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  1. Customize Your Ride Modified Vehicle Overview Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) Assistive Tech Program

  2. Steps To Successful Vehicle Modification • Personal Driving Assessment • Licensing Requirements • Vehicle Selection • Funding Sources • Training • Maintaining Equipment

  3. Reasons To Have An Individual Assessment • Never driven before or since disability occurred • Unsure about physical ability to operate a vehicle • Changes in physical ability • Safety issues for transporting a person with a disability

  4. Assessment Expectations • Clinical evaluation by driving rehab specialist • Road evaluation using adaptive equipment • RX written for modification based on performance

  5. Assessment Expectations, Continued • Drivers education with new modifications • Total fitting and assessment in modified vehicle • Final report with specific recommendations

  6. Qualified Evaluators • Contact local rehabilitation center • Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) 800.290.2344

  7. Licensing Regulations • Must have valid permit/drivers license • Cannot be denied opportunity to apply due to disability • Restrictions may apply based on modification

  8. Typical Modifications • Left-foot accelerator • Pedal extender • Hand controls • Steering Column Extension • Joy-stick system • Automatic transmission • Power steering • Siren detector • Bioptics • Steering Devices • Raised roof/dropped floor

  9. Typical Modifications, Continued • Seating • Wheelchair lift or ramp • Automatic door openers • Wheelchair carrier • Quad key-holder/turner • Gear selection • Right-hand turn signal • Remote switches • Seat belts • Tie-downs • Power seats

  10. Easy-to-install Modifications • Car Caddie • Handybar ™ • Swivel Seat Cushion • Transfer Board • Wide-Angel Rearview Mirror • Portable Ramps

  11. Considerations For Vehicle Selection • Does the modification require a van or will another vehicle suffice? • Will the vehicle accommodate the equipment needed? • Is space a consideration for other passengers? • Is parking space available at home for loading/unloading?

  12. Considerations For Vehicle Selection, Continued • If using a walker, is there adequate parking space available? • What additional options are available for safe use of vehicle? • What are the services and warranty programs on your selection? • New or used?

  13. Internet Vs. Local Dealer Internet Local Dealer Convenience if problems More responsive Dissatisfied buyer has more impact locally • May be limited dealers in area • Offers nationwide • May be less expensive

  14. National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association Quality Assurance Program Accreditation Requirements • Maintain four types of insurance for liability purposes • Certified welders for structural modifications • Technicians must be certified in sold, installed, and serviced • Must keep records of all adaptive work • Annual inspection/audit process

  15. Possible Funding Sources • Michigan Rehabilitation Services • Children’s Special Health Services • Veterans Administration • Local service organizations • Vehicle manufacturers • Advocacy Associations • Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund

  16. Michigan Rehabilitation Services • Eligibility based program - Must have disability causing impediment to employment • May assist with: • Evaluation • Training • Cost of adaptive equipment • May collaborate with other sources

  17. Children’s Special Needs Fund • For children under age 21 • Children’s Special Health Care Services eligible or enrolled • Income requirements • Assist with van lifts from $1,500 to $6,000

  18. Veterans Administration • Grants toward purchase of modifying existing vehicle • Grants toward purchase of adapted vehicle • Total grant amount can’t exceed $18,000 as of October 2011 • Must be service-related disability • Allowed one grant per lifetime • Contact V.A. for specific requirements

  19. Local Service Organizations • Lions Club • Elks • Kiwanis • Knights of Columbus • Rotary Club

  20. Vehicle Manufacturers • Most manufacturers offer the following incentives: • Up to $1,200 rebate on purchase/lease of modifications for vehicle • Mods must usually be done within 12 months of purchase/lease of vehicle • Reimbursement must be requested within 90 days of completion of mods

  21. Disability Organizations • Alzheimer Association • Multiple Sclerosis Society • Traumatic Brain Injury Association • Muscular Dystrophy Association • Easter Seals

  22. Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund • Low-interest loans available for purchase of modified vehicles • Available to individuals with disabilities/their families that reside within Michigan • Application process • Training/extended warranties can be included in loan • Maximum loan amount is $30,000, no minimum

  23. Other Cost Saving Measures • Physician’s RX will exempt purchase from sales tax in Michigan • Check with private health insurance or workers’ compensation • May be able to use on tax return as medical deduction

  24. Training • New and experienced drivers need training for adaptive equipment • Evaluator/equipment dealer should provide information and off-road instruction • Train with qualified driving instructor to improve skills • Family member should be trained too • Inquiry can also be made at local DMV office

  25. Maintaining Equipment • Regular maintenance important for safety and reliability • May be mandatory for compliance with warranty • Warranty may specify time period for adaptive equipment inspection

  26. Maintaining Equipment, Continued • Make sure all warranty information is submitted for coverage and recalls • If purchased from private party, establish service provider

  27. Questions?

  28. Final Thought • “Living with a disability is kind of like driving around in an old '62 Chevy Bel Air, with the Power glide transmission ... and no reverse. It's not all that different. It's just that, sometimes, you have to think about it." • - Dan Wilkins Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) Assistive Tech Program