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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Braun Wheelchair Van Mobility Center vmienwenglan.com Boston Strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wheelchair Van bridgewater, ma newenglandwheelchairvan.com boston

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

mobility concept vehicle mobility center bridgewater, ma boston strong

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

 

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

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

AMS pre-owned van bridgewater, ma newenglandwheelchairvan.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Motorcycles

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

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

 

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

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

SUVs and trucks 

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

A Stow-Away lift puts you inside

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

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

 

Ryno no-transfer conversion for pickups 

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

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

To learn more, call 508-697-6006.

 

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

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Conquest
conquest [ˈkɒnkwɛst ˈkɒŋ-]

n

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

 

 


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