Wheelchair Accessible Vans, Handicap Accessible Vans, Mobility Impairment

  • Commercial Transit Vehicles at Van Products

    Ford E250 Extended VanVan Products is proud to sell a line of commercial transit vehicles, completely upfitted to accommodate those who are wheelchair bound or who have mobility issues.

    Featuring multiple wheelchair securement locations and a variety of seating options, our commercial transit vehicles provide more options than ever for those who are faced with mobility challenges. Read more about our wheelchair van conversion features, specially designed for commercial transit vehicles.

    Commercial Transit to Satisfy Your Needs

    Everyone's transportation needs are different - especially when it involves mobility. At Van Products, our customers trust us to provide commercial transit solutions that meet their unique mobility needs. Currently, our leading commercial transit vehicle is the Ford E250 Extended Van.

    Some of the features of this van include:

    • Raised top with raised rear doors
    • Braun L919 wheelchair lift in rear
    • One piece fiberglass interior walls
    • FMVSS certified roll cage and insulation in double-wall raised top
    • Additional seating
    • And more

    Customizable Floorplans with You in Mind

    Whether you are a company that provides transportation for those with mobility challenges, or you are an individual with a wheelchair - Van Products mobility specialists will work with you to review all of the mobility options available. Your safety, comfort, and accessibility are our biggest concerns, which is why we offer flexible floor plans with multiple configurations, using seating and wheelchair securement floor tracks for maximum flexibility.

    When it comes to your safety and the safety of other passenger in your vehicle, we never make compromises. Before we even consider selling you a commercial transit vehicle, we put all of our vehicles through an extensive certification testing that fully complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Working Harder to Serve those with Wheelchairs

    Since 1972, Van Products has customized commercial transit vehicles to fit the unique mobility needs of physically challenged people throughout the United States. As an authorized dealer of BraunAbility products, we only sell the best commercial transit vehicles and upfits that the industry has to offer.

    Try It Out Yourself!

    We are well aware of the unique challenges that each of our customers (and their families) face when selecting a handicap vehicle. Commercial transit vehicles are no different. Companies (and some individuals) must select a commercial transit vehicle that meets the mobility needs of multiple people.

    Our mobility specialists take all of this into consideration when you speak with them. From there, we'll help you design and build a wheelchair accessible, commercial transit vehicle that is safe, secure, and meets the individual mobility needs of its passengers.

    Contact our mobility specialists today to find out more about the commercial transit vehicles that we offer, or schedule an onsite wheelchair van demonstration.

  • Safety While Driving - Knowing When it's Time to Turn in the Keys

    Being handicapped doesn't prohibit you from driving safely. In fact, one of the biggest risks to driving safely revolve around drug/alcohol impairment and age. Below, we take a look at some of the key signs to look out for, indicating that it may be time to turn in the car keys.

    by-Epicantus-flickr-cc

    5 Signs It May be Time to Give Up Driving

    #1 - You have difficulty seeing and/or hearing.

    As most people age, their vision naturally diminishes, making it more difficult to spot things in the distance or even throwing off their depth perception. Similarly, many people experience increased difficult in hearing. Not being able to hear properly is extremely dangerous as it makes it difficult (or impossible) to recognize important warning/safety signs, such as horns, sirens, or even screeching tires.

    #2 - Your reflexes aren't what they used to be.

    As you age, you may notice that your reflexes are a lot slower than what they used to be. This can pose a real danger to you as well as other motorists and passersby. While driving, you rely on quick reflexes to react to potential hazards. Not reacting quickly enough may result in an increased chance of getting involved in an accident.

    #3 - Medications

    Always check with your healthcare provider to be sure that the medications you are taking are ok to be taken while operating a motor vehicle. Many medications impair your ability to drive.

    #4 - Joint pain

    Chronic joint pain in your neck, hands, or knees can make it difficult to do a number of required safety actions, such as: check your side and rearview mirrors, turn your head to check a blind spot when changing lanes, or even reach the gas and brake pedals properly. Should and hand problems can make it difficult to steer and/or shift the gears in your vehicle.

    #5 - Mental changes

    While dementia isn't only limited to the elderly, it is still something worth noting as it affects mostly elderly people. If you experience any changes in your mental wellbeing, such as forgetting how to get home, or frequently getting lost or forgetting how to navigate to places that you once knew how to get to - it may be time for a checkup with your doctor.

    Remember that even with all of the technological advances (such as backup cameras, sensors, lane assist technology, and more), driving is a privilege -not a right.

    It is your responsibility as a United States citizen to consider not just the health and welfare of yourself, but also the welfare of those around you. Pay attention to the advice given to you from your healthcare providers as well as any observations made by family and friends. Most importantly, be honest with yourself to know when it's time to turn the keys in for the last time.

  • Bruno Curved Stairlift Protects Against Falls

    The Bruno Curved Stairlift is helping protect people from accidents and falls around their home. During the winter time, one of the top injuries that is reported at hospitals involve people falling.

    More often than not, falls occur during the winter due to ice and snow or other winter weather. However, falls also become a major concern as we age. If you have aging parents or relatives or know people who have limited mobility, it is worth speaking to the mobility specialists at Van Products about the Bruno Curved Stairlift.

    Benefits of the Bruno Curved Stairlift

    The Bruno Curved Stairlift offers unparalleled support for people who are faced with mobility challenges.

    Some of the features include:

    • Stability while traveling up or down stairways - – even during power outages
    • Optional Wrap-around “park” positions (ideal for narrow stairways)
    • Options to mount the stairlift on either side of the staircase
    • And more

    Mobility In & Around Your Home

    Your home should be a safe haven - a place where you feel comfortable moving around. You shouldn't have to let your mobility challenges get in the way of leading an independent life. Having the Bruno Stairlift not only prevents falls from occurring - it makes it easier for you to move around your home.

    5 Ways to Prevent Injury from Falls

    Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults. The Mayo Clinic gives some great tips for preventing injury from falls. We've included some of these tips below:

    #1 - Check in with your doctor.

    Keep a close watch on any medications you are taking that could impair your mobility, and make note of any changes in medication.

    If you’ve fallen before, write down the details at the time it happens, and be prepared to let your doctor or caregiver know.

    #2- Stay active!

    Physical activity can go a long way to prevent accidental falls. Stay hydrated, and with your doctor’s permission, engage in age-appropriate activities and exercises that work to improve and strengthen your balance, coordination and flexibility.

    The worse thing you can do is be sedentary!

    #3 - Wear proper shoes.

    If falling is a concern, consider the shoes on your feet. Women should avoid high heels (or switch to a lower heel). Avoid slippery-soled shoes and walking around in stocking feet. Also beware of flip flops or other types of footwear that can easily get caught up on surfaces or cause you to trip.

    #4 - Remove potential hazards from your home.

    Believe it or not, your own home can pose a threat to you falling! Remove any unnecessary clutter, such as boxes, phone and electrical cords and loose rugs. If you spill a liquid or food, immediately clean up the spill to avoid slipping.

    #5 - Check the lighting.

    Having a well-lit area can make it easier to see where you are going and avoid falling. Invest in night lights that are strategically placed in your bedroom, bathroom, and hallways. Place lamps within reach of your bed in case you have to get up in the middle of the night, and store flashlights in easy-to-remember places in the event of a power outage.

    View the Bruno Curved Stairlift in Action

    View an example of the Bruno Curved Stairlift below:

  • Protecting Yourself During a Vehicle Fire

    Like most people who spend a considerable amount of time in their vehicles - either driving to and from work, picking kids up from school - or even running your business out of your vehicle (ex: plumbers, carpenters, etc.), you should always make sure that your vehicle is packed with an emergency kit.

    Another thing that you should consider keeping in your vehicle is a fire extinguisher. However, just as there are different types of fires, so should you select a fire extinguisher that is most appropriate for your vehicle.

    What Type of Fire Extinguisher is Best-Suited for a Car?

    Most vehicles have the same types of fire hazards in common:

    • Gasoline
    • Electrical Components
    • Oil
    • Fabric (upholstery)

    The type of fire extinguisher you keep in your vehicle should be able to handle a fire involving any or all of these components. So, what kind of fire extinguisher is best for a vehicle?

    View the different types of fire extinguishers and the types/classes of fires they extinguish.

    When it comes to your vehicle, dry powder fire extinguishers are the best choice for a vehicle.

    WHY?

    The fire repellent contained inside of these types of fire extinguishers consists of a dry powder and are rated for use on any A, B and C or E class of fire. It will effectively extinguish fuel and electrical related fires, as well as fires involving upholstery and wood products.

    fire extinguisher by SmartSignBrooklyn on flickr cc

    Benefits/Uses of Fire Extinguishers in Vehicles

    #1 - Engine Fires

    Did you know that engine fires area actually considered electrical fires? Therefore, the type of fire extinguisher needed will be different than a fire extinguisher that is used to extinguish a chemical fire or wood-burning fire.

    You will need a fire extinguisher that is specifically designed for vehicles that will be able to put out the fire as well as prevent any further damage.

    #2 - Other Types of Fires Within Your Vehicle

    If you are one of many people who uses their commercial vehicle for business purposes, you may need to have different types of fire extinguishers professionally installed in your vehicle. For example, if your business deals with the transportation of chemical materials, you may need to have two separate fire extinguishers - one that is designed to extinguish chemical fires, and one that is designed to extinguish electrical fires.

    Always check first before carrying a fire extinguisher. If you are unsure, ask a professional which type(s) of fire extinguisher(s) you need to have in your vehicle.

    #3 - Help in the Event of an Auto Accident

    It’s not all that unusual to see or experience a vehicle fire in the event of an auto collision. This is mostly due to the fact that gas and oil combine with friction, sparking dangerous fires.

    Having a fire extinguisher can help buy time for you or for someone else to escape from your vehicle or potentially prevent a fire from becoming worse.

  • Volunteer to Help People with Physical Disabilities in 2017!

    This 2017, why not use your professional skills, expertise, or time to help those with physical disabilities. To help you get started, we're providing some great resources for volunteering.

    Have a volunteer story about how you made a positive impact in the life of someone with a physical disability? Let us know!

    by le vent le cri on flickr cc

    Ways to Give Back to the Physically Disabled

    Volunteers of America

    Enter your zip code to find local offices in your area that need volunteers. Needs range from supportive living services to in-home support services (assistance with personal care, money management, etc.) to specialized services (nursing care).

    Help from  Home

    Are you physically disabled or less abled to participate in traditional volunteer opportunities? Help from Home allows volunteers to give back within the confines of their own physical limitations.

    Activate Good

    Find volunteer opportunities in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina - both suited for those with physical disabilities to volunteer or for those who wish to volunteer to help those with physical disabilities.

    Volunteer Abroad

    Take your love for volunteering to another level by volunteering outside of the USA. This program is especially geared at empowering those with disabilities to volunteer.

    Service Leader.org

    This site provides valuable information and suggestions for working successfully with volunteers who have disabilities - from ensuring that you provide adequate accommodations to conversations.

    Go Overseas

    This program is focused on disabled care volunteer abroad programs that benefit children and teenagers with physical/mental disabilities.

    Network for Good

    Network for Good offers a number of ways to help people with disabilities. Search for volunteer opportunities with organizations close to your home.

    VolunteerMatch.org

    Find great nonprofit causes close to home that benefit those with physical disabilities. Simply begin by typing in your city and state.

    For more information about new or certified pre-owned wheelchair vans, contact Van Products today: 1-800-209-6133.

  • Winter Tips for People with Physical Disabilities

    #1 - Have an emergency kit (in the car, at home)

    Regardless of whether you have a physical disability or not, you should keep an emergency kit in your home as well as in your handicapped van or other vehicle.

    The items you choose to include in your emergency kit can vary, but many people choose to include:

    • Batteries
    • Flashlight
    • Non-perishable food items
    • Water
    • Blanket(s)
    • Clothing
    • First Aid supplies*

    *If you or someone you know has a physical disability, you will want to check with a physician to confirm what other items you may want to include in an emergency kit. For example:

    Backup supply for electrical-powered mobility equipment

    • Oxygen tank
    • Extra medications (prescription & non-prescription)
    • Hearing aids
    by-dlg_images-flickr-cc

    #2 - Have an emergency plan.

    Does your physical disability require the use of a service pet or caregiver assistance? Speak to your family, physician, and caregiver about an emergency plan in the even that there is bad winter weather or power outages.

    Consider nearby shelters, or hospitals that can accommodate your special needs should an emergency arise. Be sure that your neighbors are included and are aware of your needs, just in case assistance is needed.

    #3 - Avoid going outdoors unless absolutely necessary.

    In icy conditions, it is best to remain indoors. Roads are unsafe to drive on , and even if you feel confident in your driving abilities, you may not be able to predict the behavior of other drivers when there is inclement weather present.

    #4 - Keep your cell phone charged.

    Know that bad weather is on the way? Make sure your cell phone is fully charged. It may be helpful to have a backup battery for your cell phone just in case. Never charge your phone in your vehicle with the garage door closed.

    #5 - Be aware of the needs of your service pet.

    Just like humans, dogs can suffer frostbite and hypothermia. Avoid venturing outside, and avoid letting your dog outside for extended periods of time. If you do find yourself on the road, be sure to keep an extra blanket and extra water for your service dog.

    #6 - Dress in layers.

    When bad weather hits during the weather, it is always best to be dressed in layers in case the power goes out or in the event that you have to be evacuated from your home.

    #7 - Have a list of emergency numbers handy.

    Keep a list of important phone numbers handy. While it is great to include these phone numbers in your cell phone, it is best to also have them written down in a phone book and safely stored nearby (in case the power goes out or your cell phone dies).

    Be sure to let your emergency contacts know that they are your emergency contacts.

    #8 - Winterize your handicap van.

    Be one step ahead of any winter weather situation by making sure the gas tank in your handicap van is kept full. A full gas tank will help keep your fuel line from freezing.

    #9 - Consider alternative heating methods.

    Have a wood burning fireplace in your home? Make sure you keep your fireplaces and other heating sources cleaned and inspected regularly. In the event that the power is out for an extended period of time, you may be able to use alternate heating sources.

    #10 - Keep sand, kitty litter, or rock salt handy.

    Patios, front door areas, driveways, sidewalks, steps, etc. are all danger zones for people with and without physical disabilities whenever winter weather hits. Having sand, salt, or kitty litter to spread down can give more traction and prevent nasty falls.

  • MXV Gets Camo Wrap for 'Back in the Woods Again' Hunt

    Raleigh, NC (September 19, 2016) - 

    Van Products is a proud sponsor of the 'Back in the Woods Again' Hunt, an annual event aimed at providing disabled hunters with an opportunity to go hunting. This year, Van Products was excited to take a brand new Ford MXV SUV and outfit it in a customized camo wrap ahead of this year's 6th Annual event, which took place September 16 - 17.

    Starting off with a Clean Slate

    Pictured below, the Ford MXV Started off white, but it soon received a custom camo wrap at Executive Signs & Graphics:

    (Click on each image to view a larger size.)

    Ford MXV Gets Custom Camo Wrap

    In no time, the Ford MXV was completely transformed and ready for the Back in the Woods Again hunt. Take a look at the finished product below:

    (Click on each image to view a larger size.)

    About 'Back in the Woods Again'

    Founded by Tommy Estridge and Jerome Davis in late 2011, Back in the Woods Again is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization aimed at providing disabled sportsmen and sportswomen with an opportunity to go hunting, despite being disabled. To accomplish this, Estridge and Davis partnered with private land owners in Chatham County, NC (as well as surrounding areas) in order to provide each of the disabled hunters with a great experience.

  • Wheelchair Accessibility on the Internet

    When searching for wheelchair accessible or handicap accessible places on the Internet, you should ask yourself the following questions, and pay close attention to the answers you find!

    by-SmartSignBrooklyn-flickr-cc

    Is there a wheelchair accessible entrance?

    As the person: Having a wheelchair accessible entrance is important because it will let you know if you will need additional assistance getting into the establishment.

    As the business: Businesses should only answer 'Yes' to this question if the wheelchair accessible entrance to the business is approximately one meter wide and does NOT have steps. If your business has one of more steps, you should have a permanent ramp. A moveable ramp is also acceptable. If your business has an entryway that only has revolving doors, you should always mark, 'No' to being wheelchair accessible.

    Is there wheelchair accessible seating?

    As the person: Especially if you are searching for a good place to eat dinner with family or friends, you always want to make sure that there are wheelchair accessible seating options. This ensures that you will have enough room to comfortably sit at and navigate the table.

    As the business: Businesses should only answer 'Yes' if the main area of the business can be access entirely without stairs and there is enough space for someone in a wheelchair to comfortably sit at a table. For example, if your business only had pub height tables, it would not be considered "wheelchair-friendly".

    Is there wheelchair/handicap parking?

    As the person: Having handicap or wheelchair accessible parking is important because of the proximity of the space to the place of business, but more importantly because wheelchair accessible spaces are wider to allow you to comfortably navigate getting into and out of your vehicle if needed.

    As the business: Businesses should only answer 'Yes' if you actually have designated parking spots for those with mobility needs, marked by an official placard, sign, and/or painting on the ground.

    Is there a wheelchair accessible elevator?

    As the person: It is unrealistic to expect every business or place that you visit to be on one level. However, it is reasonable to expect that if a business deems itself 'handicap-accessible' and is located in a multi-level building - it should have a wheelchair-friendly elevator.

    As the business: Businesses who are multi-storied and who claim to be wheelchair accessible should have an elevator that is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair + other passengers. If you do not have an elevator at all but have more than one story, you cannot claim to be wheelchair-friendly.

  • Top Things NOT to Say to Someone in a Wheelchair

    Understandably, it can be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has a physical disability if you've never experienced it yourself. However, like most things, it helps to be a little thoughtful when communicating with someone who has a physical disability.

    The following are some things we don't recommend saying to someone who uses a wheelchair.

    image-by-zeevveez-flickr-cc

    Avoid Saying This a Wheelchair User

    #1 - You're such an inspiration.

    Why you shouldn't say it: 

    Keep in mind that wheelchair users are just regular people like yourself who are performing many of the same daily tasks that you are! Praising them for doing something that everyone does can sometimes single them out and make them feel uncomfortable.

    #2 - "I parked here because I just needed to run in and grab something quick."

    Why you shouldn't say it: 

    Parking your vehicle in a handicap space is a huge No-No. Keep in mind that handicap spaces are there for a reason. The few minutes it may take you to run in and do some light grocery shopping may be the exact moment that someone with a physical disability drives up looking for a parking space. Also keep in mind the fact that handicap spaces are wider/larger to allow people with physical disabilities enough room to safely get out of their vehicle.

    #3 - What happened?

    Why you shouldn't say it: 

    Unless you know the person extremely well, it is considered rude and inappropriate to ask someone a personal question about the root cause of their physical disability. If they don't offer first, don't ask.

    #4 - "I had to use a wheelchair when I broke my leg, so I know how you feel."

    Why you shouldn't say it:

    Everyone's experience with mobility challenges is different. Most importantly, you cannot begin to compare a broken leg (which is temporary) to someone who may have a permanent physical disability. The two are like night and day, and trying to compare yourself in this way is not only demeaning; it can be demoralizing. Don't do it!

    #5 - Don't squat down to talk to someone in a wheelchair.

    Why you shouldn't do it:

    Unless the wheelchair user is a child, you should avoid squatting down to speak to someone in a wheelchair. Many adult wheelchair users view this as patronizing. If anything, you can ask the wheelchair user if they would prefer you to sit down or remain standing. Whatever you do, do not assume!

    What are things can you think of? What sorts of positive actions can non-wheelchair users take when communicating with wheelchair users?

     

  • Bringing Freedom of Mobility to the Triangle

    image-by-mesaba-flickr-ccSince Van Products was founded in 1974, we have dedicated ourselves to providing high quality, wheelchair-accessible vehicles to the Triangle area.

    Whether you're a former military member, or you're a family member to someone who has a physical disability, we are committed to making your life more accessible.

    Providing Freedom of Mobility to the Triangle

    The advance of technology has brought us a long way in terms of accessibility and affordability, and today, there are more options than ever for those with physical disabilities to live more independently. From home automation to mobility products, such as stair lifts, scooters, and more- physically disabled persons no longer have to view their disability as a barrier to doing what they want to do.

    At Van Products, we are proud to sell certified pre-owned and new handicap vans. We only sell handicap vans that are from trusted brands, and we will only sell certified used handicap vans that have passed through a stringent quality assurance and safety test.

    From Our Family to Yours

    Unlike some handicap van dealers, we truly know and understand our audience. Our team of wheelchair van specialists in Raleigh (and in our Wilmington location) know what it's like to be disabled - either because they themselves are faced with a mobility challenge, or they have relatives or friends who are faced with mobility challenges of their own.

    Having said that, we are familiar and empathetic to the types of challenges that physically disabled persons face - especially when it comes to having what they need inside of their vehicle and outside in order to get themselves from Point A to Point B.

    We encourage you to stop by our Raleigh showroom today. Our showroom is interactive, and it will give you the chance to test out different mobility features for a variety of wheelchair vans that we carry.

    Have trouble making it to our Raleigh or Wilmington showroom? Talk to one of our mobility specialists, and we'll arrange an in-home wheelchair van demonstration.

    Freedom to Travel Where You Want, When You Want

    Don't let a physical disability be a barrier to you being able to do the things you want. At Van Products, we're here to help make sure your wheelchair van moves you wherever you want to go.

    Contact us today.

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