Phoenix Community and VMI Rally to put Family into New Northstar E Wheelchair Accessible Van: Vantage Mobility International, Inc.
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Phoenix Community and VMI Rally to put Family into New Northstar E Wheelchair Accessible Van

Posted in: News & Press

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Nov. 18, 2014 – Vantage Mobility International and the Phoenix community rallied to put a local family and their wheelchair-bound six-year-old daughter into a new 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan with the VMI Northstar E manual side-entry ramp conversion. The wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) was financed through the family’s fund-raising campaign, private donations and VMI’s support.

“VMI’s Northstar E side entry manual ramp conversion was designed for families like the D’Ortenzios,” said Doug Eaton, President of VMI. “It is the only brand new wheelchair accessible van on the market with a side-entry, in-floor manual ramp that costs about the same as the average new vehicle. VMI’s Northstar E delivers the benefits of the in-floor ramp that caregivers want at about the same cost that consumers previously paid for a pre-owned wheelchair van.”

The young girl, Reese, suffers from Aicardi Syndrome, which causes her to be completely dependent on a caregiver and needs to be transported in a WAV. The D’Ortenzio family created a fund-raising campaign, “Wheelchair Van for Reese,” asking for public donations to help purchase a preowned mobility van. In less than thirty days, private donors and the community raised most of the money needed. VMI contacted the family to provide the balance of funds and offer a new wheelchair van. The VMI Mobility Center customized the Dodge Northstar E conversion for the family with an added jump seat and remote start.

“We’re so grateful to the wonderful people who donated to help us get a wheelchair accessible van for Reese,” said Kerry D’Ortenzio, Reese’s mother. “We also appreciate VMI for reaching out and helping us get into a brand new van when we expected to settle for a pre-owned vehicle. The Northstar E has given our entire family a new sense of freedom.”

The Northstar E is one of VMI’s newest ramp conversions, offering the mobility industry’s only manual, in-floor side entry ramp. The Dodge Northstar E requires little maintenance and offers affordable convenience for wheelchair users and their caregivers.

VMI’s Northstar E manual in-floor, side entry ramp system features include:

  • Full-cut floor and removable passenger seat that allows a wheelchair user to sit next to the driver
  • A simple-to-use manual in-floor ramp that can be stowed and deployed by caregivers of any size or age without bending
  • In-floor ramp keeps doorway clear when stowed
  • In-floor ramp offers more interior space for wheelchair maneuverability
  • Optional mid-row seats for increased passenger capacity and alternative seating options
  • Side-entry benefits for the cost of a rear entry conversion


VMI ( is a manufacturer of wheelchair accessible full-size and minivan conversions, as well as wheelchair lifts and transfer seats for the mobility industry. Their full line of products include domestic and import minivan conversions such as the Honda Odyssey with Northstar in-floor ramp system, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. VMI’s mobility products enable consumers to travel with comfort, convenience and peace of mind. For more information, contact Jessica Wilder at (214) 520-3430 (ext. 305) or VMI can also be found on Facebook and Twitter (@wheelchairvan).