TAMPA, FLA. (May 9, 2016) – Shopping for a vehicle can be a long hunt, no matter what specifications you’re looking for. While May is National Mobility Awareness Month with the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) sponsoring the online Local Heroes Contest giving you the opportunity to win one of three wheelchair accessible vehicles, it is a good time to consider the mobility solutions now available on the market.
Imagine being a caregiver of someone who uses a wheelchair and shopping for a wheelchair accessible vehicle. There are a lot of variables to consider. Luckily, there are resources like the non-profit member organization NMEDA and Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealers across the United States and Canada that can point you in the right direction. Here are some questions to consider to make your search for a wheelchair accessible vehicle easier.
Where Should The Person Sit?
When you’re driving, you want to be sure that person with the disability is held secure in his or her seating and it is restrained from movement while the vehicle is in motion. The safest place for them to be locked in is the center or the rear of the vehicle. NMEDA QAP dealers will guide you for the right wheelchair accessible vehicle and seat or tie down system for your passenger and also factor in: their height, size of wheelchair, medical needs and equipment that need to accompany him or her —which leads to considering which entry style is right for you.
Should You Choose Side or Rear Entry Vehicle?
Choosing a side or rear entry wheelchair van comes down to the passenger’s equipment and what’s necessary and easiest for transporting. A rear-entry vehicle is ideal if the passenger has limited mobility and uses a ventilator or feeding tube. If they have more flexible mobility, side entry is an option that allows them to maneuver themselves into place. With the rear entry, a caregiver has the option of sitting next to the passenger.
In-Floor or Fold-Out Ramps?
Another option to consider is whether or not you should use an in-floor or a fold-out ramp. The decision effects the number of people that can be accommodated. A fold-out ramp allows for a maximum seating of five, while an in-floor ramp provides a maximum seating of six. There’s an advantage for having either option: an in-floor ramp means you’re clear to use it in most instances of space, while a fold-out ramp is easier to navigate because of high side rails and can deploy manually if needed. Both are ideal for children and adults with standard to slightly oversized wheelchairs, so they’re fit for a growing child.
To learn more about safe transportation options and mobility solutions for those in wheelchairs, visit www.nmeda.com. On your search for the right wheelchair accessible vehicle for your family, NMEDA QAP dealers can make your handicap vehicle selection an easier process and guide you to maintaining your accessible vehicle for years to come with your family.
About National Mobility Awareness Month
May is National Mobility Awareness Month and is the annual celebration that encourages seniors, veterans, caregivers and people with disabilities to enjoy active, mobile lifestyles. Founded in 1989 as a not-for-profit trade association, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) supports the awareness month with the assistance of approximately 600 members including mobility equipment QAP dealers, manufacturers and driver rehabilitation specialists located in the United States and Canada dedicated to expanding opportunities for people with disabilities. For updates, please visit MobilityAwarenessMonth.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter (@NMEDAcom) and Pinterest.