Wheelchair Accessible Vans

The Wheelchair Accessible Vans section spotlights wheelchair vans in the news. We’ll explain the handicap vehicle laws and regulations behind handicap parking placards, handicap parking spaces, handicap parking permits, and other topics pertaining to accessible vans and their users. Look for illumination on new wheelchair vans, used accessible vans and information about converting existing vans into handicap accessible vans.

Tips on Dating this Valentine’s Day

young disabled man and girlfriend at a cafe

Valentine’s day is right around the corner, and we want to talk about how accessible we think dating can be!

With these easy steps, you can find a date and impress them with a fun-filled night!

Step One: Find a dating website that’s right for you!

– Special Bridge
Dating 4 Disabled
– Disabled Passions
Whispers 4 You

Step Two: Create a profile, and don’t be afraid to be honest about your specific situation!

Step Three: The Date — Choose somewhere that you know is wheelchair accessible!

Ideas:
– Bowling
– Dinner
– Movie
– Visit an Art Gallery/Museum
– Cook together

And remember — don’t try to hide your disability. You have to own it, and be honest about it. But it’s also not who you are, so don’t spend the night focusing on it or only talking about it!

So, what happens when you’ve planned everything and met your match online?

You’ll need date-night transportation! Look up accessible van rentals. If you’re in the Atlanta, GA or Houston, TX areas, AMS Vans has several vans to choose from! Call now to check availability at 877-621-4029! (If that date goes well, we also rent weekly and monthly for more getaways and can even deliver way outside those areas!)

That’s it! You’re set to having the perfect night that’s full of independence and LOVE! 

Happy Valentine’s Day from your AMS Vans family!

Know the Worth of Your Wheelchair

If you want a good thing to last, you have to give it some TLC, right?

You eat clean so that your body stays happy and healthy. You call your best friend every day so that your relationship can stay in tact and flourish. You sit in front of your TV screen mimicking the moves of a hippie yoga instructor that you’ve never met so that you can keep your blood pumping.

So why wouldn’t you take care of your wheelchair?

We’re here to help you with your wheelchair and accessible equipment upkeep! Follow these simple steps, and you’ll keep your wheelchair in shape with ease!

Just like keeping your house clean one room at a time, taking care of your wheelchair takes baby steps!

CtW95U7WAAA2JRd– Clean it! Take time once or twice a week to wipe down your wheelchair, also checking for any tears that you might need to get repaired immediately!

– Another weekly step: check the nuts and bolts. You can use a wrench for this! Tighten any loose ones, and replace anything that is dangerous!

– Just like any other thing on wheels, you should be checking your wheelchair tire pressure frequently! You won’t have a light that will come on when they’re running low like you do in your car, so it’s up to you to make sure that your tires are filled! Then you need to do the little things like cleaning the tread and making sure your wheels don’t need to be replaced! (They will bulge outwards or throw off wheel alignment, and that’s how you’ll know that it’s time to get new ones!)

– Checking out your framework is important, too! Lo14500175_10154008305877104_8184649916152933801_o (1)ok for any cracks or damage or movement barriers!

Taking care of your wheelchair will ensure it a longer lifespan! However, is something does happen to go wrong or it’s time for an upgrade, AMS Vans, Inc. does offer Pride Mobility chairs, Jazzy chairs, and even the Whill with blue tooth and multiple terrain options! It never hurts to check out newer models, and sometimes your wheelchair van requires a certain sized wheelchair!

If you have questions about the chairs and services that AMS Vans, Inc. offers, give us a call at 877-621-4029!

You can also visit www.amsvans.com to view the wheelchairs and scooters that we offer in our inventory!

Holiday Travel Tips

Traveling for the holidays? Going to your son’s house to see his family? Ditching to cold to relax in Hawaii on Christmas morning?

Well, we here at AMS Vans, Inc. know how finding good wheelchair transportation can make the holidays harder than they need to be.

In the midst of booking flights or hotel accommodations, it’s important to check on a few things!
– Book your transportation from and to the airport ahead of time! Wheelchair accessible vehicles like taxis and buses are usually not just something you can flag down last minute. You can even go through your hotel for recommendations of transportation companies they partner with!
– When purchasing flights, inquire about wheelchair accessible seating! It’s best to know what you’ll be getting before you book your ticket instead of making it to the gate only to discover that it isn’t a wheelchair accessible flight.

When it comes to living arrangements while you are out of town, it’s impordec-calendartant to:
1) Make sure that the hotel you wish to stay at is wheelchair accessible or that you can at least get a wheelchair accessible room!
2) If you are staying with family, they have either already made their home wheelchair accessible for your visits or you can easily send over a roll-a-ramp to make it up any front steps! (Most interiors of homes are generally wheelchair accessible).

It also might be a good idea to book accommodations through a travel agency! There are plenty of wheelchair travel traveling agencies that are knowledgeable and happy to help you book your trip for the holidays!

BE PREPARED so that you don’t have to worry about your holiday travel experience! Make sure that your wheelchair is in good working condition before you head out of town for the holidays!

If you don’t already own a wheelchair accessible van and want to make holiday road trips easier, then AMS Vans, Inc. is here to help! We offer van rentals out of our Atlanta and Houston locations! If you would like to receive a quote for how much renting a van for your holiday season costs, then visit wheelchair van rental to play around with our rental calculator! And hurry, because our rentals book up FAST!

You can choose from a selection of our wheelchair accessible minivans for rent with either a side or rear entry ramp, at affordable rates:

Daily: $125.00 ($125.00)
Weekly: $100.00 a day ($700.00)
Monthly: $83.33 a day ($2,500.00)
[plus tax; rates may differ in Texas]

Rental includes 100 miles per day
(additional mileage @ $0.30/mile,
OR an additional 100 miles @ $30.00).

A the end of the day, you should be enjoying your holiday, not stressing about it! So clear up any worry by planning ahead and staying in the know!!

Parenting a Specially-abled Child

Disabled boy in wheelchair surrounded by familyBeing a parent of a child that is specially-abled looks a lot like facing hard truths head on, being able to admit those truths to yourself, and finding support.

Jolene Philo, a published author and speaker, wrote an article about 11 things that she found helped her with the role of parenting a specially-abled child.

Here’s our own version of her advice:

Embrace the stress: It’s not going anywhere. And it’s better to acknowledge that it’s there. You don’t let the stress beat you, but you point it out for the sake of doing something about it.

Stress is a symptom of something else, so identify the source: It’s grief. In order to be a parent of a specially-abled child, you have to let yourself grieve. You feel a sense of loss — okay, now grieve. Give yourself the freedom and acceptance to grieve.

Deal with the elephant in the room — guilt: The hand your child was dealt is not your fault, but it feels like it. You are a good parent, even though you constantly blame yourself. Find someone you can trust to counsel you or someone that you can be open with to vent to. Get rid of that guilt!

Start asking for help: Be prepared for people to ask you what they can do for you — make mental notes of the things you know someone else could do without too much trouble, and don’t be afraid to ask them to do it!

You are not the sole caregiver: Step down from the role you’ve given yourself of “sole caregiver.” Although we know that you are probably the best at caring for your child, there are actual “caregivers” that have been trained specifically for taking care of your child. More than that, though, others can be educated more about taking care of specially-abled children and come alongside you to assist you in every day life!

wheelchair ipad attachmentForm a support system: You need people you can reach out to when life is getting hard or when you need a helping hand in the midst of juggling so much; you need a group of people that can encourage you and stay up to date on your life — it will make you feel like you aren’t alone!

Take care of yourself: Whether that’s cutting out space in your day for some you-time or eating well and exercising, it’s important to make sure that you are physically and emotionally healthy when parenting a specially-abled child.

Don’t be too proud for professional help: If you’ve admitted to stress, pinpointed the root of your stress, allowed yourself the freedom and grace to grieve, then admitting that counseling sessions might be a good idea shouldn’t be too hard for you. If these exercises above don’t seem to be enough, then there are always more outlets a therapist could offer you in order to reduce the stress in your life.

Our very own Dallas Crum, head of community relations and business development, opened up about life as a parent to two specially-abled children.

He was honest about the real fears that come with the territory. “I’m most afraid of the unknown. Will my daughter be able to have a relationship and get married? Will my wife and I ever be empty nesters? Will our daughter live that long? What kind of future does my son have? Will he be able to support himself one day? Will he be accepted socially? Will our marriage make it through this? Will I make it through this? No answers. Knowing more than the doctors you see. Endless therapy, unique diets, financial strain, countless visits to every type of “specialist” and every type of doctor you can think of. IEP’s. Fighting to get your child the coverage and services they need with insurance, the school system, Medicaid, doctors, therapy providers, etc…”

14310446_643456899149576_6805510395759298414_o 12080358_509628422532425_264800019254075942_o

So  we asked him if there’s anything that makes life easier in spite of the fear and struggles: “What makes it easier? There is no ‘what makes it easier.’ What I do have that keeps me going? Faith, Love, Hope. I love those kids. No matter what the outcome for them and our family is, I wouldn’t trade it or who they are. This is my family.

Lastly, we wanted to share some advice from one parent to another: “It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to talk about what could have been or what may never be, It’s ok to wonder how in the world you are going to take another step. I would tell them you will have doubts, you will question why, you will have unanswerable questions. You may doubt God, your Faith. I wish I could end with a high five and a, ‘Don’t worry! it will get better!’ the only problem with that is, It’s [crap]. Try not to listen to people who mean well but say things that hurt, cause more confusion and mixed emotions. They don’t understand… They are saying the cliché phrases that should never be said.”

Still, Dallas wanted to end with this very important tip on parenting a specially-abled child: “I can say though, whatever the outcome, it’s worth it. Even if I don’t get to see my baby girl grow up and get married, I will never trade a moment I am blessed to spend with her. Even if my son doesn’t progress to a level that he can function independently one day, He is my son and he is enough, no matter who he is.”

It’s worth it. It’s okay to grieve, and it’s important to admit to feeling stressed or guilty on top of making time to take care of yourself. But it’s worth it. And it’s possible.

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. 17,000 new cases of Spinal Cord Injuries are documented every year in the US alone; in this country today, 200,000 people live with a spinal cord injury (SCI), and someone is paralyzed every 48 seconds.

X-ray image of the vertebral column. Doctors consult over an X-ray.

48 seconds and a life is forever changed. Parents, daughters, college athletes, up and coming Marine Corps officers, co-workers, the person sitting next to you in traffic– SCI shows no partiality to where someone is in life or where they want to be headed.
Vehicle accidents are at the top of the list when it comes to leading causes of SCI, but other causes include: falling, sport injuries, or acts of violence.
In the past year, 19 customers have purchased a wheelchair van from AMS Vans due to a spinal cord injury.
The United Spinal Association is, however, fighting for the lives of those living with spinal cord injuries; they believe in obtaining affordable medical equipment and insurance, housing, transportation, ways that people with SCI can live independently, and numerous other benefits that can be reached through donations and awareness.
Of course, funds and awareness will also help fuel the big over-arching goal: medical research and scientific findings.
To learn more about Spinal Cord Injuries, SCI Awareness Month, and ways to get involved or donate, check out https://www.unitedspinal.org/september-is-national-spinal-cord-injury-awareness-month-2/.

8 Tips on How To Travel With Your Handicap Van

women in van2Headed out of town for the holiday weekend? Well we know just how exciting AND nerve racking adventures can be for our AMS family! That’s why we decided to come up with our own
kind of vacation itinerary for those of us who are adventuring in handicap vans!
 
PLAN AHEAD: Common sense, right? Well sometimes a “rough idea” of what you’ll be doing over the weekend just isn’t going to cut it. Figure out exactly what you are going to do, where you want to stay, what dinner reservations you might want to make or tours you might want to book. Figure it all out so that you can start planning how much time it will take you to do all the things that you want to do.
System Check: Make sure all of your equipment is in good shape before you hit the road! This includes your AMS Vans, Inc. ramps! It’s better to be safe and know what might need to be updated in your wheelchair accessible van before you head out!
 
How to Pack: Pack light, but bring a day bag! You never know what you’re going to end up getting into and if you may need a change of clothes, some extra food, emergency equipment, and phone chargers. Also be sure to keep your wheelchair equipment information close by! In your van or in your bag!
 
For When You Feel Like You’re A Fish Swimming Upstream: Adventuring around an area commonly visited by crowds of tourists? Make a mental note that morning that it might take you a little bit longer to wheel through the business! Plan to give yourself some extra time to breathe and navigate through all of the people!
Check the weather before booking a thing: The last thing anyone wants is to plan a vacation during some not-so-sunny, weather! Unexpected bad weather can be especially frustrating, though, if you have trouble walking or are scooting around everywhere on wheels. Check the weather schedule for wherever you’re going on the days that you want to get away!
It’s okay to say “NO”: Feeling a little bit more tired than your accompanying adventurers? It’s OKAY to say NO to something if you need a rest. We know you don’t want to miss out, but you’re allowed to be tired, and you’re allowed to say you need rest! AND it’s okay to say you just can’t do something! You and your health come FIRST.
You Do You: Do what you’re comfortable with! You shouldn’t feel pressured to do anything or keep up with a certain pace! It is vacation after all!
Try New Things: Don’t be afraid to get out there and live a little!! Just be sure you’ve brought precautionary items, that you’ve carved out enough time for the new adventure, and that there are no limitations you might end up having to face!
Cerebral Palsy Students Wheelchair Van Prom Ride

AMS Wheelchair Van Takes Couple with Cerebral Palsy to Prom!

A couple of weeks ago, we told you about AMS Vans participating in a “random act of kindness” arranged by local Atlanta TV station WXIA-TV, 11Alive, the city’s NBC affiliate. Two Lassiter High School students, Jessica Wilson and Donnie Gooding, who both have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs, had a date for their junior prom. Their problem was that they couldn’t go together because neither student’s parents had an wheelchair van capable of carrying two wheelchair passengers at the same time. Jessica’s aunt, Teresa Loftin, stepped in to save the day!

Random Act of Kindness - AMS Wheelchair Van for Cerebral Palsy Couple to Attend Prom

Aunt Teresa called the TV station, which does a regular segment called “Random Acts of Kindness” and asked them to help her with an act of kindness for Jessica and her boyfriend. Her request was chosen, and AMS Vans was contacted by a producer at the station to ask if we’d provide a two-wheelchair-passenger handicap van with room for the two moms, along with a driver, for the night. We said yes in less than a heartbeat, and two days later, we were at Lassiter High School with a van when the 11Alive morning news anchor, Karyn Greer, surprised the kids in class, brought them outside, and showed them their chariot for prom night: a 2-wheelchair passenger handicap van. They were pretty excited!

Cerebral Palsy Prom Couple Holding Hands on the Way to Prom in AMS Van

So were we! I had the sheer pleasure of being at Lassiter High School again this past Saturday (March 16) to take video of the couple on their amazing night, which was warm and clear–perfect for a long-awaited celebration.

AMS Vheelchair Van Chauffeurs Cerebral Palsy Couple to Prom

Donnie Gets Prom Boutonniere Before Wheelchair Van Ride

Cerebral Palsy Prom Couple Get Wheelchair Van Ride in AMS Van

Jessica looked lovely in sunny yellow as she put on her yellow-rose wrist corsage. When Donnie got his yellow-rose boutonniere pinned, they took their prom pics at the school. Then the two got in our AMS wheelchair van, with their moms in the back seat, and they were taken to a deluxe restaurant where they met more family members for dinner. The AMS Van was in line with long, black limos as they dropped off prom-goers at the restaurant, and finally, at the world-famous, fabulous Fox Theatre on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, where a smiling, splendidly dressed concierge in a top hat gave them a memorable greeting. Their prom was held in the magnificent Egyptian Ballroom, which is part of the theater.

Jessica and Donnie Enter Lassiter Prom

The photographer from the TV station and I followed them as the entered the ballroom, where dozens of their classmates were already on the dance floor enjoying the music. When the moms wheeled the pair onto the dance floor, their classmates erupted in applause. (I’m glad I brought tissues with me! It was impossible not to be filled with emotion!) The announcement of prom king and queen came later that night, when John and Emma Kate, who were elected king and queen, performed their own random act of kindness at that very moment–which they prearranged. When Lassiter High’s prom royalty walked to the center of the ballroom to begin their dance as king and queen, they brought Jessica and Donnie on the ballroom floor, too–and the night was theirs!

Jessica and Donnie Enter Lassiter High School Prom

Jessica and Donnie Wheelchair Dancing at Lassiter Prom

The evening went above and beyond everyone’s expectations, and we were thrilled to be there. I’d like to personally commend and thank AMS Vans driver extraordinaire Doug Radloff, the couple’s chauffeur for the evening, whose charm and skill made them feel comfortable, safe, and as close together as they dreamed of in a limo for two on prom night.

Here’s the 11Alive “Random Acts of Kindness” follow-up story!

Video source:
11alive.com/News/Mornings/RAK/283934/293/Random-Act-leads-to-prom-to-remember