When Aaron Baker was just a year old he was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disorder, a rare genetic syndrome that causes mental and physical defects. The doctors told his mother, Tina, that Aaron would not live much longer than a year…he is now 16 years old! As a single parent, Tina has dedicated her life to caring for Aaron who cannot sit up, speak, or control his movements. He also has frequent seizures – often over 15 per hour – which make him too fragile to attend school. Many of his therapists come to Baker’s apartment weekly to provide his treatments in which he has made significant progress. One of those therapists is Christy Altman, an Occupational Therapist with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools who began working with Aaron and his mother Tina over 6 years ago.
Christy began to notice how difficult and laborious it was for Tina, who is only 5’1” tall, to transfer Aaron, who is now 4’5” tall and over 65 lbs, from his wheelchair into their 1996 minivan. Simple errands like running to the grocery store took considerable time and planning. Christy knew that if she could somehow help Tina get a wheelchair accessible van for Aaron, life would be so much easier for the both of them. Since Aaron’s mother Tina could not afford to purchase a wheelchair accessible van on her own, Christy went to work researching funding sources. Because Aaron’s diagnosis doesn’t fit into a common category of disability for which funding sources are readily available, Christy hit many dead ends before her church agreed to assist with the purchase the van for Baker’s if she could raise the funds. Christy began writing letters to friends, family, as well as the members of the church she attends and a church Tina has attended. Tina also applied for assistance through First Hand Foundation in Kansas City which awarded her a $2,500 grant for vehicle modifications. Soon the $22,500 they needed for a van was a reality!
Tina decided she really wanted a van with a manual door and ramp to minimize any maintenance costs associated with repairing her wheelchair accessible conversion. Ilderton Conversion of Charlotte was able to find Tina a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan SE with a BraunAbility Companion Van conversion which was designed with people just like Tina in mind. The Baker’s took delivery on their new van just after Labor Day and have already gotten busy visiting friends and family that they haven’t seen in a long time.
Thanks to Christy, Tina’s dream of owning a wheelchair accessible van for Aaron became a reality. We hope that the Baker’s story can encourage others that through dedicated fundraising owning a wheelchair accessible van can be possible for anyone!
The Ralph Braun Foundation is pleased to announce its first grant program. The intention of this program is to assist people with disabilities who have been through evaluation and have met with Ilderton Conversion Co. or another accredited mobility dealer to obtain the appropriate mobility product(s) that meet their transportation needs. Once pricing has been established and the individual is able to produce most of the purchase amount but still remains short of the total, the Foundation will entertain a proposal from the applicant for up to $5000 to finalize the purchase. This application would be completed with the assistance of Ilderton Conversion Co. or a NMEDA accredited mobility dealer from the client’s geographical area who would provide service for the product(s).
The application will be online at ralphbraunfoundation.org and must be completely filled out in combination with Ilderton Conversion Co or another mobility dealer. The application and supplemental information must be completed and submitted online by November 30, 2011. Funded applications must result in an equipment sale immediately. A project will not be funded if it cannot be demonstrated that all other funding has been secured. All grant recipients must agree to have their story told on the foundation website as well as the Foundation Facebook page.
For more information, please contact a mobility consultant at one of our 3 convenient Carolina locations.
Nicknamed the “Lightning Bolt”, the 2011 Honda Odyssey is the boldest minivan design on the market today. From it’s aerodynamic roofline, to the sporty rear and side spoilers this vehicle has a distinct and athletic look. BraunAbility has redesigned the ground effects and added step flares to blend seemlessly with the contour of the van while adding fuctionality. The Honda Entervan also features a new 50/50 ramp design that creates a low profile interior look and makes the side door earier to access and allows the passenger seat to recline easily. Take a look inside and you’ll notice the refined interior finish which is considered the most polished interior space of any conversion on the market. The new and improved Step-and-Roll seats offer flexible seating options with just a step on the foot lever. BraunAbility has also added a fold-down footrest for the rear bench seat to add extra comfort and convenience for the backseat passengers.
The third row Flip-and-Fold seats make extra cargo space easy and convenient is just two simple steps. The BraunAbility Smart Box (the electronic “brains” of the conversion) has been relocated under the rear bench seat for easier access to service technicians to diagnose problems more quickly. To make this vehicle the safest on the road, BraunAbility has strengthened the rear frame by nearly 60% made the body structure of 35% stronger stainless steel. The added safety hasn’t taken away from this vehicles fuel mileage! The Odssey 19 city / 28 highway fuel economy is a significant improvement over the 2010 model. As with ALL BraunAbility converted vans, the 2011 Honda Odyssey Entervan has been crash tested and certified to meet or exceed all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FVMSS) and is backed by a 3 year/36,000 mile limited and 5 year/unlimited mile rust-through metal protection warranty. Check out all 2011 Honda Odssey Entervans in stock and ready for immediate delivery on our INVENTORY PAGE.
Built on the newly restyled 2011 Chrysler/Dodge chassis, the BraunAbility Entervan is the culmination of almost 40 years experience in building personal mobility products. Style, performance, convenience, and safety have been blended to acheive a new level of refinement in a wheelchair accessible van.
The contours of the Chrysler/Dodge chassis create a SUV feel while maintaining the the spaciousness of a minivan. When you take a look inside, you’ll see the most polished interior space of any conversion, now with increased space in the front driver and passenger spaces. Custom molded lower trim panels and front seat bases provide a clean fit and finish. The BraunAbility designed rest footrest adds extra comfort and convenience for backseat passengers and folds away automatically.
BraunAbility has made only minor modifications to the rear suspension, giving a smooth ride that’s as close to a non-converted minivan as possible. There’s more room to maneuver than ever with 57″ from the rear wall to the front seats. With “step-and-roll” seating, removing the front seats has never been easier – just step on the foot lever and roll the seat out of the van.
The Entervan was vigorously tested for FVMSS electronic stability control and brake testing and also passed all front, side, and 50-mph rear crash tests. Chrysler’s new 3.6 L Pentastar V6 engine gives drivers a high-powered boost of horsepower, torque and improved fuel efficiency. The Entervan conversion comes with a 3 year / 36,000 mile limited warranty and 5 year / unlimited mile rust-through metal protection on every vehicle that leaves the factory as well as the Chrysler warranty for all unconverted parts.
Check out all 2011 Entervans in stock ready for immediate delivery on our INVENTORY PAGE.
We are excited host Nashville Recording Artist, Michelle Murray and the “My Finish Line” Movie Premier & Music Tour at Ilderton Conversion of Charleston & Charlotte. We are partnering with BraunAbility to share the inspiring story of quadriplegic, Sam Schmidt who is featured in the movie.
The 2013 "My Finish Line” Movie Premier & Music Tour is an exciting and unique event that brings together the mystique of Hollywood, the speed of INDYCAR and the music of Nashville, all for a great cause. The tour will make over 100 stops around the country as well as visiting medical facilities and hospitals to distribute 100,000 FREE copies of “My Finish Line” to our wounded veterans.
This event will feature a live performance by Nashville Recording Artist, Michelle Murray and special guest Brook Gerhart followed by a group photo in front of Michelle’s tour bus that will be posted on her website and Facebook page.
We would like to invite you to attend the events at our locations: Ilderton Conversion of Charleston Friday, May 3rd from 2pm – 5pm Ilderton Conversion of Charlotte Friday, May 10 from 2pm – 5pm
When your vehicle dies on the road or you have a flat tire or dead battery, you need help, especially if you are a person with disabilities. Thank goodness for roadside assistance. But finding the ideal company requires some digging as no two auto clubs offer the same services and prices. And the businesses run the gamut from insurance companies, car makers, oil companies, credit-card issuers and even cell phone companies.
Vehicle coverage: Ask if only your accessible vehicle is covered or if you are covered in any vehicle you drive (like a rental). You want a plan that “follows the member,” providing coverage no matter who owns the vehicle.
Towing: Do they provide towing only to a dealership or any place you choose? You need to know the mileage limit, as you’ll be charged if you exceed it. (It’s usually less than 100 miles.)
Travel much? Choose a plan with the most generous towing allowance and travel insurance (trip interruption insurance) benefits if you travel far from home frequently.
Sign up for only what you need: Full service clubs offer maps and directions, travel and hotel discounts, travel insurance, and help in locating hotels or alternative transportation when your car is in the shop. If you rarely leave town, save the money and opt for a more basic package.
You should know: Many insurance companies report the number of your roadside assistance calls to ChoicePoint, a company that compiles claims information for the insurance industry. If you use assistance frequently, your rates could go up.
Discounts: Roadside assistance clubs do not usually offer membership discounts for those with disabilities. You might want to check with ADA Auto Club, a nationwide roadside assistance program especially designed for people who travel with their wheelchair. Call 1-800-720-3132 or visit online at adaautoclub.com and compare rates and benefits with other companies.
Did you know that there are over 14 million Americans living with a disability? That’s more than 10% of our country’s population! To raise awareness of the mobility issues, May has been designated National Mobility Awareness Month, and Ilderton Conversion Co. is a proud sponsor.
To raise awareness and celebrate Mobility Awareness Month, the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is giving away THREE 2012 wheelchair Accessible vans. Beginning March 18 entries will be accepted into the contest to find local heroes who are facing mobility challenges. If you or a someone you know is a hero who deserves a custom built 2012 Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, we encourage you to enter! Contest participants will need to submit a bio or a short video that will be posted on the site. Starting April 1st all the stories will be posted and voting begins!
When you use your local Ilderton Conversion Co. dealer code, you will receive 5 free votes.
Dealer Codes: High Point – 830 / Charlotte – 829 / Charleston - 828
For more information and details about the contest or to enter a LOCAL HERO, please visit www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com.
New federal regulations improving access for the disabled took effect Tuesday, March 15 at facilities nationwide, including many used for recreation. The changes which were required under ADA affect places such as amusement parks and movie theaters. These changes are the first major revision of Americans with Disabilities Act regulations in 20 years, the Justice Department said. The new standards were established in 2004, which gave the building industry time to plan. Existing buildings must be retrofitted for the disabled if the construction can be done “without much difficulty or expense,” the regulations state.
Maureen Fitzgerald, director of disability rights at the Disability Policy Collaboration, an advocacy group notes that ”If you went on vacation and your family was going to go play a game of miniature golf, up until now, a child in a wheelchair would have to sit on the side and watch everybody else have fun.” She adds that “Now there will have to be an accessible route for the child so they can play too.”
Marilyn Golden, a policy analyst with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, said the new regulations fit well with many existing local building codes. “So now architects have one standard to follow – they don’t have to comply with multiple standards that may seem conflicting.” She also said other important changes involved hotel rooms and seats at recreational events such as sporting events, concerts and plays. Golden said before these regulations, it was common for a person with a disability to reserve an accessible room only to arrive and find, for example, that a wheelchair could not fit through the bathroom door. “This is not just to be considered a luxury,” Golden said. “A disabled person who needs an accessible room may not be able to use an inaccessible bathroom. So you’re in a position where you arrive late to your hotel, you need to get to sleep and get up to fulfill your professional obligations, but you can’t use the hotel bathroom.”
To lead the most active life you can, you probably want a vehicle. You can buy a new one with adaptive equipment customized to your needs, a used vehicle that is customized for you or you can have equipment added to the family car or van.
The decision to buy new or used really depends on your finances, but the most important thing is that the vehicle be designed to fit your individual requirements.
Buy locally. When you buy from Ilderton Conversion Co., you can see, feel and try out the product, meet the owner or general manager and shake their hand. You will also receive an in-person evaluation before your purchase so you can be sure you’re getting the right solution customized to your needs. This doesn’t hold true with an internet-only business.
If you buy over the internet, the person on the other end can’t see you, can’t do an in-person evaluation and can’t fully understand your disability and needs. Plus, you can’t see them. Like a handshake, face-to-face interaction leads to trust and you’re making a large purchase.
Are you a current BraunAbility Entervan owner? If you are, then you should be receiving this postcard in the mail informing you of the AMAZING rebates on all NEW 2010 Entervans in stock. If you live in the Southeast you are eligible for up to $6250 in rebates. You don’t have to be a current BraunAbility Entervan owner to take advantage of these savings either!
Ilderton Conversion Co has over 10 NEW 2010 Dodge and Chryser Entervans ready for immediate delivery. Please give us a call today to schedule your FREE in-home demonstration of our wheelchair accessible vans and driving aids. Don’t let these saving pass you by – once the 2010s are gone so are these Rebates.
Ilderton Conversion Co. is the Carolina’s largest BraunAbility dealer. We are a BraunAbility Customer 1st Dealer as well as a BraunAbility President’s Cup award winner for over 24 years. Our Mobility Specialist can assist you in selecting the right wheelchair accessible van for you and your lifestyle. With over 6 wheelchair accessible minivan options to choose from, your freedom and independence is easier than ever!
We are excited to introduce the NEW BraunAbility new Quiet Drive system. This new technology helps eliminate the unwanted road and cabin noise in BraunAbility wheelchair vans. For the past two years, BraunAbility engineers have researched the acoustic properties of a wheelchair van and tested solutions at the advanced engineering facilities of Chrysler and Ford. The results? An up to 25% overall reduction in wheelchair van noise.
Here's how it works:
- Primary weather seals are supplemented with secondary noise-blocking weather seals.
- Noise-blocking material that stops sound before it enters the cabin is strategically placed throughout the vehicle.
- High-performance noise-absorbing materials are placed inside interior panels and open spaces in the vehicle.
- The exhaust system was re-engineered to reduce noise and vibration
The new technology is now standard on every BraunAbility wheelchair accessible van - because mobility should not come at the cost of an enjoyable ride!
For more infomation, please call one our certified mobility consultants.
All wheelchair accessible vans do the same thing; they provide freedom and independence. With a wheelchair accessible van you no longer have to wait for the bus to come, or stay home on the weekend when the buses aren’t running. There are more wheelchair accessible van options on the market today than ever before, and the process of choosing the right vehicle can seen overwhelming. With the help of a properly trained and certified Mobility Consultant, this process of choosing the right vehicle can be easy and enjoyable! There are several peices of information your Mobility Consultant will need to know to help you pick out the right vehicle:
#1 The height of the person in their wheelchair is the most important peice of information to a Mobility Consultant. Not how tall they are standing, but rather how tall they sit in their chair. This will tell your Mobility Consultant what size door height and ceiling dimensions you will need to fit in the van. The average person sits anywhere from 48” to 54”. A standard wheelchair accessible van has a door opening of approximately 54” with a ceiling height of 57-58”. (Note: a standard van from the factory has an opening of 44-45” with a floor to ceiling dimension of 47-48”.)
#2 The second peice of the equation is where you want to sit in the van – front passenger, mid-section or as a driver. Drivers will need extra equipment such as a hand controls, transfer seat base, or wheelchair docking device.
Other factors that will determine the correct wheelchair accessible vehicle include
#3 Will you be an independent driver?
#4 Will you have a care giver and does that care giver have any physical limitations?
#5 Can you transfer/do you want to?
These questions will determine the style of the van that best suits your needs including whether the vehicle has an automated door and ramp or is manual in its operation, and whether the vehicle is a side or a rear entry van.
#6 The final peice of the equation is how much do you have in your monthly budget for the vehicle? There is long term financing on new vans and extended terms on used vans. Financing is based on individual credit, and it’s customary to have 20% down either cash or trade. (We accept all trades, whether they are adapted or not.) You many qualify for assistance for different organizations such as: Workman’s Comp, Vocational Rehabilitation, Independent Living, or Veterans Administration. There are many other Government programs, so please let your Mobility Consultatnt know which program you are on or ask what program you may qualify for.
The Braun Corporation, the leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lift systems, recently honored Ilderton Conversion of Charlotte with the Customer 1st Award. The award recipients were selected based on customer survey results over the course of 2010.
BraunAbility has over 200 dealer locations nationwide, and each is staffed with mobility experts who are trained to evaluate the individual needs of customers. In addition, most locations offer 24-hour roadside emergency assistance, so customers have the assurance of support and service for their BraunAbility wheelchair accessible vehicle, even in the middle-of-the-night or on a holiday weekend.
Visit www.braunability.com for more information about BraunAbility wheelchair vans and lift systems.
About The Braun CorporationThe Braun Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, ramps, and wheelchair lift systems. These products enable persons with physical disabilities to regain mobility and lead active and independent lives. The Indiana-based company was founded by Ralph Braun, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at a young age and unable to walk by age 15. Ralph was motivated by his disability to invent the world’s first electric scooter (the Tri-Wheeler) and wheelchair lift (the Lift-A-Way) in his parents’ garage. Word spread and demand for the product increased, resulting in the birth of Save-A-Step Manufacturing, which ultimately became The Braun Corporation. The company, via the BraunAbility brand, offers the most diverse model lineup in the industry, including the most popular minivan models from Dodge, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota. For more information about the Braun Corporation or our outstanding line of wheelchair accessible vehicles, please visit www.braunability.com.
It’s finally here! Bruno has realased it’s newest vehicle lift, the ASL-700 Chariot (exterior platform lift on wheels).
For years, our clients have reluctantly traded in their small or mid-sized cars for vans, minivans, or SUVs to transport their scooters and powerchairs. Today, there is an alternative! The Bruno Chariot is an incredible new “lift of wheels” that empowers a small vehicle to handle a load of up to 350 lbs with ease. Positioned behind a car with a class I or II receiver hitch, the Chariot uses two independent wheels that swivel – following the car precisely. With it’s own suspension, this remarkable lift virually eliminates any additional weight or force on the car. Because of its patented swivel wheel/suspension design, this lift will never jackknife while backing up.
When used on a car, it’s shorter than a full-sized pick-up truck