Tag Archives: motorized chair

VA Benefits for Veterans – APPLY NOW



If you need a wheelchair van (driver or passenger) you may be eligible for one at little to no out of pocket cost. We, too, are Veterans and understand your needs.

Click here to begin the VA process and receive guidance on getting your benefits.

The Auto Allowance Grant: This benefit provides eligible Veterans with flat rate federal grant of $19,505.00 towards the purchase of a wheelchair accessible vehicle. This grant is paid to the seller of the vehicle and must be approved by the VA before the purchase.
The Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program: This benefit provides eligible Veterans with funding (approximately $25,000) for equipment and training to enter, exit and/or operate a motor vehicle. This equipment includes but not limited to platform wheelchair lifts, kneeling systems, power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls and braking and digital driving systems.
Non Service Connected Van Modifications: This benefit provides eligible Veterans with funding (approximately $25,000) for non-operational equipment for entry and exit to the van. Issuance of equipment is considered medical and is not included as part of the Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program.

“U.S. veterans make so many sacrifices for our freedoms,” said Doug Eaton, president of VMI. “We’re indebted for their service and believe our disabled vets should have easier access to mobility vehicles. That’s why we teamed up with Paralyzed Veterans and the VMI Select Dealer Network to establish Operation Independence. Through this national program, we’ll help raise awareness of the federal grant money that is available to our vets to help them purchase a new mobility vehicle. We’ll also explain how the national VMI Select Dealer Network can fast track their purchase of a quality mobility van and provide important vehicle maintenance after the sale.”

Operation Independence is a national program developed by VMI and is supported by the Paralyzed Veterans and The American Wheelchair Van Society. A portion of the program will educate veterans about Federal Grant 21-4502, which is available to disabled U.S. vets and was recently increased from $11,500 to $18,900. In addition to the grant, VMI is offering an additional $1,000 coupon that can be used as cash back from the manufacturer or applied toward a down payment for veterans who qualify for the 21-4502 grant and who have not previously taken advantage of the 21-4502 Auto Allowance Grant. The American Wheelchair Van Society will assist all Veterans through the process.

“We’ve found that a number of important government benefits like the 21-4502 program, which provides a grant towards the purchase of a mobility vehicle of their choice, are under-utilized by eligible veterans,” said Al Kovach, National Senior Vice President of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and a former Navy SEAL. “This partnership with VMI’s Operation Independence is so important to as it supports Paralyzed Veterans’ Mission: ABLE campaign which enables severely disabled veterans to secure care, benefits and jobs and rebuild their lives. Together, we can leverage our efforts to improve mobility for disabled veterans by connecting them with the vehicles that fit their needs and ultimately help them achieve the independence and dignity they deserve.”

Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the “Greatest Generation” of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges head that they faced back in the 1940s — from a medical community not ready to treat them, to an inaccessible world. For more than 65 years, Paralyzed Veterans national office and 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)

“According to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, there are nearly 3.5 million veterans who now live with a service-connected disability,” said Doug Eaton, president of Vantage Mobility International. “Many of those disabled veterans struggle to find employment because they don’t have access to reliable transportation. So, in addition to supporting the Paralyzed Veterans of America national tour, we’ve also teamed up with Toyota Motor Sales USA to give all disabled veterans a chance to win a 2013 Toyota Sienna SE with our Access360 In-floor Ramp Conversion. We hope veterans in the Houston area will join us at Adaptive Driving Access in Houston to learn more about our Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute contest.”

‘The Big Push for Progress’ initiative was developed to honor Paralyzed Veterans and help local communities “take a stand for veterans and their families.”

Paralyzed Veterans of America, which is celebrating 67 years this year, is urging all Americans to take a stand for veterans. “Our disabled veterans face an unemployment rate three to eight times higher than average,” said Bill Lawson, U.S. Army veteran and national president of Paralyzed Veterans. “That’s just one reason I’m asking my fellow Americans to help redouble our efforts for positive change. We need everyone to be a part of our big push for progress.”

Click here to begin the VA process and receive guidance on getting your benefits.

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2013 Boston abilities expo – wheelchair vans for all!


We had a fabulous three days in Boston meeting new friends and seeing old ones.

We displayed the VMI Toyota Sienna Access360 van, the VMI Honda Odyssey Northstar and Dodge Grand Caravan Northstar.

All vans have multiple configurations for driver, front passenger and/or middle wheelchair riders. From large motorized chairs to small pediatric sizes, we were able to custom fit various people and their chairs to this lineup. The ‘Star’ of the show was the Northstar In-Floor wheelchair ramp system. Combined with a lowered floor, it offered the most interior space and ease of use–everyone LOVED it!

Here is a video put together by Monique McGiveney from photos taken at the expo:


A special thank you to the Vantage Mobility and johnmccoshphotography.com who made this event a success for VMi New England:

Come to VMi New England 1000 Main St in Bridgewater, MA where every day is a Abilities Expo.

Companion dogs help veterans heal

Companion dogs help veterans heal

Companion dogs help veterans heal.
A program that pairs four-legged friends with disabled veterans is providing a life-changing addition to many military families. “They’re our heroes,” said one veteran. TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer reports. Featured is  former tank commander ‘Ski’ and his service dog ‘Steve’ of http://abesnet.com–and a cherished client of ours. We have helped Ski repair his current side entry wheelchair van and are currently working with VISIN 1 Brockton Veterans Administration (VA) Center to deliver him a new 2013 Toyota Sienna side entry from Vantage Mobility (VMI). The best part; Steve LOVES riding  up front in Ski’s wheelchair van. Hoorah!


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

source: http://www.today.com/video/today/53128477#53128477

MV1 VPG Mobility Vehicle Issues. What happened and what now?

MV1 VPG Mobility Vehicle

How can we help service your VPG mobility vehicle or help you purchase another more new or pre-owned reliable mobility vehicle?

A Michigan maker of vans for the disabled that received a $50 million Energy Department loan has quietly ceased operation and laid off its staff.

Vehicle Production Group, or VPG, stopped operations after finances dipped below the minimum required as a condition of the government loan, says former CEO John Walsh. Though about 100 staff were laid off and its offices shuttered, the company has not filed for bankruptcy reorganization.


VPG, of Allen Park, Mich., received its Energy Department loan under the same clean-energy program — now under fire by House Republicans — that originally committed $527 million to troubled plug-in hybrid carmaker Fisker Automotive and $535 million to solar start-up Solyndra, which has filed for bankruptcy reorganization. VPG was deemed eligible for the clean energy loan because some of its vans were to be fitted to run on compressed natural gas.

Walsh, who left VPG with the rest of the staff when it closed in February, says the company had raised $400 million in private capital from investors, including financier T. Boone Pickens, and built 2,500 MV-1 vans. Though VPG still had a healthy order backlog, it ran low on cash and didn’t have the dealer network that it needed, Walsh says.

In 2011, the company’s then CEO, Dave Schembri, said he hoped that it could eventually ramp up production to about 30,000 vans a year, not only for individual sales to the disabled, but for sales to taxi and limousine fleets needing handicap-accessible vehicles. The company showed a taxi version at the 2012 New York Auto Show.


VPG stopped operations after its assets were frozen by the Energy Department, he says. “They wanted us to get the remaining capital raised, and we couldn’t get it done,” he says. The company did not announce the suspension of operations. An Energy Department spokesman could not be reached for comment, although the agency has stepped in before when borrowers fell short of loan conditions: Fisker was cut off after drawing $190 million of its loan package.

VPG Chairman Fred Drasner could not be reached for comment.

VPG’s DOE loan was controversial. In 2011, The Washington Post raised questions about a fundraiser for President Obama and the loan. It reported that VPG was part of the portfolio of companies under Washington, D.C.-based investment firm Perseus, whose vice chairman, James Johnson, was an Obama adviser and fundraiser. Perseus said at the time that Johnson played no role in procuring the loan for VPG. The Energy Department said at the time that the loan was based entirely on merit after two years of review.


VPG’s MV-1 purpose-built vans, which went on sale in 2011 at a starting price of $39,950, were built under contract by AM General, maker of the Army’s Humvee transports. AM General spokesman Jeff Adams declined comment on VPG’s shutdown, saying his company was only the contract builder. But he said it will supply already-sold MV-1s with parts and technical support.

Walsh says production of MV-1s was stopped about six months ago to prepare for a new model. He says VPG had about 2,300 vehicles on order at the time including a half-filled, 250-van order from New York’s City’s transit authority.

The federal loan money was spent wisely, Walsh says, and he expresses hope that it all will be repaid if the company is sold.

Walsh was CEO for about a year. “I hung in there as long as I could,” says Walsh, who is now an executive at another disabled mobility company. “I saw the handwriting on the wall months ago. We just couldn’t get the capital to keep it going.”


VA Nurses: Quality and Innovation in Patient Care: VMi New England and Automotive Innovations are proud to Raise Awareness for National Nurses Week.

Army nurse in uniform

Veteran Nurses Week

“Veterans and Nurses, in partnership, make a world class patient experience,” says Cathy Rick, VA Chief Nursing Officer.

Celebrate National Nurses Week with VMi New England and Automotive Innovations.

The American Nurses Association has designated this year’s National Nurses Week theme: “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.”

Join us in celebrating the men and women who serve this country by caring for its Veterans.

80,000 Nurses Caring for America’s Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs has one of the largest nursing staffs of any health care system in the world.

Numbering more than 80,000 nationwide, the VA integrated nursing team provides comprehensive, complex, and compassionate care to our nation’s Veterans.

The Veterans Affairs nurses are a dynamic, diverse group of respected, honored, and compassionate professionals. The VA is the leader in the creation of an organizational culture where excellence in nursing is valued as essential for quaity health care to those who served America.

“VA nursing is at the center of generating value-based innovation. Their work is a demonstration of integrity, commitment, respect and excellence as we shape efforts to ensure access to personalized, proactive health care for Veterans,” according to Cathy Rick, VA’s Chief Nursing Officer.

She adds, “I am extremely proud to call myself a VA nurse.”

National Nurses Week: Every year — May 6th through May 12. May 12 is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

VA nursing provides the largest clinical training and cooperative education opportunities in association with undergraduate and graduate programs at numerous colleges and universities.

The VA nursing team is composed of registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs), nursing assistants, and intermediate care technicians.

In the 1990s, VA provided clinical experience to one out of every four professional nursing students in the country. VA nurses are highly valued members and leaders of the health care team, contributing their expertise and knowledge to the care of patients.

In addition to clinical care, VA nursing is also a significant part of advancing research in VA and keeping up with the latest technological innovations. Nurse researchers help to promote inclusion of evidence into practice to provide quality care for Veterans.

Components of VA Nursing

Professional nursing supports the mission of the VA health care system by providing state-of-the-art, cost-effective care to patients and families as they respond to illness and health issues.

In addition to medical, surgical and psychiatric units, VA nurses work in intensive care, spinal cord injury, geriatric, dialysis, blind rehabilitation, specialty care (such as diabetes clinics), hospice, domiciliary, oncology, and organ transplant units.

VA nurses provide care across a variety of settings including primary, ambulatory, acute, geriatrics, rehabilitation, and extended care settings.

They work in outpatient clinics, community living centers, and home-based primary care programs.

VA nurses also play a considerable role in emergency planning, preparedness, response, and recovery.

VA nurses proudly serve America’s heroes by practicing the art and science of nursing in order to provide holistic, evidence-based, high quality care.

Interested in a career as VA nurse? Start here: VA Careers