Purchasing a wheelchair modified vehicle, or modifying a vehicle to make it wheelchair accessible, is a cost that causes many people great financial stress and difficulty. I receive many emails from families asking if I know of any organisations that will assist with these costs. Aside from GoFundMe campaigns I don’t know of any organisations that offer financial assistance with this enormous cost.
I’m always keen to share solutions and particularly simple home-made equipment. It’s wonderful to be able to share these ideas across the world.
WHEELCHAIR RAMP ACCESS
For some families it isn’t possible or practical to modify a vehicle and ramps are the solution. Ramps have their pros and cons, one of the negatives is their weight.
I recently saw a parent at BJ’s program unloading her daughter via a ramp at the back of her van. I commented that the ramps looked heavy and she said that they were half the weight since her husband had made a simple modification. I’m the world’s biggest sticky beak so of course I had to know more.
The ramps weigh 20kgs which is quite a bit of extra lifting to do twice a day every day. A solution was needed.
Having a husband who is a civil engineer was an advantage and a spare set of manual wheelchair anti-tip wheels became the answer for this family. They bolted the anti-tip wheels to either side of the ramp and now the ramp simply slides, via timber guides, into the back of the van rather than being lifted.
Now it is only 10kgs of weight that is being lifted due to the additional support and ability to slide into the back of the van.
A fully modified vehicle is of course the easiest and best solution but when that isn’t possible it is good to have ideas on other solutions like the one above. If you’d like to read about more wheelchair car modification ideas, and hear from some of our readers regarding their choice of car or van, you can do so here.
You can see the video of this ramp solution on Facebook here.
We love you sharing ideas so others can benefit, please keep doing so either by leaving a comment below or emailing me at [email protected]
Variety Club can sometimes help with funds towards the cost of a van ($10k) also Lions and Rotary Clubs also help. In addition to this individuals can draw down on their super to access the funds necessary to purchase and modify the vehicle.
Hi Bruce, Thanks for sharing these tips. My understanding is that Variety will only assist with the funding of modification for a brand new vehicle and for children up to the age of 18 years. I had forgotten about people being able to access their super. I must mention this on our Facebook page because we used this to help with our modifications for our house. Julie