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On Vans Made Accessible for Wheelchair Users

posted on 1 April 2014 | posted in Accessibility

Before you go out looking for your wheelchair lift van, arm yourself with these tips. They'll help you avoid the costly mistakes so many people make. Keep in mind when going to any dealership, usually, you'll be pitched hard and fast on what they think you should buy. Avoid getting talked into buying "extras" you really don't need.


Here are some important items to take into consideration when buying your wheel chair lift van:
  • Ideally, you want your van to be tested beyond FMVSS safety requirements.
  • If the wheelchair user will be driving, they must be capable of seeing well from the driver side.
  • Issues such as hearing and sight ability along with ability to make quick decisions and depth perception of the wheel chair user (if driving) need to come into play as to what make and model of van you buy.
  • Take into consideration whether the wheelchair user will be driving the van or will simply be a passenger.
  • The type of wheelchair being used by the wheelchair user is important to note. (Types of wheelchairs can vary greatly.)
  • Purpose of the van. (If it'll be used for long-distance driving as opposed to short distance driving.)
  • The wheelchair users physical condition and prognosis also factors in to what you will buy.
It's important the sales rep at the dealership understand all of these factors that are particular to your situation. If he or she doesn't, you may get sold a wheel chair lift van that doesn't work well for you and consequently will have made a bad investment. So keep in mind, the sales rep usually works on commission and is taught to sell you lots of "add-ons." Go into the dealership with a good idea in regards to the points listed above as to what you will need and then stick with it. If working with a clinician, it can prove wise to ask them their opinion on what make and model would be best for your situation.

See also our range of accessibility products for vans here.

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