Tag Archives: Handicap Accessible Van

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

WHEELCHAIRS HARD TO COME BY IN NEPAL

While here in the US, we have a wide variety of wheelchairs and accessories to choose from, it can be easy to forget that not all countries have the same sort of accessibility to such convenience.

For instance, there is a huge need for wheelchairs in Nepal. In fact, the estimated 40,000 individuals in need of a wheelchair are well aware of the shortage; many of them simply have to go without. Worse yet is that there are no real programs set in place to help and there seems to be no change in this need anytime in the near future.
The National Federation of Disabled Nepal (NFDN) is working towards some sort of solution but is having difficulty gaining any traction. According to NFDN Presdeint, Sudarshan Subedi, “The figure is so high because many people were injured during the decade-long insurgency.”

The situation gets even direr when women are considered. A study conducted in 2007 indicated that women that lived with disabilities were much more vulnerable to sexual abuse that able-bodied women. Without the aid of wheelchairs, those women had only their families to rely upon,”

There is no delusion within the NDWA or other similar Nepali organizations that access to more wheelchairs will totally solve the issues with disabilities in Nepal. Subedi is currently trying to get talks started on the opening of rehabilitation centers while also doing what he can to get more wheelchairs to those in need.
Currently, that in need must go through a lengthy application process to get a wheelchair that they can scarcely afford while wealthier individuals can easily have them imported from abroad.

SOCHI / RUSSIA / DISABILTIES

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since the start of the year, you’re very likely familiar with the Winter Olympics being held in Sochi this year.
But what you may not be aware of is the heated history that Russia has had in terms to accommodating those with disabilities. It was an issue that was seen here and there during events in Sochi but have origins from elsewhere in the country’s history.
It began in 1980 when the Summer Olympic Games were held in Moscow. During this time, the then Soviet Union would not play host to the Paralympics, despite the fact that the two events are typically held at the same location. Their reasoning was that “there are no invalids in the USSR.” Of course, this is not true. Recent polling indicates that at least 9% of the population has some sort of disability.
The lack of wheelchair accessible ramps and elevators are a constant obstacle throughout the country. Many disabled individuals stay confined to their homes for days on end because they have no way of getting out.
Many saw Sochi as a prime opportunity for Russia to mend any fences that might have been broken during the 80s when they made such a stance. Unfortunately, much of that same mindset was still present. But athletes arrived at the location only to find that there were still many hindrances.
Wheelchair accessible transportation was severely lacking. Doorways were not wide enough to allow the passage of larger wheelchairs. Other doors and their frames were raised from the floor in most venues. Wheelchair access to buildings that were handicap accessible were often hard to find or in poor condition.
While Russia is certainly not the only country in the world that is not doing enough to accommodate its handicapped population or visitor with disabilities, the events at Sochi make it clear that they have much work to do.

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.

How to Provide Support for a Disabled Family Member

Providing mental and emotional support for a disabled family member is no easy task. After all, depending on the nature of the disability, family members might feel out of their comfort zone, or struggle to find the right words to say to a loved one when he or she is having a bad day.

If a loved one in your family is disabled, it’s important to know what to do when he or she needs your love and support. Consider using the following advice when you want to show your loved one that you’ll always be there:

• Don’t baby your family member if he or she is having a bad day. This can often come from a place of good intentions; however, this might make a disabled person feel worse, particularly if he or she is feeling bad about being physically or mentally handicapped. Babying them will only make them feel worse about themselves.

• Engage in fun activities that the two of you can enjoy together. Develop a ritual of watching your favorite TV show together, or schedule regular phone calls to talk about celebrity gossip. Doing regular – and fun! – activities can lift someone’s spirits when he or she needs some extra love.

• Don’t be afraid to talk about the disability. Your family member doesn’t want to be treated with kid gloves – in fact, making an effort to avoid talking about the disability altogether might make him or her feel invisible. Talk about it in a way that’s respectful without it becoming the prime focus of all your interactions.

• Your family member is more than a disability – and he or she needs to be treated as such. Talk about everyday normal things, make fun of your creepy uncle together, or just play video games together while your family’s in the kitchen cooking up a Thanksgiving turkey.

It’s our hope that these hints have demonstrated that you should treat your loved one for who they are: a person who has a special place in your heart, regardless of his or her disability.

Winter Car Care Tips for Your Mobility Van

Well… that time of the year is upon us, and it’s the perfect time to ensure your mobility vehicle is performing at its best, because there is nothing worst than getting stranded while out in the cold. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss a few simple car care tips to make sure your vehicle is operating at its peak.
1. With the freezing temperatures upon us, freezing doors, windows and locks become a problem for many. To help alleviate this problem there are two things you can do. First, wipe a rubber protectant (such as Armor-All), or silicone on all door and window weather-stripping. DON’T USE an oil based product, like WD-40, because the oil will damage the rubber. This will help alleviate your door sticking to the rubber seals, which is one of the leading causes of damage to the rubber. Second, squirt a little WD-40 inside your door locks. This will help keep moisture out and any moisture from freezing inside your locks.
2. Watch filling up your vehicle if you see a tanker at the station. Not just a winter car care tip, but a good tip for anytime of the year. If you pull into a gas station for fuel, and see a refueling tanker, move on to another location if you can. As the tanks are being filled by the tanker, turbulence is created and that can stir up sediment in the tank. This sediment can then enter your vehicle through the pumps; resulting in clogged fuel filters and fuel injectors. Both of which will cause poor performance/MPG and possibly necessitating repairs. Better to be safe than sorry…
3. Have your battery tested. There is nothing worst than climbing in your vehicle and as you turn the ignition you hear nothing but clicks. The dreaded sign of a battery that has gone bad. The cold weather is the hardest on your vehicle’s battery. If your vehicle”s battery is over two years old, it is recommended you get it tested for viability. Most repair shops will even perform this test FREE of charge. It only takes a moment, and it could save you a lot of heartache. Remember, your mobility vehicle might have two batteries or more, so be sure all of them are tested.
4. During the winter months, there is a good chance you will experience some sort of snow/ice event. For this reason, it is recommended to replace your wiper blades (recommended every 6 months) with winter models. These blades are built heavier to stand up to the snow and ice. It is also recommended to replace or refill your wiper fluid with the de-icing type. This will not only help keep your windshield from freezing during your travels, but it can also help you clear your windows faster if they are covered with a small frost.
5. Watch your tire pressure. During the cold months, your tire pressure will drop, many times resulting in the TPMS sensors on most vehicles to record an unsafe driving pressure. It’s a good idea to ensure your vehicles tires are adjusted to the cooler temps. This will not only ensure safer driving conditions, but it will keep your vehicle from getting a drop in MPG.
6. If it’s been awhile, now is the time to ensure your vehicles lift, or ramp is operating properly and that it is lubed and adjusted because your mobility system takes a lot of abuse. Your system is often exposed to the elements as you enter and exit the vehicle. In the winter, the introduction of salt, snow, sand and ice can easily wreak havoc on your system. To help ensure your mobility system is operating at its peak, we recommend getting a Superior Service at least twice a year, or every 3 months if you are a heavy driver. The service will not only include lubricating all the key parts and door mechanism, it will also entail the following: Thorough cleaning of the door, ramp and tie down rack; Painting of the ramp assembly to help keep rust from forming; Adjustments to the door, ramp and kneel system; Complete undercarriage inspection of fuel & brake lines, as well as the fuel tank; Check of all fluid levels, battery connection, fuses and tire pressure. To get your discount coupon, found in our latest newsletter, click here and make your appointment today.