Open Road

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I have many goals in life. One is almost done and that is to have my own home. Another big goal of mine is to start driving. The redesign of my new home will give me significantly more independence, but that comes at a cost. That cost is not having my family always around to give me a ride in my wheelchair accessible minivan. My new home is walking or rolling distance to many places. It also has an accessible community shuttle, but it is very slow.

I believe that there are very few alternatives for true independence other than being able to drive. I have looked at many different driving systems currently on the market and I believe the Paravan Space II Drive-By-Wire System is the best for me. It is available in three steering options which include a joystick, mini-steering wheel, and a rotational steering device. After doing a lot of research I believe that the rotational steering device is the best for my specific needs.

The main issue is that very few to no one in my area train people to use the Paravan Space II Drive-By-Wire System with a rotational steering device. The second issue which is huge is that it costs around $70,000 which does not include the cost of the modified vehicle. Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for this in most cases, but I am not most cases. Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for things if you are working or looking to work, but I cannot work as I cannot afford to lose my Medicaid Long Term Care as I mentioned in I might be in a wheelchair, but I don’t just sit on my ass. I am not giving up on this next dream. I even bought the website domain www.mostaccessiblevehicle.com so I can share my process with others. If anyone has any ideas of how I can make this a reality or knows someone at Paravan please comment or contact me.

Are sport utility vehicles the new minivans?

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Many years ago the main vehicle of choice for persons that were wheelchair bound were large full size vans. Over the years this changed and the vehicle of choice became the minivan. I have only used minivans and for the most part they do their job. The simplistic design of the modification, the size, and gas mileage make it very desirable. The truth is there is very little that is cool about a minivan. You can dress it up, trick it out, and fill it with luxury, but at the end of the day it is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Now there are several sport utility vehicles designed for persons who are wheelchair bound. These sport utility vehicles include the Mobility Ventures MV-1Fiat 500L, Scion xB, Kia Soul, Honda PilotFord Explorer, GMC Acadia, GMC Acadia DenaliGMC Yukon XL, GMC Yukon XL DenaliChevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Suburban, Buick Enclave, and Cadillac Escalade ESV. These vehicles are available through Mobility Ventures, Freedom Motors, BraunAbilityMobility SVM, and All-Terrain Conversions.

Have you tried any of these or other wheelchair accessible vehicles? Please share your experiences in the comments section below.

National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest

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I have recently entered the 4th Annual National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest which is run by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. The winner of the contest can win a new accessible vehicle. I am not sure if I will win or not, but I only have a chance if people vote. Please vote each day through May 31st, 2015 and remember to answer the bonus question. To vote click on the “Get Started” button below which will take you to my profile page and to find out the answers to the bonus questions follow me on Twitter @zkylet.

Custom Accessible Vehicles

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One of my goals for a long time is to drive. I know I can do it and I am planning to restart my driving lessons again in the near future. I have been looking at alternatives to the typical minivan or full-size van. So far I have found a few which include pickup trucks and suburbans. There were a few that are no longer being made which were the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Scion xB, and Honda Element. The other option is the MV-1, but this is not configured for a wheelchair driver and has quite a few issues. Last a few small cars are going into production, but their top speeds are 25 miles per hour which I feel is not practical.

Here are a couple cars I found that are very inspiring. One is a Chevrolet Corvair and the other is a Ford Explorer. I am still confused on how they did the Chevrolet Corvair. As I have mentioned I am working on a website about building the most accessible home. In the near future I would like to start another website and project about building the most accessible vehicle. I already have a bunch of ideas, but need assistance making it happen. I hope you enjoy these videos and please let me if you are interested in helping me create the most accessible vehicle. If you have seen a vehicle designed for a person in wheelchair please share it in the comments.

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