Whether you or a loved one uses a wheelchair, you have many options when it comes to mobility vehicles. Wheelchair accessible vans can be a convenient way to get around for those who cannot drive or operate a regular car. These customized vehicles come in different sizes and styles, including full-size and minivans. The type of vehicle you choose will depend on the number of people traveling and the amount of equipment needed for transportation, such as a power wheelchair or other medical devices.
If you’re unsure what kind of lowered floor minivan is right for your needs, it’s important to work with a highly trained mobility specialist at a reputable dealer like Superior Van & Mobility. Your consultant will perform a wheelchair and scooter evaluation to help you determine the best vehicle and ramp or lift for your lifestyle and transportation needs. They will take into account your seated height in the wheelchair along with the wheelchair make, model and width measurements to find the perfect fit.
There are several affordable makes and models of wheelchair accessible vans that can be purchased with ADA compliance as either a factory option or after an accessibility conversion. Some examples include the Ford Transit Wheelchair Transport Van, Toyota Sienna Adaptive Wheelchair Van and the Dodge Grand Caravan ADA Wheelchair Accessible Van. These vehicles are a good place to start for those on a budget because they offer multiple floorplan options and are ADA compliant right from the factory or after the accessibility modification.
Other factors that will affect the cost of your wheelchair van include the chassis and the number of modifications made during the accessibility conversion. The most expensive models tend to be those built on the Ram ProMaster chassis. However, you can also purchase a conversion on a variety of other chassis, such as the Honda Odyssey, which is often seen as an alternative to BraunAbility’s flagship lineup.
In addition to the type of lowered floor and ramp or lift you want, there are other options that can be added for the driver or passenger. For example, hand controls can be installed for those who cannot use their feet to operate the vehicle, and swivel seats can be used for easier transfers in and out of the wheelchair.
If you need help financing your wheelchair van, there are many non-profits in every state that can provide funding for a new or used wheelchair accessible vehicle. County social services organizations, such as human services or children and family departments, can assist you in locating disability grants and other programs that may be available to you in your area. The money provided by these grants doesn’t need to be paid back, making it a popular option for those who require a wheelchair or other disability vehicle. There are also government agencies that offer a small business loan program to assist disabled individuals who want to start a mobility transportation business or hire others to transport their clients in wheelchairs.