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8 Reasons You’ll Fall in Love with the New VMI Chrysler Pacifica
A few weeks ago, VMI announced the addition of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica to its lineup of converted wheelchair vans. VMI began this van conversion process with one person in mind: the consumer. The planning and research for the VMI Chrysler Pacifica alone took twelve months. That year was filled with face-to-face interviews, focus groups, and national surveys so VMI engineers could understand exactly what it is the consumer wants in a wheelchair accessible vehicle. “We want to take care of our customer,” Aaron Hanlon, VMI’s vice president of marketing says. “We go out of our way to learn about their needs and develop products that will delight them.” what their needs are and develop products around that.”
Basically, we know you will love it. Here’s why:
VMI engineers have created nearly a foot of extra floor space which means more room to maneuver even the largest power wheelchairs while maintaining ample space in the vehicle for up to six other passengers — seven passengers total. Wheelchair users will now enjoy Access 360 in the Chrysler: the ability to enter the vehicle and complete a 360-degree rotation without bumping or scraping into anything.
Easy Entrance Access
The VMI Chrysler Pacifica offers two top of the line features that make for easier entrance access: its extra wide door opening and its PowerKneel feature. VMI engineers have altered the Pacifica to include a 30-inch wide door opening and 59-inch door height which will allow easier access into and out of the van for wheelchair users. The PowerKneel feature lowers the incline significantly [about an 8 degree incline] which makes it easier for wheelchair users and their caregivers to get into the van.
For the first time ever, the VMI Chrysler Pacifica gives wheelchair users the option to switch from driver’s seat to front passenger seat, or they can sit in the second row. Whereas wheelchair users in the past were stuck in one position for the duration of a ride, now wheelchair users can switch from passenger to driver’s seat and vice versa. This feature makes the Pacifica the ultimate road trip van.
We know safety is a priority, especially when it comes to transporting the family. It’s another reason we chose to convert the Chrysler Pacifica. This van comes with front and rear parking assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning plus, adaptive cruise control and 360 degree cameras.
Parallel, Perpendicular and Rear Parking Assists
The Pacifica’s Parksense park assists give drivers visual and audible warnings when he or she is about to hit an object while parking. The rear park assist also alerts drivers to objects about to come into the Pacifica’s path. The van will automatically stop when necessary to avoid collision.
Lane Departure Warning
If the driver moves laterally into other lanes without a blinker signal, then the Pacifica will offer visual warnings and gently nudge the van back into its appropriate lane.
Forward Collision Warning Plus
If the car in front brakes unexpectedly or the Pacifica driver approaches the car ahead too quickly, the van’s forward collision warning plus will provide visual warnings to “brake.” If the van continues approaching the car ahead without breaking, the van will automatically apply the brake to prevent crashing.
Adaptive Cruise Control
When the Pacifica is in cruise control but approaches a car ahead traveling at slower speeds, the van will automatically slow down to maintain a pre-set distance behind. If the car ahead stops completely, the Pacifica will also stop, and then will continue once the front car accelerates.
360 Degree Cameras
The Pacifica uses four separate cameras positioned around the van to offer 360 degree views, making it easier to maneuver through and park in tight spaces. The camera also offers an overhead bird’s-eye view of the van and objects nearby.
VMI is dedicated to creating comfortable, high-quality vans in every conversion, but the Pacifica brings a new level of luxury to the scene. This Pacifica van’s design doesn’t look like a typical wheelchair van. It reflects a more “athletic” aesthetic, featuring “chrome accents, LED lights and 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.”
Perfect for scenic road trips, the top tier edition of the Pacifica offers a tri-pane sunroof — that is, a sunroof that extends nearly the entire length of the roof. Riders in the front, middle and third rows can look up and enjoy the view.
The Pacifica’s top tier editions offer a luxury option called UConnect Theater. Customers can have 5- or 8.4-inch screens built into the back of the front row seats for people to play games or watch movies on. USB, HDMI and bluetooth connection is also available, which makes it possible to sync smart phones up to the screens. This option is extremely convenient for families with kids and people who take long trips.
In-car Vacuum Hose
Say goodbye to dirt, hair and cracker crumbs. The Pacifica’s top tier editions’ in-car vacuum hose extends from the backseat to every nook and cranny of the vehicle, making cleaning a breeze. This family car’s interior can look brand new and spotless, even years down the road.
*Original article can be found HERE
Want to NEVER pay for routine maintenance again?
Well now is your chance! Now through March 31, 2017 Access Options is offering FREE* routine maintenance on all remaining 2016 vehicles in stock for as long as you own it. You can view the remainder of our 2016 stock HERE. Come by one of our two locations today.
109 Lee Road Suite D
Watsonville, CA 95076
41545 Albrae St
Fremont CA, 94538
(408) 734-LIFT (5438)
* Please note that this offer does not include parts or major repairs. This offer is for free bi-annual routine maintenance on ramp vans.
Although it’s a little later than we anticipated, we here at Access Options, Inc. wanted to congratulate the Pelayo family, who were the winners of the Series 2 Apple Watch Raffle.
Thank you to everyone who participated!
Our day-to-day lives all have repetitious tasks and challenges. Thankfully, most of these are mundane; chores like cleaning the dishes, taking out the trash, personal hygiene and so forth. But for some wheelchair users, these mundane, but instrumental tasks of daily living are outright struggles that require time, patience and occasionally a little bit of help. Luckily, technology innovations continually progress, and alongside the advancements are a lot of unique assistive devices to give us that helping hand.
Slightly more than 6.8 million Americans with physical disabilities use assistive devices to help them become more independent and perform daily tasks they may have had trouble with before. A wheelchair van helps bring a newfound sense of freedom, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to assistive devices.
The most transformative technologies are still being refined, such as self-driving cars and prosthetic limbs powered by mind control, there are plenty of available assistive technologies for people with disabilities that can make life a little easier.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Assistive Computer Gadgets
Using a computer may not be easy if you have limited use of your hands or arms, but there are plenty of gadgets and accessibility options that help. If you’re using a touch screen computer or tablet, a few different companies make computer mounts that attach to your wheelchair and allow you to handle the device at any height you’re comfortable with. Many apps themselves will have accessibility options that refine the user experience specifically for people with disabilities. You also have standard options like voice-to-text typing, digital readers, oversized mice and keyboards, and eye-tracking computer systems that control the computer with your eye movements.
Trying to clean the house when you sit in a wheelchair or have limited mobility is a pain. Using a vacuum efficiently when you’re in the chair is difficult, and vacuuming under chairs, beds or couches is nearly impossible without a few fancy attachments. Hiring a cleaning service is always an option—albeit, an expensive one. While there aren’t gadgets available to perform every cleaning task, there are a few that can take care of the basic jobs, so you can spend your time doing what you enjoy most. The most popular cleaning technologies include:
Vacuum Robot: This is the classic home-cleaning robot option. Most models work quite well on carpets and swerve their little dirt-munching bodies under every available surface. Newer models from a few brands even have sensors that detect what area of the house the cleaning bot has visited, so it won’t get stuck cleaning just one area. Most modern models also let you set a cleaning schedule, and a few fancier options even let you program the robot to return to its dock after cleaning and stay there until its next scheduled session.
Floor Mopping Robot: These ferocious scrubbers are nearly identical in operation to the vacuum robot, but they have a water reservoir to scrub clean your hardwood, linoleum or tile floors.
Personal Emergency Response System
This assistive technology for people with disabilities is a must-have — no matter what your level of mobility. Whether you live alone or have a caregiver or family member who helps you, this can you’re your life in the event of an emergency. These devices often come as a wearable pendant, bracelet or pin that you can clip onto clothes. Pressing a small button can alert the best person if you’re seriously injured or have any sort of emergency.
Smart Home Assistants
At-home digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon’s Echo can make your significantly more wireless and decrease the amount of time you spend fidgeting with your phone or computer. For people who have limited use of their arms or hands, this technology is surprisingly useful. You can talk with the virtual assistants like a real person and for the most part, they’ll respond like a normal person. The assistants can do handle routine tasks like making a calendar appointment and telling you the weather, to more sophisticated tasks like playing a particular song, ordering a product online or making movie recommendations.
Stair Climbing Power Chairs
About half of wheelchair users must use steps to enter or exit their home or work, and roughly the same number of people report struggling to enter or leave the home.
Several companies and academic organizations have created power chairs that can literally climb stairs. Take this prototype by a group of university students in Zurich, Switzerland, as an example. The designers have developed a chair that uses tank-like treads and a Segway balance system to climb stairs in reverse, all while keeping the wheelchair user level and safe. They estimate the cost will be roughly comparable to a normal power chair, and give users unparalleled mobility.
When people have disabilities, often times they need to stick to certain schedules when it comes to things like medication or exercises. Smart watches can synchronize with your smartphone and keep track of these schedules to automatically let you know when it’s time to do something – wherever you are. Plus, because they sync up with your phone, you can screen calls, emails and messages without having to fumble through your pockets or wheelchair pouches when you get a phone call or text.
*Article originally posted on VMI’s Blog: Available Here
Here’s to a wonderful new year and a warm adieu to the old,
Here’s to happiness good times,
Good cheers and the many joys yet to unfold.
From all of us at Access Options, Inc., we would like to wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
From the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
Our nation’s recent and unexpected presidential election results will lead to a great deal of unknowns for people with disabilities. It is too soon to determine the exact impact the new administration will have on disability rights and the Independent Living Movement, but we can look to the divisiveness in the campaigns, and the current fear and protests to understand that we have a lot to be concerned about.
The Disability Rights Movement is a civil rights movement for everyone. Anyone who lives long enough will experience some sort of access or functional limitation in their lifetime. We value and derive power from the fact that we are everywhere. Our community crosses all lines, and the “disability vote” was cast for all candidates.
As a movement created by, for and about people with disabilities, this election offers us the opportunity to reflect on the diversity of our experiences as a community, our intersections across communities, and the critical aspects of independence and interdependence in our daily lives.
The disability community prides itself on doing things differently, adapting to change and getting on with living our lives. Our movement was founded on liberty, freedom, justice, and human rights. We will not allow fear, discrimination or hate to tear us down or pull us apart.
The presidential campaign drew upon deep chasms of dissatisfaction with our political system—one in which many voters sought change after years of feeling forgotten, lied to, neglected and ignored. Many people in America are feeling the sting of ableism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, ageism, religious persecution and anti-immigration sentiments that emerged as a result.
The Disability Community suffers from the stigma of being mocked, and the denial of opportunities for education, employment, transportation, housing and healthcare. Our money is often turned away due to a lack of access in storefronts, hotels and restaurants. It is simple to see that we have a long way to go to achieve true access, equality and independence in America.
The battle for independence, economic justice and the alleviation of poverty lies in the road to employment. Yet the labor force participation rate for people with disabilities is a dismal 20% compared to 68% for people without disabilities. The poverty rate of people with disabilities is 28% compared to 12% for the non-disabled. Clearly, we have work to do!
The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) is doubling down on our values of community, inclusion and justice. We commit to protecting and promoting policies, programs and services that increase access and equality for people across all disabilities, ages and ethnicities, sexual identities, genders, citizenship and religious beliefs. We commit to connect our agenda to like communities to build our power and help define the policies and programs that will impact our lives, and lead us to true independence, freedom and equality.
We remain resolved to ensure that nothing about us, happens without us!
**Originally posted on November 29, 2016 by California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC). Click HERE for the original post.
In order to assist our customers in planning their service, we at Access Options, Inc. wanted to make you aware of our upcoming holiday hours in advance.
Access Options, Inc. will be closing at noon on:
Friday December 23, 2016
Friday December 30, 2016
We will be closed in observance of the holidays on:
Monday December 26, 2016
Monday January 2, 2017
Our friendly staff will be available during our regular office hours outside of these dates to assist you in any way we can.
We at Access Options, Inc. want to thank all of you who came out to see us at the Abilities Expo. It was a wonderful success.
Below are pictures of our booth, which was manned by our friendly staff!
Some of our vendors were in attendance as well. Including Braun, which had our very own Kevin from Fremont helping out!
All in all we met so many wonderful people at the Abilities Expo, but the fun isn’t over yet! Stay tuned as we will be drawing our winner for the Apple Watch soon!
Access Options, Inc. offices will be open for regular hours Monday – Wednesday. Our office is closed on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.
Access Options, Inc. wishes you and your family a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.