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Choosing A Wheelchair Van

Oct 31, 2007
Almost any vehicle can be equipped with a lift to make it wheelchair accessible, but a wheelchair van is unique. It is an alternative to vehicles with lifts because it can be modified so that the wheelchair user can either be a passenger, or its driver.

A passenger wheelchair van is modified by the addition of either a lift or a wheelchair ramp which allows the wheelchair user access to get in and out of the vehicle. If the van is to be driven by the wheelchair user, it will require much more extensive alterations.

Being Evaluated For A Wheelchair Van

Before a wheelchair user decides to modify a van for his or her driving use, he or she will need to qualify for a driver's license by undergoing an assessment. There are evaluation facilities specifically established to perform these assessments and determine the unique requirements of the wheelchair user. They will even suggest the best van for that driver; after getting the recommendation the wheelchair user should seek additional information from those who have modified their own vans, or vendors who sell wheelchair vans.

The evaluation which determined if a wheelchair user is qualified to drive a wheelchair van will assess hearing and vision; mental acuity; the ability to make quick decisions; cognitive skills; and the person's abilities to move out of the wheelchair into the wheelchair van, and maneuver the chair in and out of the van.

There are many devices, including wheelchair lifts, which can assist the disabled in using wheelchair vans. A wheelchair lift will enable someone, who would otherwise be unable to do so, to transfer the chair into the van.

Financial Assistance

Wheelchair vans are very expensive, but many manufacturers offer financial assistance to those would not be able to afford them without help. An online search of wheelchair van manufacturing companies will provide you with information about their financial assistance programs. And you may save money by asking your insurance company to rewrite your policy for the lowest-cost coverage; alternatively, some non-profit groups offer grants toward the purchase of wheelchair vans.

If your budget is your main concern, consider a less expensive pre-owned mini-van modified so that a wheelchair can be carried onto it and secured, and purchased from a respected vendor.

Regardless of your final decision, paying for an extended warranty at the time of your purchase may save you significant money on repairs down the line.

Before you buy a wheel chair, measure all the tight spaces in the user's environment through which it will have to fit; widen the necessary doorway and move what furniture you need to. It would be very frustrating to buy a wheelchair which is a perfect fit for it user but an impossibly bad fit for the places where it will be used!

Before you actually buy a wheel chair, make sure the armrests, footrests, and any other add-ons you want will fit on the frame you have chosen. And, if you still need more information before you buy a wheel chair, consult a local supplier, or perform some online research.
About the Author
You can also find more info on Wheelchair Batteires and Wheelchair Lift. Wheelchairsreview.com is a comprehensive resource to know more about Wheel Chairs.
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