6 Ways Vehicles Can Be Adapted to Become Handicap Accessible
Basic mobility aids for drivers with disabilities
Standard vehicles offer limited options for those who need specialized access and operation controls, but it’s not as costly or involved as you may think to make a vehicle handicap accessible. In fact, the installation of a combination of the following accessories can turn a standard production-version of a van, truck, car, or SUV into handicap-accessible transportation.
More Information: The process of how a vehicle is converted to be accessible
Wheelchair Lifts/Ramps: There are many ways that companies can convert a vehicle to make it wheelchair-accessible. The most common modifications made involve added a ramp or lift on the side or back of the vehicle. This provides easy access to the passenger or driver areas.
Swivel Chairs: Standard car seats are stationary and limited in movement, but they can be replaced with seats that can swivel, raise, and even extend outside the vehicle to allow for easy transitions from a wheelchair to the car seat. For safety and operation reasons, it’s important to sit in a seat designed for use inside a vehicle.
Seat belts and Docking: As an alternative to a standard or swivel chair, special docking points and straps can be installed to secure a wheelchair so it can double as a car seat. Custom seat belts are also necessary.
Hand Controls: Customized hand-operated controls can replace standard foot-operated vehicle controls to suit the needs of the driver. The installation of a handle for braking and accelerating that’s adjacent to a steering wheel offers an alternative means to perform essential driving functions.
Alternative Pedals: If foot-based operations are limited but possible, the standard vehicle pedals can be extended, moved or replaced to accommodate different feet or positions.
Steering Wheel Attachments: You can outfit the steering wheel with various other accessories to modify turning, honking, blinkers, and other operations work, allowing you to control through buttons, knobs, and other useful devices.
Buying a Handicap-Accessible Vehicle: Do you qualify for financial assistance?