Category Archives: Handicap Accessible Van

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

Would You Like to Win a NEW Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle?

NMEDA National Mobility Awareness Month

NMEDA National Mobility Awareness Month

Of course you would, and here’s your chance! May is National Mobility Awareness Month sponsored by, National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). It’s the 4th year for their campaign that is designed to raise awareness of the many life-changing vehicle solutions available to those 18 million Americans with mobility issues. This year NMEDA will be giving away four wheelchair accessible vehicles to well deserved local heroes in the following categories: one to a caregiver, one to a senior (60+), one battery powered for in-town driving only, and one general use. (no purchase necessary)

So, you may ask, “How Do I Enter?”

Here are the particulars…

LOCAL HEROES: A Local Hero can be defined as anyone in your community, whether a caregiver, or a person with a disability who has persevered through the obstacles of living with a disability and strives to lead an active, mobile lifestyle. We are looking for
inspirational stories of how they overcome challenges and are triumphing, whether it be through volunteering, advocating, educating, persevering or achieving.

ENTRIES: People must send NMEDA their stories online at MobilityAwarenessMonth.com.  Local Heroes, caregivers, and loved ones may submit a video OR an online story with photo.

• Video entries must not exceed two minutes and be no larger than 50 MB.
• Written entries must not exceed 400 words and must be accompanied by a photo of the Local Hero, preferably in a wheelchair, that is no larger than 5 MB.

VOTING: Spread the word! People may log in with their Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or directly through  MobilityAwarenessMonth.com to vote daily from May 1–May 31, 2015.  You will need a dealer code to enter. You can contact any one of Superior Van & Mobility’s nine locations for the code. One vote will be accepted every 24-hours per email address. At the time of voting, visitors will be asked a different question regarding mobility options and the promotion. If the question is answered correctly, the Local Hero will receive two votes. If the question is answered incorrectly, the Local Hero will receive one vote and the correct answer will be displayed.

Earn 1000 Bonus Votes!

Want to earn 1000 bonus votes? It’s easy, just visit any one of our nine locations during the voting period for a FREE needs assessment and the bonus votes will be posted to your entry within a few days.

Winners will be announced June 18, 2015, and wheelchair accessible vehicles will be delivered between July and Sept.2015.

Good luck!

A Special Thanks to Superior Van & Mobility and The Ralph Braun Foundation

After receiving a grant from The Braun Foundation, John Sass at the South Bend location of Superior Van & Mobility went above and beyond to assist Zachary and his family in selecting the perfect wheelchair accessible minivan. Now more than ever, Zachary has the ability to venture out into his community; a piece of independence that many of us take for granted. The following is a heartfelt expression of their gratitude:

zachary

Wow! Thank you to The Ralph Braun Foundation. Without this grant we would not have been able to purchase this mobility van to enhance our son’s life and the people he has touched and also the people he will touch in and around our community. Thank you Ralph Braun for developing this mobility device that has provided people throughout this great world we all live in to feel a part of today and in the future. It is really great that you continue to touch lives with the Foundation that you left behind. We really appreciate your Foundation for the generosity from the bottom of our hearts. We will never forget the impact your Foundation gave our family. I truly believe your Foundation will continue to touch people throughout the world just like it was meant to be in your planning before your passing. Again thank you and the Foundation for this grant.

We would also like to thank, John Sass from the South Bend Superior Van and Mobility location for going above and beyond to find that perfect vehicle fit for our sons special needs and all his patience for making this purchase possible for us. We are forever grateful for all his help in this process. You’re the best John!!!!

Sincerely from the bottom of all our hearts,

Neil, Ellen & Zachary

SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A STANDING WHEELCHAIR?


With so many reports surfacing that claim too much sitting is bad for you, there has been a significant rise in the sales of standing desks. To that same point, there are also some disabled individuals that are starting to consider standing wheelchairs.

This may seem counter-productive to some, but there is a surprising amount of research that supports the use of what is known as “passive standing.”

In fact, a recent paper released by the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology of North America (RESNA has indicated that they strongly believe that people confined to wheelchairs can benefit in many ways from routine passive standing. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to:

• Improvements in circulation
• Improvements in passive range motion
• Reduction of skeletal deformities and pressure sores
• Maintaining vital organ capacity
• Maintaining bone mineral density
• Allowing users to reach items they could not while sitting

On top of it all is the obvious freedom of not being forced to sit all day. There is a degree of independence and self-reliance that comes from a standing wheelchair that, sadly, many people with disabilities miss out on.

A standing wheelchair can quite literally out disabled people back on their feet safely and easily. It offers the convenience and mobility of standard wheelchairs while also adding the extra freedom to get out of the rigid sitting position they are accustomed to.

Of course, certain disabilities may not allow or warrant the advantages a standing wheelchair might offer. If you have questions about obtaining a standing wheelchair or wonder if you could benefit from one, you should ask your doctor.

On another note, if you choose one of the standing models and have a wheelchair accessible vehicle, beware. Many of the standing models are much larger and heavier, and may not be compatible with your current vehicles design or setup. Be sure to double check with your vehicle’s manufacturer or local mobility dealer to ensure your new chair is compatible.

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.

CARRY THE ONE: MATH CLASS HELPING TO SECURE WHEELCHAIR VAN FOR CHILD

A math class at Piedra Vista High School is doing their part to help make the life of a disabled 5 year-old boy a little better.
Cody Green, the math teacher at the school, decided to get his class involved in an effort to help raise money and awareness for Dallin White—a 5 year-old child that none of Green’s students have never even met.

But it’s not about association for Green’s students. According to Faith Hathenbruck, a Senior: “In order to be a good person and change someone I don’t think you ever have to meet them.” She also adds that its more than just a contest to raise money for Dallin to get a wheelchair accessible van. She adds, “I have never had the opportunity to change just one individual life.”

Green discovered the opportunity to help Dallin through a contest that was part of National Mobility Awareness Month. Green’s class isn’t alone. Many different organizations and individuals alike are taking great strides in contributing to Dallin’s cause through the contest.

As for Dallin’s condition and situation, he has cerebral palsy, believed to have stemmed from the fact that he was born three months premature. His insurance was adequate to get him a wheelchair, but not a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

With the help of generous students like those in Cody Green’s class, Dallin may be able to get the vehicle after all. With Twitter and YouTube pages set up for their cause, these math students are making sure that as many people as possible find out about Dallin and other children like him that are in need.

To find out how you can help someone in need or if are in need, you can look to our resource page for links to numerous organizations.

NEW YORK IS GETTING CLOSER TO WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE TAXIS

The population in New York is so large that it can often be difficult for able bodied individuals to walk down the street…so imagine what it must be like for those that live their lives in wheelchairs.

Well, recent developments in the Big Apple might make it much easier for the wheelchair bound to make their way around town. Recently, the Taxi and Limousine Commission considered a ruling that would make roughly half of all New York Yellow Taxis wheelchair accessible by the year 2020.

As it stands, the vast majority of taxis in New York will not stop for people in wheelchairs, mainly because they are not equipped for it. In fact, only 400 of the estimated 13,000 taxis in New York are wheelchair accessible.

While the ruling would be historic, it is worth noting that London started making their taxis wheelchair accessible in the late 80s; similarly, New York’s buses became wheelchair accessible in the mid 80s. So while there are public transportation options for those in wheelchairs, they have never quite had the same options and conveniences as everyone else.

Supporters of this idea often back up their already sensible arguments with the fact that wheelchair accessible taxis could financially benefit the city. Programs such as Access-a-Ride, MTA, and others cost the city somewhere around $500 million annually.
That figure could be cut drastically once the city implements wheelchair accessible taxis.

It is also pointed out that these wheelchair accessible taxis will not result in taking normal taxis off of the road. They will be slowly phased in as older and less reliable taxis are retired.
This is a solution that makes perfect sense, providing the convenience of taxis for those in wheelchairs while also helping to cut costs for the city.

Accessible taxi cabs will soon become more readily available.

Accessible taxi cabs will soon become more readily available.

Coming to a Town Near You

While New York has a plan to make this transition, some cities have already begun to make the transition at a more rapid pace; Chicago is one of those cities to be exact.

It looks like this trend is spreading quickly across the nation, and soon will be standard practice, but why has it taken so long you ask? I’m sure there is not good answer, but I guess instead of dwelling in the past, it’s best to look to the future, and the future seems bright.

Supporters Raise $50K for Wheelchair Accessible Van for Woman in South Bend

A recent social media campaign that began some time ago has finally paid off, as hundreds rally behind Heather Smith, a South Bend woman with multiple sclerosis.

With the assistance of social media campaigns like #HeatherNeedsAVan, supporters have successfully raised more than $50,000 for a wheelchair accessible van. Something Heather was unable to afford on her own as a single mother with MS.

Before, Heather had to rely on her friends and family to help with loading and unloading her scooter, a task not easy by any means, and on May 20, 2014 it became a thing of the past, as she regained her independence.

Smith’s family said, this had been an overwhelming and emotional experience; the outpouring of support received from friends and strangers alike has been nothing short of a miracle.

As the amount climbed, Smith just couldn’t believe her dream was about to become a reality. In fact, it came a little sooner than she expected. Smith was actually about $5,000 short of the goal, but received a surprise from the owner of Superior Van & Mobility, Sam Cook, who came through at the end to cover the rest. Putting Heather into her mobility van much sooner than later.

Congratulations Heather on your new found independence!

Heather Smith of South Bend Receives Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

http://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/Supporters-raise-50K-for-wheelchair-accessible-van-for-South-Bend-woman-260029271.html

BraunAbility Recognizes Superior Van & Mobility with Ralph Braun Signature Award

Ralph Braun Signature Award
BraunAbility recognizes dealers that provide outstanding customer satisfaction

The Braun Corporation, the leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lift systems, recently honored Superior Van & Mobility with an award for customer service excellence in the Midwest region.

Six BraunAbility dealerships, one from each of the company’s sales regions, were honored with the Ralph Braun Signature Award, recognizing outstanding service based on customer satisfaction survey results from 2013.

BraunAbility has over 200 dealer locations nationwide, and each is staffed with mobility experts who are trained to evaluate the individual needs of customers. In addition, most locations offer 24-hour roadside emergency assistance, so customers have the assurance of support and service for their BraunAbility wheelchair accessible vehicle, even in the middle-of-the-night or on a holiday weekend.

“Our customers rely on their dealers to provide a sales and service experience that addresses their unique needs,” says Braun President Nick Gutwein. “These dealers have demonstrated outstanding care for their customers.”

About Superior Van & Mobility
Superior Van & Mobility is family owned by the Cook family of Louisville, KY and currently operates nine locations across Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Beginning as a van conversion company, Superior has grown to one of the nation’s largest mobility dealers providing wheelchair accessible vehicles, lifts and driving aids to the consumer and commercial transportation markets. This is the second year in a row that their location in Indianapolis, IN has won the Braun honor. The company has built a reputation for expertise, caring nature, and providing tremendous customer service. To learn more about Superior Van & Mobility, visit www.superiorvan.com.

 

About The Braun Corporation
The Braun Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, ramps, and wheelchair lift systems. These products enable persons with physical disabilities to regain mobility and lead active and independent lives. The Indiana-based company was founded by Ralph Braun, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at a young age and unable to walk by age 15. Ralph was motivated by his disability to invent the world’s first electric scooter (the Tri-Wheeler) and wheelchair lift (the Lift-A-Way) in his parents’ garage. Word spread and demand for the product increased, resulting in the birth of Save-A-Step Manufacturing, which ultimately became The Braun Corporation. The company, via the BraunAbility brand, offers the most diverse model lineup in the industry, including the most popular minivan models from Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota. For more information about the Braun Corporation or our outstanding line of wheelchair accessible vehicles, please visit www.braunability.com.