Wheelchair vans are vehicles that have been converted to make them safely accessible and operational for users in wheelchairs. To make a minivan wheelchair accessible, it takes three main components. First, the floor must be lowered by 10 to 14 inches to adjust for a wheelchair user’s seated height. Second, the mid-row seating must be removed to allow room for wheelchair securement and maneuverability. Third, a wheelchair ramp or lift must be installed to allow wheelchair access.
Many manufacturers convert vehicles for wheelchair accessibility, each using their methods and choice of materials. However, as with any product manufacturing, you have some that are built safer, use higher-grade materials, and provide additional benefits & options to the user. For this reason, it is essential to do your research.
To begin, get to know the different wheelchair conversion types and options. Understand the differences in materials and methods particular manufacturers use. This is particularly important, as some manufacturers use substandard materials, take shortcuts with techniques, and do not even crash-test their vehicle designs.
It’s a good rule of thumb to ensure the manufacturer of the wheelchair van you want to purchase is a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) member. NMEDA regulates production methods and ensures vehicles sold by their members are crash tested for safety. Dealers, too, can be members of NMEDA, so it’s also important to ensure the mobility dealer you are working with is also a member.
Superior Van & Mobility and the wheelchair vans we sell and rent are all NMEDA-certified and manufactured by the largest conversion companies in the world.
For more about wheelchair vans, the types of conversions available, and our current inventory, or if you have questions, reach out to one of our mobility consultants. They will be more than happy to assist you and provide you with information and guidance.