Wheelchair Accessible Seating

For people with mobility limitations, entering and exiting a vehicle can be a slow, uncomfortable process—unless you have super-duper, special wheelchair accessible seating in your van or car. Let’s take a look at a few adaptive seating options that can make a dramatic difference in the ins and outs of vehicle travel for both wheelchair users and those with impeded mobility.

In general, a transfer seat enables an individual with impaired mobility or a person in a wheelchair to access a seat in an automobile or wheelchair accessible van easily. In an accessible van, the rider can choose to remain in the wheelchair while riding or move to an onboard transfer seat during the drive. Most newer wheelchairs allow you to drop the wheelchair side arm down, and the arm rests of the transfer seat lift up, so it’s simply a matter of sliding from one seat to the other. Secure your seatbelt, make sure the wheelchair is secured, and you’re ready to ride! A transfer seat can be easily installed inside the cabin of a handicap van or automobile.

If you want to drive (using hand controls) or ride in the front passenger seat of a full-size automobile, consider a turnout chair, which provides easy access to cars that are lower to the ground. A turnout chair swivels out over the doorsill, allowing for simple, safe transfer to the seat. Once you’re in the seat, it returns to its original interior position, and you’re on your way. These assistive chairs are manufactured by companies that specialize in adaptive equipment, and they produce the chairs in a variety of fabrics and colors, so you can match the interior seating of most any vehicle.

For smaller vehicles, a compact lift-up seat offers easy accessibility for individuals with mobility issues. The compact lift-up chair rotates out over the doorsill and lowers towards the ground outside the vehicle. When you’re seated, the chair lifts you up and rotates back inside the vehicle.

A similarly operating lift seat is designed to get you comfortably into a higher vehicle like a truck, van, minivan or SUV. Though some transfer seat styles are available in a manual format, most

transfer chairs are powered and operate at the push of a button.

For more passenger seating, a large family with a wheelchair van might consider installing a jump seat in the van to accommodate more riders or simply to provide versatility in seating arrangements. Jump seats, which are available in single and double models, fold up when they’re not used, creating additional space.

So, please take a seat, fasten your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride!