Up until a few years ago transportation for those in wheelchairs was limited at best. The occupants of wheelchairs were sentenced to lives of seclusion. There was little thought put into the field of handicapped transportation. The movement of individuals in wheelchairs consisted mainly of removing them from their chair and loading them into standard vehicle. This problem was not noticed until the baby boomer society blossomed into the elderly with handicapped accessible needs. The numbers of those with handicaps or disabilities skyrocketed.
The use of power wheelchairs and power scooters has quadrupled in past fifteen years. Our greatest generation is getting older. Those guardians of freedom that prospered during the last century now require special needs for their golden years. These people are not satisfied with living out there lives in a secluded manner. The generations that moved and shook dmv handicap placard the world are not going quietly into the night. Their quality of life requires activity and social mixture. Nothing less will be acceptable.
The wheelchair van conversion companies have developed minivan conversions that allow wheelchair entry in the side and rear. Most of the conversions are automated and consist of button pushing activation. In fact, many handicap conversions make it possible for the wheelchair occupant to actually drive the vehicle. There is wonderful new equipment out there that permits the operation of the van with hand controls, joystick, and mouth control devices. Nothing has been overlooked or taken for granted when the handicapped person is driving the vehicle.
Up until a few years ago many of the large metropolitan cities had few options when it came to transporting the physically challenged. Those in wheelchairs were pretty much on their own when it came to getting around the big city. It became obvious to many city administrators and officials that a change was required for specialized transportation. Officials knew that the baby boomer generation was a valued member of society and still held high relevance in buying power.
The local government agencies could see that taxi cabs with wheelchair accessibility were needed. The city of New York and the City of Houston lead the way in the incorporation of wheelchair accessible cabs into existing fleets. Many hurdles had to be cleared. There was testing done to secure the best equipment for the job. The use of converted vehicles on the rough city streets would put many types of wheelchair cabs to the test. There were very few vehicles tough enough to take on the monumental task.