Tag Archives: wheelchair accessible

Accessible Holiday Parties

Plan ahead by finding out information about your guests.

  • Ask if anyone has a special diet or food allergy to consider
  • Find out if anyone is bringing a service animal – your Fluffy may not appreciate Fido, so you may want to take your pets into a separate area of your home
  • Decide what area of the house could be a private place – some people may need to take medication, change feeding tubes or have other personal needs

Food accessibility can be determined by thinking about food shape, size, consistency, and packaging.

  • Large and floppy sandwiches with loose ingredients may be difficult to hold for those with limited dexterity
  • Try to limit the use of wet ingredients in sandwiches, like tomatoes, because it makes them soggy and hard to hold
  • Smaller items are easier to eat and pick up
  • Limit the amount of cutting that foods require
  • Serve foods that stay on a fork – rice, small vegetables and long spaghetti noodles are more difficult than tortellini or rigatoni
  • Soup is not very accessible
  • Have a variety of differently sized and shaped cutlery
  • Straws, cups with lids and beverages in both cans and bottles provide beverage accessibility
  • Packaging should be easy to open and re-sealable to enable small eaters to save food for later

Conduct an accessibility review of your home. You can’t change everything, such as the foundation of your home, but you can make some simple changes to your home to ensure that people in wheelchairs have better access to things they need:

  • Consider the height of your table – can a wheelchair fit comfortably? If not, consider swapping out your regular dinner table for something taller or shorter
  • Remove barriers that make navigating your house difficult – take out extra coffee tables, lamps, chairs, throw rugs and items that sit on the floor
  • Ensure adequate lighting for persons with visual impairments
  • Keep music low as laughter, noise, talking, music, lights and excitement may already cause over stimulation

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

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

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

Home accessibility

Whether it’s an unexpected injury or a birth condition, a temporary disAbility or something you’ve been dealing with your entire life, a physical limitation can make all the difference in how a person completes his/her everyday tasks. Something as simple as entering and exiting your home can become challenging if your home has not been properly assessed and made accessible for those with disAbilities. In order to make sure your home is as welcoming and as accessible as possible, we encourage you follow these tips for transforming your habitat.

Entry Ramps and Lifts
From one step to one flight, stairs are a difficult hurdle and hazardous to a person living with a disAbility. Entry ramps or wheelchair lifts can be permanent or portable solutions for homes in need of becoming wheelchair accessible, providing ease of access into the house. Entry ramps prove to be especially beneficial when carrying heavy luggage, groceries or moving furniture. Aside from allowing a wheelchair user to easily enter and exit the building, ramps offer convenience to guests wheeling strollers or using walkers.

Handrails and Support Bars
Installing handrails and support bars along staircases, bathtubs, toilets and other areas where a person with a disAbility may struggle without them is an easy way to make your home more accessible. Make sure handrails following staircases extend beyond the first and last steps, providing maximum support. You can also purchase floor-to-ceiling poles and install them at various locations throughout the home. Placing these poles adjacent to couches ease in day-to-day movement through the space. They are designed to aid those with disAbilities in standing, sitting or transferring to/from a wheelchair.

Mind Your Floors
Cluttered hallways, loose rugs and high thresholds can be a danger to someone trying to maneuver through the building in a wheelchair. Try to keep your traffic areas free from unnecessary decorations such as side tables and rugs that cannot be secured to the floor. Plush carpets may also prove to be a hindrance for someone with a disAbility, so use hardwood or tiled floors wherever possible. Additionally, you can purchase flat thresholds at hardware stores, which make transferring from carpeted to non-carpeted areas less of a hazard.

Tips for a Safe, Fun and Accessible Halloween

The promise of handfuls of candy and elaborate decorations makes Halloween a pretty important date in any child’s calendar. This year, make your holiday memories even more special by following these tips!

Wheelchair Accessible Halloween

  • Plan your route out a few days before the holiday. At this point, most houses should have their decorations up in preparation for the big night, so you will be able to assess which houses will be easily accessible for you and your children.
  • Always make sure your child is comfortable wearing a costume, especially if the disguise includes a mask or other constricting pieces. If your kids are not warming up to wearing a bulky or elaborate costume but still want to do something special for Halloween, suggest a simple pair of animal ears or face paint. Also, don’t forget that Halloween takes place on a chilly October day, so plan your child’s outfit accordingly with added layers and cozy gloves!
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative! There are hundreds of great DIY costume ideas out there that can help transform your kids into their favorite characters or superheroes. You can even incorporate their wheelchairs or scooters into costumes. Designing and putting together a fun costume is a great activity to share with your children and can actually be a good learning exercise.
  • Because Halloween is a traditionally scary affair, be sure to prepare your kids for some spooky sights. Talk to them about some of the décor they might see while trick-or-treating, as well as the costumes others might be wearing to make sure they are not caught by surprise. If you notice your child is not responding well to some of these factors, suggest other less frightening yet equally fun activities you could do together, like carving a Jack-o-lantern or decorating your home for autumn.
  • If trick or treating is not the best option for your family, there is no need to forgo the holiday altogether. Throwing a Halloween party at home and stocking it with themed games and snacks can provide the same fun, memorable experiences for your child with added safety and the comforts of home.

Creative Wheelchair Halloween Costume Ideas

Wizard of OZ Star wars Mad Hatter Snoopy Queen of Hearts Mario Kart Motorcycle Batman - Adult Buz Lightyear Astronaut Rex - Toy Story popcorn machine pirate Viking Cinderella Thomas the train Bumble bee batman - child Fisherman Semi Truck Toothless

Accessible Haunted Houses in New England

According to the Websites these Haunted Houses are accessible.

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England
Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes, all of our indoor attractions are accessible and have wooden floors. Please note that our outdoor attractions have paths that are grass, gravel and woodchips.

Is a Military Discount offered?
Yes – we are proud to honor our past and present men and women offering service to our country. To receive a $7 discount per ticket, please show your Military ID at any of our ticket windows when purchasing. A Military ID discount may not be combined with any other coupons or offers.

Ghoulie Manor
Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes, we are! If you don’t come with a wheelchair, you may need one by the time you leave.

Factory of Terror – Fall River, MA
Factory of Terror – Worcester, MA

Q. Is the Factory of Terror wheelchair accessible?
A. Yes, we have designed our attraction to make it wheelchair accessible.

Six Flags Fright Fest – Springfield, MA
Although the site does not  state it is Wheelchair accessible in the Plan Trip section it says: “7. Stop by Stroller Rental if you need a stroller, wheelchair, wooden stakes, silver bullets, garlic, or holy water.”

Canobie Lake Park Screamfest
Are the haunts wheelchair accessible?
Our haunted attractions can accommodate conventional and electric wheelchairs or electric service vehicles – although certain elements/effects will require the use of an alternate pathway. We do recommend, however, that you plan your visit with someone who is aware of your needs and can physically assist you when necessary.

Is Nightmare Vermont handicapped accessible?

Yes!  This year we are at the Memorial Auditorium which is wheelchair accessible. However, we can only make accommodations for our Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Wednesday shows.
Call 802 355-3107 two days in advance to make arrangements.

Note: You should call in advance to make sure their accommodations meet your needs.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

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

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

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

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

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

Summer Travel Guide: Booking Accessible Lodging

Longer, sun-filled days mean you may be in the midst of finalizing arrangements for summer vacation plans. While accessible travel options have seen major upgrades in the past few years with new aircraft regulations and increased accessible vehicle availability, travelers with disabilities are still often faced with difficulties when it comes to accessible lodging. Inaccurate descriptions and miscommunications are the leading causes of issues upon arrival. If you want to ensure your vacation plans go off without a hitch, be sure to take extra measures and follow these booking tips.

  • When booking a hotel room or other type of lodging, be advised that ‘Accessible’ or ‘ADA Compliant’ rooms may not meet your specific needs. The features that constitute these designations may vary across the country and around the world.
  • Before committing to a hotel, cruise, resort, etc., be sure to speak directly to a representative at the actual location. Whether it’s via phone or email, you’ll need to describe your exact needs when it comes to accessibility and a person who is familiar with the establishment will be your best bet as far as accurate answers go.
  • Ask reservation agents to take pictures of their accessible accommodations. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, this has become a pretty simple request, and one that can make a huge impact on your vacation.
  • Making a reservation at a hotel does not guarantee you a specific room, but rather locks you in at the chosen rate. In order to be absolutely certain that your accessible room will be ready for you, you’ll need to ask the booking agent to ‘block’ it.
  • If in doubt, ask for measurements. A floor plan of the room, door widths, bed height, etc. can all be excellent tools in helping you determine if the accommodations will meet your needs.
  • Some hotels pools offer a zero-depth entrance or pool lifts, finding out in advance is helpful for planning purposes.
  • If you are having a hard time getting straight answers from the person you are speaking to, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere. There are usually a number of available options when it comes to lodging at any destination and you’ll likely be better off choosing a location that is willing to work with you.

Accessibility when it comes to overnight accommodations shouldn’t stop you from having the trip you deserve. Following these tips when booking your rooms or rentals can help make sure your next vacation is one you’ll be bragging to your friends about.

Have You Voted For Your Local Hero?

Click here to view the stories and submit your vote!

What is the Local Heroes Contest?
This is the 4th annual National Mobility Awareness Month. During this month NMEDA has an amazing promotion where they encourage people with disAbilities to embody the spirit of Life Moving Forward by raising awareness of the many life-changing mobility vehicle solutions available today.

NMEDA and their members are mobility advocates dedicated to changing the lives of those living with disAbilities by providing access to quality handicap accessible vehicles and adaptive equipment. Whether you are living with a disAbility or have dedicated your time to helping someone who is, they want to hear your story of perseverance and strength.

For your chance to win a FREE wheelchair accessible vehicle enter NMEDA’s contest by telling them what makes you (or your loved one) a Local Hero!

This year they will be giving away 4 handicap accessible vehicles:

  • one to a caregiver
  • one to a senior (60+)
  • one that is battery powered (for in-town driving only)
  • one in the general category.

Over 18 million people in North America are living with restrictive mobility issues. This is your chance to change the lives of just a few of those triumphing in the face of adversity.

Local Heroes Contest! Enter To Win a Free Accessible Vehicle!

This is the 4th annual National Mobility Awareness Month. During this month NMEDA has an amazing promotion where they encourage people with disAbilities to embody the spirit of Life Moving Forward by raising awareness of the many life-changing mobility vehicle solutions available today.

NMEDA and their members are mobility advocates dedicated to changing the lives of those living with disAbilities by providing access to quality handicap accessible vehicles and adaptive equipment. Whether you are living with a disAbility or have dedicated your time to helping someone who is, they want to hear your story of perseverance and strength.

For your chance to win a FREE wheelchair accessible vehicle enter NMEDA’s contest by telling them what makes you (or your loved one) a Local Hero! You can enter here

This year they will be giving away 4 handicap accessible vehicles:

  • one to a caregiver
  • one to a senior (60+)
  • one that is battery powered (for in-town driving only)
  • one in the general category.

Over 18 million people in North America are living with restrictive mobility issues. This is your chance to change the lives of just a few of those triumphing in the face of adversity.

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle checklist For Passengers

Traveling position

  • Make sure you can sit comfortably and upright (without having to duck your head), and can easily see out of the windows.
  • Is there enough space above your head so you don’t hit the ceiling if the driver takes a bump too fast?
  • Will you be able to talk to the driver and any other passengers?
  • Will your carer be able to get to you if you need assistance of any kind while you’re underway?
  • Ideally, you should be positioned in front of the rear wheels or the ride can be very uncomfortable. This may not be possible in some smaller vehicles.
  • If you have uncontrolled movements, make sure you are not too close to un-padded parts of the car.

Getting in and out

  • Make sure that you, or whoever is helping you, can get you in and out and can safely and easily operate any equipment.
  • Make sure that you and your wheelchair will fit along the entry and exit route without getting stuck.
  • Some wheelchair accessible vehicle users place stickers on the ramp or somewhere else on the vehicle to help guide them into the right position when they are getting in.

Space

  • Think about who will be traveling with you.
  • Often, some of the rear passenger seats need to be removed to make enough space to get the wheelchair in – sometimes they’re replaced with folding or smaller seats.
  • Think about where you’ll stow, and how you’ll secure, any luggage or equipment you’ll be carrying. You can’t use the space behind the wheelchair travelling position – it has to be clear for you to get in and out.
  • Some wheelchair accessible vehicle users carry their extra luggage in roof boxes or trailers. Note that most wheelchair accessible vehicles cannot be used to pull a trailer because of the way the rear of the vehicle has been modified.

Used Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

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

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

The 2015 Local Heroes Contest Begins Next Week

NEMEDA Local Hero Contest – Enter or Vote Today!

May Is National Mobility Awareness Month

Join the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) in celebrating the 4th annual National Mobility Awareness Month. During this amazing promotion, they encourage people with disAbilities to embody the spirit of Life Moving Forward by raising awareness of the many life-changing mobility vehicle solutions available today.

NMEDA and their members are mobility advocates dedicated to changing the lives of those living with disAbilities by providing access to quality handicap accessible vehicles and adaptive equipment. Whether you are living with a disAbility or have dedicated your time to helping someone who is, they want to hear your story of perseverance and strength. Once the promotion begins, tell them what makes you, or your loved one, a Local Hero for a chance to win a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.

This year they will be giving away 4 handicap accessible vehicles:

  • one to a caregiver
  • one to a senior (60+)
  • one that is battery powered (for in-town driving only)
  • one in the general category.

Find out more about NMEDA and the work they do within the disAbled community and stay tuned for this year’s events!

You can summit your stories on April 15, 2015.
Voting for your favorite Local Hero story will begin on May 1 and end on May 31.

Over 18 million people in North America are living with restrictive mobility issues. This is your chance to change the lives of just a few of those triumphing in the face of adversity.

BraunAbility MXV™: Wheelchair Accessible SUV

BraunAbility MXV™

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

 

BraunAbility MXV™ Features

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

Sporty Looks and Feel

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

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

The Importance of Regular Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Maintenance

Whether it’s an oil change or tire rotation, regularly servicing your wheelchair accessible vehicle can help save you time and money, as well as keep you safe on the road. Just as our bodies begin to show the signs of aging, cars, SUVs and vans also can experience diminished performance as time passes. Due to this natural process, it’s vital to get your vehicle checked out by professionals in order to ensure your vehicle’s longevity.

Save Money
While most things wear over time, regular maintenance can significantly decrease the chances of a major problem later on. Preventative and scheduled services are normally small and inexpensive jobs, and can also preserve resale value, saving you even more money.

Save Time
A major breakdown not only costs thousands of dollars, it can also put your vehicle out of working condition for weeks. The worse the damage is, the longer it will likely take a mechanic to get your van or car ready for the road again. Even if the downtime for your car isn’t more than a few hours, a breakdown on the road can be particularly difficult for people with limited mobility operating or riding in the vehicle.

Protect Yourself
Not only does maintenance and regular service save you time and money, it’s an important way to ensure you are safe inside your vehicle.

A wheelchair accessible or other adaptive vehicle can mean the difference between social freedom and considerable limitations. Take care of the investment in your freedom by following regular maintenance schedules and ensuring your ride is in the best shape possible!

Options For Driving From A Wheelchair

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

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

Safety

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

Other drivers

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

Assessment and training

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

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

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

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

Safety

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

Transferring

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

Assessment and training

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

In-Floor Vs Fold-Out Ramps In Mobility Vehicles

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

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

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

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

Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles: MPG

As gas can be a bit of challenge to get for drivers with disAbilities, you’ll want to make sure your wheelchair accessible vehicle can get all the mileage possible before stopping to refuel. Below is a list of some vehicles that are great for conversions and their respective mileages to help you choose which is best for your needs.

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toyota Sienna FWD  3.5L – 23 mpg highway, 17 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Honda Odyssey FWD 3.5L – 23 mpg highway, 16 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Dodge Grand Caravan FWD SE 3.3L – 24 mpg highway, 17 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Dodge Grand Caravan FWD 3.3L V6 – 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Chrysler Town & Country FWD 3.3L – 24 mpg highway, 17 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Scion XB FWD 2.4L – 28 mpg highway, 22 mpg city
  • Wheelchair Accessible Ford Transit Connect – 25 mpg highway

Tips For Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

You’re a first time wheelchair van buyer, and like many other customers have questions about handicap vans, or how or where they are built, and what kind of prices to expect. This portion of our website will assist you to find answers to your questions and provide creative mobility product solutions. We encourage you to gather as much information as possible, but the best education of needs and options is done through a consultation with a Mobility Consultant. Our staff knows the inside and out of Adaptive Equipment and can custom fit and recommend the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle transportation for friends, family, and most importantly you!

There are many different options and possibilities with handicap accessible vehicles; the most common option is a wheelchair accessible minivan. A wheelchair accessible van is modified to allow a wheelchair or scooter user to drive their mobility equipment directly into the handicap accessible vehicle with no assistance. Featuring a 10-11″ dropped floor for easy entry and exist (with headroom up to 58″!) and removable front seats that allow the user to ride safely in the front passenger area or even drive from their wheelchair.

TIPS TO BUYING A WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE VEHICLE:

  • Create a list of features you want and need, so you can accurately access the cost differences.
  • Take into consideration how you’re going to transport the whole family.
  • Consider the adaptive equipment that needs to be transported. Will it change over time?
  • What is the age of the user and caregivers?
  • Have a budget. Check with a Mobility Consultant to obtain all information including 10-year financing options and rebates available.
  • Talk with a Certified Mobility Consultant to explain features and benefits, and guide you through the wheelchair van conversion buying process.
  • Purchasing your new or used wheelchair van from Ability Center provides a piece-of-mind because we are a Certified Mobility Dealer that is part of NMEDA and is QAP certified.
  • Rent and try before you buy. Ability Center will apply your handicap van rental costs to the purchase of a new or previously-owned handicap accessible vehicle.
  • Buy for today, and tomorrow! It’s a big investment that should last you many years.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS:

  • Do you convert the mobility vans there? No. Vans with new ramp conversions are converted in three locations: Indiana, Michigan, and Arizona. We obtain them complete. We install external or internal lifts, and any adaptive equipment necessary to custom fit the driver to their van.
  • What vans are being converted? Currently, the manufacturers are converting the Dodge/Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey Chevrolet/Buick minivans, and Ford E-Series vans & Transit Connects.
  • I want to carry two wheelchairs. Can I? Most handicap van conversions make carrying two wheelchairs a breeze, but that depends on the style of chair or scooter. Talk to our Mobility Specialist they’ll know what will work for you.
  • I can’t make it down to your store. Can you come out? Yes. We love in-home demonstrations. It gives you the chance to have your whole family there and try the new or used handicap van in your own environment. Just pick a van, and we’ll bring it out to you at no-charge.
  • How do I secure my wheelchair? Depending on the model, there are several ways to secure your equipment. Three typical ways are: 4-piont manual strapping system that comes with every van; optional 4-point retractable straps; and the EZ-Lock bracket system. Please check with your Mobility Specialist to see if a bracket designed for your equipment. There are some popular wheelchairs on the market that do not have a bracket.
  • I want to save more money. What do you have? Besides taking advantage of any and all rebates out there, consider a manual ramp version or the very popular used van with a new conversion. A pre-owned conversion van may be the way to go if you are considering a budget. You can save thousands on a pre-owned van.
  • Why is the price set the way it is? The final price is a combined cost of the van AND the mobility conversion. What will determine the overall price is what you want out of the van and options (i.e.: Toyota Sienna Limited versus Dodge Grand Caravan SE). The conversions are priced very closely and do not generally affect overall price.
  • Can I trade in my non-converted vehicle? YES! Bring it by and we’ll give you the best deal on non-converted or converted vehicles. We’ll take the stress out of selling the vehicle on the market.
  • Can I try the van first? Absolutely you can test drive the vehicle to see if it going to work for you and your family!
  • I want to buy my van at the dealer; they’ve been nice to me. Depending on the manufacturer and conversion, that could be done. You will not take physical possession of the van, but your relationship with them will be continued. Before you do, talk to our Mobility Specialists and they’ll let you know if that van can be purchased through your favorite dealer. We have a great working relationship with most dealers, so we know how to work with the auto dealers in your town.
  • Do you offer financing for handicap vans? Yes. We work with banks that finance mobility vans up to 10 years, or on terms that fit your needs. Our rates are comparable to what is on the market.
  • Can I use my own bank? Certainly. But be cautious, you must let them know that it is a van converted for wheelchair access. Some private or national banks will not finance the total cost of the mobility van, and only finance up to 120% of the value of the van prior to conversion. Call your Mobility Specialist before you go to your bank, it may be helpful to assist you with your bank by letting them know of your intentions.
  • Does Medicare pay for vans? No. Due to Medicare guidelines and policy the vehicle conversion is a “deluxe item” only to be used outside the home, for which that equipment Medicare does not deem “medically necessary.”
  • Who will assist with funds for me? Depending on where you live, your state could have funds set aside for financial assistance. These funds are available upon application and approval of your case and if the state has funds available. Sometimes this can take up to 6 months or longer. Call our Mobility Specialist; they will know where to direct you to start the process.
  • I am a disabled Veteran. How do I obtain a mobility van? If the VA has provided you with a wheelchair or scooter, you are entitled to a lift for your existing vehicle or a mobility conversion to transport that equipment. Depending on your diagnosis or if your disability is service connected or not, either will be provided. Call us; we’ll work with your local VA to help you start the process. We are very experienced with Veterans policy and procedures.
  • Can I convert my own van? The handicap vans we offer are complete, but you could convert your own. This is a very rare circumstance, but if it absolutely needs to be done your vehicle needs to fit the manufacturer’s criteria for converting a customer-owned van. In just about all cases, because of the time and additional expenses, it is more beneficial and cost effective to the customer to purchase a van post-converted to take advantage of rebates. Conversions cannot be financed on their own.

Benefits Of Owning A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

With adaptive technologies emerging each year, mobility vehicles have become more powerful than ever before. These handicap solutions have changed the lives of countless persons with disAbilities and helped alleviate some of the everyday challenges of just as many caregivers. If you’ve been considering the addition of a wheelchair accessible vehicle to your family, here are three ways in which owning a handicap van or car can empower you and transform your entire life.

Safety
Whether you’re a person with a disAbility, a dedicated caregiver or an able-bodied family member, safety is a universal concern and one of the main benefits of owning a vehicle designed for adaptive use. Besides power wheelchair lifts and transfer seating options, these vehicles are built to be used by persons with limited mobility, meaning they have been modified to be a secure transportation solution. Additionally, the high-quality equipment used in handicap van conversions reduces the risk of injury while getting in and out of the vehicle, as well as transferring from a wheelchair to a built-in seat. With wheelchair ties, in-floor ramps and alternative restraint options, a wheelchair accessible van can provide the added safety you need to feel confident on the road.

Freedom
For many people, owning a mobility vehicle means having the freedom to be able to go anywhere, any time. Often, persons with physical disAbilities are able to operate a handicap accessible car or van independently, without the need to have a caregiver help them in and out of the vehicle. Thanks to lifts, ramps and transfer seats, as well as hand controls and other conversion options, wheelchair vans have helped countless individuals regain their freedom after an injury or due to a medical condition, transforming their lives for the better.

Accessibility and Ease of Use
Automatic ramp systems, in-floor ramp technology, low-effort steering and many other adaptive conversion possibilities make operating mobility vehicles simple and convenient. This accessibility not only makes these vehicles easy to grow accustomed to, it also prevents injuries that can occur if the proper equipment is not utilized. Practicality and usability are two huge benefits of owning a wheelchair accessible vehicle, as they make getting from point A to point B a seamless and enjoyable process.

Ready to begin your search for the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle? Contact us or your local NMEDA dealer today to discuss the purchasing process and the best options for your needs.

Accessible Holiday Parties

Plan ahead by finding out information about your guests.

  • Ask if anyone has a special diet or food allergy to consider
  • Find out if anyone is bringing a service animal – your Fluffy may not appreciate Fido, so you may want to take your pets into a separate area of your home
  • Decide what area of the house could be a private place – some people may need to take medication, change feeding tubes or have other personal needs

Food accessibility can be determined by thinking about food shape, size, consistency, and packaging.

  • Large and floppy sandwiches with loose ingredients may be difficult to hold for those with limited dexterity
  • Try to limit the use of wet ingredients in sandwiches, like tomatoes, because it makes them soggy and hard to hold
  • Smaller items are easier to eat and pick up
  • Limit the amount of cutting that foods require
  • Serve foods that stay on a fork – rice, small vegetables and long spaghetti noodles are more difficult than tortellini or rigatoni
  • Soup is not very accessible
  • Have a variety of differently sized and shaped cutlery
  • Straws, cups with lids and beverages in both cans and bottles provide beverage accessibility
  • Packaging should be easy to open and re-sealable to enable small eaters to save food for later

Conduct an accessibility review of your home. You can’t change everything, such as the foundation of your home, but you can make some simple changes to your home to ensure that people in wheelchairs have better access to things they need:

  • Consider the height of your table – can a wheelchair fit comfortably? If not, consider swapping out your regular dinner table for something taller or shorter
  • Remove barriers that make navigating your house difficult – take out extra coffee tables, lamps, chairs, throw rugs and items that sit on the floor
  • Ensure adequate lighting for persons with visual impairments
  • Keep music low as laughter, noise, talking, music, lights and excitement may already cause over stimulation

Home accessibility

Whether it’s an unexpected injury or a birth condition, a temporary disAbility or something you’ve been dealing with your entire life, a physical limitation can make all the difference in how a person completes his/her everyday tasks. Something as simple as entering and exiting your home can become challenging if your home has not been properly assessed and made accessible for those with disAbilities. In order to make sure your home is as welcoming and as accessible as possible, we encourage you follow these tips for transforming your habitat.

Entry Ramps and Lifts
From one step to one flight, stairs are a difficult hurdle and hazardous to a person living with a disAbility. Entry ramps or wheelchair lifts can be permanent or portable solutions for homes in need of becoming wheelchair accessible, providing ease of access into the house. Entry ramps prove to be especially beneficial when carrying heavy luggage, groceries or moving furniture. Aside from allowing a wheelchair user to easily enter and exit the building, ramps offer convenience to guests wheeling strollers or using walkers.

Handrails and Support Bars
Installing handrails and support bars along staircases, bathtubs, toilets and other areas where a person with a disAbility may struggle without them is an easy way to make your home more accessible. Make sure handrails following staircases extend beyond the first and last steps, providing maximum support. You can also purchase floor-to-ceiling poles and install them at various locations throughout the home. Placing these poles adjacent to couches ease in day-to-day movement through the space. They are designed to aid those with disAbilities in standing, sitting or transferring to/from a wheelchair.

Mind Your Floors
Cluttered hallways, loose rugs and high thresholds can be a danger to someone trying to maneuver through the building in a wheelchair. Try to keep your traffic areas free from unnecessary decorations such as side tables and rugs that cannot be secured to the floor. Plush carpets may also prove to be a hindrance for someone with a disAbility, so use hardwood or tiled floors wherever possible. Additionally, you can purchase flat thresholds at hardware stores, which make transferring from carpeted to non-carpeted areas less of a hazard.

Tips for a Safe, Fun and Accessible Halloween

The promise of handfuls of candy and elaborate decorations makes Halloween a pretty important date in any child’s calendar. This year, make your holiday memories even more special by following these tips!

Wheelchair Accessible Halloween

  • Plan your route out a few days before the holiday. At this point, most houses should have their decorations up in preparation for the big night, so you will be able to assess which houses will be easily accessible for you and your children.
  • Always make sure your child is comfortable wearing a costume, especially if the disguise includes a mask or other constricting pieces. If your kids are not warming up to wearing a bulky or elaborate costume but still want to do something special for Halloween, suggest a simple pair of animal ears or face paint. Also, don’t forget that Halloween takes place on a chilly October day, so plan your child’s outfit accordingly with added layers and cozy gloves!
  • Don’t be afraid to get creative! There are hundreds of great DIY costume ideas out there that can help transform your kids into their favorite characters or superheroes. You can even incorporate their wheelchairs or scooters into costumes. Designing and putting together a fun costume is a great activity to share with your children and can actually be a good learning exercise.
  • Because Halloween is a traditionally scary affair, be sure to prepare your kids for some spooky sights. Talk to them about some of the décor they might see while trick-or-treating, as well as the costumes others might be wearing to make sure they are not caught by surprise. If you notice your child is not responding well to some of these factors, suggest other less frightening yet equally fun activities you could do together, like carving a Jack-o-lantern or decorating your home for autumn.
  • If trick or treating is not the best option for your family, there is no need to forgo the holiday altogether. Throwing a Halloween party at home and stocking it with themed games and snacks can provide the same fun, memorable experiences for your child with added safety and the comforts of home.

Creative Wheelchair Halloween Costume Ideas

Batman - Adult Buz Lightyear Mad Hatter Mario Kart Motorcycle Queen of Hearts Semi Truck Star wars Toothless Wizard of OZ Astronaut batman - child Bumble bee Cinderella Fisherman pirate popcorn machine Rex - Toy Story Snoopy Thomas the train Viking

Accessible Haunted Houses in New England

According to the Websites these Haunted Houses are accessible.

Spooky World Presents Nightmare New England
Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes, all of our indoor attractions are accessible and have wooden floors. Please note that our outdoor attractions have paths that are grass, gravel and woodchips.

Is a Military Discount offered?
Yes – we are proud to honor our past and present men and women offering service to our country. To receive a $7 discount per ticket, please show your Military ID at any of our ticket windows when purchasing. A Military ID discount may not be combined with any other coupons or offers.

Ghoulie Manor
Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes, we are! If you don’t come with a wheelchair, you may need one by the time you leave.

Factory of Terror – Fall River, MA
Factory of Terror – Worcester, MA

Q. Is the Factory of Terror wheelchair accessible?
A. Yes, we have designed our attraction to make it wheelchair accessible.

Six Flags Fright Fest – Springfield, MA
Although the site does not  state it is Wheelchair accessible in the Plan Trip section it says: “7. Stop by Stroller Rental if you need a stroller, wheelchair, wooden stakes, silver bullets, garlic, or holy water.”

Canobie Lake Park Screamfest
Are the haunts wheelchair accessible?
Our haunted attractions can accommodate conventional and electric wheelchairs or electric service vehicles – although certain elements/effects will require the use of an alternate pathway. We do recommend, however, that you plan your visit with someone who is aware of your needs and can physically assist you when necessary.

Is Nightmare Vermont handicapped accessible?

Yes!  This year we are at the Memorial Auditorium which is wheelchair accessible. However, we can only make accommodations for our Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Wednesday shows.
Call 802 355-3107 two days in advance to make arrangements.

Note: You should call in advance to make sure their accommodations meet your needs.

Wheelchair Accessible Vacation Ideas

Summer is officially in full-swing, kids are out of school and many people will be planning a getaway. For people with disabilities, finding the right vacation spot may be a little bit tricky, particularly if they require wheelchair-accessibility. For those looking for the best travel options that can accommodate, consider the wheelchair-accessible vacation spots below.

Beaches
The beach is a popular choice when it comes to taking a summer getaway. Luckily for wheelchair users, more beaches are becoming accessible all the time. Many beaches now offer special wheelchairs, mats or boardwalks so people with disabilities can be near the water.

Camping
If you prefer an adventure in nature, camping is one of the best wheelchair-accessible vacations for families or groups of friends. You can rent wheelchair-accessible RVs to take on a road trip and then stay in overnight. These modified RVs often come with extra accommodations for seating, sleeping and bathing, as well as offering extra aisle room for maneuvering with the camper. When it’s time to head outside, many campgrounds around the country also offer wheelchair-accessible facilities and activities.

Theme Parks
Some may not think theme parks are accessible vacations for people with disabilities, but many of the nation’s biggest parks are wheelchair-accessible. In fact, Disney World, for example, is famous for accommodating those with disabilities with things such as accessible ride passes, wheelchair ramps to attractions, accessible resorts and transportation services for those in wheelchairs or scooters.

Cruises
Most cruise lines take special care to make sure their ships are wheelchair-accessible. That includes accommodations in cabins and restrooms as well as elevators and ramps throughout. Some lines also offer special activities for disabled passengers and help facilitate on-shore activities at the different destinations.

National Parks
Parks can be a great wheelchair-accessible vacation spot, as they usually offer open space and great scenery. Some national parks even have special accommodations to allow wheelchair users access to more areas. For example, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has accessible campsites, trails and boardwalks with great views. Plus, if you have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, you can easily get to the parks and around the driving trails.

Whatever you do and wherever you go for your vacation, make sure you plan ahead and make whatever arrangements necessary to make your trip comfortable and enjoyable. A summer trip should be relaxing and fun, and you don’t want to end up somewhere that can’t accommodate.

Summer Travel Guide: Booking Accessible Lodging

Longer, sun-filled days mean you may be in the midst of finalizing arrangements for summer vacation plans. While accessible travel options have seen major upgrades in the past few years with new aircraft regulations and increased accessible vehicle availability, travelers with disabilities are still often faced with difficulties when it comes to accessible lodging. Inaccurate descriptions and miscommunications are the leading causes of issues upon arrival. If you want to ensure your vacation plans go off without a hitch, be sure to take extra measures and follow these booking tips.

  • When booking a hotel room or other type of lodging, be advised that ‘Accessible’ or ‘ADA Compliant’ rooms may not meet your specific needs. The features that constitute these designations may vary across the country and around the world.
  • Before committing to a hotel, cruise, resort, etc., be sure to speak directly to a representative at the actual location. Whether it’s via phone or email, you’ll need to describe your exact needs when it comes to accessibility and a person who is familiar with the establishment will be your best bet as far as accurate answers go.
  • Ask reservation agents to take pictures of their accessible accommodations. With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, this has become a pretty simple request, and one that can make a huge impact on your vacation.
  • Making a reservation at a hotel does not guarantee you a specific room, but rather locks you in at the chosen rate. In order to be absolutely certain that your accessible room will be ready for you, you’ll need to ask the booking agent to ‘block’ it.
  • If in doubt, ask for measurements. A floor plan of the room, door widths, bed height, etc. can all be excellent tools in helping you determine if the accommodations will meet your needs.
  • Some hotels pools offer a zero-depth entrance or pool lifts, finding out in advance is helpful for planning purposes.
  • If you are having a hard time getting straight answers from the person you are speaking to, don’t hesitate to take your business elsewhere. There are usually a number of available options when it comes to lodging at any destination and you’ll likely be better off choosing a location that is willing to work with you.

Accessibility when it comes to overnight accommodations shouldn’t stop you from having the trip you deserve. Following these tips when booking your rooms or rentals can help make sure your next vacation is one you’ll be bragging to your friends about.

Wheelchair Accessible Pick-Up Truck – Ryno

Wheelchair Accessible Pick-Up TruckThe Ryno wheelchair Pickup truck is a product that Automotive Innovations Inc. is truly proud to showcase. This modified pickup truck retains its rugged good looks and powerful towing capacity, allowing you to haul loads of gravel, even tow boats or other vehicles.

Ryno Mobility is the Leader in Accessible Truck Conversions
Much like Automotive Innovations in Bridgewater, Massachusetts Ryno Mobility has been the leader in accessible conversions for many years. Automotive Innovations is pleased to offer the newest truck conversion the RYNO MEGA. Functionality of a Mini Van, but the personality, hauling capacity and towing capacity of a truck!

Automotive Innovations Inc. offers many options to personalize your vehicle. Whether it be a contractor, farmer, rural area or someone that is tired of the same conversions, with a Ryno Mobility conversion Automotive Innovations Inc. has a solution for you! So contact their staff today, they are always there to advise and help you with your RYNO conversion. Their goal is to assist you and with close to 25 years in the mobility field they most certainly can get you on the road to freedom.

We Deliver Freedom
Automotive Innovations is the preferred New England NMEDA QAP accredited wheelchair accessible pickup dealer.

They are a family business that has has a combined experience of over 73 years in the adaptive mobility equipment industry and provide adaptive mobility solutions for customers all across New England. Select a mobility vehicle from their inventory or choose a non-modified vehicle and let their certified technicians modify it for you.

Automotive Innovations Inc. has been designing, engineering, selling and installing mobility equipment such as hand controls, zero effort steering, servo steering, servo gas brake left foot gas pedals and installing them in GM vehicles for over 25 years.

Tips on purchasing your first mobility van or wheelchair accessible vehicles

You’re a first time wheelchair van buyer, and like many other customers have questions about handicap vans, or how or where they are built, and what kind of prices to expect. This portion of our website will assist you to find answers to your questions and provide creative mobility product solutions. We encourage you to gather as much information as possible, but the best education of needs and options is done through a consultation with a Mobility Consultant. Our staff knows the inside and out of Adaptive Equipment and can custom fit and recommend the perfect wheelchair accessible vehicle transportation for friends, family, and most importantly you!

There are many different options and possibilities with handicap accessible vehicles; the most common option is a wheelchair accessible minivan. A wheelchair accessible van is modified to allow a wheelchair or scooter user to drive their mobility equipment directly into the handicap accessible vehicle with no assistance. Featuring a 10-11″ dropped floor for easy entry and exist (with headroom up to 58″!) and removable front seats that allow the user to ride safely in the front passenger area or even drive from their wheelchair.

TIPS TO BUYING A WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE VEHICLE:

  • Create a list of features you want and need, so you can accurately access the cost differences.
  • Take into consideration how you’re going to transport the whole family.
  • Consider the adaptive equipment that needs to be transported. Will it change over time?
  • What is the age of the user and caregivers?
  • Have a budget. Check with a Mobility Consultant to obtain all information including 10-year financing options and rebates available.
  • Talk with a Certified Mobility Consultant to explain features and benefits, and guide you through the wheelchair van conversion buying process.
  • Purchasing your new or used wheelchair van from Ability Center provides a piece-of-mind because we are a Certified Mobility Dealer that is part of NMEDA and is QAP certified.
  • Rent and try before you buy. Ability Center will apply your handicap van rental costs to the purchase of a new or previously-owned handicap accessible vehicle.
  • Buy for today, and tomorrow! It’s a big investment that should last you many years.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS:

  • Do you convert the mobility vans there? No. Vans with new ramp conversions are converted in three locations: Indiana, Michigan, and Arizona. We obtain them complete. We install external or internal lifts, and any adaptive equipment necessary to custom fit the driver to their van.
  • What vans are being converted? Currently, the manufacturers are converting the Dodge/Chrysler minivans, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey Chevrolet/Buick minivans, and Ford E-Series vans & Transit Connects.
  • I want to carry two wheelchairs. Can I? Most handicap van conversions make carrying two wheelchairs a breeze, but that depends on the style of chair or scooter. Talk to our Mobility Specialist they’ll know what will work for you.
  • I can’t make it down to your store. Can you come out? Yes. We love in-home demonstrations. It gives you the chance to have your whole family there and try the new or used handicap van in your own environment. Just pick a van, and we’ll bring it out to you at no-charge.
  • How do I secure my wheelchair? Depending on the model, there are several ways to secure your equipment. Three typical ways are: 4-piont manual strapping system that comes with every van; optional 4-point retractable straps; and the EZ-Lock bracket system. Please check with your Mobility Specialist to see if a bracket designed for your equipment. There are some popular wheelchairs on the market that do not have a bracket.
  • I want to save more money. What do you have? Besides taking advantage of any and all rebates out there, consider a manual ramp version or the very popular used van with a new conversion. A pre-owned conversion van may be the way to go if you are considering a budget. You can save thousands on a pre-owned van.
  • Why is the price set the way it is? The final price is a combined cost of the van AND the mobility conversion. What will determine the overall price is what you want out of the van and options (i.e.: Toyota Sienna Limited versus Dodge Grand Caravan SE). The conversions are priced very closely and do not generally affect overall price.
  • Can I trade in my non-converted vehicle? YES! Bring it by and we’ll give you the best deal on non-converted or converted vehicles. We’ll take the stress out of selling the vehicle on the market.
  • Can I try the van first? Absolutely you can test drive the vehicle to see if it going to work for you and  your family!
  • I want to buy my van at the dealer; they’ve been nice to me. Depending on the manufacturer and conversion, that could be done. You will not take physical possession of the van, but your relationship with them will be continued. Before you do, talk to our Mobility Specialists and they’ll let you know if that van can be purchased through your favorite dealer. We have a great working relationship with most dealers, so we know how to work with the auto dealers in your town.
  • Do you offer financing for handicap vans? Yes. We work with banks that finance mobility vans up to 10 years, or on terms that fit your needs. Our rates are comparable to what is on the market.
  • Can I use my own bank? Certainly. But be cautious, you must let them know that it is a van converted for wheelchair access. Some private or national banks will not finance the total cost of the mobility van, and only finance up to 120% of the value of the van prior to conversion. Call your Mobility Specialist before you go to your bank, it may be helpful to assist you with your bank by letting them know of your intentions.
  • Does Medicare pay for vans? No. Due to Medicare guidelines and policy the vehicle conversion is a “deluxe item” only to be used outside the home, for which that equipment Medicare does not deem “medically necessary.”
  • Who will assist with funds for me? Depending on where you live, your state could have funds set aside for financial assistance. These funds are available upon application and approval of your case and if the state has funds available. Sometimes this can take up to 6 months or longer. Call our Mobility Specialist; they will know where to direct you to start the process.
  • I am a disabled Veteran. How do I obtain a mobility van? If the VA has provided you with a wheelchair or scooter, you are entitled to a lift for your existing vehicle or a mobility conversion to transport that equipment. Depending on your diagnosis or if your disability is service connected or not, either will be provided. Call us; we’ll work with your local VA to help you start the process. We are very experienced with Veterans policy and procedures.
  • Can I convert my own van? The handicap vans we offer are complete, but you could convert your own. This is a very rare circumstance, but if it absolutely needs to be done your vehicle needs to fit the manufacturer’s criteria for converting a customer-owned van. In just about all cases, because of the time and additional expenses, it is more beneficial and cost effective to the customer to purchase a van post-converted to take advantage of rebates. Conversions cannot be financed on their own.

Buying a Wheelchair Van For the First Time

Buying a Wheelchair For The First Time
Purchasing a wheelchair van for personal use is not the kind of activity many prepare for in their lives. But then, if you or someone in your family has recently become wheelchair-bound, your life is full of new issues and concerns you probably never thought you’d have to deal with.

Transportation is important though, for work, doctor’s appointments and just being a part of the world. Since so many families end up using a lift-equipped van as the primary family vehicle, you have to consider multiple aspects to make your purchase.

If you are getting ready to buy your first wheelchair van, keep reading to find out how to make your decision.

What do you need from a lift?
If you are trying to determine whether a used van or a new purchase better suits your needs, you have to consider not only the immediate cost, but the long term costs, as well. Beyond that, though, you need to think about your lift needs.

Most companies that sell wheelchair accessible vans both new and used offer products that already have lifts installed. Because this is the case, you have to look at the size of the wheelchair you’ll be transporting.

Some wheelchairs, specifically electric ones and those constructed for people with more serious muscular issues, may be wider or taller than the standard, and clearance has to be considered in these situations in order to avoid injuries.

If the wheelchair is standard-sized, any lift will probably work well, but if you are dealing with a custom-made wheelchair, you’ll want to take plenty of good measurements to make sure to avoid injuries.

You also want to consider how the lift is controlled. Will the wheelchair-bound person be operating the lift? If so, controls need to be accessible and reachable either through proper door mounting or a remote control.

Who else will be riding in the van?
Companies sell both fill-sized wheelchair vans and wheelchair minivans because they address different sets of needs. For day-to-day travel involving just one or two people, a minivan may be a slightly less expensive option. If you’re planning for your wheelchair van to be your primary family transportation, though, you’ll want to seriously consider going with a full-sized wheelchair van.

You can usually fit a wheelchair into a full-sized van comfortably by removing only the second row of seating, for example, leaving the back row available to transport a larger family. This is not always the case, of course, but the smaller your wheelchair van, the more likely the lift will be installed in the back with all of the rear seating removed.

Other wheelchair van considerations
As mentioned above, different vans will have the lifts installed in different locations. Some designated handicapped parking spaces, for example, are wider in order to accommodate the lowering of a side lift. In other locations, parking may be such that a rear lift is more convenient.

Consider the places you will be going most often and, if possible, go survey the parking situation there. Use what you learn in your survey along with the consideration of how many passengers you need to transport to determine whether a full-sized wheelchair van or wheelchair minivan is a better option.

If you take into account comfort, clearance, lift accessibility and number of passengers, you should be able to build a list of requirements that will help you make the right wheelchair van purchase.