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Wheelchair Van Jargons

When you try to buy a wheelchair van you may end up getting dizzy listening to all of those jargons the salesman just said. Well, here you can find some of them with a brief explanation. I hope this can help you make a better buying decision with less headaches. These are not exactly "jargons" but some terms that has a high chance getting said over and over again by wheelchair van salesmen.

1. Van conversion

A wheelchair van is not originally a wheelchair van when it's out of the assembly line. They are designed and manufactured as ordinary passenger vans targeted at the mass market. A van conversion is the process where a van is customized with a wheelchair ramp or a wheelchair lift. The interior is also modified to provide easier and spacious access for disabled person on a wheelchair.

2. Kneeling system

With this system the van actually lower its self closer to the ground ( using air suspension ) for easy loading. Air suspension is not standard a standard feature in most vans so the original suspension must be modified for this system. With a kneeling system a person using manual wheelchair can push their wheelchair a lot easier up the ramp. However, this system is prone to error so ask for this only if you really really need it.

3. Hand Controls

When a disabled person would like to drive the van then the van will need additional Hand Controls for easier riding. Since the feet won't be able to hit the brake and the accelerator then these two functions will be handled by hand with the new hand controls.

4. ADA compliance

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a design guide provides consisting key information about how to create accessible car and van spaces. When you purchase an ADA compliant van you can be sure it is of highest quality, contains the necessary accessories and follow the safety and accessibility standards.

5. Crash test

Converting a van is a big deal. Any kind of modification made to the car will have an effect to it's rigidity and safety. Even though the original van have passed a crash test the converted van may not have been tested before. Please, choose only from manufacturers / seller that has passed the crash test for their conversion units.

6. Post purchase resellers program

When you no longer need your accessible van you can take it back the dealer and they will either buy it back from you ( at a reduced price ) or sell it for you for a small fee.


NMEDA stands for National Equipment Mobility Dealers Association. It's job is to ensure quality and professionalism in the manufacturing and installation of safe and reliable mobility equipment in vehicles for drivers and passengers with disabilities.

That's it. I hope that your next visit to a wheelchair van dealer won't be such a confusing experience after reading this article.

wheel chair lift or a wheel chair ramp