Total Adaptive Vehicle Solutions
Adaptive Vehicle Conversions for Wheelchair and Scooter Owners
Having to use a wheelchair or scooter can make getting in and out of your vehicle a challenge. But we have a solution.
Our process in a nutshell:
A dealer in The Mobility Resource network will make modifications to a minivan, such as the Toyota Sienna, to allow easy wheelchair or scooter access to the vehicle.
First, the floor is lowered 10 to 12 inches to provide headroom for the person in the wheelchair or scooter. Then a ramp is installed between the interior floor and the chassis body—hidden from sight. This ramp can be installed for a side-entry or rear-entry, based on the users preference, allowing the person in the wheelchair to easily roll in and out of the vehicle.
After the vehicle has been converted, a dealer in The Mobility Resource network will work with you to further customize the vehicle to meet any other specific needs you may have.
Putting a ramp in the vehicle makes it faster and easier to get in and out of the vehicle than using a wheelchair lift, and it can be a huge benefit in inclement weather.
A wheelchair minivan is a popular choice for wheelchair users because it’s smaller and easier to maneuver than a full-sized van. Because the floor has been lowered, it provides a lower center of gravity and therefore gives the vehicle better traction in winter.
There are also special ground effects that hide any wheelchair equipment modifications that might otherwise be visible and therefore make the adaptive conversion less noticeable, especially with an in-floor ramp.
And don’t worry; a minivan with a lowered floor will fit in most garages and car washes.
View the Mobility Resource’s new and pre-owned handicap vans for sale.
Adaptive Vehicle Solutions for Handicapped Driving
We’re all familiar with adaptive vehicle solutions to some extent, even if we don’t realize it. Automatic transmission was an early example, facilitating driving for those who struggled with or disliked driving a manual transmission. Power steering is another example. It offers greater vehicle control with less exertion and strength required. Even power windows can be considered an adaptive driving capability.
For people with physical disabilities, other adaptive technologies can make operating a motor vehicle possible where otherwise it wouldn’t be. They give you access to a vehicle. Plus, if your physician and a driving rehabilitation specialist clears you for driving, adaptive hand controls make it possible, even from your wheelchair, providing maximum mobility and freedom.
Adaptive Vehicle Solutions Begin with Access
Of course, before you can drive your handicap van, you need access. Adaptive vehicle solutions have this covered. In some instances, pivoting seats that lower toward the ground are adequate. Turning automotive seating systems allow entry and exiting without supporting or boosting your body weight, climbing or impact. If you’re in a scooter or wheelchair, a fold-out or in-floor ramp may suffice if you can get up and down it safely or if you have someone around to help you navigate it.
There are also various types of lifts. Some work only with unoccupied scooters or wheelchairs, others hoist and lower you while you’re seated in your mobility aid. Ramps and lifts can be attached to the side door or the rear door of your handicap van. If you’ll be driving, side-entry conversions permit access to the driver’s seat.
Driving Hand Controls for Adaptive Vehicle Solutions
You may be able to drive, even while seated in your wheelchair. Note, though, that driving in a scooter is unsafe. For many people with physical limitations due to age or a disability, adaptive vehicle solutions mean hand controls that facilitate driving without use of the legs, without exertion and without having to reach too far.
Adaptive driving hand controls generally consist of some combination of levers, grips, buttons, knobs and pivot points. They control various automotive functions, from acceleration and braking to windshield defrosting. Depending on your physical abilities, you may have hand controls that operate with some manual effort, or you may have high-tech equipment that requires very little movement. You, your driving rehabilitation specialist and your handicap van dealer will work together to design the perfect setup so you can drive as safely and easily as everyone else.