Wheelchair Accessible Vans, Handicap Accessible Vans, Mobility Impairment

  • 3 Tips for Buying a Handicap Van

    Buying a handicap van is a lot like buying a car, including the fact that the process can sometimes feel burdensome and stressful.

    The following are some key factors to keep in mind when making your first new or used handicap van purchase.


    Key Advice for Purchasing a Handicap Van

    #1 – Know who you’re buying the handicap van for.

    What do we mean by this? While all handicap vans are designed to be able to accommodate wheelchair passengers, not all handicap vans are designed to be able to handle a handicap person behind the wheel.

    If you or someone you know is interested in being an adaptive driver inside of a handicap van, then it’s best if you speak with our mobility specialists. They’ll be able to advise you as to the specific makes/models of handicap vans that we have available that accommodate adaptive drivers (and not just passengers).

    #2 – Know what mobility features you need versus want.

    Van Products has the largest inventory of new and used handicap vans in the area. That said, each of our handicap vans can be customized to fit the unique needs of our customers.

    We encourage you to browse our mobility products and think through the kinds of important/mandatory items and features that you’d like to have in your van – from backup cameras to power doors, satellite radio, removable seats, and more.

    #3 – Know your budget.

    It’s important to not get too far ahead of yourself. If you have a budget, stick to it. Need help coming up with a budget? Speak to our mobility specialists. Sometimes, there may be special financing available or other types of less expensive handicap van options available.

    Learn more about the handicap vans we carry, and browse our large inventory of new and used handicap vans, mobility products, and more!

  • Wheelchair Vans & Handicap Accessibility

    Van Products is proud to be a leader in the sale of wheelchair vans in the Southeast. However, our inventory isn't only limited to handicap vans and vehicles. In fact, Van Products offers tons of other options in terms of mobility accessories and products!

    Improving Accessibility for Handicap Persons

    As you may already know, while wheelchair vans certainly help handicap persons get from Point A to Point B in their daily lives, there are other types of mobility products and accessories that really help to improve a person's mobility when they are in their home, at the office, or in the community, in general.

    So, what do these mobility products look like? Before we explore the types of mobility products we offer, consider the reasons why someone may need to take advantage of a mobility product. Commonly, it is the misperception that physical disabilities are those disabilities which are obvious to the naked eye. While this is true, there are those who have physical disabilities or mobility challenges that may not always be as obvious but which they may need a mobility product to help assist them.

    For example, someone who suffers from severe arthritis and cannot turn their neck fully may take advantage of a backup camera. Someone who has joint problems or arthritis in their hands may use hand controls. And someone who has had multiple knee replacements or who has trouble climbing stairs may use a stair lift.

    Besides this, there are some people who may need the use of mobility products or vehicles due to temporary physical disabilities, such as outpatient rehab, recovery from a major surgery, or a broken bone.

    2014 Toyota Sienna XLE

    Converting Your Current Vehicle to be Handicap Accessible

    Do you have a current van or truck that you're thinking of converting to be more handicap accessible? You're not alone. If you need a wheelchair accessible vehicle but already have a van or truck, it is possible to convert your vehicle to become wheelchair accessible. To get started, speak with one of our mobility specialists. They'll be happy to walk you through the conversion process.

    Effective, Custom Mobility Features

    What helps to set Van Products apart from the competition is that our wheelchair vans and vehicles each feature unique and effective non-slip ramps and automatic kneeling systems. We also offer choices between side and rear entry for all of our handicap vehicles - all of this making it easier to enter and exit the vehicle compared with keeping your van/vehicle in its original state.

    Drive in Comfort

    One of the mobility features we are most proud of with our handicap vans is our floor level feature for handicap drivers. Often, wheelchair vans are disproportionate, leaving the driver too low to the ground or the wheelchair passenger in the back seat too high to see out of the front window.

    By leveling out the ground and lifting the front seats, wheelchair passengers can see out of the front window while the driver remains at a comfortable height.

    For more information about converting your current van or truck to be handicap accessible, or if you have additional questions about any of our conversion van features or options, contact one of our mobility specialists today.

  • Making Mobility More Comfortable, Convenient

    Whether you're searching for new or used handicap vans, Van Products is on a mission to make mobility more comfortable, convenient and affordable than ever.

    Shop our huge inventory of new and used wheelchair accessible vans, and discover how easy it is to travel independently throughout your community. Whether your lifestyle simply involves running errands or whether you're adventurous and setting off on week-long trips across the country with family in tow - we guarantee that we have just the right handicap accessible van for you.

    Shop Our Inventory of New & Used Wheelchair Vans

    Each of our wheelchair vans (and vehicles) is designed to increase your comfort and convenience without sacrificing quality. Choose from mobility products and features such as:

    • Side entry
    • Rear entry
    • Fold out ramps
    • Backup cameras
    • Rain sensing wipers
    • Wheelchair Tie Downs
    • And more

    We know it can be stressful to make such a big decision like buying a wheelchair van, so we hope this will help your research. We also encourage you to speak with one of our mobility specialists. Our specialists are experts in handicap vans and can help guide you through the process - whether you're brand new to purchasing a wheelchair van or have done it before.


    Quality Handicap Vans from Trusted Brands

    At Van Products, we are proud to offer customers quality handicap vans (new & certified used) from trusted brands, like Chrysler, Dodge, Toyota, Honda, and Ford, to name a few.

    We also offer a number of Braunability wheelchair lifts in our vehicles, offer both convenience as well as a smooth, easy-to-use operation.

    We also offer the Ricon wheelchair lift - designed with the driver in mind. The Ricon KlearVue™ wheelchair lift is the only wheelchair lift  of its kind with a unique “fold-in-half” design. When this wheelchair lift is stowed, it provides an unobstructed view for the driver, which reduces and (in most cases) eliminates hazardous blind spots. It also allows a clear view for the passengers, and is virtually unseen from outside.

    Quality Automotive Seating

    Van Products strongly believes in providing the best that there is to offer for wheelchair accessibility, which is why we offer a wide range of automotive seating options.

    Choose from stylish, convenient seating options, each designed with maximum comfort and safety in mind.  Get on the road in no time at all with fully customizable seats that offer:

    Need to see it to believe it? Stop by our storefront location and showroom today for a demonstration, and you will soon see why we are the number one choice for new wheelchair vans and used wheelchair vans in the area. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Make Your Home Wheelchair-Safe

    Before you introduce a wheelchair or other mobility device to your home, it is important to make sure that your home is able to accommodate a wheelchair. Below, we offer some helpful advice.


    4 Ways to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

    You don't have to completely renovate your home to make it more wheelchair-friendly. The following are some tips to make your home safer as you prepare to adjust to your new mobility challenges.

    #1 - Rearrange furniture.

    Less clutter is better- especially when it comes to wheelchair safety. Perhaps, this means moving a table from a corner, or removing excessive clutter from a crowded space. You want to give yourself (or the person using a scooter/wheelchair) plenty of room to navigate around corners and within rooms.

    #2 - Take advantage of entry ramps.

    Most homes have a few steps or more leading up to the main entrance. Installing a permanent or temporary wheelchair ramp can give a wheelchair user increased opportunity for independence. Consider the type of physical limitations that the person has and whether or not that person lives in your home or is a regular visitor to your home. Knowing these two factors will help determine whether you install a permanent ramp or a temporary structure as well as where you will install the ramp.

    For instance, installing a ramp on the side of the home may help to keep the ramp out of sight while still giving the wheelchair user full accessibility. If you do install a ramp, be sure to hire a reputable company and only use materials that are warrantied and that follow current safety guidelines.

    #3 - Create smooth transitions between rooms.

    Remove all loose rugs and carpets, and check transitions between rooms for ease of movement and safety. Study the furniture placement, and use a chair to test the width of different pathways in the home.

    #4 - Make your bathroom wheelchair accessible.

    Again, you don't necessarily have to renovate your entire bathroom. Instead, consider the form and function of the bathroom, compared to the mobility of the wheelchair user. Can he/she get out of their wheelchair on their own for short periods, or are they completely dependent on their wheelchair and/or a helper?

    If so, things like a roll-in shower (versus a jacuzzi tub) may be a better option. There are also handicap-accessible, walk-in tubs. If the person is elderly and has mobility issues, you may want to consider the height of the toilet as well as grip bars for the tub/shower so that the person has something to hang on to.

    Finally, you will want to consider the width of the doorway to the bathroom. Can the person wheel his/her wheelchair into the bathroom comfortably?

    Contact Van Products Today

    You don't have to tear your house down to the studs to make it more accommodating for someone who has a physical disability. Rather, by making a few small changes and having the right kinds of mobility accessories, you can create an environment that is both wheelchair friendly and safe.

    For additional information about making your home accessible to wheelchairs, or to ask other questions, contact Van Products today, and speak to one of our mobility specialists. We're here to help!

  • How to Choose the Right Wheelchair Van for You

    Buying a new or used wheelchair van for the first time? The following are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

    wheelchair van

    #1 - Only deal with reputable wheelchair van sellers.

    You should always be able to trust the dealer/company that you’re purchasing your wheelchair van from. Look at online reviews, and check the safety ratings of the vehicles.

    How long has the wheelchair van dealer been in business? Where do they get their inventory from, and what sorts of certifications do they have?

    Always check the reputation of the dealer before anything else.

    #2 - Know your budget.

    Knowing your budget can mean the difference between purchasing a certified used handicap van versus a brand new handicap van.

    Having a realistic budget can also help you when plan out your list of must-have features and accessories versus some of the other accessories that you can do without.

    #3 - Determine which kind of wheelchair van/vehicle is best for you.

    At Van Products, our wheelchair vans can be customized to fit your unique physical disability.

    Depending on the type of disability you have, you may opt for a handicap van that is equipped with a lift system versus a ramp. You may also decide on a rear entry wheelchair van versus a side entry wheelchair van. There are also tons of other mobility options, such as kneeling systems, hand controls, wheelchair tie downs, and more.

    If you’re not sure, or if you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to speak with one of our mobility specialists. He/she will be able to lay out all of the options available to you and take you through the process in a way that is easy to understand.

    #4 - Consider your lifestyle.

    Do you need a wheelchair van for temporary use? Are you planning a road trip, or do you perhaps have an injury that requires the use of a handicap van?

    If so, you may want to speak with one of our mobility specialists about the different options available to you.

    Contact Van Products

    For more information about buying a new or used wheelchair van, contact Van Products today.

  • 5 Tips for Better Disability Etiquette

    At Van Products, we help individuals and families with physical disabilities by offering a wide range of new and used wheelchair vans as well as mobility products. However, not all disabilities are physical or visible.

    The following are some tips to help raise awareness about disabilities as well as to help offer insight into better disability etiquette.


    Tips for Practicing Better Disability Etiquette

    #1 - Remember that not all disabilities are visible.

    Examples of non-visible disabilities include: heart disease, asthma, and depression.

    #2 - Keep in mind that some people may only have 'temporary' disabilities.

    Not all physical disabilities that you come across may be permanent. In fact, some people may only have temporary disabilities which are often just as limiting as permanent disabilities.

    #3 - Not everyone with a disability wants to talk about it.

    Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Remember that not everyone who has a disability wishes to discuss it. So, while you may be tempted to know what happened that led that person to their disability or what it's like for them to live with a disability - refrain from asking personal questions. Rather, wait until you get to know the individual better, or wait until he/she offers personal information.

    #4 - Don't touch service animals unless invited to do so.

    While many of us love dogs, it is inappropriate to reach out to someone's service animal uninvited. While a service animal may be "cute" and you may want to pet or play with it, remember that this animal is "at work".

    #5 - Know how to interact with wheelchair users.

    There are several tips for interacting better with people who are using wheelchairs. Some of these include:

    • Position yourself at the same eye level. If you are engaged in a lengthy conversation with a wheelchair user, sit down. This will make it easier for both of you to have a conversation.
    • Do not touch or lean on someone's wheelchair. Respect the person's personal space just as you'd want someone to respect yours.
    • Ask first before offering assistance. Remember that wheelchair users are independent people who don't always need or require help. Before you jump in to help someone in a wheelchair, always ask first. This helps respect that person's dignity as well.
    • Respect handicap spaces. Handicap spaces are there for a reason. Avoid pulling into handicap spots - even if you're only using them temporarily to wait for someone. By sitting in a handicap space, you could be causing a potential wheelchair user to have to find parking elsewhere.
    • Talk to the person. If you see a wheelchair user with a companion, and you are engaged in conversation with the wheelchair user - speak to the person, not the companion as it may come across as disrespectful.

    The following video highlights some other helpful tips when interacting with people who have disabilities.

  • 5 Tips for Safer Road Trips This Spring

    Spring is officially here- which means warmer weather, vacations, and road trips. If you're planning a road trip with your friends or family, the following tips are helpful to keep in mind.


    Tips for Safer Road Trips

    #1 - Take your car in for a check up.

    Some people check in with their doctors first to make sure they're cleared to play a new sport. You should check in with your mechanic to make sure that your car is ok to hit the road.

    This includes oil changes, making sure your tires are in good shape, topping off and checking any other fluids, and making sure that everything else looks good with your vehicle.

    #2 - Renting a car? Know the technology inside.

    Too often, those who rent vehicles jump into them and hit the road without first reviewing all of the safety features and other various technological quirks. Today's vehicles are equipped with backup cameras, blind spot triggers, DVD players, and countless other buttons and symbols that you may not necessarily be familiar with or used to because you may not have them in your own vehicle. In some cases, it's been reported that some people don't even know how or where the button is to open up their gas tank!

    Take a moment to review the safety features, buttons, and symbols with your rental car agent. This can save you time and frustrations on the road.

    #3 - Plan ahead, and be prepared.

    One of the best things you can do for yourself (and for those who are traveling with you) is be prepared. If you're taking a road trip from Indiana to sunny Florida, know where the rest stops are along the way, and make sure to pack a first aid kit, non-perishable food and water, and other emergency items.

    If you are traveling across the country by car, you'll also want to dress appropriately. Pack extra blankets, and keep a small backpack filled with items in the event that you have to abandon your vehicle.


    #4 - Get plenty of rest.

    It goes without saying that if you're the one doing all of the driving, it is absolutely necessary that you get plenty of rest - not just the night before your big trip- but even the week leading up to it.

    Plan to take plenty of breaks along the way, and if you start to feel tired, allow another responsible, licensed adult to take the wheel. If you're the only designated driver, then plan to pull over in a safe place and take a break until you feel safe to resume driving.

    #5 - Avoid distractions while driving.

    Distracted driving is the leading reason for most vehicle accidents and deaths. Examples of distracted driving include:

    • Texting
    • Talking on the phone
    • Engaging in social media
    • Eating/Drinking
    • Taking pictures

    If you are on a road trip, and you see something that you want to take a picture of or post to social media, have another passenger in the car manage it. In fact, it may be helpful to designate another passenger as the "picture taker" prior to departing. If you see something that you want to photograph or post to social media yourself, pull your vehicle over and then take a picture or have a conversation, etc.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is paying attention so that you and your passengers can make it to your final destination safely.

  • International Wheelchair Day

    International Wheelchair Day is March 1st.


    The day was launched in 2008 by a man named Steve Wilkinson.

    ... and since then it has grown in popularity with countries across Africa and Asia taking part, as well as the UK, USA and Australia.

    About Steve Wilkinson

    Steve Wilkinson was born with Spina Bifida in 1953, and has used a wheelchair for most of his life, devotes his life to his mission to make the world more accessible for other wheelchair users and people with non-standard needs. In 2008, he took to Google to find out whether there was a national day to recognize the rights of wheelchair users and those with mobility issues – there wasn’t.

    The Aims of International Wheelchair Day:

    • To enable wheelchair users to celebrate the positive impact a wheelchair has in their lives.
    • To celebrate the great work of the many millions of people who provide wheelchairs, who provide support and care for wheelchair users and who make the World a better and more accessible place for people with mobility issues.
    • To acknowledge and react constructively to the fact there are many tens of millions of people in the World who need a wheelchair, but are unable to acquire one.


    On FB: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalWheelchairDay/





  • Disability Awareness: Polio

    When most people think about polio, they often think of an old-timey disease that no longer applies to them. However, did you know that polio does, in fact, still exist?

    Though cases of polio have decreased drastically over the last several decades (more than 99% since 1988), there are still two countries in the world that have never fully stopped the transmission of this disease. These countries are: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    What does this mean for U.S. citizens?

    As long as a child is infected with the polio virus, it puts children in all countries at risk of contracting the disease. This is because the polio virus can easily be imported into a polio-free country and can spread rapidly among those who haven’t yet received immunizations.

    The most terrifying part?

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), failure to completely eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases of polio each year, within 10 years, ALL OVER THE WORLD.


    What is Polio?

    Polio is a crippling, infectious disease caused by the poliovirus.

    The poliovirus spreads from person to person and affects a person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis.

    Currently, there is no cure for polio. It can only be prevented. This is why it is so important to make sure that children are vaccinated at an early age.

    The CDC defines a person as “fully immunized” from polio if he/she has received a primary series of at least three doses of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV), live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV), or four doses of any combination of IPV and OPV.

    Children should be vaccinated with 4 doses of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) at the following ages:

    • A dose at 2 months
    • A dose at 4 months
    • A dose at 6-18 months
    • A booster dose at 4-6 years

    If you were vaccinated for polio as a child, you should not need an additional polio vaccine as an adult. However, if you are traveling to an area where there are cases of polio, or if you work in an environment (such as a lab) where you risk exposure to polio, you may need to get re-vaccinated.

    Symptoms of Polio

    girl with polio | image by RIBI Image LibraryMost people who contract polio show no visible symptoms at all. However, for some, symptoms may be flu-like and include:

    • Sore throat
    • Fever
    • Tiredness
    • Nausea
    • Headache
    • Stomach pain

    A small percentage of people with polio may display more serious symptoms, such as:

    • Paresthesia (pins and needles feeling in the legs)
    • Meningitis
    • Paralysis
    • Weakness in the limbs

    Of these symptoms, paralysis is of the greatest concern as it can lead to permanent disability or even death as the muscles needed to breathe may become paralyzed.

    How Polio is Transmitted

    As far as research is concerned, polio only affects humans and is extremely contagious. Most often, polio is transmitted via human-to-human contact.

    The disease enters the body through the mouth and can be spread by coming into contact with fecal matter, or through sneezing and coughing. Even if you don’t have polio symptoms, you can still spread the virus to other people just before you get polio as well as up to two weeks after you become symptomatic.

    Polio in the United States

    Since 1979, there have been zero reported cases of polio originating from the United States. However, polio has been brought into the U.S. from people who have traveled outside of the country.

    The last documented case of polio being brought in from a traveler was in 1993.

    Increasing Mobility for Polio Users

    Like many disease that have potentially debilitating side effects, such as paralysis, physical restrictions, muscle weakness, and more - our goal at Van Products is to make it easier for people who have limited mobility to get around a little easier in their day-to-day lives. We do this by providing quality handicap vans and mobility products and accessories. For more information about any of the mobility items we sell, contact us today by calling: (800) 209-6133 or (919) 238-4597.

  • Tips for Buying a Wheelchair Van or Handicap Vehicle

    Buying a vehicle is a major financial decision for most people. Now throw in the fact that you are buying a wheelchair van or other handicap vehicle. You may have double the amount of questions, or you may need to double check on certain factors before making a final purchase decision.

    Below, we dive into some of the questions buyers face as well as other things to keep in mind.


    Buying a Pre-Owned or Used Wheelchair Van

    In the market to buy a new or used wheelchair van? Ask yourself the following questions first:

    Will the new or used wheelchair van be driven by you or another driver?

    If you're buying a handicap accessible van for yourself, that's one thing. However, if you know for a fact that other non-handicapped drivers will be operating your wheelchair van, it is important to make a note of this and let our mobility specialists know. This could make a difference in how the handicap van is configured.

    What are the dimensions of the handicap van?

    More importantly, what sort of handicap equipment do you have and/or will be using in your handicap van? Depending on how much handicap equipment and the type of handicap equipment you have, you'll want to make sure that you can comfortably fit inside of your new or used handicap van.

    Dimensions also matter when thinking through things such as whether to purchase a rear-entry wheelchair van versus a side-entry wheelchair van.

    Who will be riding in the handicap van?

    Do you have a big family? A lot of friends? Perhaps you have children who need to be transported to and from after school activities. Whatever the reason, you'll want to have an idea of how you would use your new or used handicap van on a daily basis. This is important because you want to be able to comfortably fit whoever is riding with you inside of your vehicle.

    Will the wheelchair van be used for local driving only or possible long distance trips?

    How do you plan on using your wheelchair van? Depending on your driving habits and style, you may find that you're better suited to a new wheelchair van that has little to no miles on it. Alternately, if you tend to stay local and don't drive around that often, a pre-owned wheelchair van with a few extra miles on it may be a better fit.

    Are there any key features that you absolutely have to have?

    Each person's physical disability is unique. Therefore, the mobility products and van configuration may also need to be customized. At Van Products, we can customize your wheelchair van to suit your specific mobility needs. We invite you to speak to one of our mobility specialists today.

    What is the budget?

    One of the most important things to not overlook is how much your budget is. Our mobility specialists can work with you to provide financial assistance with your new or used wheelchair van purchase.

    Ask Questions; Test it Out

    Never be afraid to ask questions when it comes to purchasing a handicap vehicle. That's why our mobility specialists are here! We are happy to walk you through the entire process of financing a wheelchair van.

    Contact us today by giving us a call at: (800) 209-6133 or (919) 238-4597. We look forward to speaking with you!


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