The most common types of mobility vans are minivans and full size vans. They offer enough space inside to accommodate the size of a wheelchair with a passenger. Drivers who are in wheelchairs are also able to drive specially designed vans.
There are several options for purchasing mobility vans. You can purchase a fully outfitted handicap accessible van brand new, purchase a used outfitted van or purchase a van and get it outfitted with the items you need. The cost of a new wheelchair access van can be quite high. If you want to stay within a budget you may want to opt for a used van or one that you can outfit yourself.
It's important to outfit the van with the items that you specifically need. One of the most important options is a wheelchair lift. There are two main types of lifts, occupied and unoccupied. Occupied lifts are designed to carefully lift the wheelchair while the person is sitting in it. An unoccupied lift helps to bring an empty or folded wheelchair into the van.
Other alternatives to the wheelchair lift are the ramp and the lowered floor. With these options the wheelchair is wheeled into the van without the need for a lift. Once inside the vehicle there need to be special accommodations for the disabled person. This may include a special type of seat that swivels to allow the person to easily get in and out of it.
For those who will be transported while sitting in their own wheelchair, the van needs to be adapted to include a device that locks the wheelchair into place inside the van. This is essential to passenger safety. The van may need to accommodate more than one wheelchair at a time. The inside can be configured to properly accommodate the number of passengers needed.
Mobility vans may also be adapted to include the ability for a disabled person to drive. The driver may need a special type of seat or may need to sit in the wheelchair. Special hand controls may be added so the foot pedals can be controlled using the hands. Other special features may be required for passengers or drivers with various disabilities.