Below is an article originally written by Fran Joyce for her blog This Awful-Awesome Life where she discusses her wheelchair van buying experience with our MobilityWorks team in Pittsburgh.
By Fran Joyce
Getting a new car is exciting. After 14 years of nursing my adapted minivan along, it was time for a new one. For anyone who is physically challenged or lives with a physically challenged family member, the decision to buy a vehicle or replace an existing one can seem daunting. I’m using the term “handicapped” in this article because I will be discussing parking and other considerations for purchasing a vehicle. I dislike labels, and I apologize to anyone who may be offended.
The type of conversion you need is dependent on whether the person with physical challenges will be a driver or passenger.
In my case, I have a son in a power wheelchair who will be a passenger not a driver. With a power chair, there are height requirements for the converted vehicle that may not apply to manual chairs. Head room is a safety issue when entering and exiting the vehicle. For this reason, a manual ramp which is least expensive might not be the best option.