Category Archives: PVA

Looking for a Wheelchair Van Alternative?

Introducing – VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E Access360 Handicap Accessible SUV

VMI Honda Pilot blog photo

Vantage Mobility International (VMI) has announced the release date for their ALL-NEW, Wheelchair Accessible SUV built on the Honda Pilot chassis. VMI and Honda, what a great combination! VMI will start shipping initial quantities of their new handicap SUV February 9th. Dealers should expect the first of these units to arrive at their locations late February through March 2018, initial quantities will be limited. In fact, rumors pinned initial model year quantities to 500 units nationwide for 2018 (Not confirmed).

Superior Van & Mobility will have several units arriving, however initially not all of our ten locations will have a unit on hand due to allocation limitations. We will be staging initial quantities regionally to provide a wider range of opportunities in allowing all of our customers a chance to test drive. If you are very interested in seeing and taking a test drive of this incredible vehicle, be sure to contact your local Superior location ASAP to inquire about availability. We will be taking deposits from those customers wishing to secure one of the first units.

(see chart below for available Honda Pilot chassis’ for conversion)

So What Sets Apart The VMI Honda Pilot From Its Competition?

VMI Honda Pilot open w_ramp

The all-new VMI Honda Pilot Northstar E with Access360 is the industries newest and largest handicap accessible SUV that features an amazing, unobstructed door opening width of 33.5 inches and a 32” wide manual, in-floor ramp system! This new offering from VMI is going to be a game changer in the wheelchair accessible SUV market as it’s designed to outperform its competitors in every way; More Floor Length; More Cargo Space; More Floor Width; More Overall Interior Space/Maneuverability (Access360); More Headroom; Wider Ramp; and Wider Door Opening. (See brief spec sheet below)

VMI Access360 – Designed for Comfort and Enough Maneuverability for Large Wheelchairs

Honda Pilot Access 360 interior

Who is the Target Customer?

The first edition of the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot wheelchair accessible SUV is initially designed with the caregiver in mind; a wheelchair user who travels with a dedicated caregiveHonda Main Photor full-time. Initially, the Honda Pilot from VMI will only be available with the same ramp system found in its other Northstar E vehicles; a (MANUAL) In-floor ramp and door operating system. This time tested ramp deploys and stows with unmatched ease by utilizing VMI’s exclusive ramp-on-the-stick technology; by far the easiest operating system of any manual ramp on the market today. In fact, if you are a caregiver, you owe it to yourself to try the ramp-on-a-stick ramp system from VMI. The difference and ease of operation is unmatched!

NOTE: Initial talks, while not yet confirmed, have discussed VMI adding a fully power in-floor ramp and door option in the near future for those who don’t travel with a caregiver.

Manual Door and Ramp Operation

The Honda Pilot Northstar-E conversion features a patented, ultra-low, manual in-floor ramp system with an astonishing 32 inch width that allows for safe entry and exit of much larger wheelchairs. The ramp easily and conveniently stows and deploys from underneath the floor, creating additional interior space and maneuverability for the wheelchair user and his/her passengers. The ramp is made from a high strength aluminum alloy, and can support loads up to 800 lbs.

Removable Front Seats

The obstacle free front seats allow for easy removal, creating multiple seating arrangements for the wheelchair user and passengers. The space is large enough to accommodate two wheelchairs side-by-side if needed.

Headroom and Lowered Floor

The floor from just behind the firewall to the third row seat in the VMI Honda Pilot SUV is dropped a maximum of 16 inches to create the industry’s largest available headroom of any handicap accessible SUV. This drop in the floor also creates a usable door opening height of 55.5 inches, which makes the VMI Honda Pilot Northstar-E Access360 a great alternative for even the tallest seated wheelchair user.

Towing Capacity

As an added option, the 2018 VMI Honda Pilot is available with an integrated towing capacity of 3500 lbs. This large towing capacity further enhances the usage and capabilities of owning an SUV over a traditional minivan.

Honda Pilot Spec Sheet

 

2018 Available Chassis’ For Conversion:

Capture2

Shopping For A Scooter Lift

Shopping for a Scooter Lift
Online VS. Brick and Mortar

online vs store

With online shopping becoming more of the rule rather than the exception these days, you may find yourself searching for a scooter lift for your vehicle online. There are numerous sources out there where you can do just that, but is that the best option for you? Most likely it is not. Here are just a few of the main reasons why you should buy your scooter lift from a, “brick and mortar” mobility dealership such as Superior Van & Mobility.

1. Experience! Our mobility consultants are trained by the manufacturers to examine each application, ensuring you are choosing the right lift for your current and future needs. Finding the right lift is not always as easy as finding one that fits your vehicle. There are many additional factors we look at when determining what lift to recommend for your situation and need.

a. Is the lift rated at the proper amount of weight it will need to carry?
b. Is the lift the appropriate type for you current mobility device?
c. Does your vehicle have the correct specifications to handle a lift and its cargo?

i. Every vehicle has what’s called a “tongue weight rating” or TWR. The TWR is typically 10% of what the vehicle’s overall towing capacity is. Say for example your vehicle has a 1,500 pound towing capacity. That means the TWR is 150 pounds. If you add a 100 pound lift and a 200 pound scooter to that vehicle, you will exceed the TWR and serious damage can occur to both your vehicle and scooter. Plus, consider your safety. Exceeding the TWR is not only bad for your vehicle/equipment, but it also affects the handling of the vehicle which can jeopardize your safety and that of your passengers.

So, considering the investment you already made into your vehicle and scooter, does saving some money by purchasing a lift online seem like such a good deal after all? Yes? No? WeService Technicianll let me continue…

2. Trained Technicians! All of our technicians have been trained and certified to install and service every lift we install. This installation takes place in one of our ten service facilities. Not only will you have the peace-of-mind knowing that you are receiving the correct lift, but that it’s also being professionally installed and backed by a full warranty.

a. When you buy a lift online, who will do the installation?
b. Does your installer warranty their work?
c. How are you sure your installation was done correctly and it is safe?
d. Who will adjust it to make sure the platform angle is correct to handle the weight?
e. How do you know the correct hitch adapter is being used to ensure the lift is installed at the correct height?

These are all questions you must seriously consider as your safety and that of your equipment depends on it. However, by using a brick & mortar facility like Superior Van & Mobility, these are items you can rest assured are addressed and handled correctly as your safety and that of your equipment is our top priority.

3. Personal Service! When you call Superior Van & Mobility you will speak to a mobility consultant, not a sales person. Our mobility consultants are trained to ask the right questions as they intently listen to your needs, both current and future, before recommending any product. Our staff is not paid on commission, so you’ll find our approach is low pressure and understanding. You can rest assured that we will ask the right questions to ensure the wheelchair/scooter lift you need is the perfect fit, and that it addresses your current and future needs. When you shop online, all the research on the different types of lifts is up to you. You must know what questions to ask, your measurements, weights, etc. and hope the information you provide to and are provided by an online salesperson is correct and answered honestly, as most online retailers are simply looking to make a sale. Here is just a few of the questions you should ensure you are being asked, if you are not, you should avoid purchasing online. Your needs and safety are not being taken into consideration.

a. Would you prefer an interior or exterior lift?
b. Who will be operating the lift?
c. Can the person using the lift/scooter stand for several minutes while the lift is operating?
d. Do you have the dexterity to attach securement straps or would you prefer automatic securement?
e. Do you have more than one mobility device you use?

Again, these are just a few of the important questions that need to be asked and answered. The last thing you want to have to go through is to purchase a lift online only to find out it doesn’t work well for your needs!

Curb-Sider3_woman4. Quality Products! When buying a lift from a brick and mortar dealer you know you are getting a quality product. Before we sell any product, we do the research as our business depends on it. We will only sell products that we feel are of the utmost quality and that are backed by a full manufacturer warranty. There are many lift companies out there, but not all of them build their products with the same quality construction, or use quality components as others. If you purchase a lift online, how well will it hold up and do the job you rely on it providing? Who will you have service it if it malfunctions? What if you needs parts for it? At a brick and mortar dealer like Superior Van & Mobility, our goal is to ensure that your equipment is not only correct for your needs, but also is quality made and of good components. There’s nothing worse than being out and about, only to have your lift malfunction leaving you stranded! By the way, most brick & mortar dealers like Superior Van & Mobility are members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). These dealers must uphold the highest in standards, and when they are also part of the NMEDA Quality Assurance Program (QAP) they must also provide 24/7 emergency service. We will never leave you stranded!

5. Trust! Superior Van & Mobility has been around for 35+ years serving clients. We have an A+ BBB rating in every state we have a facility, and as mentioned earlier, we are standing members of NMEDA. At Superior, we will always stand behind our work. We have a dedicated staff, each ready and willing to help you anyway possible in regaining your independence. In fact, we pride ourselves on having a staff that is passionate about helping others, it is our driving force. When you make a purchase from Superior Van & Mobility, you become part of our family, not just another order. Oh, one last thing… We have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business! Sorry, had to toot our horn just a little bit.

ADA Celebrates 25 Years – Still a Long Way to Go…

July 26, 1990, George H. W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); a law that paved the way for equal rights and treatment for millions of Americans with disabilities.

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

ADA 25 Year Anniversary

It’s now 25 years later, and yes, a lot has improved; curbs have been reduced and ramps have been built. You’ll even find Braille on  signage and wheelchair lifts on city buses among the thousands of other improvements that have taken place as a result of the ADA. However, as many of the 38 million Americans with a disability can tell you, there is still a long way to go. Not only among the governing bodies of the United States, but among the public and private sector.

Many of the complaints still coming in from disabled Americans continue to revolve around lack of amenities, or amenities that just don’t function. Take for example a hotel chain with accessible rooms. Many of these rooms have what they call a roll-in shower and if you are lucky bars next to the toilet, but what many are still lacking are beds that sit lower to the floor. It’s still to this day far to common to see a business try to be compliant, but fail to wholly deliver, and airlines are not any better.

Don’t even get me started on all the stories circulating around the Internet regarding the experiences disabled travelers have experienced; from blatant disregard of their well-being to  downright humiliation. There are far too many…

As we look forward to celebrating this monumental occasion, we still have come a long way none-the-less.  An American with a disability is far better-off today than prior to the ADA, and things are only to improve as more and more advocates get involved to bring to light the shortcomings of the public and private sector.

If you would like to learn more about the ADA, please visit: http://www.ada.gov/ada_25th_anniversary/

 

Get Involved, Make a Difference – 3rd Annual KCSCI Conference is Coming

KCSCI Logo

SAVE THE DATE

The 3rd annual Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is taking place June 18, 2015 from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Marriot Griffin Gate Hotel in Lexington, KY.

A Few of the Featured Invited Speakers and Preliminary Agenda for the 3nd Annual KCSCI (June 2015):

• Heidi Johnson-Wright and Steve Wright are experts in Universal Design, ADA in built environment, advocacy for Inclusive Design – as it relates to rural communities. Johnson-Wright is an ADA compliance professional and attorney with over 30 years of public speaking experience. Steve Wright has expertise in universal design, master plans, zoning codes, walk-ability, sustainability, architecture, transportation and public policy.
• Lindsey Mullis will present on fitness for people with mobility impairments. Mullis is the Health & Wellness coordinator for the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky.

This is a great opportunity for those in the surrounding area to be part of an organization dedicated to legislation and advocacy of the SCI community of Kentucky.

To learn more, or to register for this FREE event visit

http://tinyurl.com/qdzn8vv

Why This is Important

Just like anything else, focus of organized effort usually congregates around large metropolitan areas, leaving the smaller, urban areas exposed to unlawful practices, lack of quality assistance, organized care and support programs, but this is where KCSCI comes in.

KCSCI released the following statement:

“Organizations, outreach programs and specialized medical care providers for individuals living with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) in the Commonwealth of Kentucky have traditionally been unorganized and without a common mission. Importantly, while current outreach efforts appear to have some impact for SCI individuals in urban areas, we wish to build cohesion among this community of individuals throughout the commonwealth by expansion into the more rural areas. We envision congress participants, sponsors, healthcare providers and care givers all exchanging information about programs available to those in need throughout the commonwealth. The community of individuals with SCI and their support systems can be a strong advocacy group given the right organizational structure.”

THEIR MISSION

The mission of the Kentucky Congress on Spinal Cord Injury (KCSCI) is to gather individuals with SCI from around the commonwealth to join in the discussion of critical issues that are important to them and to help draft agendas to be used to legislate changes in our commonwealth for people with SCI. The members of the KCSCI should be strong advocates for the rights of all people with disabilities and be willing to provide peer mentoring for newly injured folks who may need additional support.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF KCSCI

•    We have formed an Advisory Board Committee Meeting whose charge it is to identify the top principal concerns of the SCI community that the KCSCI can help (for more information, visit www.karrn.org)
•    Based upon expert advice and careful thought, we have chosen not to file for nonprofit 501c3 status.
•    Our recognition is expanding as we continue to increase our network of people with SCI in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have an interactive Face Book page and we’re developing a website.
•    After the recent snow storms, we collectively contacted local councilmen and businesses to bring to their attention that the inadequate/improper snow removal from handicapped parking spaces was in violation of laws, in particular for vehicles with ramps requiring room. Fellow member David Allgood also helped us advance this legislation in the Capitol.

For more information you can contact KCSCI President, Jason Jones at jpjones@twc.com or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KCSCI

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Wheelchair Accessible SUV Has Arrived


If you haven’t seen the news just yet, Mobility SVM has developed another alternative to the traditional wheelchair accessible minivan.

Recently unveiled was their all new SUV conversion that utilizes the same technology as their pickup truck conversion. You know… Their head-turning slide-out cab design!!

Mobility SVM is presently converting two models; the 2015 Chevy Suburban and 2015 GMC Yukon XL, and in both the 4×2 and 4×4 drive-train.

Features Include:

* Driver or Passenger side conversions available
* Fully automatic, slide-out cab design and wheelchair lifting mechanism
* Vehicle seats up to eight passengers
* Models available in both two and four wheel drive
* Factory ground clearance is retained
* 750 lb. lift capacity
* Seats up to 8 passengers
* Redesigned wheelchair lifting mechanism is lighter & faster
* New, enhanced safety features & emergency egress

 

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Wheelchair Accessible SUV

Prayers Are Answered When You Least Expect

I wanted to pass along a heartwarming story from Knoxville, TN. This story will not only bring a tear to your eye, but hopefully restore your faith in humanity.

The story begins with a Veteran who has ALS; a family man with many talents, who loved his family and grandchildren more than life itself. He was a man who enjoyed spending time with his family, often taking them boating in a boat he hand made, and flying in an airplane built with his own two hands. Talented indeed, he was a man who lived a wonderful and fulfilling life.

Just prior to his passing, our Veteran had a wish. He conveyed to his family how he wanted to help another in need. As a man with a special place in his heart for children with special needs, he decided that he wanted to donate his wheelchair accessible van to a family in need; a family that couldn’t afford such a luxury, but one who certainly deserving and was in great need.

As he passed, his family was determined to fulfill his dying wish. Not knowing where to start, his daughter, Tara Dovenbarger contacted our Superior Van & Mobility location in Knoxville , TN, and the East Tennessee Technology Access Center in hopes they could assist in finding a deserving family in need.

After careful thought, a family was selected, the Rubio’s of Knoxville, TN. This was a family that had been trying since their son was one to get a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Unable to afford such an expense, they had tried everything in their power, from saving money, entering contests, and prayer, but nothing ever seemed to pan out. For fifteen years this process went on, they never gave up. Nancy Rubio explains, “It was all in God’s hands. His timing and how he brought this amazing gift to us shows how God’s plan has to play out how he sees it. Sometimes you have to wait until it unfolds.”

The Rubio’s took delivery of their van on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. It was a gift of a lifetime from a family they never knew. It was a day to remember, as one family mourned the loss of a great man, the other experienced a day of joy and answered prayer. This was a gift that changed many lives, on both sides, by opening up new opportunities for one family and closing a chapter and fulfilling a dying wish for another. “Having this van means the sky is the limit, we can now go to church together as a family and take trips to the park,” said Nancy.

All of this would have never been made possible, if not for one man and his dying wish. Our Veteran, a man who served his country with pride, loved not only his children, but all children, and who lived to make his family his life. For this, we will always remember our Veteran and his family, and we hope this story will continue to inspire others who may have the same opportunities and desires to help others.

Click the link below for the actual news article on this extraordinary event: http://www.local8now.com/home/headlines/Prayers-answered-for-family-with-wheelchair-bound-son-273042561.html

Pennzoil, BraunAbility and PVA Provide Veterans the Gift of Mobility

Daily, thousands of Americans put their lives on the line serving in the military for our freedom. This past Memorial Day, we remembered those whose lives were lost and reminded ourselves that for many returning home, a new battle begins. In an effort to assist those who have sustained a paralyzing injury while active, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), BraunAbility, and Pennzoil® teamed up to retrofit three vehicles in an effort to give back the gift of mobility to paralyzed veterans.

Pennzoil Lovethecarbusiness campaign

Hank Ebert retired Navy veteran receiving a wheelchair accessible vehicle from BraunAbility and Pennzoil

Hank Ebert, was one of those veterans who received a retrofitted BraunAbility Toyota Sienna minivan, featuring the latest technology in assisting paralyzed drivers, as part of Pennzoil’s “Love Your Car” program, a partnership they created with the PVA. Hank was a U.S. Navy veteran, and served four years in the Navy as a crewman on a rescue helicopter in Vietnam. Today, despite his injury, Ed stays active as he participates in the Veteran’s Wheelchair games, is a fishing guide, and an die hard drag racing fan. Ed was lucky enough to have been nominated by his local PVA chapter in Minnesota to receive the custom vehicle, and as you can see from the video, he was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“I’m incredibly excited. It hasn’t even sunk in yet how excited I am,” said U.S. Navy veteran, Hank Ebert. “From winning this vehicle, to being flown to Charlotte to see my first NASCAR race, to being here with all my friends to celebrate, it’s just awesome.”

Today, there are more than 44,000 American veterans living with paralysis and the effects of rising healthcare costs. These are veterans, who have been here for us, and are now in a great need of support. Which has led to the mission of the PVA’s “ABLE” campaign, which was developed to help the nation’s paralyzed veterans rebuild their lives. With support from companies like Pennzoil, Mission: ABLE will continue to provide American disabled veterans with the tools to help them regain their mobility.