Discusses the merits of accessible vans that provide transportation and freedom for a person with a disability.
Accessible vans are freely available in the United States, either for outright purchase or for rental in all cities and towns. Mini and full-size commercial utility vehicles come with converted wheelchair accommodation facilities.
Dealing with the hassles of transportation is the last thing that a person with a disability should have to worry about. The mounting stress associated with trying to move from one place to the next is enough to keep you indoors, away from the rest of the world. Even asking for help can be a problem because you have to worry about the aggravation of getting in and out of the vehicle and storing your scooter or wheelchair. Wheelchair mobility vans that are accessible give you the freedom of the road and the freedom from worry.
These vehicles are fitted with either a ramp or a lift, or both, according to the wishes of the client. They are available in raised roof or lowered floor models. Accessible vans are designed to provide safe, reliable, affordable and convenient alternatives for disabled persons and patients for improved mobility.
Accessible vans also offer several other features for the convenience of persons using wheelchairs. These vans have the capacity for one or two wheelchairs. On specific request, they could be converted to accommodate mobile scooters also. Front and rear air conditioning is optional. They are also equipped with 4-point or 5-point tie downs for the wheelchairs, along with seal belts. Total hand controls, 6-way power seat in driver position, power steering, and outside entry controls are also available as other optional features.
Wheelchair vans come in two models of conversion. They are side entry accessible vans and rear entry wheelchair vans. Commercial vans are converted with a ramp or a lift or both for the transportation of disabled persons or patients. Side entry vans are suitable for persons in a wheelchair who wish to drive on their own. Rear entry accessible vans are meant for people who can not drive or those who want to avoid driving.
There are several dealers who offer new handicapped accessible vans, used wheelchair vans, wheelchair van rentals, scooter lifts, hand controls, mobility seats and transfer seats. Some even have a selection of ramps and other equipment.
Commercial accessible vans are normally Ford Windstar, Ford Freestar, Ford Mercury Monterey and Dodge Grand Caravan, converted to suit persons using wheelchairs. Several dealers also offer Chevrolet, GM, Plymouth, Honda and Toyota vans in wheelchair converted models. Both new and used vans are available for outright purchase or for lease or rent. These commercial wheelchair vans are used for non-emergency medical transportation, airport/city taxi services, community transport, paratransit service, etc.
There are several dealers in all the cities that buy and sell new and used commercial vans that are accessible at affordable prices. Further, several travel operators either rent or lease such commercial vans at reasonable rates for the convenience of disabled persons and patients. These vans could also be fitted with extra accessories to suit disabled sports persons for carrying their sports accessories.
The ramps of commercial accessible vans are normally spring counter-balanced, bi-fold manual ramp types, with magnetic anti-rattle provisions. Some van dealers also provide electronic or hydraulic operated ramps. However, the manual types are more dependable and easy to maintain.
The foot plates are removable foot plate types or flip-forward hinged foot plate type. The lowered floor or raised roof conversions further facilitate travel convenience for wheelchair persons. The floor is of fiberglass, supported by steel frames, with anti-slip rolling surface incorporated.
Toyota Sienna and Toyota Tundra models are normally converted as Toyota wheelchair accessible vans.
Toyota Sienna vans are priced in the range of $30,000 to $40,000. Toyota Sienna wheelchair vans are available with prices ranging from $20,000 to $35,000. These price ranges are applicable to the latest models, models not older than 2-3 years. Older models are priced even cheaper. These vans are converted in such a way that nobody would be able to identify them easily as wheelchair accessible vans.