Handicapped Equipment

Written by Norene Anderson
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Handicapped equipment varies depending on the level of disability and mobility involved. The first question to answer is if the physically challenged individual will be the driver or the passenger. Next, determine if equipment is needed to support a wheelchair, scooter, or both. Another consideration is the height and weight of the disabled individual. This could determine if a full-size van or a minivan is the appropriate choice.

Once these basics are determined, the next step is to get down to the specific needs according to the person's abilities. The usual accommodation for height is made by either lowering the floor or raising the roof. Some individuals require both adjustments to be made to allow plenty of headroom and space to maneuver. The height and weight of the individual will also determine if the best way to transport into the van is by lift or ramp.

Handicapped Equipment Makes Driving Possible

If the handicapped individual will be driving, some of the handicapped equipment that may need to be installed includes wide-angle rear view mirrors. This is necessary for those with limited range of upper body movement and neck movement. The curved design captures a wider scope than the standard mirrors. Another possibility is to move the side mirrors forward allowing full view with limited amount of head turning required.

The use of mirrors to cover the blind spot is absolutely essential handicapped equipment for safety. For those with the ability to turn only to the right or to the left, there are mirrors to locate within the vehicle to cover the area inaccessible by turning the head. For instance, if a person can turn his or her head to the left, a mirror can be positioned on the left to capture the traffic on the right side.

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