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State Disability and Health Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

State Disability and Health Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris P Whately, MA

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

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

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

Finding a Dealer That’s Up to Standards

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

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

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

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

The 5th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run Is Today! Come Say Hi!

Bosotn Wpunded Vet Run 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run Is Tomorrow!!

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

Motorcycle Awareness MonthMay is Motorcycle Awareness Month.
Share The Road.

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run Is One Month Away!!

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

Full Service Automotive Shop

The VMi New England Mobility Center’s Team in Bridgewater, MA offers a in-house body shop in addition to a auto service department that is staffed with the most qualified technicians ready to answer your questions and address your handicap van auto repair needs. Our auto body service and car repair experts have the experience to get your wheelchair accessible van back on the road in top condition. You can come from and where in New England to have one of our specialists repair your adapted vehicles, wheelchair vehicles, used adapted vehicles, or used conversion vans, conversion van or handicapped vehicle. Call anytime to schedule an appointment, or contact our van service department if you have any additional questions.

At the VMi New England Mobility Center we provide wheelchair accessible van body repair service for all make & model vans & mobility equipment. We service and repair most all brand mobility vehicles including BraunAbility and VMI van’s We perform body shop service, rust prevention, rust repair and warranty work on all the vehicles & products we sell. We repair wheelchair lifts in vans & buses for both private and commercial customers

Wheelchair Van Body Shop
With our in house down draft spray booth we can assist you with Autobody repair as well as work with insurance companies to be sure you get the proper support in repairing damaged wheelchahir accessible vehicles .

Full Service Automotive Shop
Our team of technicians also perform Full Service Auto repair so we can offer 1 stop shopping. Instead of using 2 different mechanics for the repair of one vehicle, let our trained service team handle all of your mechanical needs

Large Selection Of Wheelchair Van Parts In-Stock
We offer a large selection of parts for wheelchair lifts and wheelchair vans including: BraunAbility, VMI, Vision & more. Our expert staff in our service department are standing by to fix your mobility van. Whether you need a single part or would like to keep your entire fleet going, we have the name brand parts available. If we don’t have the exact part your looking for, we can get almost anything within a day. Give us a call today for all your wheelchair van needs.

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike DowningAll donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 10am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
“New” Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call Andrew with any questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors please call: 617-416-0782

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Motorcycle Run

 Boston’s Annual Wounded Vet Bike Run Inspired by Cpl. Vincent Mannion Brodeur began in 2011. One of the most severely wounded veterans in the nation, Vinnie is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. While serving in Iraq in 2007 with the 82nd Airborne, Vinnie was critically injured by an insurgents improvised explosive device. After surviving 40 operations and a year long coma Vincent has become an inspiration for people throughout the nation. All proceeds from Vinnie’s Run went to creating a handicapped accessible living space for Vinnie. Every year Boston’s Wounded Vet Run will be dedicated to different veterans. All proceeds raised go towards housing modifications to suite a comfortable living for the disabled veteran. Besides housing modifications, funds are also used to improve the quality of life of disabled veterans. Recreational needs, cars, and basic living needs are also other fields of charity the ride is dedicated to. The event is sponsored by the Italian-American War Veterans, a federally chartered non-profit veterans organization. They fought, and we ride, a bike run honoring the wounded veteran’s of New England.

The Honorees for the 5th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

2015 Event Information

When?
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where?
Begins at:
New Boston Harley
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost:
$20 per person
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins
Donate Here!!

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs at 1:30 for ceremony, food, and entertainment.

2015 Honorees
U.S ARMY SSGT Nick Lavery
U.S ARMY SSGT Mike Downing
U.S. ARMY SGT Brendan Ferreira
U.S ARMY SSGT Travis Mills

Vendors please call:
617-416-0782

State Disability and Health Programs

State Disability and Health Programs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) state-based disability and health programs inform policy and practice at the state level. These programs ensure that individuals with disabilities are included in ongoing state disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency response activities.

CDC supports 18 state-based programs to promote equity in health, prevent chronic disease, and increase the quality of life for people with disabilities. Each program customizes its activities to meet its state’s needs, which broadens expertise and information sharing among states.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Enhance program infrastructure and capacity.
  • Improve state level surveillance and monitoring activities.
  • Increase awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Improve access to health care services for people with disabilities.
  • Improve emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.
  • Effectively monitor and evaluate program activities.

The goals of the state disability and health programs align with those of Healthy People 2020 related to disability:

  • Removing barriers to participation in social, spiritual, recreational, community and civic activities.
  • Improving access to primary care, and health and wellness programs.
  • Identifying people with disabilities in data systems.
  • Increasing surveillance and health promotion programs.
  • Providing graduate-level courses in disability and health.

States funded by CDC for Disability and Health Programs:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina


Alabama

Program activities include:

  • Promoting inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of policy development, planning, and execution of state based public health programs.
  • Using Federally Qualified Healthcare Centers to assist with capacity assessment of ability to meet the needs of those with disabilities and determine barriers to inclusiveness.
  • Increasing health promotion opportunities for persons with disabilities through adaptation of existing public health programs, such as Scale Back Alabama, and increasing the number of children with disabilities who participate in mainstream physical education and after-school programs.

 

Alaska
Program activities include:

  • Developing accurate and timely outreach for Alaskans experiencing disability and their care providers.
  • Building the capacity of a cross-agency disability advisory council that reviews and evaluates program activities, assists with sustainability plans, and provides recommendations for policy change.
  • Providing technical assistance, training, and other support for existing community-wide initiatives designed to improve the health of Alaskans experiencing disability.

The Alaska Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the State of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Women’s, Children’s, and Family Health and the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education, and is housed in the Division of Public Health.

 

Arkansas
Program activities include:

  • Enhancing program infrastructure and capacity through the expansion and support of an Advisory Board and increasing the representation of individuals with disabilities on public health program committees.
  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring by conducting a statewide needs assessment to look at the health status and access of people with disabilities, developing documents comparing demographics and health disparities of Arkansas and the U.S.
  • Increasing awareness of health-related disability policy initiatives through Disability Policy Summits; educating and supporting advocates on proposed policy initiatives and disseminating information to policy makers.
  • Increase health promotion opportunities for people with disabilities by supporting training that maximizes the health of people with disabilities and implementing health awareness and education campaigns.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities by looking at the accessibility of healthcare facilities, and educating healthcare professionals through continued education, as well as internship placement for students in 11 different health related disciplines.
  • Improving emergency preparedness among people with disabilities by reviewing state emergency plans for accessibility, involving people with disabilities in county level planning, providing training, and ensuring shelter access by identifying and surveying pre-designated shelter sites.

The Arkansas Disability and Health Program is housed in the Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 

Delaware
Program activities include:

  • Creating systems-level change through active participation on statewide councils, committees, and workgroups that are addressing health and disability issues and implementation of goals and objectives of the Plan for Action, A Strategic Plan for Delaware to Promote Health and Prevent Secondary Health Conditions in Individuals with Disabilities.
  • Providing technical assistance for health care, fitness, and recreation providers and facilities to improve accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities in health examinations, exercise programs, and recreation activities.
  • Providing education, awareness raising, and resources sharing through the program’s interactive website www.gohdwd.org and email newsletters to individuals with disabilities, family members, professionals, policymakers, and legislators.

The Delaware Disability and Health Program, Healthy Delawareans with Disabilitiesis housed in the Center for Disabilities Studies at the University of Delaware.

Florida
Program activities include:

  • Promoting breast cancer awareness and encouraging recommended screening among women 40 years of age or older who have a disability (the Right to Know Campaign) with partners such as the Florida Centers for Independent Living and the Florida Area Health Education Centers.
  • Increasing the capacity of health care providers in Florida to provide quality health care to people with disabilities by training medical students, and medical and allied health professionals.
  • Increasing the quantity and quality of disability and health-related data in Florida and providing the epidemiologic capacity to analyze these data.

The Florida Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Disability and Health at the University of Florida.

Illinois
Program activities include:

  • Monitoring the health status and health-related behaviors of people with disabilities, and sustaining and expanding the statewide infrastructure to prevent secondary conditions and promote the health of people with disabilities in Illinois.
  • Increasing evidence-based health promotion and prevention opportunities and resources available for people with disabilities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of chronic disease and secondary conditions.
  • Assisting health professionals to gain the knowledge and tools necessary to work effectively with people with a disability to increase the availability and accessibility of health promotion and prevention services, interventions, and resources.

The Illinois Disability and Health Program is housed in the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Iowa
Program activities include:

  • Developing a statewide network of community providers that offer the Living Well with a Disability intervention program.
  • Identifying evidence-based strategies to increase awareness and education opportunities for health professionals.
  • Promoting accessible health care and support services to increase independence among people with disabilities.

The Iowa Disability and Health Program is housed in the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts
Program activities include:

  • Designing and implementing training and technical assistance for health care providers and public health programs on the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure inclusion of people with disabilities in state funded programs, services, and activities.
  • Providing the knowledge base needed to design programs related to healthy aging, health and disability, and secondary health conditions.
  • Working with state agencies and community partners to identify, implement, and evaluate evidence-based health promotion programs among older adults and people with disabilities (for example, the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program).

The Massachusetts Disability and Health Program is housed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Michigan
Program activities include:

The Michigan Health Promotion for People with Disabilities Program is housed in the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Montana
Program activities include:

  • Recruiting, training, and supporting disability advisors to participate in Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services advisory groups and integrate disability and health into public health planning and evaluation processes.
  • Recruiting, training, and supporting state disability leaders to assess and improve the accessibility of community health and fitness programs.
  • Conducting Living Well with a Disability, an eight-week peer-facilitated, health promotion workshop with Montana’s four Centers for Independent Living.

The Montana Disability and Health Program is a collaboration between the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the University of Montana Rural Institute, a Center for Excellence in Disability Education, Research, and Service.

New Hampshire
Program activities include:

  • Training students, self-advocates, families and professionals through coursework, seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Providing technical assistance to organizations and individuals to improve their capacity to include all citizens.
  • Serving as a resource for information to policymakers and government officials.
  • Disseminating information to families, consumers, community members and professionals via books, monographs, articles, videos, newsletters, the Internet and press coverage, including TV, radio, newspapers and consumer forums.
  • Conducting applied research to better understand and address the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • Engaging in collaborative activities and joint projects with organizations that share common goals.

The Institute on Disability (IOD) is housed within New Hampshire’s University Center for Excellence on Disability (UCED).

New York
Program activities include:

  • Implementing the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Center for Community Health Inclusion Policy, which requires all Center for Community Health programs to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities throughout all funding opportunities. The proposed activities to implement inclusive local and statewide public health programs must also include an evaluation of the effect and reach of the policy.
  • Educating and training NYSDOH program managers, primary program implementation staff, NYSDOH contractors and partners about the health disparities experienced by people with disabilities and providing strategies, resources, and potential partners that will enable the integration of people with disabilities in their program areas.
  • Supporting an advisory body comprising individuals with disabilities, other state agencies, community-based organizations, and providers to inform program activities, as well as representing multiple external agency advisory committees to direct consideration of health care and health promotion needs of people with disabilities.

The New York Disability and Health Program is housed in the New York State Department of Health.

North Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Supporting the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on people with an intellectual or developmental disability, or both, to better assess the health status of North Carolina adults.
  • Promoting accessible environments to support full community participation and engaging people with disabilities by developing accessibility checklists for health care practices and by providing training on adaptive and inclusive fitness and how to remove barriers to fitness facilities.
  • Increasing access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for people with disabilities with the implementation of adaptive equipment and enhanced disability awareness among domestic violence and sexual assault agencies.

The North Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, and is a collaboration between the Division of Public Health of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

North Dakota
Program activities include:

  • Forming a consumer-driven advisory council that reviews the progress of the program activities, reviews data related to the health of people with disabilities, assists with development of a strategic plan, and provides recommendations for addressing issues related to the health and wellness of North Dakota citizens with disabilities.
  • Reducing health disparities in the areas of obesity, diabetes, and tobacco use among people with disabilities.
  • Ensuring people have accurate information on disability and health issues and promoting communication, planning, and implementation of health- and disability-related services across service systems.

The North Dakota Disability and Health Program, named the Disability Health Project, is a collaboration between the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities at Minot State University; the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota; and the North Dakota State Health Department, Division of Chronic Disease, Office for the Elimination of Health Disparities.

Ohio
Program activities include:

  • Improving state-level surveillance and monitoring activities with epidemiologic expertise from the Government Resource Center (GRC).
  • Advancing health-related disability policy initiatives in Ohio.
  • Promoting the health of people with disabilities through demonstration projects and train-the-trainer sessions.
  • Improving access to health care for people with disabilities through our partnership with the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers.
  • Revising Ohio Emergency Management Plans and committees to be inclusive of people with disabilities, increasing the number of PWD who have emergency plans, training first responders on the needs of PWD, and improving the accessibility of emergency shelters.

The Ohio Disability and Health Program is composed of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio State University Nisonger Center, the University of Cincinnati UCEDD, and the Ohio Colleges of Medicine Government Resource Center (GRC).

Oregon
Program activities include:

  • Conducting Healthy Lifestyles workshops for people with disabilities (in English and Spanish) to improve quality of life in partnership with the Centers for Independent Living and other disability organizations.
  • Implementing the Right to Know campaign and breast health education events, providing mammography technologist training, and assessing Oregon’s mammography clinics to improve breast cancer awareness and screening among women with disabilities.
  • Providing individualized emergency preparedness training for Oregonians with disabilities as well as working with key community and state partners to ensure that emergency preparedness planning and training efforts include topics relevant to the health and safety of people with disabilities.

The Oregon Disability and Health Program is housed in the Oregon Office on Disability and Health at Oregon Health and Science University.

Rhode Island
Program activities include:

  • Promoting the health and wellness for people with disabilities through inclusive self-management, evidence-based programs.
  • Monitoring, supporting and implementing effective healthcare transition from pediatric to adulthood within a positive youth development framework that promotes self-determination and an activated patient model.
  • Providing professional development for practitioners working with people with disabilities, including training, targeted technical assistance, and access to assistive technology.
  • Addressing special needs of people with disabilities in health promotion programs, health strategic planning, emergency preparedness, preventative health screening programs, and healthcare facility access.
  • Increasing access to quality of health-related data of people with disabilities in Rhode Island and using epidemiology and evaluation analysis to monitor the health disparities.

The Rhode Island Disability and Health Program is housed in the Office of Special Needs of the Health Disparities and Access to Care Team at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

South Carolina
Program activities include:

  • Increasing the knowledge of professionals and paraprofessionals in South Carolina to meet the preventive, primary, and secondary health needs of people with disabilities.
  • Conducting ongoing surveillance with Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and administrative datasets as secondary sources via the South Carolina Disability Cube Project.
  • Working to achieve more livable communities for people with disabilities by facilitating access to primary care physician offices, increasing access to fitness and recreation facilities, and working with community planning agencies to improve outdoor space using principals of universal design.

The South Carolina Disability and Health Program is housed in the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Grants and Funds Available for People with Disabilities:
 Listed by State



Alabama

  • People with developmental disabilities and their families may apply for Short-Term Assistance & Referral Programs (STAR) to address short-term needs, maximum of $2,500 per recipient. Used for: environmental modifications, adaptive equipment; services such as behavioral training, personal care, medical appointments. It also offers an alternative loan program. Contact: Helen Baker, 334-293-7012.

Alaska

  • The state of Alaska provides Developmental Disabilities (DD) Mini-Grants, maximum of $2,500/year for beneficiaries with disabilities with funding from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA). Used for: unmet medical, dental, hearing, therapeutic equipment and services; home improvement needs. Contact: Amy Westfall, amyw@stonesoupgroup.org.
  • People with developmental disabilities and their families may apply for Short-Term Assistance & Referral Programs (STAR) to address short-term needs, maximum of $2,500 per recipient. Used for: environmental modifications, adaptive equipment; services such as behavioral training, personal care, medical appointments. It also offers an alternative loan program. Contact: Laurie Cooper, 907-465-3135,laurie.cooper@alaska.gov.
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Alaska may provide funding for those living in Alaska. Contact: 907-562-7347.
  • Paralyzed Veterans Association (PVA) provides support to paralyzed veterans. Contact: Northwest Chapter of PVA, 800-336-9782.

Arizona

  • Arizona Loan$ for Assistive Technology (AzLAT) provides two financial loan programs for those with physical disabilities, AzLAT and S.E.E.D. Loan$ to support self-employed entrepreneurs with disabilities. Loans range from $500 to $10,000 Contact: Pamela Alcala, 602-776-4670, pamela.alcala@nau.edu.
  • The Arizona Technology Access  Program (AzTAP) provides a network for people with disabilities to find adapted equipment or assistive technology (AT) in the hands of someone who can benefit it. These are listed by individuals; some items are listed as free, others do have an associated cost.

Arkansas

  • Independent Choices focuses on helping adults with physical disabilities receive direct care in the home. They may provide funding support. Contact: 800-682-0044.

California

  • Access for Athletes – Challenged Athletes Foundation offers grants for athletes with physical disabilities. Grants are awarded to purchase equipment including sports wheelchairs, handcycles, mono skis and sports prosthetics. Contact: JulieAnne White, 858-210-3506, julieanne@challengedathletes.org.

Colorado

  • University of Colorado Denver services the AT Funding $ources website, which helps those with physical disabilities in Colorado find state and county funding opportunities. Searchable by age, disability, county and area of need. Contact: 800-255-3477, at@at-partners.org.


Connecticut


Delaware

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • The Specialized Services Fund (SSF) from DSAAPD provides funding to help those with physical disabilities with the costs of transportation, home modification and AT devices. Maximum lifetime funds: $10,000. Contact: New Castle County, 302-453-3820; Kent & Sussex Counties, 302-424-7310.

District of Columbia

  • Assistive Technology Program offers various resources to help people with physical disabilities find technology to improve their quality of life. It includes funding opportunities as well as resources to find the right solutions. Contact: 202-547-0918.

Florida

  • The Millennium Angel Foundation provides grants to those who have a physical disability because of an accident. Contact: 800-573-8853, angelfoundation@msettlements.com.

Georgia

  • Tools for Life offers a variety of services to ensure those with physical disabilities have access to technology in their lives. Programs include demonstrations, funding opportunities, reuse program, evaluations and assessments. Contact: 404-638-0390, info@gatfl.org.

Hawaii

  • Assistive Technology Resource of Hawaii offers various resources to help people with physical disabilities find technology to improve their quality of life. It includes funding opportunities as well as resources to find the right solutions. Contact: 808-532-7110.

Idaho

  • Idaho Assistive Technology Project provides assistive technology resources for those with physical disabilities in Idaho. Resources include financing, exchange program and training. Contact: 208-885-6097,sueh@uidaho.edu.
  • The University of Idaho offers Operation Education for military veterans who have been disabled in service. It offers scholarships and funding opportunities for college. Contact: 208-885-9026,operationeducation@uidaho.edu.
  • The Arlen B. Crouch Foundation may offer funding for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 208-324-3117.


Illinois

  • The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offers the Brighter Tomorrow Grant to provide goods/services to improve quality of life of those with disabilities. Max award of $1,000. Contact: 1-888-MSFOCUS.
  • Illinois’ Cystic Fibrosis Foundation offers a scholarship for young adults with disabilities that wish to further their education after high school. Contact: 847-328-0127, mkbcfsf@aol.com.

Indiana

  • Indiana Assistive Technology Act provides alternate funding options for assistive technology equipment and services. In addition, the office provides device training and loans. Contact: 888-466-1314.

Iowa

  • In partnership with the University of Iowa, the Iowa Program for Assistive Technology offers funding, training and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 319-356-4463.

Kansas

  • The Kansas Assistive Technology Cooperative (KATCO) is an organization run by consumers that coordinates and provides finances for the purchase of assistive technology services and equipment to help people with disabilities gain economic and functional independence. Contact: 866-465-2826.
  • Assistive Technology for Kansans provides financing options for assistive technology equipment. It also offers device training and “try out” programs. Contact: 800-KAN-DOIT.

Kentucky

Louisiana

  • The Louisiana Assistive Technology Network provides loans, funding opportunities, training and other programs to provide assistive technology equipment and services to those with physical disabilities. Contact: 225-925-9500.


Maine

  • Multiple Sclerosis Society – Maine Chapter provides funding for software, tools and durable medical equipment. Contact: 800-344-4867, info@msmaine.org.
  • Keep Seniors Home provides funding to help seniors with mobility issues as they age. Funding is available for home modifications and renovations. Contact: 207-645-3764.


Maryland


Massachusetts

  • Travis Roy Foundation offers individual grants to help those with spinal cord injuries. The funds can be used to upgrade and maintain equipment, including vehicles. Contact: 617-619-8257.
  • MassMatch provides funding opportunities for assistive technology. It also offers programs including device training and equipment loans. Contact: 617-204-3851.


Michigan

  • The Michigan Assistive Technology Program provides training, funding opportunities and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 517-333-2477.

Minnesota

  • The STAR Program offers funding resources for those with physical disabilities to obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 651-201-2640.

Mississippi

  • The Mississippi Assistive Technology Division provides training, funding opportunities and other programs to help those with physical disabilities obtain assistive technology equipment and services. Contact: 800-443-1000.

Missouri

  • Missouri Assistive Technology provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 816-655-6700, moat1501@att.net.

Montana

  • MonTech provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 406-243-5751, montech@ruralinstitute.umt.edu.

Nebraska

  • Assistive Technology Partnership provides funding opportunities, device loans and training programs for those with physical disabilities. Contact: 888-806-6287.

Nevada

  • The Assistive Technology for Independent Living provides funding and resources for assistive technology equipment and services for those with physical disabilities. The organization offers other programs, including training. Contact: Northern Nevada, 775-353-3599; Southern Nevada, 702-333-1038.

New Hampshire

  • Assistive Technology in New Hampshire offers funding opportunities for those with physical disabilities. Funding can be used for assistive technology equipment, services, etc. It also offers training and other programs. Contact: 603-862-4320.

New Jersey

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • The Assistive Technology Center provides funding resources for those with physical disabilities who wish to obtain assistive technology equipment or services. Contact: 888-322-1918.

New Mexico

  • New Mexico Technology Assistance Program offers loans, donation programs, training and other resources to help those with physical disabilities. The program focuses on helping those with disabilities obtain the assistive technology they need. Contact: 505-425-3690.

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

  • Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 405-271-3625.

Oregon

  • Assistive Technology offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 541-440-4791.
  • Incight Education offers a scholarship for those with disabilities. The scholarship is used for those who are full-time students at a trade school, college or university. Contact: 971-244-0305.
  • The Blanche Fischer Foundation provides grants to those with physical disabilities residing in the state of Oregon. To be considered, residents must show a financial need for funding relating directly to the disability. Grants can be used to pay for disability equipment, access ramps and transportation to related conferences. Â Contact: 503-819-8205.
  • Mobility Unlimited helps those with physical disabilities obtain mobility equipment so they are able to live independently as well as maintain employment. Contact: 877-516-0605.

Pennsylvania

  • The Adam Taliaferro Foundation provides financial support to student-athletes who are injured in sanctioned team events. Contact: ostrumg@yahoo.com.
  • Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 484-674-0506.

Rhode Island

  • Assistive Technology Access Partnership offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact:requests@ors.ri.gov.

South Carolina

South Dakota

  • DakotaLink offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 803-645-0673.

Tennessee

Texas

  • Texas Assistive Technology Network offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 713-744-6559.

Utah

  • Utah Assistive Technology Program offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 435-797-9032.

Vermont

Virginia

  • Virginia Assistive Technology System offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 804-662-9990.

Washington

West Virginia

  • West Virginia Assistive Technology System offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 304-293-4692.

Wisconsin

Wyoming

  • Daniel’s Fund offers scholarships to help individuals with disabilities fund college. Scholarship amounts vary. Contact: 307-673-1987.
  • WIND Assistive Technology Resources offers resources so people with disabilities are able to obtain assistive technology. The agency offers programs including funding and training. Contact: 888-989-9463.

Rhode Island Mobility Van Resources

Vocational Rehabilitation Program

What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program?
The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is the public state and federally funded program that assists individuals with disabilities to choose, prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Employment being the successful outcome of services provided through the public vocational rehabilitation program. It is expected that individuals with disabilities who apply for services are interested in becoming employed and understand that this is the focus of the VR program.

Who is Eligible for VR Services?

Do you want to work?
Do you have a condition that limits your job opportunities?
To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, you must – 1) have a physical, intellectual or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and 2) require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment, and 3) be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your vocational rehabilitation office will presume that you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

How Do You Obtain Services Through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program?

Individuals with disabilities must first apply for the VR program and be determined eligible before services can be provided. Individuals with significant disabilities are presumed eligible for the program if an application is completed and there is documentation of disability. All applicants for the VR program are encouraged to present documentation of their disability and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) to speed up the eligibility process.

Employment Plan
(Individualized Plan for Employment)

The eligible individual with a disability and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will work together to develop an employment plan called the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The Employment Plan considers the individual’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, skills, abilities, preferences, capabilities, interests, and values, as well as the barriers to employment. The Employment Plan identifies the employment goal that the individual has chosen, the time it is expected to reach the goal, the services that the individual chooses as necessary to reach the employment goal, and how the services will be provided. Some of the services may be provided directly by the VR Counselor, others may be available through other public sources such as netWORKri (One Stop Career Centers), and others may be purchased with funds provided by the VR agency. The individual may develop the Employment Plan with the assistance of the VR Counselor, another individual, or by him or herself. The VR Counselor is always available to provide assistance in this process, and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who works for the public VR program must approve the Employment Plan before any services are provided through the VR agency. The partnership between each individual with a disability and their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is a key component in the Vocational Rehabilitation process.

What Are Some of the Services that can be Included in an Employment Plan?

Vocational rehabilitation services that may be included in an Employment Plan are:

  • Counseling and Guidance to help plan vocational goals and services
  • Transition Services from School to Career
  • Rehabilitation Technology Services
  • Assistive Technology Services
  • Diagnostic Evaluations
  • College or Vocational Training
  • Job Training and Job Supports
  • Job Development and Placement Services
  • Vehicle Modifications
  • Housing Modifications
  • Post-Employment Services

What Are Some Services After an Employment Goal is Achieved?

Employment is the successful outcome for the individual with a disability and the VR program. Once employed, however, the VR agency may assist with post-employment services to assist the individual to retain or advance in employment.

If you are interested in applying for services, please fill out and sign the completed Application (Espanol) and return to Intake, Office of Rehabilitation Services, 40 Fountain Street, Providence, RI 02903.

Rehabilitation Services

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

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

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

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

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

Links

  • Office of Rehabilitation Services
    • (401) 421-7005 (voice)
    • 
(401) 421-7016 (TDD)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Program
  • Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Disability Determination Services
  • Assistive Technology Access Partnership

Rhode Island Disability Grants Handicap Funding RI

Buying a wheelchair van can be easier through handicap grants, loans for the disabled, mobility finance programs, government assistance, and other handicap funding sources. Get some or all the cost funded with Rhode Island disability grants for a wheelchair van or vehicle conversion. Delivery of handicap vans in Rhode Island or nationwide is fast and convenient.

Disability Grants in Rhode Island (RI)
The grants listed below may or may not provide funding for handicap vans to individuals. Please contact your local Rhode Island grant provider for a detailed list of requirements.

TechACCESS of Rhode Island

TechACCESS provides a list of resources that can help disabled persons living in Rhode Island purchase a handicap van with supplemental funding.

How to Apply for Rhode Island Grants or Mobility Funding
Help us build the largest Rhode Island directory of handicap grants, loans, and other mobility funding sources by contributing your favorite mobility funding programs. Rhode Island residents can find disability grants, wheelchair van loans, or other financing options to help pay for a wheelchair van by contacting one or several disabled funding programs. We will helps you find a used wheelchair van for sale and gladly accept all funding assistance programs to ensure your handicap needs are met.

Rhode Island Technology, Assistive Financial Aid & Disability Programs

Living an independent life is a part of Rhode Island’s history. RI was the first of the 13 original colonies to declare independence and the last to ratify the U.S. Constitution. State programs exist to help people with disabilities to be more independent through transportation, assistive technology and becoming involved in their communities.

Assistive Technology Access Partnership
The ATAP is a statewide partnership of organizations with an Assistive Technology focus. They provide a range of services including training, public awareness, demonstrations and loans.

Ocean State Center for Independent Living

The OSCIL advocates for an individual’s right to live independently by offering services , information and peer support.

Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities
Located at Rhode Island College, the center assist individuals to live a productive and independent life within their community. They also offer assistive technology equipment, tools and services.

TechACCESS of Rhode Island
Provides information about Assistive Technology and how these devices and services can improve or maintain the capabilities of a person with disabilities.

Rhode Island Developmental Disabilities Council

Council members and staff work to develop programs and work with agencies to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

Easter Seals Rhode Island
Provides programs and services for children and adults with disabilities, their families and their communities.

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..)!!

It’s all about choices

It’s all about choices wheelchair vans newenglandwheelchairvan.com

The theme of the website revolves around choice and making a knowledgeable decision. The site has reviews on manual rigid frame models, folding wheelchairs and power chairs. They even have a section on all-terrain wheelchairs and sports wheelchairs. Just about every type of mobility device is represented. One of the more popular wheelchairs in the rigid frame section is the Ti Lite ZRA with 42 user postings. Overall, they have a 3.76 end user rating. Among the highest rated rigid frames with a 5.0 rating, but with only 10 user reviews is the Lasher Sport, Llc BT-Mg.

To see what people are saying about your wheelchair or one that you may be looking at getting in the future, go to wheelchair reviews.

Scooter Reviews for Three and Four Wheeled Models

The website also has reviews and ratings for scooters. These include 3-wheel scooters, 4-wheel scooters, and lightweight scooters. Among the top reviewed in the lightweights is the Pride Mobility Go Go. To see the scooters listed and which one sounds like the right fit for your needs, go to scooter reviews.

About United Spinal

United Spinal was founded in 1946 by a group of paralyzed WWII veterans in New York City who advocated for greater civil rights and independence for themselves and their fellow veterans. Today, United Spinal is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D). Its 35,000 members are of all ages and backgrounds and membership is free.

Other Resources

Other online websites for learning about different wheelchair makes and models include Spin Life and Disabled World. Getting as many opinions as you can from friends and support groups is highly suggested to find the right chair to meet your needs and personal preferences. Making a knowledgeable decision by doing a little research online may save you time and money.

Adapting Motor Vehicles for People with disAbilities

newenglandwheelchairvan.com boston strong

Introduction

A Proven Process for Gaining Freedom on the Road

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

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

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

 


 

Investigate Cost Saving Opportunities &Licensing Requirements

Cost Saving Opportunities

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

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

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

Licensing Requirements

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

 


 

Evaluate Your Needs

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

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

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

Finding a Qualified Evaluator

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

Being Prepared for an Evaluation

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

Evaluating Passengers with Disabilities

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

 


 

Select the Right Vehicle

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

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

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

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

 


 

Choose a Qualified Dealer to Modify Your Vehicle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


 

Obtain Training on the Use of New Equipment

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

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

 


 

Maintain Your Vehicle

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

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

 


 

Resources

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

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

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

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

State Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation
Listed in telephone book.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wheelchair lifts automatic and semiautomatic newenglandwheelchairvan.com

TYPES OF WHEELCHAIR LIFTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lifts

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

There are basically two types of wheelchair lifts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESPN, Ben Affleck To Honor father-son team Hoyt, Yes You Can

Team Hoyt

Actor Ben Affleck is set to present an award for perseverance to a father-son team who have competed together in more than 1,000 races despite the younger man’s severe disabilities.

Rick Hoyt, 51, has cerebral palsy and is unable to use his hands or legs. But with the help of a custom-made wheelchair steered by his father — Dick Hoyt, 73 — he’s blazed through finish lines at triathlons, marathons and other endurance events for over 30 years.

Now the duo, known as Team Hoyt, will be honored at the ESPYS, an awards show presented by ESPN highlighting the best in sports for the year. Affleck  a Boston, MA native  will present the Hoyts with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the event July 17, ESPN said.

The Hoyts had indicated that this year’s Boston Marathon would be their last. But after bombs exploded at the event when the men were just one mile shy of the finish line, they vowed to compete again next year. ESPN indicated that the Hoyts’ commitment to race again is testament to the pair’s “determination in the face of adversity.”

“Rick and I are grateful to be receiving this award,” said Dick Hoyt. “Our motto is ‘Yes You Can’ and we strive to always persevere even when others tell you that it cannot be done.”

spinal cord injury rehabilitation program new england

spinal cord injury rehabilitation program new england http://newenglandwheelchairvan.com/

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program

Early rehabilitation treatment is critical to help patients achieve their fullest potential following a spinal cord injury. At New England Rehabilitation Hospital patients learn how to adapt and return to a normal life. Patients learn how to avoid complications and increase independence. New England Rehabilitation Hospital is pleased to offer a primary care practice for individuals with spinal cord injuries. This program provides individuals with spinal cord injury a community based physician that has the expertise and commitment to care for their special needs on an ongoing and proactive basis.

The Spinal Cord Injury Team of experienced clinicians at New England Rehabilitation Hospital may include some or all of the following professionals dependent on the patient’s individual needs:

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Team Consists of:

New England Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program is designed to help individuals maximize their functional abilities so they can successfully return to the community. This goal is accomplished through development of an individualized treatment plan for each patient by the interdisciplinary staff. New England Rehabilitation Hospital advocates for involvement of the family in all aspects of care, and ensures patient/family education, support and participation in life care planning. New England Rehabilitation Hospital is fortunate to have the Greater Boston Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association at the hospital. The chapter is an invaluable asset in the rehabilitation and support of individuals with spinal cord injury.

  • Physiatrist (a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation) Board Certified in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine
  • Psychiatrist
  • Nurses specializing in 24-Hour Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • Case Manager
  • Benefits specialist
  • Dietician
  • Other medical specialties to include;
    • Neurologist
    • Neuropsychologist
    • ENT
    • Oncologist
    • Pulmonologist
    • Infectious Disease Specialist
    • Wound Specialist

Program Components

The Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program components include:

  • 24-Hour Rehabilitation nursing to address wound management, pain management, reinforce acquired functional skills, to assist with education of the patient and family.
  • Intensive and Individualized, goal-oriented treatment plans
  • Functional Approach to Activities of Daily Living and Community Re-entry
  • Availability of State-of-the-Art rehabilitation technology to include:
    • AutoAmbulator (partial weight support treadmill training)
    • Bioness H200 (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
    • Bioness L300 (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
    • Adaptive equipment for phone, computer and other aspects of communication.
  • Specialized insurance benefits coordination and management
  • Family conferences, education and support
  • Comprehensive case management discharge planning
  • Nutritional management
  • Daily Living Skills Training
  • Community Re-Entry Program
  • Splinting and Orthotics
  • Sexual Counseling
  • Educational Series
  • Driving Evaluation Program, as well as referrals to vendors for access and training to adaptive driving equipment.
  • Therapeutic Pool (Woburn only, 96 degrees)
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Services/Clinics including access to a physiatrist who specialize in the care of individuals with spinal cord injury.

Benefits Management and Coordination

An illness or injury may affect a person’s capacity for returning to work. If one of our patients is likely to be unable to return to work for a short or extended period, New England Rehabilitation Hospital offers the services of a Benefits Specialist to help the patient and family with practical matters of income replacement and health insurance concerns. The Benefits Specialist addresses such matters as: filing for Family and Medical Leave, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Social Security Disability, MassHealth and COBRA assistance. The Benefits Specialist is also able to address social concerns of emergency aid for those persons who may not have worked prior to the injury or illness.

New England Rehabilitation Hospital recognizes the importance of assisting patients back to their homes, communities and places of work. The benefits service is dedicated to achieving those goals by helping patients and families navigate through disability benefits systems and by providing support to patients and families as they go through this often difficult and confusing process. Many patients have commented that they would not have known “where to begin” and that this service completes their overall rehabilitation.

New England Rehab Offers Elder Assist Clinic

New England Rehabilitation Hospital in conjunction with the Senior Resource Center (SRC) now offers complimentary, weekly Elder Assist Clinics in Woburn. These pre-registered private appointments with SRC’s Eldercare Nurse Attorneys help patients and their families with important issues, to include:

  • How to pay for current and long term health care needs
  • How to protect your home and your hard assets
  • Advice on estate planning

These clinics serve as a bridge in helping New England Rehabilitation Hospital patients and their families deal with transition needs for a safe and timely discharge home, to a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living facility.

Senior Resource Center, Inc. is a full-service eldercare planning advisory group, supporting seniors and their families throughout Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire.

New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.  Education and Collaboration

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

spinal cord Injury and driving in new england

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rehabilitation Services Rhode Island

Rehabilitation Services Rhode Island

 

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan CR121019 Inside Front Right Veiw View

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

  • Vocational Rehabilitation
    The focus of the Vocational Rehabilitation Program is to help people with disabilities prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Individuals who apply for this program are interested in becoming employed. If a person receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and they are interested in working, they are assumed to be eligible for this program.
  • Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
    The Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers a variety of training and adjustment services for individuals who are blind or who have significant visual impairments. The goal is to help them become independent, active, and self-sufficient members of their community. Services are available for children and adults.
  • Disability Determination Services
    The Disability Determination Services unit determines the eligibility for children and adults with disabilities who are applying for cash benefits from the federal Social Security Administration’s programs – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  • Assistive Technology Access Partnership
    The Office of Rehabilitation Services administers the Assistive Technology Access Partnership which can help individuals with disabilities get assistive technology devices and services.

LINKS

Vocational Rehabilitation Program Rhode Island

Vocational Rehabilitation Program

VMiNewEngland Toyota Sienna Northstar wheelchair van driver

What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program?

The Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program is the public state and federally funded program that assists individuals with disabilities to choose, prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. Employment being the successful outcome of services provided through the public vocational rehabilitation program. It is expected that individuals with disabilities who apply for services are interested in becoming employed and understand that this is the focus of the VR program.

Who is Eligible for VR Services?

Do you want to work?
Do you have a condition that limits your job opportunities?

To be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services, you must – 1) have a physical, intellectual or emotional impairment which is a substantial barrier to employment, and 2) require vocational rehabilitation services to prepare for, secure, retain, or regain employment, and 3) be able to benefit from vocational rehabilitation services in terms of an employment outcome. If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your vocational rehabilitation office will presume that you are eligible for vocational rehabilitation services.

How Do You Obtain Services Through the
Vocational Rehabilitation Program?

Individuals with disabilities must first apply for the VR program and be determined eligible before services can be provided. Individuals with significant disabilities are presumed eligible for the program if an application is completed and there is documentation of disability. All applicants for the VR program are encouraged to present documentation of their disability and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) to speed up the eligibility process.

Employment Plan
(Individualized Plan for Employment)

The eligible individual with a disability and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor will work together to develop an employment plan called the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The Employment Plan considers the individual’s unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, skills, abilities, preferences, capabilities, interests, and values, as well as the barriers to employment. The Employment Plan identifies the employment goal that the individual has chosen, the time it is expected to reach the goal, the services that the individual chooses as necessary to reach the employment goal, and how the services will be provided. Some of the services may be provided directly by the VR Counselor, others may be available through other public sources such as netWORKri (One Stop Career Centers), and others may be purchased with funds provided by the VR agency. The individual may develop the Employment Plan with the assistance of the VR Counselor, another individual, or by him or herself. The VR Counselor is always available to provide assistance in this process, and a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor who works for the public VR program must approve the Employment Plan before any services are provided through the VR agency. The partnership between each individual with a disability and their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor is a key component in the Vocational Rehabilitation process.

What Are Some of the Services that
can be Included in an Employment Plan?

Vocational rehabilitation services that may be included in an Employment Plan are:
  • Counseling and Guidance to help plan vocational goals and services;
  • Transition Services from School to Career;
  • Rehabilitation Technology Services;
  • Assistive Technology Services;
  • Diagnostic Evaluations;
  • College or Vocational Training;
  • Job Training and Job Supports;
  • Job Development and Placement Services;
  • Vehicle Modifications;
  • Housing Modifications;
  • Post-Employment Services.

What Are Some Services After an
Employment Goal is Achieved?

Employment is the successful outcome for the individual with a disability and the VR program. Once employed, however, the VR agency may assist with post-employment services to assist the individual to retain or advance in employment.

If you are interested in applying for services, please fill out and sign the completed Application (Espanol) and return to Intake, Office of Rehabilitation Services, 40 Fountain Street, Providence, RI 02903.

For Affordable Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles in Massachusetts, Think Used

For Affordable Accessible Vehicles in Massachusetts, Think Used

Used Wheelchair Vans Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine
Do not allow finances to keep you from purchasing the handicap car you need. Instead, for affordable accessible vehicles, think used at VMi New England in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. There are dozens of used mobility vehicles on the market that will fit any budget.Living with a physical disability does present challenges. Fortunately, society has come a long way in making handicap accessible accommodations . Whether you use a wheelchair or have other mobility challenges, you will find that most forms of public transportation are wheelchair accessible.However, when it comes to independence and freedom, you’ll need your own handicap accessible car or van. For some it makes good economic sense to invest in a used wheelchair van from a trusted mobility dealership. Not only are used accessible vehicles more affordable, but many offer the same features as new ones and some include warranty coverage.

Make a list of the handicap options most suited to your needs including the wheelchairs dimensions with you in it along with wants prior to viewing affordable accessible vehicles. If you have difficulty with fine motor skills, you would benefit from a handicap car with a key-less start-up system. Do you prefer to drive while seated in a wheelchair or would a transfer seat be better? Handicap accessible vans offer lots of space for passengers and cargo, but handicap accessible cars can be more affordable and fuel efficient.

Be prepared to choose among a variety of mobility vehicles within your price range at VMi New England. Feel free to contact us while conducting research in advance to find your best options for used accessible vehicles.. Used, affordable accessible vehicles can be purchased through many places, but be very cautious when shopping at companies, such as car dealerships, and on-line specialty websites. Most of them aren’t interested in your long term needs and only want to make a sale.

Your best value will always be with a knowledgeable mobility dealership who’s interested in building a long lasting relationship.

 

Accessible Travel Massachusetts

The Commonwealth features some unique accessible opportunities:

CAPEable Adventures was established in 2007, by Craig Bautz, to address the growing desire of physically and mentally challenged children and adults who would like the opportunity to participate in sports and outdoor recreation. CAPEable Adventures offers sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability. Activities include water sports, cycling, skiing, curling, fitness and special sports events.

Perkins Museum Take a multi-sensory journey through the history of blind and deafblind education over the last 200 years.

Handi Kids Camp, a non-profit, recreational facility for children and young adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.

Ironstone Farm is home to Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy, two non-profit organizations established to provide a variety of services for people with and without disabilities, using horses and the wholesome environment of a working farm.

F1 Boston features F1 cars designed specially for children with disabilities.

Forever Young Treehouse at the Institute for Developmental Disabilities Inc., the first of its kind in the state.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site now offers special audio tours.

Zoar Outdoor has kayaks with adaptive seating for paraplegics, visual signals for folks with hearing loss and special rafting trips for visually impaired people.

Arts & Culture

The Museum of Fine Arts offers Artful Healing Programs. These are theme-based tours and art making activities at area hospitals, healthcare centers, and at the MFA for children, youth, teens, and their families in a group setting or in patients’ rooms.

The Museum of Science Boston has Access Features and Programs as well.

Audio described performances are available at:
Wheelock Family Theatre
Huntington Theatre
American Repertory Theatre offers both ASL and Audio described performances.

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Outdoor Activities

Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR)
The DCR has many adaptive programs and events throughout the year.

Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

Mt. Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Rd., Lanesborough, 413-499-4262

• Paved ¼ mile loop trail at summit of Massachusetts’ tallest peak has spectacular views
• Meets all codes and guidelines for accessibility
• Visitor Center, Restrooms, Interpretive Program, Trail Opportunity

At 3,491 feet, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts. Rising above the surrounding Berkshire landscape, dramatic views of 60-90 miles distant may be seen. It became Massachusetts’ first wilderness state park, acquired by the Commonwealth in 1898, to preserve its natural environment for public enjoyment. Wild and rugged yet intimate and accessible, Mount Greylock rewards the visitor exploring this special place of scenic and natural beauty. The roads to the summit are open seasonally from late-May through November 1; weather permitting into the Fall.

Pittsfield State Forest, 1041 Cascade Street, Pittsfield, 413-442-8992

• Tranquility Trail is a ½ mile paved through the forest crossing a brook and accessible by wheelchair.
• Picnic area, Restrooms, Interpretive Program, Optional Audio Tour component

Streams, waterfalls and flowering shrubs abound in Pittsfield State Forest. 65 acres of wild azalea fields are a profusion of pink blossoms in June. The forest has two camping areas, two picnic areas and a swimming beach. Fishermen frequent scenic Berry Pond, one of the highest natural water bodies in the state at 2,150 feet in elevation. The vista from the top of Berry Mountain, accessible by auto road from April to December, is a striking panorama and a great place to watch the sun set.

Savoy Mountain State Forest 260 Central Shaft Road, Florida, (413) 663-8469
A quarter mile of stabilized stonedust trail travels through woods and skirts the lake. Offers benches and views.

Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Adams to Lanesborough, 413-442-8928

• 11.2 mile paved trail
• Accessible for handicapped
• Visitor Center, Restrooms, Picnicking

The Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is a former railroad corridor converted into a 10-foot wide paved, universally accessible, passive recreation path. It runs parallel to Route 8 through the towns of Cheshire, Lanesboro and Adams. The southern end of the rail trail begins at the entrance to the Berkshire Mall off MA Rte. 8 in Lanesboro and travels north to the center of Adams.

Vietnam Veteran’s Rink, 1292 Church Street, North Adams, (413) 664-8185

• Public skating hours
• Wheelchair accessible
• Ice-skating sleds are available

Undermountain Farm, 400 Undermountain Road, Lenox, (413) 637-3365

• Handicap accessible
• Lessons available for those with moderate disabilities

A beautiful Victorian Farm surrounded by 150 acres of pasture, forest and hay fields. A large airy indoor arena (81 x 160), a spacious outdoor arena, and access to miles of riding trails provide ample facilities for riding pleasure.

Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, (413) 637-0320

• All-Persons Trail is a one-third-mile long and accessible to everyone.
• Restrooms , Education Center.

STRIDE Adaptive Sports offers exceptional instruction in adaptive ski & snowboard lessons in all methods at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock and Catamount Ski Area in South Egremont. See website for more details. The Great Race, March 16, 2013. For STRIDE participants to have the opportunity to show off what they learned through the STRIDE program. The event includes a BBQ with a DJ and fun for all!

Accessible Beaches
Accessible Camping
Accessible Pools

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Sightseeing Tours

Duck Tours The fun begins as soon as you board your “DUCK”, a W.W.II style amphibious landing vehicle. First, you’ll be greeted by one of our legendary tour ConDUCKtors, who’ll be narrating your tour. Then you’re off on a journey like you’ve never had before. The Duck Tours might be a great way to see a lot of Boston for those who cannot participate in the walking tours of Boston as some are equipped for wheelchair access, make sure you contact the company ahead of time for details: 617 450-0068.

Freedom Trail Boston’s Freedom Trail is a walking tour that visits historical sites in downtown Boston: The State House, Granary Burial Grounds, King’s Chapel, site of the Boston Massacre, Faneuil Hall, home of Paul Revere, Old North Church, USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill. The trail begins in Boston Common where you can purchase a ticket at the visitors center and join a group or tour on your own. The trail is long and has a lot of hills but it is accessible. The Granary Burial Grounds, resting place of Sam Adams, John Hancock, Mother Goose, and Paul Revere (to name a few) is wheelchair accessible. The entrance is located on the northeast side of the cemetery (down an alley on Beacon Street).

Harvard Yard Walking Tour The student-lead Harvard Yard tour gives you a first hand account of the history behind the famous university. The tour is wheelchair accessible, and is free to the public. Wheelchairs are available with a week or more advance notice.

Cruises

Boston’s Best Cruises

The following Boston’s Best Cruises operations are fully ADA accessible:
MBTA Harbor Express – Quincy, Hull & Logan to Long Wharf North, Boston. Year-round operation.

Boston Harbor Islands – Long Wharf North to Georges and Spectacle Islands. May through Columbus Day.

Sunset Cruise – 90 minute nightly tour through Boston Harbor from Long Wharf North. May through Columbus Day.

New England Aquarium Whale Watch – Aquarium dock to Stellwagen Bank. April through October.

The Harbor Cruise vessel is not ADA accessible, but an ADA accessible Harbor Cruise can be arranged with proper notice.

Adaptive Programs

All Out Adventures. Outdoor recreation for people of all abilities.

Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers – Boston, North Shore and Cape Cod support individuals of all abilities in leading active, healthy lives through participation in adaptive sports and recreational activities. Spaulding opened its first Adaptive Sports programs in Boston and on Cape Cod in 2001, and since that time has expanded to include the North Shore. These three sites offer a wide range of land and water based adaptive sporting activities that focus on the value of sports and fitness. At these Centers, participants living with disabilities play wheelchair tennis, hand cycle, kayak, windsurf or row in adaptive boats, and engage in a number of other activities through which they learn new life skills, make new friends and enjoy themselves as they rebuild their strength, gain a sense of independence and self-confidence. The programs are delivered under the supervision of Spaulding clinicians and adaptive sports professionals, and are open to children and adults. Staff members help each participant find the most appropriate activities to meet their capabilities and help them Find Their Strength.
877-976-7272

Community Boating. Persons with disabilities and their guests will have the use of specialized, accessible sailboats and transfer equipment, dedicated staff assistance to get in and out of the boats, and sailing instruction, all for only $1.00! Several seat configurations in the boats are available for people with various disabilities. Reserved sessions, usually an hour in length, can be customized to meet individual needs. They can consist of a short sailboat ride for therapeutic recreation or a more learn-to-sail class structure, leading to ratings and expanded sailing privileges.

Windrush Farm. Windrush expands and enriches the personal, emotional and physical abilities of all those we serve by partnering with our horses and the environment.

The Sports Club Finder connects you with community-based programs, including Paralympic Sports Clubs that have been developed to provide sports programming and physical activity opportunities for disabled Veterans along with youth and adults with disabilities, regardless of skill level. All programs and activities at these organizations are based in the community and are run by the local organization.

Holyoke Rows
THURSDAY ROWING AT Holyoke Rows. This Universal Access Program is free to people with disabilities and their families. They meet on Thursdays May – October at Holyoke Rows. Everyone is welcome from first time rowers to experienced racers. Call Stephanie at 413-320-3134 to set up a lesson.

Piers Park Sailing Center
The Adaptive Sailing Program at Piers Park Sailing Center is a nationally recognized non-profit sailing program which has served over one thousand people with disabilities since the program’s inception in 2007. In 2009, US Sailing awarded PPSC as the Best Community Program for disabled sailors. In 2010, we were honored to be designated a Paralympic Sports Club.

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Sports Venues

Banknorth Garden (home of the Boston CelticsBoston Bruins)

Fenway Park (home of the Boston Red Sox)

Gillette Stadium (home of the , New England Patriots, New England Revolution )

Transportation

Ferry to the tip of Cape Cod
The Boston to Provincetown ferry service is wheelchair accessible?
Vessels are wheelchair accessible on both the Boston and Provincetown docks. You may require the assistance of our crew depending upon the tide. Please call 617-748-1428 extension 1251 for additional information. Our high speed ferry has wheelchair accessible restrooms, our excursion service aboard the Provincetown II (which is a much older vessel) does not.

Rental Car (Wheelchair Van)

Bus
MBTA: The MBTA bus system serves the entire Boston area, and is dedicated to increasing the accessibility of all its services. All buses are accessible, and are equipped to serve the wheelchair dependent rider. Find out more information about accessibility. Visit the online subway map for a list of accessible stops or call the Office for Transportation Access with any questions: 800 533-6282.

The accommodations and attractions listed are accessible to people with disabilities and have indicated that they meet the following criteria for accessibility:

  • accessible parking, where parking is available.
  • wheelchair-accessible route from parking areas to entrance, elevator, public restroom and other public areas.
  • service animals accepted.

Additional criteria for accommodations include:

  • wheelchair-accessible guest rooms.
  • the ability to handle special requests for a text telephone or TDD; and for visual notification of fire alarm, incoming phone calls and door bell.

Before planning a trip, we strongly recommend that you call ahead to find out if accommodations and attractions meet your specific needs. Many accommodations and attractions that do not carry the access symbol, provide some, but not all, of the services listed above. For example, many historic buildings have accessibility on the first floor only.

 

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis: New Taxis will Improve Mobility in Rhode Island

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

New Taxis will Improve Mobility in Rhode Island

ri wheelchair taxi

In April 2012, thirteen new accessible taxis were introduced to Rhode Island, greatlyimproving access to transportation for the mobility impaired.  Local taxi companies have purchased these vehicles, with support from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Freedom program.

RIPTA and the RI Division of Public Utilities and Carriers also provided support to help bring these vehicles to Rhode Island.

The taxis will serve seventeen communities in Rhode Island, including Providence, Newport, and Woonsocket.

T.F. Green Airport in Warwick will also be served.

How Do I Arrange for These Taxis?

The accessible taxis operate just like any other licensed taxicabs in Rhode Island.

Rides are arranged by calling the taxi company licensed to operate in your community. Or, you may hail an available cab on the street. If your return trip begins outside the cab company’s licensed territory, it must be arranged in advance and made within 24 hours.

You must have a return trip receipt in order to be picked up outside any company’s assigned service area.

Operating hours vary by company and the number of accessible taxis is limited, so it is best to call and reserve a vehicle in advance.

See below to find a company in your area.

Taxi Contact Info RI

How Do I Board These Taxis?

The new taxis are modified mini-vans.  Passengers using mobility devices board via a ramp which extends from the rear of the vehicle.  Inside the taxi, the vehicle floor has been specially lowered to comfortably accommodate passengers seated in a wheelchair or scooter. All passengers ride in a forward-facing position.

Taxi drivers have been specially trained to assist you on the ramp, and to secure mobility devices within the vehicle to prevent movement during travel.

Passengers using both motorized and non-motorized wheelchairs and scooters can board the taxis. The vehicle ramp and rear compartment can accommodate mobility devices up to 30 inches wide with a total weight of 750 pounds (passenger plus device). Seating for up to four additional taxi passengers is available on the second row bench seat and front passenger seat.

What are the Taxi Fares?

Standard Rhode Island taxi rates will apply to any service provided with these vehicles.

There are no discounts, even if you are eligible for RIPTA ADA services or other transportation through The RIde Program.

There is a $1.00 surcharge for each additional passenger beyond two, even if one of these additional passengers is a personal care attendant. Additional luggage and/or fuel surcharges may also be applied, per RI taxi regulations, but there is no charge for your wheelchair or scooter.

Other Questions?

Call the individual taxi company operating in your area, or RIPTA’s Customer Service line at 781-9400 For TTD use the RI relay at 711.

You may also visit www.GoProvidence.com or www.GoNewport.com to find wheelchair accessible cab service in these areas.

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

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

Easy Car Makeovers for Adaptive Driving

 CAN I DRIVE AFTER A STROKE newenglandwheelchairvan.com

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

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

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

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

Hand Controls For Stroke Survivors with Limited Use of their Feet

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

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

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

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

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

Servo Steering Servo gas brake

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

Left-foot Accelerator

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

Lifts for Stroke Survivors that use Wheelchairs or Walkers

Automotive Innovations can offer more solutions for the transportation of your mobility device than any other dealership in New England.

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

Chris P Whately, MA

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

Mobility Seating

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

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

Finding a Dealer That’s Up to Standards

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

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

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

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

By: Jim Sanders, VMi New England