It takes specialists to create wheelchair accessible vehicles for the more than 1 million wheelchair users in the U.S. It would be a nightmare if you had to find all those specialists on your own: an occupational therapist, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS), a specialty store that sold the exact adaptive equipment you need, an experienced professional backed by a Quality Assurance Program who could build a safe handicap van—and check all the credentials of all those people.
That’s why anyone with a wheelchair accessible vehicle will recommend that you go directly to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA), a non-profit organization, for information you are looking for and then choose from a large pool of specialists in your area.
NMEDA and their members create a nationwide circle of professionals, from Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, to Quality Assurance Program (QAP) accredited dealers of handicapped vans, rental vans and more. (The QAP designation is indicative of enhanced vehicle modification and adaptive equipment installation consistent with the highest industry standards.)
- To start, a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist performs clinical assessments (vision, reaction time, cognitive skills), performs a road test and then writes a prescription for accessible vehicle modifications and any adaptive equipment, like hand controls.
- Then the CDRS works hand-in-hand with you, a occupational or physical therapist and a NMEDA mobility dealer to decide on the best possible solution for you.
- NMEDA mobility dealers know which vehicles will work the best with which modifications; they know which heavy-duty electrical system and factory-installed power accessories are important and which may be unnecessary in your individual case.
In other words, they know how to save you money, ensure your safety and advise you on all of options.
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.