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Automobile Grant | 100% Service-Connected Disabled Veterans

shadows of U.S. Soldiers against a U.S. Flag image

What is the VA Auto-Grant For Service-Connected Disabled Veterans?

Hello to all our brave veterans,

Today, we’re focusing on some of the significant benefits the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers veterans with a 100% service-connected disability. More specifically, we’ll look at vehicle benefits–essential for many to maintain independence, work, and generally navigate daily life.

The goal here is to accommodate the specific needs of the disabled veteran, making it easier for them to operate their vehicle. Modifications might include adaptive steering, brakes, seats, and other specialized equipment to help eligible veterans enter, exit, and operate their vehicles safely and independently.

There are Two Service Connected Disabled Veteran Benefits That You May Qualify For

Disabled Veteran Auto-Grant Vehicle Purchase Benefit:

One of the standout benefits that the VA provides for eligible veterans is the Auto-Grant Vehicle Purchase Assistance Program. If you’re a 100% service-connected disabled veteran with specific service-connected disabilities, you could receive the Auto Grant for purchasing an automobile or other form of transportation.

As of 11/01/2023, this assistance amount is $25,603.02. This sum is annually adjusted in October to adjust with the cost of living. Therefore, the current amount might differ depending on how recently this amount has been updated.

The auto-grant from the VA can be used once every 30 years toward the purchase of an eligible vehicle designed to aid their mobility. Most veterans use the auto-grant toward the purchase of a minivan with the intention of having it outfitted with a wheelchair-accessible conversion. However, the conversion is not part of the one-time auto-grant; that benefit would be covered for qualified veterans under the Adaptive Equipment Grant Benefit outlined below.

Here is where it can get interesting. The Adaptive Equipment Grant Benefit can be used every two years. Because of this, in many cases, a veteran who combines both the auto-grant and the adaptive equipment grant toward the purchase of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can usually trade their vehicle every two years going forward for a new model with little to no money out of pocket. If you would like to learn more about this or to see if you qualify, please contact one of our certified mobility consultants for complete details. 

Adaptive Equipment Grant: Customizing Vehicles for Your Mobility Needs

As stated above, the one-time auto grant is only used to purchase a vehicle chassis. To buy and install any adaptive equipment needed, the VA provides an Adaptive Equipment Grant. This grant provides financial assistance toward installing adaptive equipment or modifying a vehicle for accessibility.

Unlike the Automobile Grant, the Adaptive Equipment Grant is available for veterans to use every two years. At Superior Van & Mobility, we have veterans who have used both grants in tandem toward purchasing a wheelchair-accessible van. As stated above, most veterans can trade for a new accessible vehicle every two years at little to no additional cost.

Are You Elegible?

Now, you might be wondering if you qualify for these benefits. As of 2022, the VA stipulates that to be eligible for the Auto-Grant and Adaptive Equipment Grant, the veteran must have a 100% service-connected disability AND have one of the following:

  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet or hands
  • Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree
  • Severe burn injury
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

However, as with all things bureaucratic, policies can and do change. Therefore, to determine your eligibility and for the most current information from the VA, please visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website or contact the Prosthetics Department of the VA directly or one of our mobility consultants.

But Wait, There’s More! Your state may offer additional benefits for disabled veterans, like reduced registration fees, free parking, or exemption from emission testing. It’s worth your time to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles or Veterans Affairs office for state-specific benefits.

In conclusion, if you’re a veteran with a 100% service-connected disability, know you’re not alone. The VA provides these and many other benefits to assist you in your everyday life, recognizing your sacrifices for our country. So, leverage these resources and support to help navigate life post-service a little easier.

If you have any questions, want to learn more, or speak to one of our certified mobility consultants, please do not hesitate to reach out. Our team is available to help you navigate the approval process and help you “Regain Your Independence.” 

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Does Insurance or Medicare Help with Buying a Wheelchair Van

Image of man handing keys to a couple

Does Auto & Medical Insurance or Medicare Help With Purchasing a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle?

The Coverage Gap: Insurance and Medicare's Neglect of Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles

When it comes to addressing the mobility needs of individuals who rely on wheelchairs, there is an alarming gap in coverage that cannot be overlooked: medical insurance, car insurance, and Medicare do not typically cover the cost of wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs). This lack of support, which many might find surprising, has significant implications for many people’s independence, freedom, and quality of life.

Medical Insurance: Misclassification of Needs

overhead View of family sitting inside a wheelchair accessible van

The crux of the medical insurance issue is the classification of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. These vital resources are not seen as ‘medical’; thus, their cost is not covered under standard medical insurance policies. This classification seems to gloss over the critical role these vehicles play in an individual’s health and well-being, serving as a conduit to medical appointments, physical therapy sessions, and even pharmacies for medication pickups. Unfortunately, this disconnect between the clear medical utility of WAVs and their recognition as such by insurance providers leaves policyholders without coverage for this essential tool.

Car Insurance: A Missed Connection

Car insurance policies largely focus on accidents and liabilities and rarely extend them to cover the cost of special equipment or modifications like those found in wheelchair-accessible vehicles. At the same time, some car insurance policies might cover the cost of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. Still, the modifications necessary to make a vehicle wheelchair-accessible go well beyond these standard parts. The absence of coverage for these necessary modifications underscores the insurance industry’s disconnect with the specific needs of the mobility-impaired population.

Medicare: An Incomplete Safety Net

Medicare, the federal program that provides health coverage for people aged 65 or older or with certain disabilities, is also not a reliable solution for individuals needing a WAV. Medicare’s coverage philosophy centers on what it deems medically necessary, primarily within the confines of the home. The purchase of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle or the costs of converting a standard vehicle to a wheelchair-accessible typically fall outside these guidelines.

While Medicare Part B might cover the installation of auto equipment such as wheelchair lifts, hand controls, or driving aids under durable medical equipment (DME), this is contingent on specific conditions and does not extend to the significant costs associated with the vehicle or full conversion costs. While Medicare acknowledges the need for specialized mobility equipment, its reach is drastically limited regarding wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Navigating a Limited Landscape

The lack of coverage for WAVs from medical and car insurance, coupled with the limitations of Medicare, creates a challenging landscape for those reliant on these vehicles. It forces individuals to bear the substantial financial burden of acquiring a WAV or rely on public transportation, which is often less convenient and time-consuming.

While financial assistance programs, local resources, and non-profit organizations may offer some relief, they must provide a comprehensive solution. The limitations of insurance coverage and Medicare for wheelchair-accessible vehicles remain a significant barrier to mobility and independence for wheelchair users.

In a society striving for inclusivity and accessibility for all, this coverage gap is a stark reminder of how far we still have to go. Raising awareness about this issue is a critical first step toward broader policy and insurance reform that adequately addresses the mobility needs of all individuals.

If you have questions or want to discuss possible financial assistance & grant opportunities, don’t hesitate to contact a mobility consultant. Our team can work with you to determine what options might exist.

You can also review our links & resource page. Here we’ve compiled a list of helpful resources, organizations, and grant opportunities.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

2023 Automotive Mobility Awareness Tour

Revving Up Hope: 2023 Automotive Mobility Awareness Tour Arrives in New Orleans

The echoing spirit of resilience pervades the Touro Rehabilitation Center, New Orleans, as it hosts the impactful 2023 Automotive Mobility Awareness Tour. A union of purpose and possibility, the tour spotlights the crucial role of mobility equipment in fostering independence and quality of life for individuals with disabilities. At the heart of this event are Covington resident and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Matt Cole, whose story serves as a beacon of hope and testament to the transformative power of adaptive technology.

Matt Cole, U.S. Marine Corps veteran in wheelchair on ramp of wheelchair van
Matt Cole, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran

Almost two decades ago, on May 17, 2005, Matt’s life was irrevocably altered during his second tour in Iraq. An enemy mortar attack resulted in spinal cord injury, paralyzing him below the T8 vertebrae. However, instead of surrendering to despair, Matt emerged from the shadows of his condition, his spirit of survival ignited by the newfound independence made possible by automotive mobility solutions.

Unlike many others who experience spinal cord injuries, Matt was fortunate to meet a mentor who acquainted him with the diverse range of mobility vehicles available. Matt asserts, “It’s very easy to fall into depression and self-pity, but when you have that independence from the vehicle, it changes everything.”

The event was held on May 31, 2023, and aimed to extend this vital awareness to others grappling with similar life-altering circumstances. A collaboration between the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) and United Spinal Association, the tour showcases various accessibility solutions designed to improve clients’ lives. It further emphasizes the collective efforts of hospital administrators, case managers, occupational and physical therapists, automotive mobility dealers, and manufacturers in this noble endeavor.

Reflecting on the essence of the tour, Danny Langfield, CEO of NMEDA, shares, “The reasons people need help with accessibility and mobility are quite varied, but having people like Matt speak up and show what is possible is incredible.” He adds, “We’ve seen when stories of inspiration are shared, there is hope for thousands of individuals and caregivers who may not see the possibilities.”

Since his return from Iraq, Matt has channeled his experience into a life of service, focusing particularly on helping veterans. His work with the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and volunteering at non-profits like Wounded War Heroes of Louisiana, Support our War Heroes, and Gulf Coast Veterans and Friends illustrates his unyielding dedication to making a difference.

Besides his role as a dedicated advocate, Matt enjoys a fulfilling personal life. He is a loving husband, father to three children (including twins), and an active local community member, serving as the Property and Grounds Chairman at Covington Presbyterian Church.

This event at the Touro Rehabilitation Center aims to emphasize the transformative power of adaptive mobility solutions. Featured products from Superior Van & Mobility and powerful stories like Matt Cole remind us that limitations can be transcended with the right tools and support. The Automotive Mobility Awareness Tour drives change one city at a time through education and awareness.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

2023 Family Business Award Recipient – Superior Van & Mobility

Superior Van & Mobility: A Legacy of Excellence Garners 2023 Family Business Award

Superior Van & Mobility, a steadfast beacon in the mobility solutions industry, is no stranger to accolades. However, its recent achievement is a testament to the strength of its family-owned foundation and its unyielding dedication to customer service. We are thrilled to announce that this year, the venerable company has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Family Business Award (Large Business of the Year) by the Business First Newspaper in partnership with the University of Louisville Family Business Center. The award recognizes the business’s outstanding achievements as a family-owned entity, underscoring its commitment to values, customer satisfaction, and workforce empowerment.

Founded in 1976, Superior Van & Mobility has grown from humble beginnings into the nation’s largest family-owned mobility dealer. With a team of 155 employees spread across their multiple locations and 30 dedicated local staff, the company has continually committed itself to improve the lives of people with disabilities through the provision of new and used wheelchair-accessible vans and related services.

A family legacy that now spans three generations, a strong team of executives helms Superior Van & Mobility. President and Owner Sam Cook and Vice President and Owner Kathy Cook lead a dynamic team composed of Tony Ohlmann, CFO; Tammy Johnson, VP of Sales; Erin Engelau, VP of Operations; and Jeff Brummett, VP of Expansion. This core team has been instrumental in steering the company toward continued growth and unparalleled customer service.

But what truly sets Superior Van & Mobility apart? Their unwavering commitment to family values has been instilled since their inception. For them, the joy of being a multigenerational family business is the unique opportunity it provides to build a brand deeply rooted in these values.

When asked about the future of their business, the team lights up with anticipation. They’re particularly excited about harnessing the power of technology to help individuals with disabilities gain independence through their product offerings.

Furthermore, their company culture thrives on a strong emphasis on valuing people. They maintain an environment where every member is not just an employee but a part of the solution, echoing their belief that “people are not a commodity.”

What makes Superior Van & Mobility stand out is their superior customer service, which they believe to be their unique selling point. They consistently go the extra mile to ensure their customers are cared for, providing a 24-hour customer support system and a deep dedication to getting the right vehicle or modification for each individual’s needs.

The key to their long-term success? The Cook family credits their application of the Golden Rule: treating employees and customers how they want to be treated. This simple yet powerful principle has guided their approach to business, contributing significantly to their growth, reputation, and the recent Family Business Award they now hold.

The journey of Superior Van & Mobility is a shining testament to the power of family values, innovative thinking, and customer-first philosophy in business. As they march forward, their continued success is a blueprint for other businesses seeking to blend familial values with professional growth.

Congratulations to Superior Van & Mobility on their well-deserved recognition! To learn more about their services, visit their website at superiorvan.com.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

BraunAbility 1 Millionth Van Delivery

An Unforgettable Delivery: Vietnam Marine Veteran Receives One of BraunAbility's Millionth Wheelchair Vans

In a world of constant movement and exploration, mobility is a priceless gift. As we celebrate National Mobility Awareness Month in May, we are reminded of mobility’s significant role in our lives, especially for individuals with disabilities.

However, this year’s celebration is even more remarkable as we approach an extraordinary event. On May 17, 2023, Vietnam Veteran Larry Reimer was presented with one of BraunAbility’s millionth vehicles—a 2023 Chrysler Pacifica wheelchair-accessible van—marking a significant milestone in the history of BraunAbility, the world’s leading manufacturer of mobility transportation solutions.

Larry’s surprise celebration will occur at Superior Van & Mobility in Louisville, Kentucky. Alex Cook, the General Manager of Superior Van & Mobility, will host this event, which coincidentally falls within National Mobility Awareness Month and in anticipation of Memorial Day, adding extra layers of significance to the celebration.

BraunAbility, a company born from the vision of Ralph Braun, an entrepreneur who spent most of his life in a wheelchair, has grown into the most trusted name in the mobility industry over the past 50 years. By providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles, wheelchair lifts, seating, storage, and securement products, BraunAbility has brought independence to millions of individuals worldwide.

Superior Van & Mobility shares this vision as they strive to provide the best mobility solutions to their clients, including new and used wheelchair-accessible vehicles, mobility seating options, hand controls, scooter and wheelchair lifts, and other driving aids. They proudly support local community groups, promoting disability awareness and advocacy.

Larry Reimer, a proud veteran of the Vietnam War, is a testament to resilience and strength. His service to our country is nothing short of heroic. This vehicle gives Larry the freedom and independence associated with enhanced mobility and represents a ‘thank you’ for his invaluable service.

As we approach Memorial Day, we honor those who have served and sacrificed for our nation. Larry’s story reminds us of their bravery, resilience, and the spirit of independence that defines our country.

This milestone event is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of both BraunAbility and Superior Van & Mobility. It exemplifies their commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities and their dedication to providing the highest quality mobility solutions.

As we celebrate National Mobility Awareness Month, let’s be inspired by Larry’s story and the work of organizations like BraunAbility and Superior Van & Mobility. Let’s advocate for greater mobility and accessibility for all and continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.

As the founder of BraunAbility, Ralph Braun, once said, “The impossible only takes a little longer to accomplish.” Let’s keep accomplishing the impossible, one step—or one roll—at a time.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Importance of Working with NMEDA Dealer

NMEDA and QAP Logos

The Importance of Choosing an NMEDA-Affiliated Mobility Dealer for Your Accessible Vehicle Needs

Introduction

The process of purchasing an accessible vehicle can be overwhelming, particularly when determining which mobility dealer best fits your unique needs. With an ever-growing number of options, it is crucial to choose a dealer who is not only reliable but also committed to providing top-quality products and services. One key factor in making this decision is ensuring the dealer you choose is a National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) member. In this blog, we will delve into why doing business with an NMEDA-affiliated mobility dealer is essential.

Adherence to Quality Assurance Program (QAP) standards

NMEDA is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities by promoting safe, reliable, and high-quality accessible vehicles. One of their main initiatives is the Quality Assurance Program (QAP), which holds participating mobility dealers, like Superior Van & Mobility, to stringent standards regarding product quality, installation, and customer service. By choosing an NMEDA-affiliated dealer, you can trust that they meet or exceed these industry-leading standards.

Expertise and knowledge

NMEDA-affiliated dealers must understand the latest accessibility technologies, vehicle modifications, and industry best practices. When you work with an NMEDA member, you partner with a knowledgeable professional who can help you find the perfect solution for your mobility needs. In addition, these dealers have access to continuing education and training resources, ensuring they stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field.

Man installing wheelchair restraints in VMI Promaster ADA Wheelchair Van
Customized solutions

Each individual’s mobility needs are unique; an NMEDA-affiliated dealer recognizes that. These dealers will work closely with you to assess your requirements and recommend the most suitable accessible vehicle or modification. This personalized approach ensures you receive a tailored solution that enhances mobility, independence, and overall quality of life.

Exceptional customer service

NMEDA’s Quality Assurance Program strongly emphasizes providing exceptional customer service. As a result, NMEDA-affiliated dealers are committed to addressing your concerns, answering your questions, and guiding you through purchasing an accessible vehicle. These dealers create a positive buying experience and foster long-lasting customer relationships by prioritizing your satisfaction.

Blurry image of a man and woman sitting at a table reviewing paperwork
Accountability and support

When you choose an NMEDA-affiliated dealer, you select a partner accountable to you and the larger organization. If an issue arises, you can trust that a NMEDA dealer, like Superior Van & Mobility, will support and work with you to resolve the problem promptly. This accountability and support level ensures you receive the highest quality products and services possible.  

Conclusion

Purchasing an accessible vehicle is a significant investment, and choosing a dealer dedicated to providing exceptional products and services is crucial. By opting for an NMEDA-affiliated mobility dealer, you can have confidence that your dealer adheres to stringent quality standards, possesses extensive industry knowledge, and is committed to delivering customized solutions and outstanding customer service. In doing so, you invest in a reliable vehicle and your independence and quality of life.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

MDFF Donates Wheelchair Van to Maddox’s Mission

MDFF of Indiana Donates Wheelchair Van to Maddox's Mission

O'Connor Family in front of their donated wheelchair van
Left to Right: Shawn O'Connor, Maddox O'Connor, Caleb O'Connor, Keegan O'Connor & Tim Doyle (MDFF President)

Picture a chilly Mid-January afternoon in 2022. The place, Superior Van & Mobility in Fishers, Indiana. Staff members with the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation (MDFF), its board members, donors, and the Superior team are gathering for MDFF’s second, yes second, wheelchair van giveaway of the year! It’s a meeting planned long before, but due to COVID, it was delayed. The whole facility was buzzing with excitement as the real stars of the day were about to arrive, Maddox O’Connor and his family.

Never meeting Maddox, he would be described as any other energetic ten-year-old boy who loves baseball. However, there is something special about him many are unaware. It’s not that he has Mitochondrial Myopathy; what makes Maddox so special is that despite what life has handed him, Maddox has made it his life’s mission to help others, and, in doing so, he started a homeless ministry. What began a few years earlier with giving his lunch to a homeless person outside of the hospital where Maddox receives ongoing therapy, has now turned into helping many. It’s become his passion, but as his condition has progressed, the need to use his wheelchair has increased, thus making transportation more difficult. Today that is about to change!

Maddox has arrived, and the family begins exiting the vehicle. Everyone in attendance has gathered first inside for a quick bite to celebrate this event, however shortly after everyone migrated to the large showroom. To the family’s surprise around the corner, there was a red carpet leading up to a ramp on a mobility van. Maddox sees this and makes a beeline toward their new wheelchair-accessible van. It was a surprise by all but heartwarming nonetheless. Seeing the look on Maddox’s face and hearing the gratitude in his mother, Shawn’s voice as she began to thank everyone in attendance for making this day possible. Emotions were high.

As everyone gathered, Shawn began to tell their story of struggles and needs, which was incredible. Her dedication and devotion to her family show that she does not allow their circumstances to define them. Their family believes that through Christ, all things are possible and that Christ brought the O’Connor’s to MDFF. There wasn’t a dry eye in the showroom. Emotions filled the hearts of everyone as this very deserving family took the realization of what had been given to them.
The O’Connor’s new van will give Maddox more time to devote to his ministry, which by the way, is called Maddox’s Mission. It helps the homeless by providing food and care packages that he calls Blessing Bags. But he doesn’t stop there. Maddox also includes a handwritten note expressing his heart for the recipient and their situation. Maddox once said his ministry was important because he knows what it’s like living in a world he didn’t ask to live in and that everyone needs someone to love them. He is a true inspiration to others.

Maddox O''Connor in his wheelchair coming out of wheelchair van

Some incredible stats on Maddox’s Mission:

• 2020 Blessing Bags provided by Maddox O’Connor to the homeless: 2,500
• 2021 Blessing Bags provided by Maddox O’Connor to the homeless: 3,000

The Mission of the MDFF is Very Special

Since the 1950s, the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation has made extraordinary things happen. Currently serving the state of Indiana, not only do they help individuals with Muscular Dystrophy get what they need to live each day to the fullest and maintain their dignity. The MDFF also provides essential items like wheelchairs, hospital beds, van lifts, ramps for homes, bathroom modifications, and shower chairs, to name a few. Over the last eight years, MDFF has donated eight wheelchair-accessible vehicles from Superior Van & Mobility to deserving Indiana families.

The staff’s passion, board members, and donors are extraordinary individuals. Everyone does so much to help others. Superior Van & Mobility is grateful to be a part of its mission. Together we have a common goal, assisting others in regaining their independence.

For 2022, MDFF has also set a goal – to team up with Superior Van & Mobility and give away two more wheelchair-accessible vans to Indiana families affected by Muscular Dystrophy. The application process for Indiana residents will open on March 15, 2022.  For more information on the Muscular Dystrophy Family Foundation or to apply, please visit https://www.mdf.org

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Industry’s First Toyota Sienna Hybrid

Meet the Industry’s First

Toyota Sienna Hybrid Wheelchair Accessible Van
Available in All-Wheel Drive!

2021 brought about a lot of change in the mobility industry. Not only was the iconic Dodge Grand Caravan retired, but we were introduced to two firsts in our industry. 

One, the all-new Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair-accessible van, was developed by BraunAbility, and VMI.

Second, VMI took it a step further and introduced the first-ever all-wheel-drive wheelchair van, an available option on the Toyota Sienna Hybrid.

These milestones are a significant addition to the mobility industry, especially for those environmentally conscious or those living in our northern states where an AWD drivetrain is most important.

In addition to being the first hybrid and AWD vehicle in the mobility industry, the Toyota Sienna hybrid has many other impressive improvements and firsts. Below are a few worth mentioning.

  • Up to 36 MPG on FWD models & up to 35 MPG on AWD models
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 – Includes many advanced safety features
  • Front & rear parking assist with automatic braking.
  • Road sign assist.
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
  • Dynamic radar cruise.
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist, and much more.
  • Available factory towing package
  • Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay & Android audio compatibility
  • Four-zone climate control
  • Seven USB ports
  • Driver Easy-Speak – Enhances communication with rear passengers
  • 1500-watt power outlet

As we move further into the near future and more manufacturers introduce hybrids and fully electric vehicles to their portfolios, we fully expect more industry firsts heading our way. This landmark introduction by Toyota is only the beginning!

What do you think will be next? A fully electric SUV? How about a plugin, a fully electric Chrysler Pacifica? We will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, what we’ve grown to know as the norm is no longer valid. Times are changing rapidly, and new products will continue to be developed as long as we have industry partners like BraunAbility and VMI.

Click here if you would like to learn more about the BraunAbility or VMI Toyota Sienna Hybrid wheelchair van or check available vehicles currently for sale.

Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.

Superior Van & Mobility Purchases Crescent Vans In New Orleans

Superior Van & Mobility Logo

Superior Van & Mobility Purchases Crescent Vans in New Orleans, LA

September 2021 – After nearly 40 years of servicing the greater New Orleans area with adaptive equipment and mobility solutions, Crescent Van owners, James & Gina Scott have decided to retire. Over the years they have served their community and local veterans by selling, servicing and providing wheelchair accessible rental options to those individuals requiring adaptive equipment solutions to help remain independent.

Recognizing the great work Crescent Vans has provided to their community, it was easy for Superior Van & Mobility to make the decision to purchase Crescent Vans and continue to service their loyal customers in their nearby location in Harvey, LA. Only a short drive from Crescent’s previous location, and just like James and Gina, Superior Van & Mobility is also a family-owned business owned by Sam & Kathy Cook, who have been in business for 45 years. In fact, Superior Van & Mobility is the largest family-owned and operated mobility dealer in the Nation!

Superior Van & Mobility welcome you, all past and current customers of Crescent Vans to visit their facility for any of your adaptive, transportation needs. Even if you need assistance in understanding your VA vehicle benefits, the Louisiana Rehabilitation Services process, or any other adaptive equipment assistance program, reach out to Superior Van & Mobility. Their local team members, Mitch & Jerry can be reached by calling (504) 684-2100 or visiting them at 1901 Westbank Expy., Harvey, LA. The team at Superior Van & Mobility is dedicated to be here for you during this time of transition, and further welcome you with open arms to the Superior family.

Grandfather in his driveway in wheelchair with grandkids playing around his wheelchair van

Common Handicap Parking Misconceptions

Image of handicap Parking spaces

Common Handicap Parking Misconceptions

Now is the perfect time to clear up some of the most common misconceptions surrounding handicapped parking practices. Surveys have shown that 74% of people have witnessed an accessible parking space being misused. Therefore, everyone needs to understand some critical elements associated with handicapped parking. As you can imagine, many still do not understand the laws and regulations surrounding handicap-accessible parking. Here are some of the most common misconceptions explained!

#1: All Handicap Accessible Parking Spaces are the Same.

Not all handicap-accessible parking spaces are the same. The areas with the striped lines directly next to a standard handicap-accessible parking spot are typically marked with an “Accessible Vans” sign. These spots are wider than the ordinary accessible parking spaces, often used by people with disabilities who are not driving wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The extra space allows for a wheelchair vehicle ramp to deploy from the van or SUV or for people that need extra space to access and transfer to their wheelchair.

It is a common misconception that all handicap-accessible parking spaces are for people who “physically need them” – i.e., appear to the naked eye to need the spaces. There are many “hidden disabilities” that many people do not realize merit in using handicap-accessible parking spaces. Even if there is no visible sign of a disability or need for a mobility device, it does not necessarily mean someone is misusing a parking space.

#2: I Can Park in a Striped Area Next to a Handicap Accessible Parking Space.

Building on the last point, the striped lines directly beside handicap-accessible parking spaces have a specific purpose and should not be parked within. Some people think it is better to park in these spots in a pinch rather than in a handicap-accessible space. In reality, utilizing either can cause accessibility issues for those with disabilities. Some may even believe these spaces are perfect for parking motorcycles, golf carts, or small vehicles. However, these should be left to those who genuinely need them.

These striped areas are no spaces at all. These areas provide the extra room individuals need in wheelchairs to safely enter and exit their vehicles. This area is necessary because the ramp deployed inside their vehicle extends approximately. 5 feet. Without this additional room, users would not have the space to navigate up or down their ramp. Therefore, when you park in or partially in these spaces, you take away the valuable room for someone to enter or exit their vehicle.

Oh, one last thing… In addition to causing convenience issues for people with disabilities, parking in these spots can have major consequences for the offenders. In most locations, obstructing & parking illegally in a handicapped zone carries a fine of at least $500 and jail time (source).

lady coming down wheelchair ram with a car blocking her exit

#3: You are Only Allowed to Use a Disabled Placard in One Car.

The above statement is both true and false. Indeed, disabled license plates cannot be transferred between vehicles, just like any other license plate. However, handicap placards that hang from the rearview mirror can be used in any vehicle the person who is issued the placard is currently riding. The person does not have to be driving the vehicle to use the placard to be legal.

That said, it is prohibited to let other individuals use a placard not issued to them. Placards are allotted to a single person, and misuse can have major consequences. Stiffer penalties are now being imposed across the country, and many states are taking a closer look at monitoring methods for proper use to ensure accessibility to all.

About Us:

Superior Van & Mobility is a proud member of the National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association (NMEDA). We are also accredited by NMEDA and a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) participant. QAP is a recognition reserved for only the highest-rated mobility dealers with the BEST customer experience in the Nation. To learn more about Superior Van & Mobility or our adaptive solutions for cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, please visit SuperiorVan.com today.

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Picture of Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard W. Maxwell, MBA

Richard Maxwell, is a seasoned automotive marketing executive with over two decades of experience. Starting in 1999 with his advertising agency, Maxx Design & Marketing, he has consistently delivered innovative marketing solutions. After earning his MBA, Richard shifted focus to adaptive technology, serving as Marketing Manager for Superior Van & Mobility. Today, he leverages his expertise to promote and educate others about adaptive equipment in transportation and drive change in accessible mobility.