One of the most important things to consider when purchasing any wheelchair accessible vehicles is point and method of entry and exit. Choosing between rear or side entry powered or manual ramps, and industrial lifts be a daunting task, however with the help of an NMEDA Mobility Equipment Dealer, the selection process can be made significantly easier.
Portable ramps are some of the least expensive and easiest to install methods of entry into accessible vehicles. They generally require at least some assistance from a second party, seeing as these models are usually manually operated. Apart from the ability to utilize these ramps with multiple vehicles, portable ramps offer the option to remove the ramp from the vehicle when it is not a necessity.
As their name suggests, powered ramps boast added convenience in their motorized movements. This type of ramp does come with a larger price tag, however it offers a higher degree of autonomy. For a person with limited mobility, a powered ramp may mean the difference between being able to enter and exit the car on their own, or requiring the assistance of a second person in order to travel in their wheelchair accessible vehicles.
While some people must use a powered ramp due to mobility limitations, others may find that a manual ramp is a better-suited option. This kind of equipment requires the user to extend or retract the ramp, which may mean second party assistance may be needed, however it offers the benefit of a smaller price tag.
Lifts in vehicles in order to make them accessible for people with disabilities can also be either powered or manual, with options between flat, folding or swinging platforms. These industrial strength adaptations offer more durability than their ramp counterparts, however with the added length of life and convenience comes a heftier price. While ramps may suffice for some, wheelchair lifts can drastically ease entry and exit into and out of wheelchair accessible vehicles for those with little access to assistance or those with very limited mobility.
Keeping these options in mind, it is highly recommended that you speak to an authorized mobility equipment dealer before purchasing a ramp or lift in order to make sure your needs are met.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.