Handicap vans started out being the only means of transportation that was available to transport a person in a wheelchair. The mobility of a disabled person is a very important part of their lives. That person needs to be able to go to their medical appointments, shopping and just get away from the house for a bit. Socializing is also very important for their mental health. It would not be good to be trapped inside their home all of the time. As the awareness of the disabled person began to grow, luckily so did technology. Different ideas were evolving in the transportation of the handicapped person.

A group in Florida formed an association of mobility equipment dealers. Our group was formed to help to make the transportation of the handicap more safe and comfortable. In the beginning, there were no regulations for the safe transport of a wheel chair. In 1989, we opened our membership up on a national level which resulted in the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association or NMEDA, being established. Our organization promotes and supports individual members who are involved in the modification of quality transportation for people with disabilities. Our membership has now grown to more than 600 members with the majority of the members located in the United States and Canada.

NMEDA is a non-profit organization made up of mobility equipment manufacturers, driver rehabilitation specialists, dealers and other professionals involved in improving the lives of people with disabilities. Our members of this group must follow the guidelines set forth by the safety standard of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, The Transport Canada, F/CMVSS and the NMEDA guidelines. Our members are also required to follow the guidelines of the Quality Assurance Program or QAP. This is an accreditation that promotes and ensures the quality, reliability and safety in the industry for mobility equipment. NMEDA’s goal is to strive to improve the mobility equipment industry and to service the people with disabilities.

Our goal is to make awareness of the safety and comfort of the modifications of the handicap vans and mobility equipment used for the handicapped. Safely being able to transport your loved one in a vehicle to get them to the doctor or a family outing should be a major priority. As with everything, there are guidelines to insure the safety of the disabled person.

Taking your mother out to go shopping will help her to keep her independence and  self-worth. Being able to include her on a trip or outing to the park with the family for a picnic makes her feel like she is still part of the family unit. If it were not for the means of transportation for the handicapped, she would be left behind at home while the rest of the family did their outing, leaving her behind. This would not be good for her mental health and would make her more than likely depressed. Many families today are very thankful for the wonderful invention of the handicap vans.


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