Get Ready for a Huge Change in Disability Employment

While the American Disabilities Act ensures that employers can’t discriminate against people with disabilities, this doesn’t mean that discrimination has been wiped out from the workforce completely. In fact, ask any person with a disability what their experience is like finding employment, and you’ll hear a litany of horror stories ranging from inaccessible offices to outright discrimination.
Fortunately, big changes are about to happen in the world of disability employment—and it’s considered to be a huge coup in the Disability Rights Movement.
The Obama Administration is pushing forward with legislation that will require federal contractors and government businesses to increase the number of people with disabilities in the workplace. Many federal contractors will be required to have a disabled workforce that makes up at least seven percent of the total number of employees within an organization. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that as many as 585,000 jobs could be introduced to the disabled community within the first year of this bill going into law.
According to Patricia Shiu, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is too high to be acceptable. That’s why the new legislation would require specific measures to demonstrate that they’ve complied with federal law. Previously, legislation only required businesses to make a good faith effort to employ people with disabilities—an effort, it seems, that wasn’t enough.
Businesses that have more than $50,000 in federal contracts and at least 50 employees are required to actively recruit, train and retain people with disabilities. Contractors who fail to show proof that they’ve met the seven percent requirement could lose these government contracts.
While some businesses are rallying against the legislation (many are even considering legal action), it’s an important step that the government is taking to ensure that people with disabilities are given the same employment opportunities and protection as women and minorities.
What do you think about the new legislation?

Three Considerations When Looking for Handicapped Vans for Sale

When you’re out looking for handicapped vans that are going to suit your needs the best, you need to look for more than basic wear and tear, mileage, and under-the-hood issues. Wheelchair vans also require special amounts of space and additional options and features.
Because of the level of safety and customization that is often necessary when it comes to these types of vans, there are some special considerations you need to make when you start looking for handicapped vans for sale. Here are three of the most common:
The Size of Your Wheelchair:
The very size of your wheelchair can often be the deciding factor in the type of van you get, from the conversion process right down to the model you use. From seating positions to entry method, the size of your wheelchair plays a huge role in the type of handicapped van you’ll need. Before heading off to the lot, make sure you know the following information about your wheelchair:
• Height and width
• Width of the wheels
• The weight of the wheelchair and its owner
• Approximate length of the individual in the wheelchair when their legs are extended

Think About Driving:
Not all makes and models of handicapped vans for sale are set up to allow for adaptive driving. There are certain hand controls and other features that make driving easier for handicapped individuals but they are not compatible with all models of vans. If you believe the individual in the wheelchair will do quite a bit of driving, this will automatically limit a lot of your options.

Parking and Passengers:
Think about your driving conditions and the sort of garage or driveway you have. Depending on the amount of room you have in these situations, you may not have much of a choice in which sort of entry method you’ll need. If you have a small garage or will be parking in tight traffic, for instance, a side-entry ramp is not going to be the best way to go. Think about this, as well as room you may need for potential passengers, when making your decision as to which sort of handicapped van is right for you.

With all of this information at the ready and the help of an expert conversion specialist from Superior Van and Mobility, you’re sure to find a great handicapped van that is perfect for your lifestyle and needs.

New Handicap Vans for Sale: Rear-Entry vs. Side-Entry

If you’re looking for new handicap vans for sale but aren’t quite sure what to look for, you may find yourself overwhelmed with some of the choices that you need to make. Those that have been recently disabled can often find the task of choosing the right wheelchair van daunting—there are so many features and options to choose form in order to get the van that is best for their needs.
Many of the biggest decisions can be boiled down to just a few basic options. One of those options is whether you should get a side-entry or a rear-entry van. Both models have their benefits and disadvantages, so it’s important to know the basics of each.

With a side-entry van:
• Certain parking conditions are made much easier. Side entry models allow wheelchairs to get in and out of the van much easier. This factor can play a huge part in the decision-making process for those that live in larger cities where parking in tight spaces can become an issue.
• Those that are still able to drive may prefer side-entry vans due to their easy accessibility to the front seats. This comes in very handy when traveling with family members and other loved ones.
• On the other hand, side-entry vans don’t allow for much space inside the vehicle due to the configuration of the door.

With a rear-entry van:
• These vans are typically less expensive because the conversion process effects a smaller part of the van; typically, the center of the floor is cut out and a new lowered section is welded back in it place.
• When entering through the rear of the van, it is simple to get into the travel position, with no turning or re-positioning required. This is a huge plus for those that have longer wheelchairs.
• In terms of the downside, rear-entry wheelchair vans tend not to have the option of wheelchair driver or co-pilot seating due to the lowered rear floor. Therefore, rear-entry vehicles are usually a better fit for those that will be remaining in the back of the van.
Again, this choice is just one of the many choices those looking for new handicap vans will have to make. But it is best to take it all in one step at a time.
For a more detailed breakdown of side-entry vs. rear-entry wheelchair vans, contact any one of Superior Van and Mobility’s nine convenient locations.

BraunAbility is Moving 70 Jobs to Indiana

Superior Van and Mobility would like to congratulate BraunAbility on the announcement of bringing the manufacturing of its rear-entry minivan to its facility in Winamac!

BraunAbility, the world’s largest wheelchair-accessible van conversion company is moving 70 jobs from a Michigan factory to its facility in Winamac, IN.

Officials from The Braun Corp. say it will spend about $7.5 million to modify one of its production lines at its Winamac facility to convert minivans into a rear-entry version of its wheelchair accessible vehicle. BraunAbility says that work will be moved from its Kalamazoo, Mich., facility.

The new line is expected to be operational by late next year. Winamac is a town about 50 miles south of South Bend and is home to their corporate offices.

BraunAbility traces its roots back to 1963 when Ralph Braun, driven by his diagnosis of MS and own need for greater mobility, built the Tri-Wheel scooter in his cousin’s farm shop. As his mobility increased, so did attention from the rest of the disabled community. Soon his part-time business became Save-A-Step Manufacturing. By 1972, the company had grown to become The Braun Corporation.

Today, BraunAbility manufactures a full line of mobility products including its premier wheelchair accessible minivan. Committed to engineering excellence, Braun continues to develop new and innovative products designed to improve and enhance customer mobility in the transportation industry. Today, BraunAbility has some 800 full-time Indiana employees at two of its factories located in Winamac and Elkhart.

In an effort to continue job growth, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. says it offered Braun up to $500,000 in tax credits and $100,000 in training grants to ensure jobs remained in the state of Indiana.

To learn more about the full-line of BraunAbility vehicles and lifts at Superior Van and Mobility, please click here or contact one of our nine conveniently located locations in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee or Louisiana.

Why Choose Superior

Choosing a wheelchair accessible van is a difficult process, which is why it is so important to find a company that can show you options. Superior Van & Mobility, a wheelchair accessible vehicle provider with nine locations across Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana, offers service that goes beyond the basics. With a huge selection of both new and pre-owned handicap accessible vehicles from companies like Honda, Toyota, Chrysler and Dodge, Superior is a company that will truly make your search for the right product superior.

Superior Van & Mobility knows that no two situations or needs are the same, which is why each sales consultant undergoes hands-on factory training and stays up to date on all aspects of the mobility industry. Customers receive a custom needs assessment, which helps consultants answer any questions customers may have. Making each customer feel respected and important is a huge priority for Superior.

Another great feature Superior Van & Mobility offers is the ability to try a product before you buy it. Rent a handicap van for a weekend or take one for a test drive. If you are unable to travel, Superior can even bring the mobility vehicle to you for an in-home consultation and demonstration. Mobility is a right that every person deserves and Superior Van & Mobility wants to make sure you get the opportunity to find the handicap accessible vehicle that is the best fit for you.

With 24-hour emergency service, certified technicians and high customer satisfaction, Superior Van & Mobility wants to help you find the wheelchair van that fits your needs. Contact us any time or visit our website to answer any questions or find more information on our services!