“Handicap” vans have gotten a bad rap. Traditionally viewed as humble wheelchair accessible vehicles for people with disabilities, they now have new attitude with sporty exteriors, spacious interiors and all the top-of-the-line features you could possibly want. They may not have the kitchen sink, but some of them have a refrigerated storage box.

Look for these amenities:

Entertainment

Long rides or trips can get boring, but not with a Bluetooth connection, TV/VCR, DVD rear entertainment system, satellite radio, hard disc drive, 6-disc CD changer, USB connection, MP3 capability, and/or audio/video jacks.

Comfort

Back pain? A driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment including power lumbar support will ease the ache.

Is your van too hot in the front and too cold in the back? With tri-zone automatic climate control, everyone is cozy. And heated front seats are a real blessing in the winter.

Get armchair comfy with rear seat footrests.

Safety

When it’s painful to turn, a rear view camera and parking sensors take the “ouch” out of backing up and parking, and are real safety assets.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems are designed to prevent an accident from happening in the first place, in some cases by taking control of the car. They include collision avoidance systems that automatically apply a car’s brakes and lane-departure prevention to steer a vehicle back on track for you.

Adaptive cruise control uses sensors to detect vehicles ahead and adjust a car’s cruise speed accordingly.

Convenience

You have to love dual power sliding doors and a power rear hatch.

Steering wheel mounted navigation and phone controls—even a household plug—are over the top in convenience.

Just because you can

Pass me a soda, please. A refrigerated storage compartment keeps cold drinks cold.

Handicapped accessible vans are not what they used to be. They are so much better! Consult with a QAP accredited NMEDA mobility equipment dealer for more details.

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.

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