All posts by Superior Van & Mobility

Anniversary of the VA MISSION Act Means Better Care & Choices

Veterans Community Care Program –  Increases Veterans’ Access to Health Care

The MISSION Act strengthens VA’s ability to deliver trusted, easy to access, high quality care at VA facilities, virtually through tele-health, and in your community. That means you get the care and services you need, where and when you need them.

How to Access Care:

Eligible Veterans can use VA health care services nationwide, including through mobile health clinics that serve rural areas and via telehealth (care through a phone or computer). Note: You need to be enrolled in VA health care to use community care benefits. For general MISSION Act health care inquiries, contact VA311 (1-844-698-2311)

Not enrolled in VA health care yet?

To receive care from VA or a community provider, you must be enrolled in VA health care. Apply online, by mail, or in person.

Enroll In VA Health Care

Find VA medical centers or community care providers

Find a VA medical center or approved non-VA medical (called “community care”) providers near you. Get wait times, addresses, and more.

Find a VA Location Near Yo

When can you use non-VA providers?

It depends on the situation. Learn about the eligibility criteria for expanded community care, under the MISSION Act.

Learn More About Community Care Eligibility 

In addition to increasing access to VA care, the MISSION Act:

For more information on how Superior Van and Mobility, please contact your local Superior store or click below for additional resource information.  

Learn How Superior Van & Mobility Assists Veterans

Mobility Seating – The Latest and Greatest

Get in and get out effortlessly!  The Bruno Valet Seat is now the BraunAbility Turny Evo Seat.  New name, but still great quality and functionality!  Also more options for financing,  BraunAbility Finance “as low as” $217/month for 60 months.

Safely get in and out of over 150+ vehicles and cars with our rotating seat lift.  The Turny Evo is a transfer seat installation  for and array of  vans, trucks and SUV’s installation that lowers and moves completely outside the vehicle and lowers down to your desired level.  This makes it easier for you to sit down or transfer from a wheelchair and with ease, get in your vehicle.  Once you’re seated, push a button and the Turny Evo will lift you inside the vehicle.

Highlights

  •     Full power operation allows for custom adjustments
  •     Easy one button operation
  •     Optional armrests and heated seat seating
  •     Utilizes factory seat belts (in most vehicles)
  •     Seat fully manually reclines for comfort
  •     Custom programmed to allow for most seated interior comfort
  •     Integrated flip footrests
  •     Manual backup system in case of power failure
  •     Meets or exceeds all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
  •     Easily installed without structural modifications to your vehicle – Eliminates resell issues
  •     LATCH/Isofix compliant for child restraint seats

User Requirements

  •     Occupant must be able to transfer under their own power onto  seat
  •     Occupant must be able to hold down a button on a hand-held pendant
  •     Occupant must be able to manage their legs and feet while rotating in/out of vehicles cabin

Specs

  •     Occupant weight capacity up to 370lbs.
  •     Vehicle installed weight – 170 lbs.
  •     Seats vertical travel up to 15.4 inches

Financing  Available

Superior Van & Mobility now has financing options for wheelchair lifts, scooter lifts, mobility seating, and driving aids. To learn more or to apply today, contact one of our certified mobility consultants today or CLICK HERE.

BraunAbility also has financing options. CLICK HERE

Have Questions On Lifts Or Mobility Seating? Call: 1-844-341-LIFT (5438)

Top 10 Considerations When Buying a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

When it comes to purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle, many buyers are new to the process and can often feel overwhelmed. First thing you should know is that there isn’t any one-vehicle-fits-all solution; everyone’s needs are different. This is why when considering a wheelchair van or SUV, working with a certified mobility consultant at your local dealer is of utmost importance. Mobility consultants work with you one-on-one and perform a free, confidential evaluation, determining the fit and function of various vehicles until a best solution is obtained. In the end, you’ll leave knowing your best options, what fits and what doesn’t, and what to expect moving forward in regaining independence.

Beware Alternative Buying Options

As in any industry, there are organizations that will offer alternative routes to visiting your local dealer. However, you must be cautious, as most of these online retailers are only concerned with a sale. The idea of buying a vehicle, especially a wheelchair accessible one online, sight unseen generally doesn’t work out to be the best of ideas, and we caution you on making such a purchase. Sure, the slight cost savings might be tempting, but we’ve seen time and time over, these company’s delivering their customers a handicap vehicle that doesn’t fit, or address their needs, and leaves them in the end without proper service options and support.

The following list of considerations is designed to further assist you in your journey, and to help alleviate any concerns you may be having.

Top 10 Considerations When Buying A Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

 1.    Know Your Options

When it comes to assistive technology for automobiles, there are now more options than ever! There are literally dozens of model variations and types of wheelchair accessible vehicles available, as well as lifts, and driving aids. Not everyone may need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, a lift might be a better fit. It’s best to know all your options going in and the alternative products available, it could save you a bunch.

2.    Tap The Dealer’s Expertise

Find a dealer with experience! By no means be afraid to ask questions. Mobility consultants are here for you with their expertise and assistive technology experience. They truly are your best resource for answers to all your questions and concerns, regardless how big or small.

3.    Choose an Accredited Dealer

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is a national organization dedicated to advocating for safe and reliable modifications in the accessible vehicle market. Dealers belonging to this organization are the top in their field, and are committed to the quality and safety of their products and services. Routine audits and program compliance is necessary to be part of this prestigious organization. Look for this logo when doing business.

When it comes to service and installation of mobility products, NMEDA offers an additional certification program called (QAP), or Quality Assurance Program. This is the only nationally recognized accreditation program for the adaptive mobility industry. Before getting your wheelchair accessible vehicle, lift, or driving aid serviced or installed, be sure you choose a dealer part of this program. By choosing an accredited QAP dealer, you are ensuring they have met the stringent qualities of the organization, and that they also provide the benefits associated: 24/7 emergency service, and service by trained technicians who have met only the highest of standards.

4.    Know the Value of Quality and Experience

Like most products, the mobility industry is also saturated with substandard, “customized” accessible vehicles. We urge you to be very careful when considering one of these vehicles. These vehicles are mostly found sold by companies who only sell their products online, without a nationwide supporting dealer network. These vehicles are often sold sight unseen, many times resulting in buyer’s remorse after the sale and lack of servicing options.

When considering a dealer for a purchase, it is key to find a dealer with a track record of performance. Is the dealership reputable? How satisfied are their customers? Do they have referrals and/or customer reviews available? Are there any unsatisfied complaints with the BBB, or states Attorney General? Bottom line, do your homework on both the dealer and the product you are considering to purchase.

5.    Get References

Don’t be afraid to ask your prospective dealer for any references from professional organizations, or customers who would be willing to talk about their purchase, buying experience, and whether they were satisfied with the service they’ve received both during and after the sale.

6.    Consider the Warranty

While not usually on top-of-your-mind until you need it, when making a purchase such as a wheelchair accessible vehicle, the warranty of the product you choose is important. Most reputable conversion companies offer warranties on their new conversion components that match the chassis warranty of the vehicle. Most often, this term is a 3 year/36,000-mile warranty. However, there are numerous alternatives to consider if you desire longer coverage. Be sure to ask a mobility consultant for more information.

7.    Get the Right Fit

We cannot stress the importance of this aspect when purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle. The size of the wheelchair user, the size of the wheelchair itself, and the size of the family/occupants must all be taken into account when selecting the right vehicle on top of many other factors. This is where it becomes extremely important that you are completely transparent about your disability, any limitations and needs, both immediate and future. Just like any disability, there are many variables that come into play which can affect decisions: age, level of dexterity, and countless others. Your answers to these questions will make it possible for a mobility consultant to recommend the correct type, size, and model of accessible vehicle needed to address your needs and desires.

8.    Decide Between a Rear-Entry, or a Side-Entry Conversion

There are two basic types of wheelchair accessible vehicles, side-entry and rear-entry. In a side-entry vehicle the ramp deploys from the side door, allowing the wheelchair user access to the center and front seating areas of the vehicle. This is by far the most popular type of conversion, and the only choice for a user if he/she is planning to drive. In a rear-entry vehicle, the ramp deploys from the rear hatch area, allowing the wheelchair user access to the rear and midsection of the vehicle, but not the front. Users in rear entry conversions are unable to ride in the front driver, or passenger seating area.

As with anything, there are always pros and cons of each option, so be sure to discuss these with your mobility consultant.

9.    Buying a Modified Vehicle vs. Having a Vehicle Modified

Purchasing a pre-modified vehicle from a dealer’s inventory certainly has its benefits. Namely, convenience and the ability to touch, feel and ride in the finished product. However, some users may already have an unconverted vehicle that they own, but now have a need for a conversion. With limitations on age, mileage and type, a user’s unconverted vehicle can usually be sent to the factory to be modified. To find out more about this option and the exact requirements, be sure to ask a mobility consultant.

10.    Take Your Time

Dealers are called “consultants” because that is exactly what they are; not salespeople, but consultants working with you to find the best solution for your immediate and future needs, and help you regain your independence.  Ultimately, decisions are up to you, but your mobility consultant will ensure you know all your options and recommend a vehicle that is a perfect fit. For this reason, mobility consultants don’t look for a, “quick sale”. The process will more likely lead to developing a long-lasting friendship because of the amount of information you will exchange, and the confidence you develop.

It is our goal at Superior Van and Mobility to address any questions, or apprehensions you may experience with the utmost compassion and understanding. Our mobility consultants strive to make your purchase as easy and comfortable as possible. If at any time you have questions, please feel free to reach out to any one of our locations and we’ll be happy to assist.

How Fundraising Can Help You Reach Your Mobility Goals

From wheelchairs to assistive technology to accessible vans, maintaining your mobility can be an expensive investment. Although most people dealing with a mobility condition understand how significant the right equipment can improve their lives, some families can’t afford all the out-of-pocket costs without assistance.

That’s where fundraising with Help Hope Live comes in.

How Can I Fundraise through Help Hope Live?

Help Hope Live is a top-rated national nonprofit that helps individuals affected by catastrophic injuries and illnesses cover uninsured medical costs through fundraising.

What makes Help Hope Live different from crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe? Donations to Help Hope Live in your honor are:

  • Tax deductible for donors
  • Not considered personal income/assets to you
  • Eligible for matching gifts, foundation support, and more

In addition, Help Hope Live provides one-on-one fundraising support, a customizable Campaign Page to collect donations and receive messages of support, a personalized fundraising video to help kickstart your campaign, and a way to have your bills paid directly by the organization using funds raised in your honor. These services are covered by a low 5% fee.

No longer need to fundraise? Unlike for-profit crowdfunding sites, our nonprofit will ensure that the funds you’ve raised assist other fundraising campaigns in your area, so even more people can reach their mobility goals with our help.

Can I Fundraise to Pay for a Van?

If you’d like to fundraise with Help Hope Live for an accessible van or other mobility needs, all you need is a supportive community and a condition that falls within Help Hope Live’s guidelines.  To learn more about fundraising through Help Hope Live, check out a full explanation of the nonprofit’s advantage or browse the FAQ page. If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.

Accessible transportation and mobility supplies can unlock a new world of employment opportunities and social connection. Don’t let finances stand in the way: explore what fundraising with a supportive nonprofit can do for you.

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.

New Superior logo with tag line

BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica Power XT


 

Test Drive – BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica Power XT Wheelchair Van

By Paul Erway, Superior Van & Mobility

BraunAbility 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Van

Conversion: BraunAbility Power XT Fold-Out with carpet

Added Options:  B&D 6 way driver seat base, and SureGrip Feather Light push-rock hand-controls

I recently had the honor of driving one of the first BraunAbility Pacifica’s that came off the line. I drove it on vacation and was really blown away at all the new features this vehicle brings to the wheelchair van market. I now drive this vehicle daily for work and personal business, and wanted to share some of the awesome new features and benefits that people may not be aware of.

First, the exterior redesign of the Pacifica incorporates smoother lines much like the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey vans. This is very different from the boxy look of the Dodge vans.

Second, the user-friendly remote control will open any door without hitting any of the buttons on the key fob as long as it is with me. Even the back hatch door is designed so that when you grab the handle, the rear power door engages and opens for you without lifting it as you had to do in the past.

BraunAbility Pacifica handicap van rampTo engage the sliding side ramp door, and deploy the ramp and engage the kneeling cycle, you simply press the key fob two times. Once the ramp is deployed, the kneeling system continues to pull down towards the ground to make the incline as low as possible. I tend to be a little impatient at times and ready to wheel up the ramp as soon as possible, but I was assured by BraunAbility that as long as the ramp is fully deployed, there should not be any issues that affect the full kneeling process, and it is recommended and best to wait so that the incline is as small as possible. Another huge feature of the ramp in the BraunAbility Pacifica is that the weight capacity of the ramp is now 1,000 pounds. Further, if you get the In-Floor Ramp conversion model, the ramp width is 32” wide! For some folks that thought a full size van was their only option, you may want to visit a Superior showroom to see if the new Pacifica will work for you! This is a big difference compared to previous models!

Once inside, you immediately notice the larger interior space. The rear bench seems to be forward a slight bit, but you have ample room for your back chair tires and a large turning radius. The interior changes also allow for a little more back storage space. For me, I often carry my racing wheelchair with me, and it definitely fits in a little easier. The other nice thing about the rear bench is the comfort of the seat. In the past, the seats were square shaped so that they could fold into the floor for Stow-N-Go seating. They are now more ergonomically correct, and have a flip down foot rest, which provides a much more comfortable ride for passengers.

The front seat has also been improved. They feel better, and you can now adjust the angle of the headrest. This was a help to me on the long spans of driving during vacation. I sometimes like to recline the seat back a little more than usual, and can now move the head rest forward to still give me a clear view of the road. Finally, if you need to remove either of the front Pacifica seats in order to remain in your wheelchair as a passenger or driver, the seat base has also been redesigned for easier pop-out/pop-in use.

Here are some other small features that make this vehicle very user friendly. You can start the vehicle with a simple touch of a button as long as you have the key fob inside the vehicle, and the brake is engaged. With key fob placed in my bag and under my chair, I just apply the brake and press the start button. The gear shift is now just a turn dial as well. Once you have the brake engaged, anyone with limited function of the hand or arthritis will find this to be a blessing.

Most of the dash controls are touch screen, allowing the driver to keep their eyes on the road. When in park, the touch screen acts very much like a computer and can be a handy tool to have when in a new city. Touch features are also available through the steering wheel. For example, if the dash light comes on to indicate a low tire, I can use my left hand to touch a button on the steering wheel and it shows exactly how much pressure is in each tire.

The cruise control on the steering wheel has also been improved. When setting the speed, there is a read out on the dash that tells you what the set speed is, and it holds that speed even when going up and down hills.

The electronic improvements overall seem to help get better gas mileage as well. For example, on the previous models of vans that I have driven, MPG hovers around 20 to 21 for my style of driving. The window sticker of this model of Pacifica reads 18 MPG for city and 28 MPG for highway. While on vacation, I actually had an average of 28.2 MPG, and upon returning, I am averaging around 24 MPG (with air conditioning on)! Finally, the system will automatically shut down when you come to an extended stop, like a red light. When you let off the brake and apply the gas, it automatically restarts the vehicle and off you go, thus saving on gas even more. So, even though purchasing a newer vehicle is a larger investment at first, you are going to save in the long run on gas costs alone, while enjoying a more pleasurable ride.

Speaking of gas, at the gas pumps you will notice that the fill hose has a small ring on the nozzle. The gas lid of the Pacifica is press-to-open, and I immediately noticed that there is NOT a gas cap. The hose nozzle fits right in, and is designed so that the ring on the hose clips in place, eliminating the chance of it slipping out and pouring gas everywhere. This also prevents evaporating fumes coming out as the tank fills.

Overall, the Pacifica was impressive enough to make a regular driver of wheelchair vans write a blog and share this story with everyone! Other things that caught my attention were the nice looking tires, the built-in vacuum cleaner, the parking sensors that allow for hands-free parallel parking and the Forward Collision Warning that can be programmed to warn you of any potential collisions. Should you have small children you may want to have the Surround View Camera System upgrade as well. You are able to see right up next to the vehicle, and all around it, to be clear of any toys or children that may be in harm’s way before you start to drive.

The reason vehicle manufacturers keep making vehicle model changes is to improve the vehicles safety, and convenience offerings, in an effort to provide a higher quality of life for people. The conversion companies have the same goal, and it really shows with the new BraunAbility Conversion.

Industry’s First Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Accessible Minivan

All New Chrysler Pacifica Handicap Van

VMI Introduces Industry’s First Chrysler Pacifica Wheelchair Accessible Minivan

 

VMI 2016 Pacifica
Vantage Mobility International (VMI) recently unveiled the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica wheelchair accessible van conversion at the Dealer Council Executive Committee in Chicago, IL. In addition to exclusive guests from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), VMI’s dealer council and the VMI’s new spokesperson, TEAM USA wheelchair rugby player and Paralympian, Joe Delagrave, many dealers from around the country attended.

The all-new Chrysler Pacifica has been big news in the auto industry, and VMI wanted to be part of its success by being the first mobility conversion company to bring the wheelchair accessible version to market. The new conversion will begin full production the first week of September, with dealership around the country receiving their first shipments in October. Production will be limited at first, as inventories are built, so most dealers will only receive a small number in 2016.

VMI 2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The new design from VMI will feature a power side-entry in-floor 30 inch wide, 800 lbs. capacity ramp, industry first interchangeable front seats, and a new third row footrest that increases the interior floor space by 2 additional inches. When coupled with the Pacifica’s 100 safety and security features, the VMI Pacifica wheelchair accessible conversion will surely be one of the top choices for consumers.

VMI Northstar Access360™ Features Include:

• A larger in-floor ramp that conveniently stows under the floor, creating more room for wheelchair maneuverability
• An obstruction-free doorway that allows able-bodied passengers to enter and exit the vehicle without deploying the ramp
• A full 30″ wide ramp with 800lb capacity accommodates large power chairs

How to Determine Career-Fit: A Guide for People with Disabilities

 


This is a guest post by, Patricia Sarmiento Who blogs at Publichealthcorps.org.

career clock

Photo by Flazingo Photos via Flickr

What kind of career would be ideal for you? If you’re living with a disability, the answer to this question may seem incredibly difficult to answer. Not only must you weigh your interests, passions, background, and skills, but also your abilities — and in such a way that many other job seekers don’t have to consider.

Doing research about different careers is an excellent way to see what they can offer you and how compatible the job requirements are with your specific abilities and limitations. While looking into these jobs you can learn what the general requirements are, including what kind of education is needed and if work experience is necessary. Below are some suggestions for conducting career research to determine if your top career choices are a good fit for you.

Are You Qualified?

It’s always a good idea to flex your research muscles when searching for a job. Check out the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, for instance, where you can find out all kinds of information on different careers, such as employment projections, which indicate the outlook for different professions in the coming years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also includes data on median salaries, how many people are employed in a specific career, and 10-year projections on those individual data points. Other helpful information to be found here includes how much experience is needed, what kind of education is needed, and if on-the-job training is commonly offered for certain jobs, which is helpful for planning your educational goals if you have a specific career in mind.

Job boards are another way to examine different careers and what kinds of jobs are available. These Internet sites allow you access to job descriptions and required qualifications such as education and work experience. Sometimes employers also list salaries or salary ranges for certain jobs, which can give you an idea of what to expect if you enter that field.

Is Telecommuting an Option?

A very helpful way to find out about a company is to go to their website, where you can uncover a plethora of information in many cases, such as the company’s vision, what the company does in detail, services offered, contact information, and press the company has received. Then there are the “jobs” or “careers” links, which can usually be found at either the bottom of the page or somewhere near the top of the page, underneath the name and logo of the company. These listings are an excellent way to find jobs as companies sometimes list openings on their own sites without making use of job boards at all. On a company website, you can see specific jobs available all over the country (for national organizations), and the listings will usually disclose if telecommuting is an option. There are more telecommuting job opportunities than ever, which is convenient for most people but can be particularly useful for people with disabilities who may not be able to travel readily to an office every day.

Is The Company Disability Friendly?

There are ways you can research how disability-friendly companies are. One way is to check the Disability Equality Index (DEI), a joint initiative of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The DEI is “a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective score, on a scale of zero (0) to 100, on their disability inclusion policies and practices, and identify opportunities for continued improvement.” The DEI breaks down the survey into 4 categories (with subcategories) including:

● Culture & Leadership
● Enterprise-Wide Access
● Employment Practices
● Community Engagement & Support Services

What Are You Passionate About?

Have you always loved writing? Do you have a knack for computers and technology? Do you enjoy working with your hands or spending time with the public? When you’re choosing a career path, don’t forget to consider what makes you happy. The great news is that today’s sharing economy offers many ways to do what you love from your home while creating your own schedule. For example, if you love writing or graphic design, there are many platforms, e.g. UpWork, that allow you to find clients and opportunities easily. Or if you think working with animals would make you happy, consider pet sitting or dog walking. You can find clients in your area online and grow your own specialized business. Think carefully about what you love doing and figure out a way to incorporate it into your profession…then, as the saying goes, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

Put these ideas to use to research potential job opportunities and determine whether your skills and abilities are a fit for the career you have in mind, and you’re sure to find the perfect career for you.

For a list of current job posting at Superior Van & Mobility, click here. Equal opportunity employer.

 

Patricia Sarmiento loves swimming and running. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

New Hands-Free Wearable Device Support For Wheelchair Users


If you are one of many who have limited mobility and have every ever wished there was an easier way to manage your tablet, mobile phone, or other device, you’re in luck! A new, innovative device will soon be on the market that has been exclusively designed for this purpose, and it has wheelchair users excited.

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The product is called Sospendo, and it is being advertised as, “Hands-free wearable support for all kinds of devices.” The Sospendo was the result of a recent Kickstarter campaign where the developers homed in on the disability market as one of their target audiences.

The device is constructed of a lightweight, flexible aluminum which is used to adjust the holder into a comfortable, usable position around the user neck, waist, or it can be made into a stand and placed on a table, etc. allowing for easy device usage. Its hands-free design allows for ease of watching videos, taking photos/videos, and using applications. This close device proximity to the user, even allows for those who require the use of a mouth-stick to manipulate their devices on their own. It is a device that will surely help many regain independence.

To learn more about this innovative new device, or to pre-order one of your own, visit www.sospendo.com.