I recently was in the studio taking pictures of a new lift that is coming to the market. As pictures were being taken, I would post them to Facebook so our “fans” could follow the photo shoot and to also get a sneak peak of this new lift. The Fiorella lift was installed into the back of a Ford Transit Connect for this particular shoot. The Ford Transit Connect has been sold in Europe for years and had such great success they brought it over to the United States. It has great appeal and potential for the disabled community because of the spacious interior; especially headroom. Customers can have a lift installed without any further modifications like a raised roof or lowered floor because of the roominess of the Ford Transit Connect.
After I posted a couple of pictures to Facebook, we received a couple of posts from consumers:
“I dunno…is it going to be dangerous to have a lift out the back when in shopping parking lots? Scares me a little”
“I would never feel safe unfolding a ramp in the rear”
The reason why I share these posts with you is to again stress the importance of your local mobility equipment dealer. While this new Fiorella lift is being shown in the back of a van, it can also be installed in the side of many vans. This is the same with many platform lifts on the market; most are pictured in the side but many can also be installed in the rear. Mobility Equipment Dealers are experts in finding the right product and application for you and your needs. When you first meet with a dealer, you will go through a complete needs analysis that helps the mobility specialist give the best recommendation for you and your lifestyle. For example, if you live in an area that has limited handicap parking; a rear entry accessible van may be the best option for you since you only need a single parking space. However, like the two people posted above, there is a risk when backing out of a rear entry wheelchair van.
Most side entry wheelchair vans are not designed for an independent driver; but more for passengers and caregivers. So, you may feel better when using a rear entry lift/ramp the person in the chair will not be alone and can be guided out of the van to ensure there are no obstructions or no oncoming traffic. Most rear entry wheelchair vans are a great option because of the low price tag. Since the modifications are not as invasive as a typically side-entry lowered floor minivan, you can save thousands of dollars.
Remember to do your due diligence. Ask questions and always seek out the advise of a local mobility equipment dealer who has the expertise and can help you find the most suitable solution for you.