A Wheelchair accessible vans is a vehicle in a range of them that have been modified to increase the interior size of the vehicle and to equip it with a means of whelchair entry such as wheelchair ramp and powered lift, to allow access.
Advantages of a side-entry configuration include: ability to drive from a wheelchair or sit in the front passenger position in a wheelchair or driver position; enter and exit curbside away from traffic; and more storage space. Disadvantages of this style are that it requires a handicap parking space or extra room for ramp deployment and that some driveways are not wide enough to accommodate the vehicle. Over 75% of personal use wheelchair-accessible vehicles employ a side-entry configuration.
A rear-entry configuration can be used for attended applications in which the wheelchair occupant is not driving the vehicle but rather riding as a passenger. One advantage of a rear-entry vehicle is that, with the exception of parallel parking, no extra room is required for a ramp and the side passenger doors aren’t blocked if a folding-style ramp is installed. In addition, mid-passenger seats can be mounted next to the wheelchair position. Other advantages include more ground clearance and more room for long wheelchairs and/or leg rests. Limitations of the rear-entry style are the requirement to enter and exit from a traffic area, the inability to drive from the wheelchair and/or have the wheelchair in the front passenger position, and less storage space.
Ramp based modifications are most commonly performed on minivans. In order to provide access for the wheelchair user, the floor on side-entry vehicles is lowered 8–12 in (203–305 mm). In rear-entry configuration, the floor is not lowered but rather removed, and a composite or steel tub is inserted.
Ramps come in two styles—fold-up or in-floor—and two operating modes—manual or motorized. Fold-up ramps fold in half and stow upright next to the side passenger door in a side-entry configuration or inside the rear access doors in a rear-entry configuration. Fold-up ramps present a lower ramp angle than in-floor ramps; however, in side-entry configurations, they are in the way of the passenger entrance when stowed. In-floor ramps slide into a pocket underneath the vehicle's floor and are only available for side-entry configurations. Folding ramps are available in manual or motorized versions for both entry configurations. However, in-floor ramps are only available as motorized. Power applications may also have a “kneeling feature” that reduces the angle of the ramp by compressing the suspension of the van on the ramp side.
In addition, portable ramps are available for use with many vehicles and typically do not require any vehicle modification. Portable wheelchair ramps cost much less both to purchase and to maintain. Since they are not attached to the vehicle, they can be also be used for handicapped access for other applications. It is important to take the proper measurements to select an appropriate ramp for your vehicle.
New and Used Accessible Vans: http://www.mobilityworks.com/inventory.php?gclid=CJrh-_urhr4CFbM7OgodZSIA4Q