Wheelchair accessible vans can be a steep expense for any individual, particularly if you are already having difficulties paying for other medical related expenses. The cost can vary depending upon variables such as the type of modifications you are looking at, the technological aspects of it, and the type of vehicle you have.
The cost of a modified vehicle can be substantially high because it is more complex to manufacture. Most wheelchair accessible vans are modified according to your needs, which can add up in cost.
You may have to spend $10,000 to $100,000 depending on the type of modification, vehicle, and technology. Side modifications cost more than rear modifications because changes to the side would involve more labor.
We understand that wheelchair van conversion can be financially strapping to those of you who have already spent a lot on medical care. Therefore, below we have outlined three different ways by which you may seek financial assistance in order to pay for your new wheelchair accessible van.
3 ways to fundraise for wheelchair accessible vans
1. Online fundraising
Online fundraising is a new and upcoming trend for many families who are interested in raising funds directly from family and friends. The way it works is you will need to identify a suitable fundraising website, which will host your fundraiser on. There are a few options available online. Some of the crowdfunding sites help you with fundraising for free.
However, there are some sites that charge a small fee on the donations you receive. This is important to take note of as it can mean that you will lose 5 to 10 percent of each donation from fees, making it more difficult for you to reach your goal.
Once you have zeroed down on the site, you need to write about yourself or the person you are fundraising for, the financial situation and how a wheelchair accessible van could change the course of their life to set up a fundraising page.
To bring to life your story, you can select pictures or add a video to personalize your page. In addition, you need to indicate a fundraising goal. Its recommended to workout a cost breakdown chart to ensure that you have not missed out on any of the expenses involved.
All that’s left to do is to share your fundraising page to family and friends to start reaching your goal. Online fundraising is an effective and fast way to receive financial assistance from friends and family. It offers flexibility unlike other options that are out there. Being online, it also means your fundraising is essentially running 24 hours a day, everyday.
2. Paying for wheelchair accessible vans using community events
Community events are traditionally are great way to raise awareness of any cause, including a campaign to raise funds for a wheelchair accessible van. You may use your creativity in coming up with good ideas to fundraise or are well connected in your local community to draw interest and support. We have included some of them as follows:
Simple ideas such as organizing a fundraising dinner at your local restaurant, starting a weekly bake sale in your community or even incorporating a fitness challenge in your local gym or your community center are all effective and fun ideas. Other fundraisers also include holding a raffle or an auction.
With all these ideas or any that you may creatively come up with, remember to get your community involved in these events. This can take time to plan out to make sure you maximize the potential of the event. You can also think of linking your online fundraiser to the event in case supporters are unable to attend the event but still would like to support.
Speaking with your local stores and shops can also be helpful. They may offer free space to hold your event, discounts or giveaways for auctions at no cost to you.
3. Paying for wheelchair accessible vans using programs and grants
There are a number of organizations that provide assistance to individuals and their families to afford or receive wheelchair accessible vans. These will vary depending on your state however, they are worth checking out as an option to help cover the cost of a wheelchair accessible van.
Ralph Braun Foundation for example provides grants for wheelchair accessible van conversions, wheelchair lifts, scooter or truck lifts, and car top carriers. The foundation offers assistance up to 25% of the cost; the limit is $5,000. Certain criteria must be met in order that you receive the benefits, including:
A. Mobility equipment should be bought from a dealer who is affiliated to the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. The adaptive equipment should be considered as an essential mobility transportation equipment and your disability should be significant and lasting.
B. You need to duly fill in the application; also, you need to submit a background and a statement of purpose in support of your need.
C. You need submit a letter stating that you have exhausted all governmental forms of financial support before applying to the program.
D. Once the fund is released, you need to buy the equipment within 60 days. E. You need to reside in the USA or Canada to be eligible for the program.
Ford Mobility Motoring Program is another option for individuals who offer up to $1,200 for installation of adaptive equipment in a Ford vehicle (bought or leased). To be eligible for the program, you need to meet the following criteria:
A. You must have permanent physical disability
B. You need to be a licensed driver or a qualified buyer
C. Equipment without clear definition of need (alerting devices, lumbar seats, etc) necessitates a medical report from an accredited or licensed medical professional about your permanent disability.
Your local Lions Club, Rotary Club or other community groups may also be of assistance. Many of these types of organizations typically do not advertise their help or have set programs that provide community members support. You will need to speak with them directly and let them know what you need and if they could help. Many clubs and societies offer support in helping you raise the funds or have set funding aside for projects such as these.
1. The cost of a wheelchair van conversion: http://www.1800wheelchair.com/news/cost-of- wheelchair-van-conversion/
2. Looking for wheelchair van grants & funds? These mobility funding sources may help: https://www.braunability.com/wheelchair-van-grants-funds/
3. The Ralph Braun Foundation – application rules: https://ralphbraunfoundation.org/application- rules/
4. Ford Mobility Motoring Program: http://www.ok.gov/abletech/documents/Ford%20Motoring%20Program.pdf