You see them in parking lots, bathrooms, license plates and public transportation. It’s easily recognizable, yet most don’t think about them too much. It’s the handicap symbol, and in New York it’s getting a fresh look after 45 years.
What started as an illegal art project in Rhode Island by Sara Hendren and Brian Glenney soon transformed into a movement for change recognized by the government. Their original idea was to liven up the “stiff, robotic” look into a more active and human looking symbol. The message is to get away from presenting the look as a disability, and rather show that it is still a person in the chair who is still moving forward.
The ability to get in and out of your vehicle easily and comfortably is one of the most important steps in gaining a true sense of freedom. Climbing, twisting and lifting make transferring from a wheelchair into a car’s seat difficult for people with disabilities or limited mobility. While built-in seating is the safest option when driving or riding as a passenger, the physical demands of the transfer process can take a toll on both your body and your caregiver’s. Read More →
With such a wide variety of adaptive vehicle equipment options available, selecting the appropriate features or modifications can become big task. In an effort to facilitate this process, here are the responses to some of the most frequently asked mobility equipment questions. Read More →
Handicap accessible vehicles are a vital part of living for someone with a physical handicap who has to use a wheelchair. It helps to increase their mobility and their freedom. If there was no way safely to transport the person in a wheelchair, then the individual who is handicapped would probably be stranded at home all the time. For a long time, the handicap van was the only way to transport the wheel chair.
With today’s technology and the help of groups like NMEDA, handicap accessible vehicles have come a long way. NMEDA stands for National Mobility Equipment Dealer’s Association. NMEDA is a not for profit trade association of mobility equipment dealers, manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists and other professionals. NMEDA is dedicated to the ability and safety for people with disabilities to drive or be transported in vehicles modified with mobility equipment. All of our members work together improving the transportation options for people with disabilities.
As a group, we offer additional educational training to help to ensure current knowledge of the mobility equipment. One of the courses we offer online is the NMEDA Certification Program. This program is for our members only and for service department technicians. This program is intended to standardize technical competency for the automotive mobility industry. This certification is very important; it proves your abilities and shows that you are one of the best in the business. These credentials are recognized throughout NMEDA’s membership. Becoming a member requires some steps from those applying. They must fill out the application, complete the classes, and pass the test with at least an 80%. This certification will have to be renewed every two years.
We also offer a Dealer Sales Training Online Course. This course is for anyone working in the fields of mobility equipment sales, service and support. This is to ensure that all the staff dealing in the sales, service and support of the mobility equipment has the general knowledge of the working equipment and its safety. This program is also designed so that the sales staff will be able to help the customers to make the right choices when it comes to the equipment that they need.
When you are looking to purchase a handicap vehicle, check for the nearest NMEDA dealer in your area. Make sure you tell the trained salesperson what you are looking for. Also be sure to tell him all of your driving needs. The sales person is trained to know how to guide you to choose what equipment will best suit your needs. Some dealers will have a variety of new and used vehicles. It will depend on your needs and you financial situation, which way you will want to go.
Knowing if the handicapped person will be driving the vehicle or just a passenger in the vehicle will make a big difference in what options the vehicle will need to be equipped. If the handicapped person will be driving the vehicle, there is a good chance that the vehicle will have to be equipped with hand controls for steering and working the gas and brakes. There are a lot of choices to make when choosing the right handicap accessible vehicles.
Handicap vans started out being the only means of transportation that was available to transport a person in a wheelchair. The mobility of a disabled person is a very important part of their lives. That person needs to be able to go to their medical appointments, shopping and just get away from the house for a bit. Socializing is also very important for their mental health. It would not be good to be trapped inside their home all of the time. As the awareness of the disabled person began to grow, luckily so did technology. Different ideas were evolving in the transportation of the handicapped person.
A group in Florida formed an association of mobility equipment dealers. Our group was formed to help to make the transportation of the handicap more safe and comfortable. In the beginning, there were no regulations for the safe transport of a wheel chair. In 1989, we opened our membership up on a national level which resulted in the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association or NMEDA, being established. Our organization promotes and supports individual members who are involved in the modification of quality transportation for people with disabilities. Our membership has now grown to more than 600 members with the majority of the members located in the United States and Canada.
NMEDA is a non-profit organization made up of mobility equipment manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists, dealers and other professionals involved in improving the lives of people with disabilities. Our members of this group must follow the guidelines set forth by the safety standard of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, The Transport Canada, F/CMVSS and the NMEDA guidelines. Our members are also required to follow the guidelines of the Quality Assurance Program or QAP. This is an accreditation that promotes and ensures the quality, reliability and safety in the industry for mobility equipment. NMEDA’s goal is to strive to improve the mobility equipment industry and to service the people with disabilities.
Our goal is to make awareness of the safety and comfort of the modifications of the handicap vans and mobility equipment used for the handicapped. Safely being able to transport your loved one in a vehicle to get them to the doctor or a family outing should be a major priority. As with everything, there are guidelines to insure the safety of the disabled person.
Taking your mother out to go shopping will help her to keep her independence and self-worth. Being able to include her on a trip or outing to the park with the family for a picnic makes her feel like she is still part of the family unit. If it were not for the means of transportation for the handicapped, she would be left behind at home while the rest of the family did their outing, leaving her behind. This would not be good for her mental health and would make her more than likely depressed. Many families today are very thankful for the wonderful invention of the handicap vans.
Wheelchair accessible vehicles or specially modified rides are not only a big investment but can also open doors and make otherwise difficult tasks considerably less stressful. In the colder months, a van outfitted with the right mobility equipment can act as a barrier against harsh temperatures and inclement weather while helping you get where you need to go. Because these vehicles are such significant parts of our lives, it’s important that we take the time to make sure they are properly maintained. Read More →
Handicap accessible vehicles have been on the market for a long time. Recent years have brought about all kinds of improvements and sales have been increasing. These days there are many objects, appliances and services we use on a daily basis to make our lives easier or more comfortable. From a coffee maker to an order for pizza delivery, these commodities are plenty and widely used. The number of them available seem to be growing by the hour. For people living with a disability, a vehicle which has undergone a conversion to be fully accessible, just may be a life changing addition to the list. Read More →