Mobility equipment and assistive technology products are created with three primary goals in mind:
- Enabling you or your passenger to enter and exit your vehicle more easily, safely and comfortably
- Obtaining the safest and most comfortable seating position possible
- Transporting a personal mobility device such as a scooter or wheelchair in the easiest manner possible
Mobility equipment products can be used on an individual basis or in combinations depending on an individual’s particular situation. These products are generally — although not exclusively — geared towards those who have slight to partial loss of mobility.
Mobility equipment products have two main applications:
- To make standard production cars, minivans, vans and/or SUVs more accessible for people who have slight to partial mobility loss but are generally not full-time wheelchair users. Users of these products must be able to -with assistance – stand, turn and take a step or two.
- For people who are using wheelchair vans but need further adaptations to help them to be more successful or comfortable in their use of their wheelchair van.
The following types of mobility equipment are available from VCI Mobility:
Grab Bars and Handles
Grab bars and handles are simple devices that can be put in many places. In fact, every vehicle already has some type of grab handle — typically on the door frame just above the window. While this position works for most, when your mobility is changing, you often need to have additional supports in different places. The most common positions for grab handles are on the A-Pillar or B-Pillar of the vehicle. Devices also exist that can utilize the existing door latch as a temporary holding point. In any situation, a little support can go a long way toward making your vehicle entry and exit easier and safer.
- Applications: Can be added to virtually any vehicle
- Cost: Inexpensive
The goal of assistive seating is to enable individuals who have mobility loss to be able to transfer onto a seat and be lifted/brought into a vehicle with ease and convenience. Assistive seating can aid both the passenger and the person accompanying them.
- Applications: Generally limited to large sedans, SUVs, minivans, and full sized vans
- Cost: $3,000 – $10,000
- Manufacturers: Braun, Bruno
Transfer seats enable a person to “transfer” into a car seat for travel, while seated in a wheelchair. In most instances a transfer seat is found in the front passenger position.
Wheelchair and Scooter Lifts
Scooters and wheelchairs are heavy and difficult to transport. Wheelchair and scooter lifts can assist you by lifting the wheelchair and making it easy to stow in the trunk of your car, back of your minivan or SUV. Wheelchair and scooter lifts can even help you stow in the back of your pick-up truck.
- Applications: Primarily for large sedans, SUVs, minivans, vans, and trucks
- Cost: $900 – $4,500
- Manufacturers: Bruno, VMI
In many instances, we refer to the products above as “partial disability products”. We also often consider these products to be a discretionary purchase for many consumers.
As is the case with most mobility solutions, there are a few physical considerations involved:
- The size of the individual with the disability
- The size of the individual with a disability’s mobility device
- The vehicle that the individual with a disability will be using