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Wheelchair accessible Vehicle Modifications - a timeline from our expert Automotive Engineer

What are wheelchair accessible vehicle modifications?

Accessible vehicle modifications are changes to a vehicle, or the installation of equipment in it, to enable a participant to access it and, in some cases, operate it.

In the world we currently live in, it is fundamental to be able to travel to appointments, to the shops and to visit family and friends by a vehicle. Since vehicles are made as a stock standard, not everyone fits the vehicle they drive, especially if you have a disability.

At Gilani Engineering we can bring back your freedom and independence through a wheelchair accessible vehicle. If you are a wheelchair user or are a family member of a wheelchair user and regularly drive your family member, a wheelchair accessible vehicle is an excellent investment to regain your freedom, happiness and life back.

Unfortunately, new cars are quite expensive and not all individuals with limited mobility or individuals with a disability can afford to purchase a new vehicle. If you have a disability and receive NDIS funding, it does not cover the cost of new vehicles.

At Gilani Engineering you can have the choice of modifying your existing vehicle. This article covers many important topics about the types of disability vehicle modifications , disability car conversions , boot hoist and stowagesolutions, transfer solutions , driving solutions and much more !

Gilani Engineering is a Registered NDIS provider for accessible vehicle modifications

Accessible vehicle modifications may be included in your NDIS plan where it is reasonable and necessary support that will meet your needs and help you achieve your goals.  The NDIS does not generally fund a vehicle for a participant – but may fund modifications to a vehicle the participant regularly uses or would use to address their transport needs.

It is important to note that it may take time to establish whether a participant will be able to meet the requirements to be legally licensed to operate a motor vehicle. This process itself may be reasonable and necessary support, involving assessment, driving lessons and trials of different modification technologies. Our team at Gilani Engineering can assist you with the whole process of guiding you through driving lessons for wheelchair-accessible vehicles, driving lessons for modified vehicles, suggesting and brainstorming potential vehicle modification ideas with your occupational therapist, conducting and certifying your accessible vehicle modifications.

Identifying accessible vehicle modifications needs

Vehicles aged less than five years, under 80,000kms, are generally considered suitable to modify.  However, older vehicles and those with higher mileage may still be considered where there is evidence that their modification would be cost-effective.

Before funding accessible vehicle modifications, the NDIA will also consider the effectiveness of accessible vehicle modifications having consideration to whether:

  • the modifications have been assessed and recommended by a suitably qualified professional AT assessor and specified and installed by a supplier in line with the relevant standards and state or territory regulations. We have in-house professional AT assessors to do this for you.
  • the participant owns the vehicle, or in the case of a vehicle owned by another person, whether the participant has use of the vehicle for their transport needs; and
  • the participant (or another person) is able to fund ongoing vehicle running costs, including registration, regular insurance, fuel, repairs and maintenance.

The NDIA may fund supports related or incidental to accessible vehicle modifications. For example, driver assessments for the purpose of getting an endorsed license or driving lessons where a participant needs lessons to establish the skills to use the modified vehicle.

Wheelchair accessible Vehicle Modifications - a timeline from our expert Automotive Engineer

The accessible vehicle modifications process can be a daunting and convoluted process for clients. It takes Occupational Therapy consultations to gather all information required to ensure a successful long-term prescription. The NDIS tend to only fund vehicle modifications once for each client, therefore extra care is required by the Occupational Therapist to consider the current and future needs of the participants. Even if a certain part of the vehicle may not require modifications at present, the NDIS requires it to be added into the submission and identified as a potential future need so that they can determine if the overall accessible vehicle modifications and expense recommended are considered Reasonable & Necessary.

Complex vehicle Modifications can take anywhere from 15 hours plus to be ready for submission.

As an example, I have detailed below an approximate timeline with hours of work required for a full vehicle modification:

  • The initial assessment required to identify functional capacity, prognosis and long-term needs. Complex vehicle Modification needs will be identified and may or may not be discussed depending on time

(Approximately 1.5 hours)

  • The Occupational Therapist writes an initial Functional Capacity Evaluation report

(Between 2-3 hours depending on client complexity and need)

  • OT Assessment to discuss and plan for vehicle Modifications with the client and take photographs and measurements.
  • The engineering team finds the right product for the right vehicle and the client

(Between 1-1.5 hours)

  • Occupational Therapist draws up current and proposed disability vehicle modification , driving solutions or transfer solutions tailor made to their client's individual circumstances
  • Engineer and mechanic team discuss what brand the client wants and what will suit their car with the OT.
  • Once the vehicle modification company receives payment (could take 1 day to 2 weeks), they then contact the client to book in for the vehicle to be dropped off at our workshop.

(5 hours - 2 weeks)

  • Once the vehicle is dropped off at our workshop, the engineering team starts on the job
  • Depending on the complexity of the installations, the client may decide to wait for a simple installation or for massive modifications and changes to the structure of the car it may take up to 2 weeks.
  • The RMS certifier has to check that the vehicle is safe to go and confirms that the modifications are at the right standard
  • The RMS certifier has to write a certificate and then once a certificate is written the job is done.
  • Prior to completion, the client receives a phone call to fill them in about how the job is going and to make arrangements for pick up of the vehicle.
What types of vehicle modifications does Gilani Engineering do?

The types of disability vehicle modifications fall under the following categories:

Driving solutions are suitable for people that have limited mobility and want to maintain their freedom and independence by driving.

 

Featuring the latest innovative technology

Lodgesons mini keypad controls for steering solutions

Lodgesons mini keypad

Lodgesons mini keypad is an access solution allowing you to operate 13 different functions in just one tiny product!

Driving solutions include hand controls with keypads such as the latest innovative Lodgesons steering controls. They have simples keypads that can control 6 functions or complex bleeper systems that can control up to 13 different functions! Another option is a bleeper system where you can switch between functions of the car by tapping the bleeper. Some examples of functions that can be controlled include:

  • Indicators
  • Lights (dip/main & flash)
  • Horn
  • Hazards
  • Front wipers – intermittent, low & high speed
  • Front washers
  • Illumination for Night-time visibility
Lodgesons Bleeper System Aidacare

The lodgesons bleeper system is designed for people with restricted mobility as it will operate up to 13 functions of a car from just one button.

Other hand controls include push brakes and push accelerators which are suitable for people who have lost their leg function. These come in manual or electric, horizontal or vertical, push brake or lever types. When you push the hand control the car stops, when you push the accelerator with your hand the cargoes. It's as simple as that!

Examples:

Manual Push Brake & Electronic Accelerator Aidacare

Gilani Engineerings are experts in disability car conversions. Our RMS certifiers on site will ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy once you leave our workshop.

Dual Control Pedal installation Car Modifications Australia Aidacare

Gilani Engineerings are experts in disability car conversions. Our RMS certifiers on site will ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy once you leave our workshop.

Gilani Engineering has an endless number of disability car conversion options to suit you and your budget. Every individual is unique so at Gilani Engineering we make sure that disability car conversions are tailor made to you!

Overring accelerators: 

Other individuals require over ring accelerators or under ring accelerators. These types of accelerators are the best disability vehicle modification for people with limited lower limb mobility and cannot use their feet to accelerate would prefer to use their hands for acceleration without moving their hands off the steering wheel.

Disability vehicle modifications such as over ring or under ring steering options allow clients to drive independently and freely even if they have limited lower limb mobility.

Over ring accelerator vehicle modification Aidacare

Disability vehicle modifications such as the over ring accelerator is ideal for individuals with limited lower limb ability

Steering wheel spinner knobs: 

Spinner knobs are suitable for individuals with limited upper limb mobility. It makes it easier to steer. They can have one hand on the spinner knob and the other hand on the push hand brake.

Steering Wheel Knob Quick Release Removable Spinner GILANI ENGINEERING

Steering Wheel Knob Quick Release Removable Spinner GILANI ENGINEERING

Left Foot Accelerator Flip-up model: 

Alternatively, if a client has the use of their left leg and would prefer to use their left foot to accelerate, a left foot accelerator accessible vehicle modifications might be a suitable option.

Wheelchair access solutions include wheelchair accessible cars, accessible ramp installations, accessible vehicle modifications, wheelchair car modifications and platform lift car modifications. These types of modifications allow wheelchair users to bring their car along with them on trips and find ways of making that process a lot easier.

Accessible vehicle modifications

Wheelchair accessible car modification Aidacare

Wheelchair accessible car modification

Boot Hoist and stowage solutions are suitable for people who want to drive independently and bring their wheelchair along in their car for stowage. Some examples include:

Gilani Engineering Chair Topper Aidacare

Gilani Engineering Chair Topper

Gilani Engineering's number one selling product is the chair topper which is the ultimate boot hoist and stowage solution. This product is weatherproof, heavy-duty and automatically remote controlled to lift your wheelchair and store it above your vehicle. The chair topper saves so much space in your car and is the best boot hoist and stowage option if you would like to use your boot space for other possessions.

What if you would like to have a solution to get easier:

Transfer solutions are suitable for people that have limited mobility and have difficulty getting into the car. The Turny Evo Swivel Seat is really easy to use and are transfer solutions where the car seat comes out of the car and makes it easier to get into and automatically brings you inside the car.

Wheelchair Accessible Car Modification Swivel Chair

Wheelchair accessible vehicle modification swivel seats

What types of vehicle access solutions can Gilani Engineering do?

If you would like more information on accessible vehicle modifications, talk to our Engineers about how we can help you!

Or contact us for a free quote today!

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Gilani Engineering is an Assistive Mobility Equipment Supplier Based in Sydney.
  Contact Us
 (02) 8740 8963
sales@gilaniengineering.com.au
www.gilaniengineering.com.au
14 Smithfield Rd, Smithfield 2164 NSW

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