC) is a partnership between a county’s elder service organizations, known as Aging Service Access Points (ASAPs) and an areas’ Independent Living Center serving people with disabilities. The ADRC enhances collaborations between elder and disability service providers, ensuring there’s no wrong door when an elder or person with a disability contacts one of our agencies for assistance and services. An ADRC is designed to assist individuals in need of long-term services and supports in making informed choices.

In Suffolk County, the ADRC is comprised of four ASAPs, Boston Senior Home Care, Central Boston Elder Services, Chelsea-Revere-Winthrop Elder Services, and Ethos — the areas AAA, the Boston Commission on Affairsof the Elderly — and the Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL). In Metro Boston, the ADRC is comprised of BCIL and the ASAPs Minuteman Senior Services, Mystic Valley Elder Services, Somerville/Cambridge Elder Services and Springwell.

One critical new program the ADRC offers is Options Counseling, which provides seniors over 60 and people with disabilities of any age with the information they need on long-term services and supports in order to live independently in their community, regardless of disability or income. Options Counselors are trained to work with you, family members and/or significant others, to connect you to vital resources and services that fit your current situation and preferences and allow you to stay in your home.

Option Counselors advise people who are soon to be discharged from a hospital or rehab facility, have been admitted a long-term care facility following a hospital stay, are facing admission to or residing in a nursing facility, or when a family caregiver needs help to continue providing care in the community. An Options Counselor can help you develop your own personal long-term care plan and connect you to options and supports that help you remain in the community.

Options Counseling is a FREE service. The program is funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and offered through ADRCs across the state.

Aging and Disability Resource Consortium ADRC Service Areas and Contact Information

Suffolk County ADRC

ADRC Coordinator: David Sternburg 617-338-6665 xt.223 dsternburg@bostoncil.org

Boston Center for Independent Living 617-338-6665

See Areas Served in Direct Services on web site.
Options Counselor: Rob Park 617-338-6665, xt.247 rpark@bostoncil.org

Boston Senior Home Care 617-451-6400

Charlestown, East Boston, South Boston, North End, West End, Beacon Hill, Downtown, Chinatown, North Dorchester, East Mattapan
Options Counselor: Carolyn O’Brien 617-960-6980 cobrien@bshcinfo.org

Central Boston Elder Services 617-277-7416

Allston, Brighton, Back Bay, South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Fenway, Mission Hill
Options Counselor: Neicey Skeens 617-277-7416 xt.259 HSkeens@centralboston.org

Chelsea-Revere-Winthrop Elder Services 617-884-2500

Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop
Options Counselor: Jessica Parow 617-884-2500 jparow@crwelderservices.org

Ethos 617-522-6700

Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale, West Roxbury
Options Counselor: Winsome Waldron 617-522-6700 xt.377 wwaldron@ethocare.org

Metro Boston ADRC

ADRC Consultant: Miranda Heibel 617-628-2601 x3079 m.heibel@eldercare.org

Boston Center for Independent Living 617-338-6665

See Areas Served in Direct Services on web site.
Options Counselor: Rob Park 617-338-6665, xt.247 rpark@bostoncil.org

Minuteman Senior Services 781-272-7177

Acton, Arlington, Bedford, Boxboro, Burlington, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lexington, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn elderinfo@minutemansenior.org

Mystic Valley Elder Services 781-324-7705

Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wakefield

info@mves.org

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services 617-628-2601

Cambridge, Somerville

info@eldercare.org

Springwell 617-926-4100

Belmont, Brookline, Needham, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Wellesley, Weston

inforef@springwell.com

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Information · For Sale

Our New 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT Mobility minivan has a New VMI Northstar conversion

Additional Information

20 miles
 3.6L V6 DOHC 24V
 Fuel Type: Gasoline
 MPG City/Hwy: 17 city/25 hwy

Pictures
VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com  VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com  VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com  VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.comVMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com VMi New England 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan VMiNewEngland.com

Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar Conversion

VMI first developed the Northstar handicap van conversion in the early 1990′s to meet customer preferences for increased interior space. To this day, the VMI Northstar on the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan remains one of the best mobility ramp vans in America.

By sliding out of a space below the floor, the Northstar mobility ramp maximizes space inside the accessible vehicle. There are so many benefits of an in-floor wheelchair ramp, it is easily understood why its so popular.

Description
Interior handles, and switches, buttons are easily accessed
Front passenger seat retains regular functions
No additional noise from handicap ramp
In the event of an accident, the accessible ramp is under the floor-not inside the mobility van
Works on curbs up to 10 inches tall
Increased maneuverability due to greater space inside the accessible van
Ramp-free doorway allows easy entry/exit for ambulatory passengers
Minimized conversion wear and tear (fewer ramp cycles to load/unload additional passengers)
Uncluttered and clean wheelchair vehicle interior
Mobility vehicle interior gets less dirt inside
Increased handicapped ramp width

Specifications
Maximum Floor Drop – 11″
Handicap Vehicle Ground Clearance – 5.5″
Door Opening Width – 30.75″
Door Opening Height – 55.125″
Usable Mobility Ramp Width – 29.25″
Wheelchair Ramp Length – 45.75″
Length from Back Seats to Kickplate – 58.25″
Overall Floor Length – 86″
Floor Width at Front Doors – 61″
Interior Height at Driver & Passenger Positions (Without Sunroof) – 58″
Interior Height at Center Position – 57.63″
Steering Wheel Bottom to Floor – 29.5″
Measured Down from Front Edge of Steering Wheel to Front Kick-Up – 16.25″

Standard Features
Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar only
Extremely-low 8.0° handicapped ramp angle
Sure Deploy backup system leaves accessible van conversion usable even with power failure
Manual secondary backup system for additional peace of mind
800lb. handicap ramp weight capacity

Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar AND Summit
Fully-powered accessible van ramp
11” drop FLEX Floor maximizes interior space and headroom for better maneuverability
Complete undercoating and rust proofing
PowerKneel system lowers the minivan to reduce ramp angle
Seamless integration with Dodge Grand Caravan vehicle electronics
Complete control through Dodge keyfob and interior switches
Removable front passenger and driver seat bases
No-skid wheelchair ramp surfacing
Complete crash testing and compliance with all government safety standards
3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Optional Features
Durafloor (rubberized flooring) to match Dodge Grand Caravan interiors

Dodge Grand Caravan Wheelchair Van Conversion

Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar Conversion

VMI first developed the Northstar handicap van conversion in the early 1990’s to meet customer preferences for increased interior space. To this day, the VMI Northstar on the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan remains one of the best mobility ramp vans in America.

By sliding out of a space below the floor, the Northstar mobility ramp maximizes space inside the accessible vehicle. There are so many benefits of an in-floor wheelchair ramp, it is easily understood why its so popular.

Dodge VMI Northstar at Automotive Innovations www.bridgewatermobility.com

VMI New England Dodge Northstar Wheelchair Van VMiNewEngland.com

Description
Interior handles, and switches, buttons are easily accessed
Front passenger seat retains regular functions
No additional noise from handicap ramp
In the event of an accident, the accessible ramp is under the floor-not inside the mobility van
Works on curbs up to 10 inches tall
Increased maneuverability due to greater space inside the accessible van
Ramp-free doorway allows easy entry/exit for ambulatory passengers
Minimized conversion wear and tear (fewer ramp cycles to load/unload additional passengers)
Uncluttered and clean wheelchair vehicle interior
Mobility vehicle interior gets less dirt inside
Increased handicapped ramp width

Specifications
Maximum Floor Drop – 11″
Handicap Vehicle Ground Clearance – 5.5″
Door Opening Width – 30.75″
Door Opening Height – 55.125″
Usable Mobility Ramp Width – 29.25″
Wheelchair Ramp Length – 45.75″
Length from Back Seats to Kickplate – 58.25″
Overall Floor Length – 86″
Floor Width at Front Doors – 61″
Interior Height at Driver & Passenger Positions (Without Sunroof) – 58″
Interior Height at Center Position – 57.63″
Steering Wheel Bottom to Floor – 29.5″
Measured Down from Front Edge of Steering Wheel to Front Kick-Up – 16.25″

Standard Features
Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar only
Extremely-low 8.0° handicapped ramp angle
Sure Deploy backup system leaves accessible van conversion usable even with power failure
Manual secondary backup system for additional peace of mind
800lb. handicap ramp weight capacity

Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar AND Summit
Fully-powered accessible van ramp
11” drop FLEX Floor maximizes interior space and headroom for better maneuverability
Complete undercoating and rust proofing
PowerKneel system lowers the minivan to reduce ramp angle
Seamless integration with Dodge Grand Caravan vehicle electronics
Complete control through Dodge keyfob and interior switches
Removable front passenger and driver seat bases
No-skid wheelchair ramp surfacing
Complete crash testing and compliance with all government safety standards
3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Optional Features
Durafloor (rubberized flooring) to match Dodge Grand Caravan interiors


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Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Summit Conversion

The Summit folding wheelchair ramp van conversion on a Dodge Grand Caravan is an economical choice compared to the popular Northstar in-floor handicapped ramp conversion from VMI. Summit mobility ramps utilize siderails that are 2 inches tall. This is especially important for those with a hard time navigating an incline. VMI Summit handicapped accessible van on the Dodge Grand Caravan also includes an industry best access ramp length of only 50.25”.

The short handicap ramp provides two key advantages to VMI customers. First, passengers can easily use the Dodge handle for the sliding door and switches because the handicapped ramp is not covering them. Second, users in wheelchairs have more room to move on and off the ramp when other vehicles park too close.

Dodge VMI Summit at Automotive Innovations www.bridgewatermobility.com

VMI New England Dodge Summit Wheelchair Van VMiNewEngland.com

Description
Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Summit Only
2” siderails help people with a disabilities stay on the ramp when coming in and out
When other vehicles park too close, 50.25” ramp leaves users more room to maneuver
By simply pushing outward on the ramp, it can be deployed incase of a mechanical/power failure
Handicap ramp surface allows debris to fall through so it doesn’t end up inside the vehicle
Mobility ramp has a quiet cabin dut to an anti-rattle device
600lb. handicapped ramp rating

Dodge Grand Caravan with VMI Northstar AND Summit
Fully-powered accessible ramp
11” drop FLEX Floor maximizes head clearance and interior space for maneuvering a wheelchair
Complete undercoating and rust proofing
PowerKneel system lowers the minivan to reduce wheelchair ramp angle
Total integration with Dodge systems prevents damage to vehicle/ conversion
Accessible van conversion is controlled through interior sliding-door switches and Dodge keychain
Easy-out passenger and front driver seat stands
No-slip handicapped ramp
Total crash-testing and compliance with all government standards for safety
3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Specifications
Maximum Floor Drop – 11″
Mobility Vehicle Ground Clearance – 5.5″
Door Opening Height – 54.25″
Usable Wheelchair Ramp Width – 28.88″
Handicap Ramp Length – 50.25″
Length from Back of Seats to Kickplate – 58.25″
Overall Floor Length – 86″
Floor Width at Doors – 61″
Interior Height at Center Position – 58″
Interior Height at Drivers & Passengers Position (Without Sunroof) – 58″
Steering Wheel Bottom to Floor – 29.5″
Measured Down from Front Edge of Steering Wheel to Front Kick-Up – 16.25

Standard Features
Power Folding Wheelchair Ramp with Non-Skid Surface
Power Sliding Door with Easy Manual Operation
Maximum Interior Headroom
Undercoating and Complete Rust Proofing
Manual Backup Ramp Operation
Warranty – Mobiltiy Conversion Van
Fully Crash Tested
Remote Control Activation
600 Pound Load Rating for Handicap Ramp
9.7 Degree Handicap Ramp Angle

Optional Features
Rubberized Flooring

Thousands Offered For Disability Innovations

With $25,000 in prize money on the line, inventors are being challenged to tackle real-world barriers facing people with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy is offering up cash to anyone who can turn one of three ideas they’ve pinpointed into reality. The reward is being offered for creating a solar-powered wheelchair, a fold-up motorized wheelchair that can fit inside a typical car or a documentary focusing on the successes of people living with cerebral palsy in the 21st century.

The ideas were picked from nearly 500 that were submitted last year to the organization’s “Change My World In 1 Minute” contest. The challenge called for ideas that would “improve mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connections” for those with cerebral palsy.

“We’re challenging the world to bring these three innovative ideas to life and to help people living with disabilities become more independent, increase accessibility and raise awareness,” said Stephen Bennett, president and CEO of UCP. “We invite everyone, including universities, engineers, companies, inventors, hackers and makers to bring their best thinking to the contest. This is a chance to use the best of humanity’s gifts to change the lives of others.”

Entries to the contest are due March 31 and the winners — who will share in the $25,000 prize money — are expected to be announced ahead of World Cerebral Palsy Day on Sept. 2.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance

Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Cerebral Palsy Alliance logo.svg
Type Non-Profit
Industry Nonprofit organization
Founded 1945
Founder(s) Audrie McLeod, CBE, Neil McLeod, OBE
Headquarters 187 Allambie Road
Allambie Heights, NSW 2100
Website cerebralpalsy.org.au

The Cerebral Palsy Alliance (formerly The Spastic Centre) is a not-for-profit organization which provides services to adults and children withcerebral palsy from over 70 sites across New South Wales, Australia.

Contents

History[edit]

Cerebral Palsy Alliance was founded on 30 January 1945 by a group of parents of children with cerebral palsy under the leadership of Audrie and Neil McLeod. It was the first organisation of its type in the world for people with cerebral palsy.[1]

Services[edit]

Cerebral Palsy Alliance services include:

  • Technology services
  • Equipment services
  • Mobility programs
  • Employment services
  • Day programs for adults
  • Accommodation support
  • Respite care
  • Therapy and education services
  • Aquatic programs
  • Information
  • Recreation

Cerebral palsy register[edit]

An Australian CP Register has been established to guide future research in prevention, intervention and service provision.

Fundraising[edit]

Miss Australia[edit]

Miss Australia Quest/Awards was run by The Spastic Centres of Australia for 45 years. Over its duration entrants, their families, committees, sponsors and the general public of Australia raised in excess of A$87 million. [2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ “Our History | Cerebral Palsy Alliance”. Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  2. ^ About Us – Miss Australia, Cerebral Palsy Alliance website.

External links[edit]

2013 Toyota Sienna Information · For Sale

Our New 2013 Toyota Sienna LE Mobility minivan has a New VMI Northstar conversion

Additional Information

6 miles
3.5L V6 EFI DOHC 24V
Fuel Type: Gasoline
MPG City/Hwy: 18 city/25 hwy

Pictures

2013 Toyota Sienna DS292397 Front Left Side View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Front Right Side View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Rear Right Side View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Rear Left Side View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Steering Wheel and Dash Left Side View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Right Side Steering Wheel and Dash View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Indide View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Left Side View - Elias 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Trunk Open Seats Up View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Trunk Open Seats Down View 2013 Toyota Sienna  DS292397 Engine View

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Toyota Sienna With VMI Northstar Conversion Information

The all new Toyota Sienna with a VMI Northstar wheelchair van conversion is vehicular perfection for people living with disability. The Toyota Sienna handicap accessible van with a power in-floor ramp offers the most wheelchair access in a flexible package. And like everything from Toyota, the quality and value are unmatched.

The VMI Northstar handicap van engineers put together the Access360 performance package through years of research and experience that have accumulated into the most versatile mobility van on the market. There is more entry space, more interior height, and better aesthetics. It all adds up to Toyota Sienna wheelchair vans that offers flexibility, ease of use, and safety.

Description
Toyota Sienna with VMI Northstar
  NEW – Access360 design with more space to enter and maneuver inside the mobility van
  NEW – Access360 design allows for more flexibility and ease of use
  Obstruction-free doorway allows easy entry/exit for able-bodied passengers
  Clean, uncluttered handicapped vehicle interior
  Greater safety in the event of a collision
  Less dirt and debris from in-floor ramp into wheelchair accessible vehicle interior
  Wider usable accessible wheelchair ramp surface
  No interference with factory seats or controls
  Full use of front passenger seat
  Obstacle-free front row floor
  Ramp stowed safely under floor in the event of a collision
  9″ more floor length than any other Toyota Sienna conversion on the market today

Specifications
Toyota Sienna with VMI Northstar
NEW – Access360 design with more space to enter and maneuver inside the mobility van
NEW – Access360 design allows for more flexibility and ease of use
Obstruction-free doorway allows easy entry/exit for able-bodied passengers
Clean, uncluttered handicapped vehicle interior
Greater safety in the event of a collision
Less dirt and debris from in-floor ramp into wheelchair accessible vehicle interior
Wider usable accessible wheelchair ramp surface
No interference with factory seats or controls
Full use of front passenger seat
Obstacle-free front row floor
Ramp stowed safely under floor in the event of a collision
9″ more floor length than any other Toyota Sienna conversion on the market today

Standard Features
Toyota Sienna with VMI Northstar only
Ultra-low 8.0° accessible ramp angle
800lb. wheelchair ramp capacity
Sure Deploy backup system allows users to stow or deploy the ramp  even without power
Manual secondary backup system for additional peace of mind

Toyota Sienna with Northstar AND Summit
Full-power ramp and conversion
12.75” drop FLEX Floor maximizes headroom & interior space for wheelchair maneuverability
Patented independent rear suspension designed to preserve the ride quality and performance
E-coated floor for maximum corrosion resistance
NEW, ultra-reliable hydraulic PowerKneel system lowers the minivan to reduce ramp angle
Seamless integration with the electronics prevents damage to vehicle/conversion
Conversion control through Toyota keyfob and interior sliding-door switches
Halo-lit, one-touch interior conversion button
Ramp ON/OFF switch allows users to disable all conversion features
(You can open sliding doors for able-bodied passengers without deploying the ramp)
NEW lightweight, removable front seats are easier to install or remove
NEW quick-release straps allow users to remove front seats in seconds
Non-skid handicapped ramp surface
Fully crash-tested and compliant with all government safety standards
3-year/36,000-mile warranty

Optional Features
Durafloor (rubberized flooring) closely matched to the existing Toyota Sienna interior

Wheelchair Motorcycle : A New Kind of Mobility

If you have limited mobility due to a disability, you may think riding a motorcycle is simply out of the question. As the leader in mobility features and transportation for people with disabilities, Automotive Innovations takes that as a challenge. Believe it or not, there are several motorcycles that have been developed including one built from a BMW motorcycle that is made with the specific needs of people with disabilities in mind.

Jim’s passion for motorcycles is unwavering he has worked on wheelchair accessible motorcycles for more than 10 years with features like an EZ-Lock wheelchair locking system to keep you safe and sturdy, interior storage departments to secure your belongings, a passenger seat for your favorite partner in crime, and an automatically controlled rising and lowering access ramp for a hassle-free ride.

If you’re a daredevil at heart, like Jim, and want an exciting way to get around, see if he can up fit a motorcycle just for you. Do you need to bring a little adventure to your life and experience the open road. Whether it’s for daily trips to run errands, a casual Sunday drive, or a road trip across state lines, you’ll get a kick out of the ease and comfort that comes with driving a wheelchair accessible motorcycle. If you are no longer able to ride a standard motorcycle but are not ready to give up the thrill of the ride, contact Automotive Innovations and find out how Jim Sanders and the mobility experts at Automotive Innovations will change your life!

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This mobility update has been brought to you by Vmi New England and Automotive Innovations your Bridgewater, MA 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.

Jim is also an avid motorcyclist, extreme snowmobiler and ATV’er, if you are even in need of snowmobile, atv or motorcycle modifications feel free to contact him directly.

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.
.

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

Raising Stroke Awareness for the Month of May

Help Raise Stroke Awareness

Many people are familiar with what it means to have a stroke – it is the fourth leading cause of death in America, and so has impacted the loved ones of many. When a blood clot breaks free and blocks an artery, or a blood vessel breaks, stopping blood flow to an area of the brain, brain cells in the affected area die. This results in damage to the brain, and is called a stroke, brain attack, cerebrovascular accident (CVA) or ischemic stroke. Sometimes a person will suffer something called a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which is a “mini-stroke” that cuts off the supply of blood to the brain but does not cause lasting brain damage; although there is not permanent damage, there is a high risk of suffering a repeat TIA or a full stroke if not properly treated. Signs that a stroke is happening or has just occurred include sudden weakness or numbness of an arm, leg, or face – commonly just one side, sudden difficulty speaking, sudden difficulty walking or loss of balance, trouble seeing through one or both eyes, or sudden onset severe headache.

In support of Stroke Awareness Month, we invite you to learn more about stroke: how to minimize the risk of one occurring, and how to recognize one happening so that medical help can be called for as soon as possible.  Check in to our blog or Facebook throughout the month of May for more information on stroke and how to participate in awareness campaigns in your area.