Adapting Your Vehicle
Adaptive equipment is an installed device or structural modification that is necessary for a person with a permanent physical disability to drive or be transported in a vehicle. There are a wide range of modifications that can be made to a vehicle based on a person’s needs. Rest assured, Ford Mobility can provide the guidance and resources for finding the equipment dealers and installers that will help make the appropriate adaptations to your vehicle.
Questions to Consider
Questions to consider when planning to instal adaptive equipment:
- What kind of driving will you be doing - will it be for work or pleasure?
- Will you be driving from a wheelchair or transferring?
- Will the needs of your family and friends be met?
- Will the vehicle accommodate the weight of your conversion, wheelchair, and passengers?
- How will you finance your vehicle and adaptive equipment?
Assess Your Driving Needs
Before purchasing any adaptive equipment, we recommend that you do the following to regain your driving independence:
- Seek the advice of a trained evaluator - to help you select the right adaptive equipment for your needs. They will assess your physical capabilities, mental acuity and cognition, take into consideration your personal adaptive equipment, plus, evaluate your ability to drive with the recommended adaptive equipment. Once complete, you’ll receive a copy of the evaluation and a “prescription” for the proper adaptive equipment. Call (877) 529-1830 or visit www.aded.net for more information.
- Take a driver education course – to learn to use their adaptive equipment. Even experienced drivers will need this.
- Learn your province’s driving laws – regarding requirements for driving with adaptive equipment and how to acquire a learner’s permit or driver’s license. You may be required to report changes in physical conditions. And failure to comply with licensing laws can threaten your driving privileges.
Standards and Guidelines for Mobility Best Practices
National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association
The NMEDA is a nonprofit organization composed of dealers, automotive manufacturers, rehabilitation professionals, and mobility equipment providers that encourage professionalism and work together to establish national guidelines and standards for mobility best practices.
To view a list of current members, go to www.nmeda.com. NMEDA Quality Assurance Program, QAP, is a nationally recognized accreditation program for the adaptive mobility equipment industry. As such, the companies involved have been certified to comply with NMEDA quality control processes, have the proper insurance, and have obtained the applicable training from the adaptive equipment manufacturers they represent.