Wheelchair Blog from AMS Vans

Welcome! We know there's a reason you're here, and AMS Vans is honored to be part of your world. We hope you'll visit our wheelchair blog often, because we promise to bring you an engaging perspective every day.

A physical disability presents unique challenges for the individual, the family and the caregivers. Our wheelchair blog is here to empower all of you with tips, trends in wheelchair technology, wheelchair news, inspiring stories, insightful interviews, medical breakthroughs, helpful links, the latest in adaptive products, disability news, upcoming events and, of course, information about AMS Vans' wheelchair accessible vehicles. We focus on anything and everything that enriches your life and makes it easier.

Buying a handicap accessible van is a defining moment in the life of an individual who wants manageable mobility beyond the wheelchair. We have handicap vans for sale, and we want to ensure the process—from the moment it begins—is as smooth as possible. When you purchase a wheelchair van from us, the process never truly ends, because you become part of the AMS family. Just like family, we stay in touch and care about your happiness.

We'd love to hear from you—even if it's just to say "hello!" Your thoughts matter, so take time to comment on the articles that interest you, inspire you, or provoke you. Every question, suggestion or concern you share with us helps us make our wheelchair blog better and more useful for all our readers. At AMS Vans, we want to get to know you, and we want you to get to know us!

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futuristic wheelchair

4 Futuristic Wheelchair Models You Simply Must See

Up until the present day, the typical design of the wheelchair models used by persons with disabilities has generally followed a somewhat dedicated commitment to function over form. From the introduction of the first lightweight, steel, folding, portable wheelchair in 1933 — a model known as the ‘X-brace’ — advances in the design and technology of newer machines have come periodically.

Factors in the advancement of wheelchair models — including propulsion method, control mechanism, and technology — are generally influenced by purpose and price. Newer wheelchair model categories include manual self-propelled, single-arm drive, reclining, standing, sports, and all-terrain designs that serve to enhance mobility freedom for their users.

As the focus on improving the mobility and lifestyles of persons with disabilities continue to garner attention, newer technologies and evolved creativity are responsible for four truly unique wheelchair models. Our post today highlights some remarkable wheelchairs — and how these designs enhance the mobility freedom of the people who use them. Continue reading

disability mobile apps

Top 8 Mobile Apps for Persons with Disabilities

When 12-year-old Alexander Knoll saw a man in a wheelchair struggle to get through a heavy door in his hometown of Post Falls, Idaho, he was struck with an ingenious idea. What if there were an app or website that could communicate to persons with disabilities which stores in the area had automatic doors? And from that simple consideration, an adaptable solution was born.

The young entrepreneur went to work, developing the Ability App — a free accessibility application akin to Yelp which helps people with disabilities navigate public spaces by providing information about wheelchair ramps, disabled parking, braille menus and more. One visit to the Ellen DeGeneres show and a check from Shutterfly for $25,000 later, Alex’s idea is on its way to completion.

In fact, mobile apps for Android and iOS smartphones are rapidly helping people with disabilities to find their way around the world much better — and helping to live better lives in the process. From travelling guidance to accessibility hacks — even personal dating — here are the top 8 mobile apps for persons with disabilities. Continue reading

Famous People in Wheelchairs

Adapt and Overcome! 5 Successful People With Physical Disabilities

Sometimes the most powerful way to find the motivation you need to get over life’s hurdles is to learn about others who have overcome incredible odds to find success. It doesn’t even have to be someone in your profession or someone with the same goals that you have. Because in the end, we all face the same variety of challenges in one form or another — presence of fear, lack of opportunity, physical or mental health limitations, financial setbacks — and we’re all trying to find a way to beat the odds.

So, today’s post is designed to give you that motivation — no matter what your goal in life is and no matter what your personal challenges might be — by learning more about those who have succeeded in the face of remarkable odds. You can learn a lot from these 5 stories of people with physical disabilities who rose to the top of their chosen professions by adapting to their environment and never giving up. Consider their stories, apply them to your own life, and perhaps you can turn your difficulties into a story of success. Continue reading

physical disabilities

New Research Methods Empower Persons with Physical Disabilities

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest advances in research for solutions to enhance the lives of those with physical disabilities, you might be surprised at what’s become possible. From improvements in prosthetic options to advancements in employment psychology, let’s run down the list of how science is working to enhance the lives of this unique community.

With the recent spotlight on physical disabilities — both from legal and functional standpoints — a great deal of progress has been made in improving capabilities and enhancing lives. The combination of science and technology has brought about advancements in both quality of life and the ability of persons with physical disabilities to contribute in the workplace. Continue reading

The ‘Sell My Braun Entervan’ Big FAQ for Sellers

One of the more popular and effective ways that AMS Vans customers help finance a new wheelchair accessible van (WAV) when it’s time to upgrade is to sell their old vehicle. We pride ourselves on providing multiple options for financing a WAV that other dealers don’t — including a willingness to buy-back your current van.

You heard us right — and, there’s no catch and no strings attached. We’re prepared to make you a firm, fair offer on your used wheelchair accessible van and put that money towards the WAV of your dreams. As the largest wheelchair accessible vehicle manufacturer and mobility dealer in the Southeast, we’re your one-stop mobility provider — including buying your old Braun Entervan.

To help make the process simple and straightforward, we’ve prepared our ‘Sell My Braun Entervan’ big FAQ for sellers — designed to answer all of your questions and make you feel comfortable with the entire process. Continue reading

help wheelchair users

Help Wheelchair Users with Lessons in Wheelchair Etiquette

If a wheelchair isn’t a part of your daily life, it’s almost impossible to truly understand the challenges that wheelchair users face on a daily basis. Of course, accessibility is always a primary concern. But so is interacting with people who aren’t quite sure how to help wheelchair users.

Because the team at AMS Vans is a tireless advocate for true mobility freedom, today’s blog is a primer on a few critical accessibility issues: proper wheelchair etiquette, how to help wheelchair users in your life, and what not to say to a wheelchair user.

We hope that you’ll consider these ideas and practice conscious respect in an attempt to strengthen your relationships and improve the lives of those around you. And, if you have any additional suggestions on how to help wheelchair users that we miss or reactions to the topics we cover, please help our readers know more by leaving them in the comments section below. Continue reading

Vehicle wheelchair lift

The Ultimate Vehicle Wheelchair Lift FAQ

A vehicle wheelchair lift is one of those must-have mobility accessories that improves your quality of life in several different ways. It enables you to bring your wheelchair, powerchair, or mobility scooter with you wherever you go. And, it reduces the amount of time and effort you, your family members, or caregivers have to expend loading and unloading your favorite mobility solution.

If you don’t own a vehicle wheelchair lift — or you own an older model and you’re looking to upgrade — technology has had some amazing influences on today’s models. They are lighter, more durable, and more convenient than ever to operate and care for. Vehicle wheelchair lifts have experienced a true renaissance in both design and performance — including a reduction in price that makes them more affordable. Continue reading

Wheelchair lifts for vehicles

7-minute Mobility Guide: Exterior Wheelchair Lifts for Vehicles

If you have an over-sized wheelchair or power scooter, there are a wide range of wheelchair lifts for vehicles to enhance your mobility freedom. From hoists to lifts, there is a portability option to help you prepare your vehicle for travel. Our 7-minute mobility guide will discuss available models along with the accessories you’ll need to complete the setup.

Exterior wheelchair lifts for vehicles are mechanisms mounted to the outside of wheelchair-accessible vehicles that raise, lower, and secure larger wheelchairs and power scooters for transportation. They come in various sizes and designs that match your mobility device and the type of vehicle that you use. Wheelchair lifts for vehicles can also be mounted to RVs and motor homes for extended trips — a popular choice for retirees and road-lovers. Continue reading

Wheelchair lift

Best Wheelchair Lift Options for Your Accessible Van

If you or a family member has been struggling to get in and out of a wheelchair accessible vehicle, you know the effort is sometimes enough to discourage you from traveling entirely. An adaptable vehicle isn’t that much of a resource if it requires too much energy to operate. However, a new wheelchair lift can change your mobility outlook entirely.

A wheelchair lift is a powered device that raises or lowers a wheelchair and its occupant to assist in loading into or unloading from an adaptable vehicle. The wheelchair lift comes in different designs and operations to match the type of vehicle, the type of wheelchair, and the needs of the user. Let’s examine the various types of wheelchair lift options available and the implications of each model for your mobility freedom. Continue reading

handicap conversion vans

Handicap Conversion Vans Transformation Process

Handicap conversion vans go through a remarkable process of transformation to be made ready for wheelchair drivers and passengers. Expert mobility technicians go through a painstaking series of preparations to ensure that the vehicle is adjusted for fit and safety. Today’s post will highlight this conversion process — from initial measurements to the fitting of accessories — and give you a new appreciation for your adaptable vehicle.

If you’ve ever seen a traditional automobile go through the assembly line, you know mechanical arms go flying and showers of sparks fill the room. But handicap conversion vans go through a more intimate process — with expert mobility technicians personally seeing to crucial details that will keep you comfortable and safe.

It’s almost like these handicap conversion vans are created specifically for the people who buy them. And, here’s exactly how that happens… Continue reading