Submitted by: Mike DeAngelo
A handicap wheelchair van is a minivan specifically modified for use by a person who is in a wheelchair or scooter. These specialized vehicles have many other names including handicap vans, wheelchair accessible vans, wheelchair vehicle, wheelchair minivans, and mobility vans just to name a few, but all of these labels refer to a van that has been specially adapted for wheelchair or scooter accessibility. Without these modifications life would be much more difficult for people with disabilities to get around. There are many choices of wheelchair transportation available in your area. Be sure to pick a vehicle that is ADA approved, which means that the van provides the accessories that will make your journey safe and comfortable for all occupants.
What types of Wheelchair van are available?
Wheelchair vans are available as full size vans or minivans equipped with either a ramp or wheelchair lift. The wheelchair minivans with a lowered floor and a ramp are the most popular and provide the passenger the ability to enter the vehicle while remaining secure in their wheelchair or scooter. Most accessible minivans are manufactured with side or rear access. The side access, lowered floor minivans are the most common for several important reasons. First of all, both front seats are removable giving a wheelchair occupant the ability to remain in the wheelchair as a passenger. Secondly, if both front seats remain in place, the wheelchair occupant can ride in the center of the van as a passenger with the wheelchair secured to the van floor. Lastly, side access vans allow up to two wheelchairs or scooters and still provide another a bench seat for additional passengers. All of these vehicles should provide approved floor tie down systems that secure the wheelchair or scooter to the floor of the van, and an auxiliary seat belt to secure the occupant to the wheelchair.
Today s modern technology has made the smaller minivans the vehicle of choice for the transportation of seniors and people with disabilities. The wheelchair accessible minivan is much easier to drive and park since it is closer to the size of a standard car and requires no special licensing. The larger vans have become less common since their size makes them more difficult to drive and more expensive to operate due to the higher fuel cost.
How do I get Disability transportation?
Disability wheelchair vans can be purchased, leased or rented from many companies throughout the country. Purchasing a wheelchair accessible van makes the most since when the need is frequent and long-term. As with any purchased vehicle, the purchase price can be spread over several years. The leasing option provides the advantage of lowering the monthly cost. Wheelchair disability van rental provides very flexible use and at a much lower annual cost since the passenger will only be paying for the time that they need the vehicle. There are also several aid programs available through various agencies which should be investigated and depend upon each individual s needs. Consideration of the overall annual needs for disability transportation may help with the decision of how to provide mobility options.
About the Author: Mike DeAngelo is a distinguished author and supporter of the disabled who speaks from experience. He writes extensively for those in need of a little consideration and an occasional helping hand with the insight of someone with extensive use of wheelchairs and scooters.