Tag Archives: mobility equipment

How To Properly Insure Your Accessible Wheelchair Van

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


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

Liability Insurance

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

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

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

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

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

Medical Payments

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

Physical Damage Insurance

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

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

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

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

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

Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance for Wheelchair Vans

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

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

Holiday Travel Preparation

With the holidays only a few short weeks away, it’s time to get plans for family visits and end of year trips finalized before the busy season is in full swing. Traveling with a disability that requires mobility equipment can quickly become a stressful task if proper accommodations have not been made in advance.  Preparing ahead of time can save you some headaches when it is time to board your plane. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your upcoming vacations:

  • Be sure to inform your airline if you or someone you are traveling with uses a wheelchair, mobility equipment or will need to bring medical equipment onto the aircraft.
  • Ensure you have refilled prescriptions for any medications you may need throughout the duration of your trip.
  • If you need to rent a car, make these arrangements in advance to guarantee a handicap accessible vehicle.
  • If possible, bring any tools you might need in case you experience any issues with your wheelchair. If you have replacement parts, it might be a good idea to bring these along as well.
  • If your wheelchair must be checked for your flight, make sure to tag it as you would the rest of your luggage. Include your name and contact details, as well as those of your hotel or wherever else you may be staying.
  • Staying somewhere other than home can be a challenge so make sure your hotel or other arrangements are accessible by wheelchair (if necessary) and can otherwise accommodate you.
  • Plan to arrive at the airport as early as possible to ensure you have plenty of time to make your way through security and finalize any special accommodations you might require for your mobility equipment.
  • When booking your flights, know that passengers requiring a wheelchair are generally the first to board and last to leave the plane, meaning that connecting flights with short layovers may become difficult.

Despite having to take select special measures, those living with disabilities should not be apprehensive to fly or travel. Airlines have become more and more accommodating and understanding, making this the perfect time to book a vacation and get back in touch with faraway friends and family.

Steer Yourself In The Right Direction To Find The Perfect Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Purchasing or financing a wheelchair accessible vehicle takes time, money and a little bit of research. Because of the many available options when it comes to handicap vehicles, and the investment they require, knowing where to start your search is crucial and can shape the entire process. NMEDA member dealers work with individuals with disAbilities, as well as their caregivers and families, to ensure we steer you in the direction of the perfect vehicle for you. Here are a few useful tips and resources:

Go to the Pros
By going straight to a NMEDA members dealership, like ourselves, you’ll be sure that you’re getting the best possible care and attention, as well as professional service. All dealerships are required to adhere to strict quality standards under our Quality Assurance Program and, will provide you with the best solutions for your specific needs. Starting your search at a NMEDA dealer near you means you are sure you get behind the wheel of a handicap vehicle that’s right for you.

Establish Your Needs
Who will be the vehicle’s primary driver? Will you be driving from a wheelchair, transferring into the vehicle’s seat or transporting a loved one with a disability? Will you need to enter and exit the vehicle on your own or will help be nearby? Are you looking for a truck, car, minivan or a SUV? The answers to these questions can help determine what kind of adapted vehicle and equipment you need before diving into inventory listings.

Know Your Budget
We know that one of the most difficult parts of purchasing a new vehicle is making sure the cost is within your means. When it comes to finding a wheelchair accessible or adaptive vehicle, there are more options than you might realize. There are several state and government organizations in place to help get you the car you need.

Rust Treatment

Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at our Mobility Center, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer (that we know of) offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

Rust Maintenance
Vehicles today are subject to rust and corrosion due to moisture, humidity, tons of road salt and other airborne pollutants that can cause rapid deterioration of your wheelchair van. If neglected, the damages can make your mobility investment of little value.  The thousands of yearly miles, environments and exposure to the elements of larger vehicles means they are a lot more likely to suffer from the effects of corrosion. Correct rust proofing on a regular basis can ensure that your vehicle does not suffer from corrosion related vehicle downtime and keep your van from falling apart.

** We highly recommend that everyone gets their wheelchair vans rust proofed at least twice a year. Once in Spring and again in the Fall. **

If you consider that new vehicles undergo thousands of spot welds and numerous bends and folds during assembly; this process damages the automobile coating systems, exposing these panels to corrosion. Besides body-panel damage, certain mechanical parts are also at risk – suspension mounts, hood-locking mechanisms, door hinges, brake cables – which are all susceptible to the damaging effects of rust on your wheelchair van.

To protect your vehicle against corrosion our rust proofing formula does more than just cover the metal required. A rust proofing product must be applied as a high-pressured spray, ensuring protection to your vehicle’s most critical areas by penetrating, displacing existing moisture and protecting the many vulnerable crevices of your automobile.

Benefits of rust treatment
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. Our rust prevention processes, products, plan and application have been found to be very effective and developed over more than 25 years and still remain affordable.

We are the only mobility dealer in New England to offer this service.
Our rust proofing processes is ever evolving and has been for more than 25 years.

Everyday Mobility Aids

Having a disability can make getting around and doing everyday activities difficult. Simple things like taking a shower, going to the store or even moving around your house can be a challenge for someone with limited mobility.

Getting a wheelchair or scooter is usually the first step, but there are several other mobility aids that either work in tandem or in addition to those to help you do the things you need to do. Once you have a wheelchair or scooter, there are upgrades you can make to your home to increase wheelchair accessibility there, but those don’t necessarily give you additional mobility. If you are looking to gain better mobility both inside and outside of your house, try any of the mobility equipment options below.

Transfer Board or Slider
While going out is often a major challenge, sometimes getting around within your house may be even more difficult. Getting onto a bed from a wheelchair, for example, requires strength, time and often another person. Luckily, there are transfer boards or sliders available to help facilitate the process. Wheelchair users place one end of the board under them on their wheelchair seat and slide across to the other end, which is set on their destination.

Bath Lifts
Bath lifts help those with limited leg mobility get into the bathtub. They attach to the tub and act as a seat for the wheelchair user to transfer to when they are ready to bathe. Once the user is sitting on the lift, it swings around and lowers within the tub. When the user is ready to get out, the seat can raise back up and out, preventing dangerous slipping. Other, simpler bath accessories include bath chairs, which act more as transfer seats that extend past the tub so the wheelchair user can safely slide across and under a shower head without using too much strength.

While living with a disability may make performing certain tasks more difficult, mobility equipment is available to help ease these challenges. Check online or with a mobility equipment dealer to find out where you can get these mobility aids.

Mobility Vehicles
If you use a wheelchair and don’t have a mobility vehicle, going anywhere can be a challenge. These are more expensive than many other types of mobility equipment, but there are plenty of options — and you may even be eligible for financial assistance. If you can’t afford to purchase a vehicle of your own, many dealers also offer rentals for much less.

Steering Aids
Whether you buy a mobility vehicle or simply transfer from your wheelchair to a car seat, you may need the ability to drive. There are different steering aids available to help you do so, depending on your abilities, including:

  • Steering Attachments: Extensions, such as knobs, gloves or balls, attach to the steering wheel to make it easy for those with limited arm function to turn the wheel with one hand or arm.
  • Foot Controls: Attachments on the ground give those with limited use of their hands the ability to steer and control the vehicle with their feet.
  • Loosened Steering: Drivers without adequate upper body strength can turn the wheel without requiring much effort with a simple steering modification.
  • Automatic Controls: A driver with limited leg mobility can steer, accelerate and brake with their hands using one piece of equipment that can be mounted in the driver’s area.

Rust Treatment

Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at our Mobility Center, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer (that we know of) offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

Rust Maintenance
Vehicles today are subject to rust and corrosion due to moisture, humidity, tons of road salt and other airborne pollutants that can cause rapid deterioration of your wheelchair van. If neglected, the damages can make your mobility investment of little value.  The thousands of yearly miles, environments and exposure to the elements of larger vehicles means they are a lot more likely to suffer from the effects of corrosion. Correct rust proofing on a regular basis can ensure that your vehicle does not suffer from corrosion related vehicle downtime and keep your van from falling apart.

** We highly recommend that everyone gets their wheelchair vans rust proofed at least twice a year. Once in Spring and again in the Fall. **

If you consider that new vehicles undergo thousands of spot welds and numerous bends and folds during assembly; this process damages the automobile coating systems, exposing these panels to corrosion. Besides body-panel damage, certain mechanical parts are also at risk – suspension mounts, hood-locking mechanisms, door hinges, brake cables – which are all susceptible to the damaging effects of rust on your wheelchair van.

To protect your vehicle against corrosion our rust proofing formula does more than just cover the metal required. A rust proofing product must be applied as a high-pressured spray, ensuring protection to your vehicle’s most critical areas by penetrating, displacing existing moisture and protecting the many vulnerable crevices of your automobile.

Benefits of rust treatment
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. Our rust prevention processes, products, plan and application have been found to be very effective and developed over more than 25 years and still remain affordable.

We are the only mobility dealer in New England to offer this service.
Our rust proofing processes is ever evolving and has been for more than 25 years.

Government Grants for People with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists

Getting on the road to independence can be a long and twisting journey, but there are individuals, businesses and organizations ready, willing and able to help make it a smooth ride. Working with a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) and a Mobility Dealer is one of the first and most important steps to take when purchasing mobility equipment or a new or used handicap accessible vehicle. Below are just some of the ways these specialists can make it easier for you to get behind the wheel.

Assessing Your Needs
Before taking to the road, you must complete a driving evaluation to determine your abilities as a driver. A CDRS-conducted evaluation will not only asses your driving skills as a driver with a disability, but will also match you with the most appropriate and best solutions for your mobility needs.

Safety First
By ensuring your mobility needs are met, a driving evaluation from a CDRS can help ensure you’ll be safer while on the road. These comprehensively trained specialists work with Mobility Dealers that are extremely knowledgeable about mobility solutions, provide individual, in-person evaluations and with their support and guidance, you can feel confident knowing that your time behind the wheel will be as secure as possible.

Adapted Driving Programs
A number of organizations also offer Adapted Driving Programs designed to help drivers with disabilities feel confident behind the wheel. Under the guidance of a CDRS, drivers can get hands-on training on how to stay safe and in control on the road. Some programs, such as senior safety courses, even help individuals find the best driving routes to common destinations and assist in learning rules and regulations affecting their driving environments.

It’s Time To Rust Proof Your Vehicle!

Spring has sprung
The snow is gone
& Rain has come
It’s time to rust proof your vehicle!

Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at our Mobility Center, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer (that we know of) offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

Rust Maintenance
Vehicles today are subject to rust and corrosion due to moisture, humidity, tons of road salt and other airborne pollutants that can cause rapid deterioration of your wheelchair van. If neglected, the damages can make your mobility investment of little value.  The thousands of yearly miles, environments and exposure to the elements of larger vehicles means they are a lot more likely to suffer from the effects of corrosion. Correct rust proofing on a regular basis can ensure that your vehicle does not suffer from corrosion related vehicle downtime and keep your van from falling apart.

** We highly recommend that everyone gets their wheelchair vans rust proofed at least twice a year. Once in Spring and again in the Fall. **

If you consider that new vehicles undergo thousands of spot welds and numerous bends and folds during assembly; this process damages the automobile coating systems, exposing these panels to corrosion. Besides body-panel damage, certain mechanical parts are also at risk – suspension mounts, hood-locking mechanisms, door hinges, brake cables – which are all susceptible to the damaging effects of rust on your wheelchair van.

To protect your vehicle against corrosion our rust proofing formula does more than just cover the metal required. A rust proofing product must be applied as a high-pressured spray, ensuring protection to your vehicle’s most critical areas by penetrating, displacing existing moisture and protecting the many vulnerable crevices of your automobile.

Benefits of rust treatment
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. Our rust prevention processes, products, plan and application have been found to be very effective and developed over more than 25 years and still remain affordable.

We are the only mobility dealer in New England to offer this service.
Our rust proofing processes is ever evolving and has been for more than 25 years.

Spring Rust Treatment

Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at our Mobility Center, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

Rust Maintenance
Vehicles today are subject to rust and corrosion due to moisture, humidity, tons of road salt and other airborne pollutants that can cause rapid deterioration of your wheelchair van. If neglected, the damages can make your mobility investment of little value.  The thousands of yearly miles, environments and exposure to the elements of larger vehicles means they are a lot more likely to suffer from the effects of corrosion. Correct rust proofing on a regular basis can ensure that your vehicle does not suffer from corrosion related vehicle downtime and keep your van from falling apart.

** We highly recommend that everyone gets their wheelchair accessible vehicles rust proofed at least twice a year. Once in Spring and again in the Fall. **

If you consider that new vehicles undergo thousands of spot welds and numerous bends and folds during assembly; this process damages the automobile coating systems, exposing these panels to corrosion. Besides body-panel damage, certain mechanical parts are also at risk – suspension mounts, hood-locking mechanisms, door hinges, brake cables – which are all susceptible to the damaging effects of rust on your wheelchair van.

To protect your vehicle against corrosion our rust proofing formula does more than just cover the metal required. A rust proofing product must be applied as a high-pressured spray, ensuring protection to your vehicle’s most critical areas by penetrating, displacing existing moisture and protecting the many vulnerable crevices of your automobile.

Benefits of rust treatment
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. Our rust prevention processes, products, plan and application have been found to be very effective and developed over more than 25 years and still remain affordable.

We are the only mobility dealer in New England to offer this service.

Our rust proofing processes is ever evolving and has been for more than 25 years.

Accessible RV

You’ve probably read a lot about handicap minivans and full-size vans, but how about an accessible RV? If you travel often and find accessible hotels not so wheelchair friendly or you have a distaste of flying, an accessible motor-home could be a solution. Finances permitting, you could buy a new or used RV and have the conversion equipment you need installed.

A mobility equipment dealer can modify your new or used RV with whatever you require. The most common type of customization involves installing a wheelchair lift and widening the vehicle’s entrance and interior aisles to accommodate the wheelchair’s width.

Other common adaptations might include lowering the bed and toilet, installing hand control systems, wheelchair tie downs and handrails in strategic positions or modifying the shower and/or tub.

RVs carry their own water and waste management system. All you need is an electrical hookup at an RV campsite, state or national park or, if necessary, a generator.

Google “accessible RV parks” or “accessible RV campgrounds” for locations along your route. Access varies with each camping location, so check out the website or call beforehand. Be sure it has hard-surface cement or asphalt sites, not gravel or sand.

Think about it, you wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel or motel again, as RVs are totally self-contained living quarters on wheels. They have open floor plans with kitchens; barrier-free, roll-in showers with grab bars; extra-wide interior doors; and whatever bells and whistles you desire.

If you don’t travel often enough to justify purchasing an RV, search for a place that rents accessible RVs. Start looking well in advance of your trip.

Un-Converted Senior-Friendly Vehicles

Are you looking for comfortable seating, a roomy driving position, safety, good visibility and wide doors with high entries/lowered floors so you don’t have to struggle to get in and out? In a vehicle with style, of course! Well now most automakers are designing cars with features that are more senior-friendly.

What to look for:

  • Sliding rear doors that require little strength or even better, power sliding doors. Power anything is a plus.
  • Brighter instrument displays and larger type.
  • Doors that open wider.
  • Navigation screens closer to eye level and not at arm’s length.
  • Large side mirrors.

AAA recommends that drivers look for vehicles with features that address their specific health issues/mobility needs:

  • For hip, knee or leg problems, a 6-way adjustable power seat is easier for drivers to enter and exit. Also look for seat heights that hit the driver between mid-thigh and lower buttocks.
  • Arthritic hands, painful or stiff fingers benefit from four-door models, thick steering wheels, keyless entry and ignition, power mirrors and seats and larger dashboard controls.
  • Those with diminished vision should look for extendable sun visors, large audio and climate controls and easy-to-read displays with contrasting text. And less glare. (Blue-green instrument lighting is easier to read than red.)
  • A roomy trunk that can fit a walker or wheelchair.

If you can’t find one car that has it all, remember that there are many different types of adaptive equipment that could work for you. Adaptive equipment options vary from the ability to control secondary functions like turn signals and wipers with a touchscreen or voice control to pedal extenders, swivel seats and much more.

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.

Department of Veteran Affairs: Making Mobility Equipment Accessible & Affordable

The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great resource for making mobility equipment accessible and affordable through available benefits. There are several options available to shoppers for new equipment as well as those looking for upgrades with their current equipment.

One option is to accept a special benefit allowance for automobiles. These funds are available for modifications covered in the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program for existing vehicles- from mini-vans to motor homes. One should check with the local VA office to make sure criteria are met before making a purchase for a specialized vehicle. The application for adaptive equipment is also titled VAF 10-1394. Find more specific information about modifications and the list of required documents for reimbursement by following this link to the VA program profile.

Once in ownership of a modified vehicle, the VA helps cover some repairs however, regular maintenance is not covered. The VA typically allows for two vehicles to be purchased or modified in a 4-year period and exceptions are made for instances of theft, fire, accident, court or legal actions, costly repairs and changes in the driver’s medical needs that would require a new vehicle.

A second option deals with the prescription of orthotic equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Once a veteran is assessed to need mobility equipment by the VA and its doctors- an approved and accredited firm helps fit the veteran in need the top of the line orthotic equipment.  For a list of these firms, follow this link.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Repair Shops

When your accessible vehicle needs repairing, where do you take it? After checking the warranty, take it to the place where you bought it. But if you are out of town, have moved or it’s after hours, what do you do? You should know that answer before you need a repair or auto body shop.

Call the company that sold it to you. If they don’t make repairs, they can find a service center near you that works with conversion vehicles.

Check with your insurance company as they often make recommendations or have preferred shops. Get the list and research the shops.

Contact shops and ask if they have quality assurance program training, are members of national organizations such as ASA, I-CAR, are ASE certified and/or are members of NMEDA

  • NMEDA is a non-profit trade association of mobility equipment manufacturers, dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities and assisting with driving independence using wheelchair accessible vehicles.
  • The non-profit National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) conducts a national certification program for automotive technicians. Call 800-ASA-SHOP to see if the shop is a member and if they have any complaints against them.
  • I-CAR is a not-for-profit international training organization dedicated to improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of auto collision repair. Visit i-car.com.
  • ASA (Automotive Service Association) has a database of repair facility members nationwide. Visit asashop.org or call 800-272-7467.

Other tips:

  • Ask friends, neighbors and associates who they use. They will recommend a good shop or warn you away from not-so-good shops.
  • Call the Better Business Bureau.
  • Get the estimate in writing, not just over the phone.
  • Ask about a warranty on the work.
  • Google local repair shops

Adaptive Equipment Solutions To Help Arthritic Drivers and Others

People with severe arthritis, people with Muscular Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and others with disAbilities can drive again with the help of a mobility equipment expert. To find the specific product solution for your driving challenges, consult with a Physical or Occupational Therapist, Driver Rehabilitation Specialist and a Mobility dealer. Here are just a few adaptive mobility devices that they may recommend to keep you on the road.

If your hands are too weak to turn the steering wheel, there’s a solution:

  • Joystick Driving Systems allow one-hand operation of brake, accelerator and steering and only require ounces of pressure to use.

If you can’t reach controls on your dashboard or steering wheel, there’s a solution:

  • Remote Wiper, Horn, Dimmer Switch, Signals and Headlight Controls. This control relocates these functions to a more reachable location. The driver uses a switch with the hand, elbow, head or knee.

If you have leg spasms, there’s a solution:

  • Pedal Block (for gas and brake) guards against inadvertent engagement of gas or the brakes due to a spasm.

Steer Yourself In The Right Direction To Find The Perfect Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Purchasing or financing a wheelchair accessible vehicle takes time, money and a little bit of research. Because of the many available options when it comes to handicap vehicles, and the investment they require, knowing where to start your search is crucial and can shape the entire process. NMEDA member dealers work with individuals with disAbilities, as well as their caregivers and families, to ensure we steer you in the direction of the perfect vehicle for you. Here are a few useful tips and resources:

Go to the Pros
By going straight to a NMEDA members dealership, like ourselves, you’ll be sure that you’re getting the best possible care and attention, as well as professional service. All dealerships are required to adhere to strict quality standards under our Quality Assurance Program and, will provide you with the best solutions for your specific needs. Starting your search at a NMEDA dealer near you means you are sure you get behind the wheel of a handicap vehicle that’s right for you.

Establish Your Needs
Who will be the vehicle’s primary driver? Will you be driving from a wheelchair, transferring into the vehicle’s seat or transporting a loved one with a disability? Will you need to enter and exit the vehicle on your own or will help be nearby? Are you looking for a truck, car, minivan or a SUV? The answers to these questions can help determine what kind of adapted vehicle and equipment you need before diving into inventory listings.

Know Your Budget
We know that one of the most difficult parts of purchasing a new vehicle is making sure the cost is within your means. When it comes to finding a wheelchair accessible or adaptive vehicle, there are more options than you might realize. There are several state and government organizations in place to help get you the car you need.

Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike

Yesterday, July 13, 2014, The Boston Wounded Vets MC Run (They Fought, We Ride) presented a brand new Harley Davidson 2014 trike to wounded Soldier Andy Kingsley from Athol.

The trike was purchased by Monies raised by the Boston Wounded Vets Motorcycle ride.
The Mobility & Adaptive Equipment was installed by us, VMi New England.

Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike1 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike2 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike9 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike10 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike11 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike3 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike12 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike4 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike13 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike5 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike14 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike6 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike7 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike15 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike16 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike8 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike17 Boston Wounded Vet MC Ride presents Andy Kingsley his New 2014 Modified Trike18

Everyday Mobility Aids

Having a disability can make getting around and doing everyday activities difficult. Simple things like taking a shower, going to the store or even moving around your house can be a challenge for someone with limited mobility.

Getting a wheelchair or scooter is usually the first step, but there are several other mobility aids that either work in tandem or in addition to those to help you do the things you need to do. Once you have a wheelchair or scooter, there are upgrades you can make to your home to increase wheelchair accessibility there, but those don’t necessarily give you additional mobility. If you are looking to gain better mobility both inside and outside of your house, try any of the mobility equipment options below.

Transfer Board or Slider
While going out is often a major challenge, sometimes getting around within your house may be even more difficult. Getting onto a bed from a wheelchair, for example, requires strength, time and often another person. Luckily, there are transfer boards or sliders available to help facilitate the process. Wheelchair users place one end of the board under them on their wheelchair seat and slide across to the other end, which is set on their destination.

Bath Lifts
Bath lifts help those with limited leg mobility get into the bathtub. They attach to the tub and act as a seat for the wheelchair user to transfer to when they are ready to bathe. Once the user is sitting on the lift, it swings around and lowers within the tub. When the user is ready to get out, the seat can raise back up and out, preventing dangerous slipping. Other, simpler bath accessories include bath chairs, which act more as transfer seats that extend past the tub so the wheelchair user can safely slide across and under a shower head without using too much strength.

While living with a disability may make performing certain tasks more difficult, mobility equipment is available to help ease these challenges. Check online or with a mobility equipment dealer to find out where you can get these mobility aids.

Mobility Vehicles
If you use a wheelchair and don’t have a mobility vehicle, going anywhere can be a challenge. These are more expensive than many other types of mobility equipment, but there are plenty of options — and you may even be eligible for financial assistance. If you can’t afford to purchase a vehicle of your own, many dealers also offer rentals for much less.

Steering Aids
Whether you buy a mobility vehicle or simply transfer from your wheelchair to a car seat, you may need the ability to drive. There are different steering aids available to help you do so, depending on your abilities, including:

  • Steering Attachments: Extensions, such as knobs, gloves or balls, attach to the steering wheel to make it easy for those with limited arm function to turn the wheel with one hand or arm.
  • Foot Controls: Attachments on the ground give those with limited use of their hands the ability to steer and control the vehicle with their feet.
  • Loosened Steering: Drivers without adequate upper body strength can turn the wheel without requiring much effort with a simple steering modification.
  • Automatic Controls: A driver with limited leg mobility can steer, accelerate and brake with their hands using one piece of equipment that can be mounted in the driver’s area.

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?

The Importance of Servicing Your Wheelchair Van and Adaptive Equipment

The Importance of Servicing Your Wheelchair Van and Adaptive Equipment
Owning any type of vehicle means that you have to commit to regular service and maintenance to keep it in good condition. Owning a wheelchair van and adaptive equipment is no different – you still need regular service to keep everything operating the way it should. However, it comes with some additional caveats – you can’t just go to any service center and ensure that you’re maintaining your wheelchair van or mobility equipment correctly.

Here at our Mobility Center, not only do we understand the importance of maintaining your mobility vehicle and adaptive equipment, but we take the needed steps to ensure that everything is always in top condition. No other mobility dealer (that we know of) offers the level of maintenance offered by us.

For example, we can maintain primary and secondary driving controls, as well as providing service for wheelchair ramps and scooter lifts. Along with power seat bases, power door operators, wheelchair securement systems and other adaptive equipment. Those are only a few of the areas that our certified technicians can service and maintain. We also have a rust prevention/treatment that we highly recommend.

You’ll also find that we offer installation as well as service for a range of adaptive equipment like lowered floors, raised doors, adaptive steering controls, turning automotive seats and hand controls. All of our technicians are fully certified in mobility equipment so that you always know you’re in good hands with us.

Automotive Innovations has also created a innovative and ever evolving maintenance program over the past 25 years for our customers. We know that making sure your vehicle and adaptive equipment is in good condition is important to you, but we also understand that it can be difficult for you to tell when or if something needs service or repair. That’s why we started our operational preventative maintenance program over 20 years ago. This program ensures that your wheelchair van or mobility equipment is always in the best operational condition possible, but also assesses the need for repairs or replacement most of the time before anything happens.

We’re dedicated to giving you the peace of mind that you deserve and the maintenance you need to maintain your freedom at all times.

 

Sure-Grip Mechanical Hand Controls

Easyspin RF 360 – New
The Easyspin RF360 utilizes precise radio frequencies to operate up to 6 secondary functions wirelessly from the stylish and ergonomic spinner.

The Spinmaster spinner knob and Easyspin indicator system have been the standard in one-handed steering for more than a decade but our drive to improve and refine led us to supersede these proven performers. While inheriting the distinctive characteristics of its predecessors; featuring durable construction, smooth and reliable operation, and quick release mechanism, as well as the original and unique Spinmaster steering wheel clamp, the Easyspin RF360 ups the ante with its own innovative features.

Suits Any Vehicle Wiring Configuration
The standard configuration for the Easyspin RF360, VAC6, can include up to 6 vehicle accessory controls in only one mode of operation.

With 6 functions you can cover operation of all frequently used accessories such as:

  • Indicators
  • Headlights
  • Horn
  • Washers and
  • Sequential wipers.

You can also control non-essential vehicle accessories such as:

  • Electric windows
  • Tiptronic gear shifting
  • Cruise control and
  • Integrated phone controls while maintaining quick access to those frequently used accessories.

The user can alter the button configuration at any time to suit their needs. Simultaneously holding two buttons for a couple of seconds will instantly swap their functions. Any button, any function, total flexibility.

The design of the Easyspin RF360 with its integrated buttons and unique hammerhead shape has been created specifically to fit your hand’s ergonomics. It didn’t happen by accident, over 18 months were spent undertaking research, development and testing with designers, occupational therapists and clients. It also features a soft rubber overlay grip for your comfort.

Features:

  • Ergonomic shape and soft overlay rubber grip for your comfort
  • Operate up to 6 functions
  • Supported by the world renowned Spinmaster steering wheel clamp, known for providing superior durability and gripping strength without damaging your steering wheel
  • Features a quick release function so that it may be removed at any time with the press of a button, allowing unrestricted access for other drivers
  • Strong, robust design, constructed from heavy-duty mining-grade injection molded glass filled UV resistant nylon to withstand years of regular use
  • 2 years battery life with LED low battery warning light, easily accessed battery slide and life-extending sleep mode
  • Mechanical Hand Controls

Push/Rock
The original and the best, the Sure Grip Push/Rock system, has become known for its comfort, precision and overall safety.

Unlike other hand controls styles, the push/rock system puts the operating handle in a vertical position; the driver eases the handle back to accelerate and pushes forward to brake. This unique rocking motion allows full-range braking and acceleration with minimal hand travel while keeping the hand in a natural position.

Sure Grip’s Push/Rock controls are known for having the easiest gas in the industry today thus, allowing for hours of fatigue free driving. The push/rock style will give you the driving experience you have been longing for.

Sure Grip hand control designs prevents contact with legs or knees at higher speeds. The upright handle also allows the installation of controls in smaller vehicles or tight spaces other controls would not fit. Controls do not impede pedal use.

Push/Pull

The Sure Grip Push/Pull hand control uses the same movement to apply the gas and brake as other Push/Pull controls; however the pivot point for the Sure Grip control is on the left-hand side of the wheel close to the handle, this allows for a shorter stroke and greater leverage. In addition to the pivot point, the handles position is at a slight angle, an angle that makes a big difference to the driver. The benefits of Sure Grip’s unique Push/Pull hand control design include:
Less strain on fingers and thumb
Flexible hand positions for lower fatigue and cramping while driving
The ability for both hands to keep contact with the steering wheel
In addition to the benefits enjoyed as a result of the handle and its position, drivers will also appreciate the other features that Sure Grip’s Push/Pull offers including:
Superior pedal feel, with constant acceleration and no “dead spots”
Limited modifications to the vehicles dash

Push/Right Angle
Unlike other Push Right/Angle controls, the Sure Grip Push Right/Angle’s body doesn’t pivot or move when the accelerator is applied. The pivot point for the Sure Grip control is on the left-hand side of the wheel, and only the handle pivots. A stationary main body has many benefits for the driver including:

Increased leg room for getting in and out of the vehicle, as many installs allow brake rod to pass through the dash
Full acceleration without the control hitting the drivers lap
Greater two-handed contact with the steering wheel due to the shortened stroke of the handle
In addition to the benefits enjoyed as a result of the stationary main body, drivers will also appreciate the other features that Sure Grip’s Push Right/Angle offers including:

Superior pedal feel, with constant acceleration and no “dead spots”

  • Lower fatigue while driving
  • Limited modifications to the vehicles dash

Push/Twist
Pivot Point
The Sure Grip Push/Twist control uses the same motorcycle style acceleration as other Push/Twist controls, but has an auxiliary handle that makes the twisting motion easier and allows for longer, more comfortable driving.

  • In addition to the unique benefits enjoyed with our other hand controls, such as increased leg room and ease of use, drivers will also appreciate the other features that the Sure Grip Push/Twist offers including:
  • Superior pedal feel, with constant acceleration and no “dead spots”
  • Lower fatigue while driving
  • Limited modifications to the vehicles dash
  • Easier braking

AutoLock is an accelerator lock out device that comes standard on all of Sure Grip’s hand controls, and is an added safety feature for the driver or those that share the vehicle. With the push of a button or knob, the accelerator function of the hand control can be disabled and help prevent accidents through misuse of the control by mechanics, valets or any other unqualified user. Autolock is available in both electronic and manual formats.

Sure Grip Recreation
Sure Grip hand control users now have the option of adding the Push/Rock style of driving to their favorite recreation vehicles. Sure Grip has developed easy installation applications for many of the nation’s top selling side-by-sides, go carts and golf carts.

The Handling You Need 

Sure Grip has always given its users great control of their vehicles. Now that Sure Grip has hand controls designed specifically for smaller off-road vehicles that same control can be enjoyed wherever you decide to go.
Unlike other hand controls Sure Grip’s handle is in the vertical position, which gives precision control and the ability to drive with both hands on the wheel. With two hands on the wheel, drivers have the control needed when headed off the beaten path.

Veigel North America Hand Controls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wells-Engberg Mechanical Hand Controls

Their mechanical hand controls provide safe, easy and more convenient vehicle operation as well as being priced competitively with other manufacturers. They manufacture 4 different types of mechanical controls to suit all needs.

Wells-Engberg controls come with a universal mounting, using a common set of connectors which allows installation in the majority of domestic and foreign cars, light trucks, and vans equipped with automatic transmission and power brakes. They also have designed special mountings for some vehicles which make installation even easier.

Their two cable controls are supplied with a mounting which allows the cable to be run directly to the accelerator pedal itself. Wells-Engberg is constantly striving to keep up with the automobile manufacturers and supply the physically challenged population with the most advanced products available.

CT-100 Rotary Cable Control

  • Mechanical control with a flexible accelerator cable going directly to the accelerator pedal assembly twist handle (same as motorcycle grip) to accelerate.
  • Push handle toward brake pedal for braking.
  • Control is mostly aluminum and is black anodized.
  • Uses universal mounting brackets.
  • Order either right or left hand.
  • The cable design allows reduced amount of hardware in driver’s area. This gives the driver more leg room.

CP-200 Right Angle Control

  • To operate accelerator pull handle down toward lap.
  • Cable attached to handle goes directly to the accelerator pedal assembly.
  • Push handle toward brake pedal for braking.
  • Control made mostly of aluminum and is black anodized.
  • Uses universal mounting brackets.
  • Order either right or left hand.
  • Cable design reduces hardware in the driver’s area allowing more leg room.

Sure-Lock Wheelchair Tie-Downs


 

With over 30 years of experience, Sure-Lok is a leading manufacturer of wheelchair securements and occupant restraint systems for transporting individuals with special needs. Sure-Lok offers a wide selection of wheelchair securements and occupant restraint systems, giving our customers the freedom to choose the system that best meets their needs.

AL700 Titan Series Systems
With its distinctive blue webbing and highly-visible, yellow “locked” indicator tag, the AL700 Titan Retractor Series lets operators know when the retractor is in locked mode. With the auto-tensioning feature, webbing automatically retracts into the housing and stays off the floor, keeping it cleaner and longer lasting. The low-profile design minimizes interference with most wheelchairs and has a sleeker, cleaner retractor case with stud fitting to attach the occupant restraint system. Titan retractors allow operators to quickly secure a wheelchair in seconds — with only one hand.

FF600 Retractor Series Systems
The FF600 Retractor System is a proven and convenient way to secure passengers in wheelchairs. The ergonomically designed handle is quick and easy to grasp, the dual, 24-teeth sprocket mechanism enables the user to more easily increase tension on the webbing and the track fittings are specifically designed to ensure free pivoting action for optimum belt alignment. And the versatility of the system offers users a choice — S-hook or Buckle & Tab hardware attachment styles.

FE500 Manual Series Systems
The FE500 System has been relied upon for nearly 20 years, offering maximum versatility and a quick, simple operation. As our most economical solution, the easy-to-use tie-down is available in Cam, Ratchet and Overcenter Buckle assemblies and offers snap hook and D-ring or S-hook attachment styles. The 1” wide strap provides easy attachment to a variety of wheelchair designs allowing the webbing to conform to the structural frame of the wheelchair, minimizing scratches and dents.
Important Safety Information

Select Sure-Lok Products Suitable for Your Application
The Sure-Lok products that you select must be suitable for your particular application. All products shown on this website and in the catalog are designed and intended to be installed and operated with the occupant in a forward-facing orientation within the vehicle. Installation of products that are not suitable or are installed in an unsuitable manner may compromise proper securement of the wheelchair and occupant, causing injury or death to the occupant, other passengers or driver and wheelchair damage.

Installation and Operation
A qualified person (an individual properly trained in securing mobility aides and positioning occupant restraints) must ensure that the intended application conforms to current, applicable industry standards and government regulations regarding the installation of wheelchair securement and occupant restraint systems.

The vehicle and/or seat manufacturer and/or vehicle modifier must review and approve the system’s location, method of installation and operation of the securement system. The vehicle floor and sidewall structures, where the system anchorages are attached, must have sufficient strength to meet applicable federal government and recommended industry standards.
Not all wheelchairs (e.g. scooter) are endorsed by their manufacturer for use as an occupant seat when transporting an individual in a motor vehicle. Contact the manufacturer of your wheelchair for their recommendation regarding alternative seating options.

Some wheelchairs are compliant with the ANSI/RESNA transit safety standard WC-19, which means that they have been dynamically tested. To determine if your wheelchair is ANSI/RESNA WC-19 compliant, refer to your wheelchair’s labeling or owner’s manual or contact the wheelchair manufacturer.

Standards Compliance
AL700 Titan Series Systems when properly used with a complete Sure-Lok System, comprised of wheelchair tie-down, a complete occupant restraint system (including lap and shoulder belt), track and anchorages are designed to meet the following requirements where applicable:

  • 30mph/20g Impact Test Criteria per SAE J2249
  • 30mph/20g Impact Test Criteria per Canadian Z605 Standard
  • 30mph/20g Impact Test Criteria per National Standards for School Buses
  • 30mph/20g Impact Test Criteria per ISO 10542 Standard
  • 49 CFR Part 38 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • 49 CFR Part 571.222 (FMVSS 222) School Bus Passenger Seating and Crash Protection
  • FMVSS 302 Flammability Test

Helping First Time Disabled Drivers with Mobility Equipment

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

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

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

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

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

New Wheelchair Lifts for vehicles in New England

New Wheelchair Lifts

mobility lift dealer, MA, RI, CT, VT, NH AND MAINE

For VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations in Massachusetts is a well known Vantage Mobility International mobility lift dealer. Customers are able to select with assurance knowing they will obtain the most effective handicap products and services due to this fact. By offering the best assistive driving products on the market, their mission is to help disabled people in improving their lifestyle. For platform lift varieties, VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations has Ricon Reliant, Clearway, Klearvue, Uni-Lite, and Slide Away for sale.

wheelchair van lift sales, service and repair in new england.

New Accessible Vehicles from VMi New England Bridgewater, MA

New Accessible Vehicles

NewToyota Sienna Wheelchair Van

New Toyota Wheelchair Accessible Van

VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations provides brand new Vantage Mobility International handicap vans for all of New England including around the Boston, Massachusetts area. Drop-cut floors, power handicapped ramps, and quick release seats are variations on these brand new handicap minivans (Summit and Northstar). Their new full sized handicapped vans can be manufactured with removable seating, many platform lift choices, drop-cut floors, raised van tops, and raised doors. Brand new Vantage Mobility International wheelchair accessible vans which are offered by VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations in Boston are filled with important features like value, safety, and convenience.

How To Really Move On When You Can No Longer Walk

There are a lot of nightmare scenarios no one wants to personally experience. One is getting a phone call that someone you love is hurt and another — permanently ending up in a wheelchair. Many people say they’d rather be dead if this happened to them, but oh how things change when you actually find yourself in this situation.

Keep Newey Mobile - VMi New England Wheelchair Vans

Simply put people don’t want to die, so they deal with it and move on, but it’s never that easy.  And for some even, they’re never able to, so forever languishing in a living hell.

To truly see how it is possible to move on after becoming a wheelchair-user and be enlightened, read on for seven awesome insights.

Accept that you must reinvent yourself.

One of the first things to know when you become a wheelchair-user is that you are no longer who you were before.  If your body is different after going through such a dramatic injury. A lot of people fight against this, wanting to hold onto their previous able-bodied self, but the fact is they will never be that person again.

Instead of desperately holding onto someone you once were, embrace this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself.  If you no longer do tree work, get that engineering degree you always wanted and finally feed that part of your brain from here on out.  A serious bodily injury can really open new doors.

Find out how to still use your body as much as possible.

It can be so difficult no longer being able to use your body like before, but don’t give up on moving your body just because you can’t use it 100 percent.  Instead, push yourself as much as possible.  If you can’t move your legs, you can try electrical stimulation to the legs.  If you can’t transfer yourself but you get really close, try for years until you finally get it.  Never give up on your body’s strength and pushing it (safely of course).  Even if you move your body involuntarily, knowing you’re still utilizing all four limbs in some way is a must for the soul long-term.

You should also be working out on a regular basis. Serious cardio and strength training is a must when you use a wheelchair since getting your heart rate can be a great way to boost endorphins in the brain.  When you’re not getting the cardio you would otherwise get from regular able-bodied activities, like walking all the time, you must find another way to get it. It’s a huge must.

Develop a negative thinking coping mechanism.

It can be almost too easy getting into a negative train of thought when things aren’t going well as a wheelchair-user.  The tendency to blame the wheelchair for all of your problems is almost too easy.  Whenever you find yourself angry because you need a wheelchair, try to click your mind into a positive place; a place you’ve created just for this.  Maybe it’s a happy memory or a place you absolutely love.

Take on the “survivor success” mentality. 

I love this one. Never forget that you are a survivor for living life sitting-down.  This is an existence that challenges a human both mentally and physically.  Whenever you feel empty inside because you can’t use your god-given legs, remind yourself that you are a  survivor in the exact sense, and let that feed your ego if you must.  Not many people can do what you do and do it so well. Yes, you do rock.

Learn to love yourself.

It can be easy being jealous of everyone that can walk when you can’t, but if you learn to love yourself completely, you’ll be a lot happier.

If you have a hard time finding things you absolutely love about yourself, make a list and ask friends and family their input.  You’ll be surprised at what you hear and chances are it will make you feel awesome.

Appreciate your unique perspective.

It can take several years to get to the mindset of enjoying the interesting perspective of  living life sitting down —  the people we meet, the lessons we’ve learned through our struggles, the way it helps us look at life differently, perhaps even better.  When you have a body that doesn’t respond like it once did, you have no choice but to look at the world differently. This without question, sharpens the mind.

Be grateful for what you still have.

Each moment you’re able to breathe is a gift whether you believe it or not, and when you use a wheelchair this is even more true since so many of us have had near death experiences. It may sound cliche, but yes, do count your blessings. 

Life is too short to wish for unicorns and golden tickets in chocolate bars. The here and the now is all we got. Enjoy your ice cream before it melts.

How have you been able to move on after becoming a wheelchair-user?

 

 

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.

Adaptive Driving Aids: Advanced Driving Controls

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

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

advanced driving system

Advanced Driving Controls

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

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

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

Steering Controls

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

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

Remote Accessory Controls

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

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.

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..)!!

Acura Mobility Program

Mobility Overview

Enhancing mobility for drivers with disabilities

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

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

Program Elements

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

acura mobility program newenglandwheelchairvan.com

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

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

Program Guidelines

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

REQUIREMENTS

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

ADAPTATIONS, MODIFICATIONS AND EQUIPMENT INSTALLATION

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

IMPORTANT CLIENT INFORMATION

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

REIMBURSEMENT DOCUMENTATION AND PROCESS

Documentation required for reimbursement consideration:

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

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

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

CLIENT RESOURCES
Please call Acura Client Relations with any questions.

Acura
800-382-2238
www.acura.com

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

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

To download an application form, click here

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Do reimbursements apply to used or fleet vehicles?

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

How long will it take me to receive my reimbursement?

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

What types of adaptive equipment can I obtain reimbursement for?

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

What is the time limit to apply for a reimbursement?

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

Where can I get information on adaptive equipment?

Where do I get a reimbursement application?

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

Are used vehicles included in the Acura mobility assistance program?

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

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

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

Does the installation of adaptive equipment void my warranty?

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

Why a Toyota should be your next wheelchair van if you live in New England

Toyota offers some of the best options on the market when it comes to wheelchair accessible vans.  Each van offers comfort, reliability, and reasonable pricing for its conversion.   Choosing a new wheelchair van isn’t always as easy as choosing a traditional car.  There isn’t a particular one-size-fits-all van that covers every need or preference. As you make your choice, keep in mind a few practical reasons to choose an accessible Toyota.

why a toyota should be your next wheelchair van if you live in new england

why a toyota should be your next wheelchair van if you live in new england

Variety

Toyota’s wheelchair accessible minivan is a modified version of the Toyota Sienna and is the most popular Toyota vehicle that is converted for accessibility.  Overall, it’s an easy vehicle for the major wheelchair accessible vehicle manufacturers to convert. Toyota currently produces five different models of the Sienna that are available for modification:

  • Sienna L- the L model is the most basic model of Sienna.  It includes all the standard features and will often be the lowest priced model.
  • Sienna LE- the LE is still a fairly basic model but includes a rear-view camera and enhanced climate controls.
  • Sienna SE- Sienna SE is a mid-level option that offers enhanced navigation displays, rear-view cameras, and cross-traffic controls for ease and maneuverability.
  • Sienna XLE- Sienna XLE is outfitted with leather-trimmed driver and front passenger seats.  It also features a blind spot monitor and a power lift gate with jam guard.
  • Sienna Limited- The Sienna Limited is the final and most luxurious model of Sienna.  The Limited features many of the standard and upgraded features of the other models while offering more extras like a JBL sound system, driver and passenger leather- trimmed seats, and a dual moon roof.

Any one of these models of the Sienna can be easily modified to accommodate your specific needs.  Budgetary constraints and your individual situation will play a major part in which model you decide to purchase.  Once you’ve made that decision, VMi New England Bridgewater, MA Mobility Center will help you find a Toyota wheelchair van that combines Toyota’s infamous quality with comfort and accessibility.

Adaptability

Toyota’s wheelchair accessible vans don’t start out being adapted for accessibility.  These vans start as traditional vehicles without any modifications before being converted to accommodate individuals with disabilities.  Toyota relies on certified wheelchair conversion manufacturers, such as VMI, to fit the vehicles with lowered floors, kneeling systems, ramps, and more.

why a toyota should be your next wheelchair van if you live in new england

why a toyota should be your next wheelchair van Bridgewater, MA Mobility Center

After the initial conversion is made the vehicle is sent to our Bridgewater, MA Mobility center where we can make even more adaptations to your vehicles. Mobility seating, hand controls, and pedal extensions are all available and fit beautifully inside the modified Toyota Sienna. There are even products that allow users to control the vehicle by pressing a few key buttons or by simply flipping a switch on the vehicle.

2013 Toyota Sienna VMI Summit Silver VMi New England

2013 Toyota Sienna XLE VMI Summit Silver VMi New England

Though the middle row of seats is removed to accommodate a wheelchair, there are still plenty of options to satisfy your needs. Both front seats can be removed to allow the wheelchair user to ride up front and there is a full bench seat in the back for children or guests. There is also a large trunk to accommodate groceries or additional supplies.

Safety locks and straps are installed into the floor of the van to keep wheelchair passengers in place and prevent any excess movement during transit.  The lowered floors help to compensate for a wheelchair passenger’s added height.  There are countless additional features and add-ons, so it is clear that the Toyota Sienna’s adaptability and flexibility are two key factors that make it a good choice for an accessible vehicle.

2013 Toyota Sienna VMI Summit Silver VMi New England Mobility Center

2013 Toyota Sienna VMI Summit Silver VMi New England Mobility Center

Style

When it comes to the Sienna, you’ll be hard pressed to find a vehicle as stylish. This Toyota is available in a rainbow of colors from a vibrant cherry red to a subtle sage green. Its sleek exterior is curvier and more modern than that of some types of minivans.

The interior is stunning, and the more customizations you make, the more personal and warm the vehicle feels. Its spaciousness accommodates passengers for a ride to the store or a road trip to Disney World with the same comfort and style you’d get from a luxury vehicle. If you’re looking for an accessible vehicle that is practical and attractive, be sure to consider the Toyota Sienna for its superior style.

 

Why Choose a Toyota?

A Toyota Sienna with a VMI Northstar 360 is one of best wheelchair accessible vans on the market. The variety of options means there’s really one for everyone. It’s able to be adapted with ease and features many options to suit all your needs. And, to top it all off, it’s a beautiful vehicle that will provide its purchaser’s with a long life and a lot of fun. It has, without a doubt, cemented its place as a top-rated accessible van that will retain its value and perform under the most rigorous conditions.  If the Toyota Sienna fits what you’re looking for in an accessible van, then come take it for a spin! Contact VMi New England today to schedule a test drive by filling out our online contact form or by giving us a call at 508-697-6006.

mobility concept vehicles for wheelchair drivers

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” ~Unknown

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Were going to change the world one person at a time
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Do you want a 4×4 wheelchair vehicle you can drive?
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Want a 4×4 SUV you can drive your wheelchair from?
Want a Ford Explorer SUV that is a wheelchair accessible vehicle?
We can and will build you a concept vehicle you can drive from a wheelchair.
 'Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.'    - -George S. Patton
‘Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.’    – -George S. Patton

One definition of resilience is “the ability to cope with shocks and keep functioning in a satisfying way”. Resilience is about the self organizing capacity of systems. This means the ability to bounce back after disaster, or the ability to transform if a bad stage has happened. Both of these forms of resilience seem relevant to explore in our times, especially in relation to Assistive Driving Technology for Wheelchair Drivers.

Vmi New England and Automotive Innovations as a company is aware of this challenge and has been working on cutting edge wheelchair driving technology since the 80’s

automotive mobility concept vehicle systems
Vmi New England and Automotive Innovations is leading in its study of ever evolving automotive wheelchair driving systems.

wheelchair driver and passenger concept vehicles

Ford wheelchair driver and passenger concept vehicles

The way we see it, everyone has a fundamental need to have there own personal transportation, to access anything they need like, clean water, food, fibres and many other goods and services.

For future human development it is essential to understand the contribution each person can make to human livelihoods, health, security and culture if given the chance.

wheelchair driver and passenger concept vehicles

wheelchair driver and passenger concept vehicles

Resilience thinking is part of the solution, as it thrives at building flexibility and adaptive capacity. People and nature are interdependent. That means, we have to look for collaboration within society to find resilient solutions.

Interdependence between people and nature.

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Exploring the missing links in our imagination
Solutions to find new possibilities in the Assistive Driving Technology require creativity.

Creativity is the answer to missing links in our imagination, at least according to Jim Sanders. They have found a unique way to explore the relationship between current automotive designs, people and technology.
A safe operating vehicle for people in wheelchairs
“In the face of ever evolving change in transportation needs, we need to work together to find safe mobility solutions for humanity. The key is in creative mobility solutions that connect nature with people. Flexible and adaptive strategies will bring us further. By stretching our imagination, we will start to explore the unknown. And by always looking for new combinations of technology, and common sense, we will find the new solutions.” Jim Sanders 2013

Sometimes even the smallest shift in thinking or doing can create the biggest changes in someones lifecan you save trust for a rainy day?necessity is the mother of invention

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driven by the freedom of the choice  to explore the worlds future possibilities

 VMi New England Mobility Center and Automotive Innovations is one of America’s best providers of wheelchair vans, vehicle modifications, and adaptive equipment including hand controls, wheelchair and scooter lifts, ramps, raised doors, lowered floors and specialized gas, brake and steering controls. With hundreds of accessible vehicles available to be custom built for your specific needs, from the industries best manufacturers such as VMI, Eldorado and Braun, at our New England mobility center.   Founded in 1984 and offering the best equipped mobility facility in New England with a unparalleled commitment to offering a broad selection of specialized vehicles and services to meet the needs of every customer. Our facility is also Quality Assurance Program (QAP) certified (first in Massachusetts) through the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), resulting in Automotive Innovations being held to the highest standards in the vehicle modification industry.   We have a strong and committed Veteran sales staff with many decades of experience satisfying our customers’ needs. Feel free to browse our inventory online, visit our huge indoor showroom where every day is a ability expo, request more information about vehicles, set up a test drive or inquire about financing!   Feel free to call upon our friendly Mobility Consultants with any questions you may have about options on wheelchair vans or any of our other products. 508-697-6006We look forward to exceeding your expectations for decades to come!
concept |ˈkänˌsept|nounan abstract idea; a general notion: structuralism is a difficult concept | the concept of justice.• a plan or intention; a conception: the center has kept firmly to its original concept.• an idea or invention to help sell or publicize a commodity: a new concept in corporate hospitality.• Philosophy an idea or mental picture of a group or class of objects formed by combining all their aspects.• [ as modifier ] (of a car or other vehicle) produced as an experimental model to test the viability of new design features.ORIGIN mid 16th cent. (in the sense ‘thought, frame of mind, imagination’): from Latinconceptum ‘something conceived,’ from concept-‘conceived,’ from concipere (see conceive) .
exceed |ikˈsēd|verb [ with obj. ]be greater in number or size than (a quantity, number, or other measurable thing): production costs have exceeded $60,000.• go beyond what is allowed or stipulated by (a set limit, esp. of one’s authority): the Tribunal’s decision clearly exceeds its powers under the statute.• be better than; surpass: catalog sales have exceeded expectations.mobilitynoun1 elderly people may become socially isolated as a result ofrestricted mobility: ability to move, movability,moveableness, motility, vigour, strength, potency.2 the gleeful mobility of Billy’s face: expressiveness,eloquence, animation.3 the mobility of the product: transportability,portability, manoeuvrability.4 an increasing mobility in the workforce: adaptability,flexibility, versatility, adjustability.
freedom |ˈfrēdəm|nounthe power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint: we do have some freedom of choice | he talks of revoking some of the freedoms.• absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government: he was a champion of Irish freedom.• the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved: the shark thrashed its way to freedom.• the state of being physically unrestricted and able to move easily: the shorts have a side split for freedom of movement.• (freedom from) the state of not being subject to or affected by (a particular undesirable thing):government policies to achieve freedom from want.• the power of self-determination attributed to the will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity.• unrestricted use of something: the dog is happy having the freedom of the house when we are out.• archaic familiarity or openness in speech or behavior.

Financing Options for Wheelchair Vans Massachusetts and New England

Financing Options

The New VMI Northstar Wheelchair van Conversion Toyota Sienna financing options

DID YOU KNOW? In most towns you are exempt from excise tax if you don’t pay state sales tax on your mobility van. See the bottom of this page for a list of most cities and towns in MA and RI for you to check on your options.

VMi New England offers on-site bank financing. Our goal is to provide you with the vehicle that will fit your needs. Here are some financing options we have available for you on-site:

CONSUMER LOANS – We offer adaptive mobility van banking programs that can offer up to 10 years financing on a wheelchair handicap van. Even if your credit is less than perfect we will work hard to get you financed!!

INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS – A nonprofit organization that helps grant people money so they can maintain an independent lifestyle.

INDEPENDENT MOBILITY SYSTEMS – IMS used to offer long-term financing on all new purchases. All loan transactions are done on-site and guaranteed to help fit your needs.

INSURANCE COMPANIES – We will help you work with your insurance company to make sure you are receiving the maximum your benefits allow.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS – May be able to help to familles that have children with disabilities. (up to age 20)

MANUFACTURERS REBATES – Major manufacturers often offer rebates. We’ll help you process all paperwork.

MEDICAID – In certain instances, Medicaid will pay for vehicle adaptive equipment. This falls under the “Medicaid waiver” and each state administers this program differently. We will be able to process you Medicaid claims for you as of January 2003.

PFS – Patient Financing offers long-term financing fit for your budget. PFS will finance any medical related equipment up to $25,000.00.

TOYOTA FINANCING– We can now get financing on Toyota Sienna wheelchair vans.

VETERANS ADMINISTRATION – Provides help for veterans.

VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION – A State funded organization that’s goal is to provide individuals with the means they need to get back into the workforce.

 

Government Grants for People with Disabilities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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