In 1990, Congress signed into a law an historic piece of legislation designed to protect individuals with disabilities. The American with Disabilities Act changed the disabled community forever — particularly with respect to employment, government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. And, later, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 changed the way this country made the handicap wheelchair van…
Which is precisely what we’re going to discuss in today’s post. A set of revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design outlined specific characteristics for wheelchair vans. These standards improved significantly the safety and security for passengers of adaptable mobility vehicles. Although they are not required in every vehicle, buying a handicap wheelchair van for the ADA-compliant label is an assurance of quality and safety.
A snapshot of the ADA guidelines
These enforceable guidelines are used by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to outline the set of rules the public must follow with respect to places of public accommodation, commercial facilities, and state and local government facilities. They also extend to wheelchair accessible vans and vehicles for the purposes of safety and uniform design.
The standards are described in various measurements, materials, and equipment locations throughout the adaptable vehicle — all elements that have been thoroughly tested by their respective manufacturers to ensure a safer, more secure ride for wheelchair-bound passengers and drivers.
The ADA-compliance guidelines began as modifications to public transportation vehicles — streetcars, trains, non-emergency medical transport vans, etc. — and eventually extended to manufacturers of personal vehicles sold at dealerships throughout the United States.
Keep in mind that not all wheelchair accessible vans are required to meet these design standards — only those who wish to earn the ADA-compliant designation for sale and marketing purposes.What makes an ADA-compliant #wheelchair van so safe? #mobility #wheelchairlife Click To Tweet
ADA rules for the handicap wheelchair van
So now that we know the what and the way behind the American with Disabilities Act and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, it’s important to know what legislation looks like when it comes to the vehicle you drive. The standards are focused on a several specific points of the handicap wheelchair van that influence the safety of disabled passengers.
A few elements of ADA compliance includes the following unique comfort and safety features:
- Lift door height. 56” door opening height
- Handicap lift. 30” x 40” wide clear platform
- Wheelchair attachments. Able to withstand 2,500 of pressure per leg
- Seat belt mechanism. 4 pt. tie downs with lap and shoulder belt
- Interior lighting. One foot candle of illumination
As you shop for your adaptable vehicle, ask your mobility dealer to show you the ADA-compliant handicap wheelchair van options that they have in their inventory.
Examples of ADA-compliant handicap wheelchair vans
There are a few affordable makes and models of wheelchair accessible vans that boast ADA-compliance — both right from the manufacturing line and after an accessibility conversion. These examples are a good place to start if ADA compliance is something you think might fit your particular needs.
Ford Transit Wheelchair Transport Van. This handicap wheelchair van comes ADA-compliant right out of the factory. It’s a full-size wheelchair van with plenty of headroom and multiple floorplan options
Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van. This accessible vehicle is an ADA-compliant rear-entry wheelchair van that happens to be one of the more affordable mobility vehicles on the market — starting at $12,980
Legend Side Entry Handicap Van Conversion. Spacious side entry accessibility using a powered ramp operated by remote control or door side control — also comparatively affordable starting at $17,980
AMS Vans offers a wide selection of ADA-compliant handicap wheelchair van options. If compliance is important to you and your family, we’ll make sure that your new or used van meets the ADA’s most stringent requirements for safety and quality.
About AMS Vans
America’s Mobility Van Dealer is a national wheelchair accessible van dealer and manufacturer with a mission to deliver the industry’s best adaptable vehicles and mobility equipment that meets the unique needs of our customers at a price they can afford.