been a challenge for handicapped people.
aids have certainly been developed - wheelchairs,
mobility scooters, etc. - it can be hard for a person
with physical handicaps to feel a sense of independence
and the sense adventure that comes from being a road
warrior, exploring new places and seeing new things.
However, that is beginning to change thanks to advances
in handicap transportation options.
A Wider Selection of
Handicap Accessible Vehicles Is Improving Mobility
What is the driving
force behind the change in the world of physical
handicaps? A wider range of handicap vehicles is now
becoming available. Usually, these are full-size
conversion vans, though you will also find handicap
accessible minivans with conversion kits that offer many
mobility benefits. How do these vehicles benefit people
with physical handicaps? What makes a handicap
accessible vehicle a good purchase? Actually, a lot goes
into creating a handicap van, if it is to truly offer
independence, mobility and the hope of adding a bit of
zest to life.
What Is Involved In
Making a Van Handicap Accessible?
Height and depth are often
the first changes made to a van destined to become a
handicap vehicle. The floor needs to be lowered by a
considerable amount, in order to ensure that wheelchair
ramps can be installed with the lowest possible angle
for ingress and egress. The ceiling must also be raised
to accommodate the greater height of handicapped persons
seated within a wheelchair. This ensures that people
within a wheelchair have a direct line of sight out of
the windows of the vehicle. Another change required in a
wheelchair accessible van is a modification to the
driver and passenger front seats.
The mounting systems for
these two seats are usually changed so that the chairs
(and their underlying supports) are removable. This
ensures that the handicapped person can ride comfortably
in either the passenger or the driver position.
Wheelchair tie-down securement systems are also
installed at this time, allowing the wheelchair to be
secured to the vehicle's floor. This offers significant
safety enhancement, and ensures that wheelchairs are not
left free, which can be a very dangerous situation even
during normal driving conditions.
Other modifications are
made to these vehicles as well. For instance, a mobility
scooter lift is often installed at the side door, which
ensures that any scooter can be easily loaded and
unloaded. Other modifications are made to the steering
wheel and/or the pedal configuration, allowing
handicapped people the ability to drive their own
The Road To Freedom
For Handicapped People
Taken together, these
adaptive changes ensure that those with physical
disabilities are able to gain independence and a greater
sense of freedom. In short, adaptive, wheelchair
accessible vehicles offer a renewed sense of adventure
and a heightened quality of life for people with