Handicap accessible vans are a way to make transportation for those with physical difficulties more accessible. For some, this is an important part of everyday life in order to function in the world, for others it might be a tool they have not yet explored to access mobility and freedom. From owning a personal van to utilizing government or community funded vehicles, handicap vans are becoming more typical in everyday life.
The needs of handicap accessible vehicles and modification to modern living is becoming more and more prevalent. If you own a business, you know that it is against the law to make any building not handicap accessible. Most public transportation is supposed to be accessible but still lacks practicality for its users. Handicap accessible vans seem to be the most efficient way of transport with the least number of hurdles.
A handicap accessible van is a van that has had modifications to its interior and exterior. The interior has been made larger in order to fit one or multiple types of wheelchairs. The interior has also been modified so that the wheelchairs are compliantly safe and secure while the vehicle is in motion. The exterior of the vehicle might be modified with entry points that allow the installation of a power lift or wheelchair ramp.
These lifts and ramps can be accessed by more than just chairs and might help someone without a wheelchair to more easily access getting into a van vehicle. Seating might also be available to passengers without disabilities in the front of the van.
Many people who have a wheelchair-bound family member might consider buying their own handicap accessible vans. This gives the ultimate freedom to get anywhere at any time. This might be more prevalent in rural and suburban communities where there is a long distance to travel and most people have their own vehicles. In the city, where fewer people drive in general, there are programs to coordinate community handicap needs and services.
You can contact the local city transportation services to see if they offer particular handicap accessible transport. They often will provide handicap vans as an option for those that request or will lead you to what type of transport they can offer. Any public transportation company is by law supposed to have ample access to the handicapped. If you can not find it or don't see it offered, you can file a complaint with the city or county government.
Most publicly owned handicap vans will have signs on the outside detailing that is what it is, so it is easy to verify and find by passengers. Many hospitals, health providers, and disability advocacy groups will have access to handicap vans. These are great resources to contact if you are looking to see what's available in different situations.
If you are handicap or know someone who is and would like to utilize a handicap accessible van, you can start by contacting the local chamber of commerce. Here they should be able to lead you in the right direction as to what's available in the area. The handicap population is still severely understood. Speaking up if there are not enough resources can be your greatest strength.