Being a parent is a round the clock job, with no paid vacation or sick days. After all the hours of taking care of your child, the hard work is always worth it. But when you have mobility issues, the work becomes a little more challenging and can require more planning, problem solving, and patience. With an adaptive vehicle, some of these challenges get easier—an accessible minivan provides ample room for you and your child while giving you the freedom to drive independently.
Accessible Entry and Exit
Accessible minivans can accommodate a side or rear entry, depending on your preference. A side entry van allows extra room for maneuvering but requires extra space for ramp deployment. A portion of the floor of the vehicle is lowered for wheelchair users to drive in the first row of seating and offer storage space behind the third row. The extra storage space is perfect for children to put their belongings, especially sports equipment, without blocking the entryway.
The second option is a rear entry van that is typically less expensive to convert to, making it a popular choice. A benefit to the rear entry minivan is that the van does not need additional space for ramp deployment and can fit into narrow parking spots. The passenger can enter and exit with ease through a path from the second row to the rear of the van. Rear entry minivans are typically not made for drivers with disabilities.
Ramp Options to Fit Your Needs
Aside from the entryways, you can also choose one of four ramp options for your accessible vehicle. A fold-out ramp is a great option for passengers in wheelchairs because of its quick and easy function that, as the name suggests, folds out when used. An in-floor ramp is an option for parents with rambunctious children as the ramp is stowed under the floor and allows for an obstruction-free interior. This option has extra safety, as there aren’t extra parts any passenger can get caught on.
Finally, there are manual and power ramps that do as the name suggests. Manual ramps are cost-effective and ideal for wheelchair users always with a companion to deploy. Power ramps are activated by a key fob and free the wheelchair user from physical labor, allowing the driver to roam free.
A minivan with accessible features can put you in the driver’s seat of a manageable and moderately sized vehicle for you and your family. Once you’ve implemented the conversion options, you’ll realize how solutions that fit your life and family make for easier parenting. Enjoy independence with your child by taking control of the way you maneuver and explore the world.
For more information on the best vehicle for your needs, contact a NMEDA dealer near you: www.nmeda.org/dealerlocator