Safety Tip: Know the Weight of Your Vehicle


How much weight can your accessible SUV or van bear when fully loaded? Because SUVs and vans have a higher center of gravity than sedans or minivans, they are more prone to rollover accidents. It is vital to know the weight load before stuffing your vehicle with a wheelchair, luggage, family or friends and vacation equipment (like a canoe or bicycles). Just because there is room for everything doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone.

Braking hard to avoid a possible accident or carrying too much weight in a sharp turn can up the odds of an accident. Plus, an overloaded vehicle can adversely affect braking, steering and your ability to safely control the vehicle.

To find the maximum allowable weight of your vehicle when loaded, look for the label on the driver’s side doorjamb. It tells the allowable weight of the vehicle plus fuel, passengers and cargo. (The information may also be in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the underside of the hood.)

A large SUV can weigh 6,000 lbs. or more before the conversion. A smaller one will be in the 4,000-5,000 lb. range.

To figure out how much weight the vehicle will actually be carrying, get out the calculator. A power wheelchair can weigh about 200 lbs. Add 300 lbs. or more for the wheelchair lift and you’ve already added 500 lbs to the vehicle’s weight capacity. Add 150 lbs. for each passenger and the driver.

With all that weight, make sure the tires can handle the load. Inspect the tread and check the air pressure. All new vehicles from 2012 onward are equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system monitors the air pressure inside the tires and alerts the driver if the tire pressure is too low.

Slim down your odds of a rollover by slimming down the vehicle. No overloading!


Originally posted on NMEDA’s Blog: Here on 9/25/17
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Wheelchair Accessible Van Rental FAQs


Did you know that Access Options, Inc. is part of the national network for Wheeler’s Accessible Van Rental Dealers? Our rental fleet consists of late-model, low mileage lowered-floor minivans and are available for pick up or delivery at both the Watsonville and Fremont locations.


All rentals reservations require a deposit of $100.00 

Rental Rates*
1 day rental (24 hrs) $125
1 week rental (7 days) $100/ day $700
1 month rental (28 days) $75/ day $2100
*100 mile per day allotment, additional miles $.50/per mile

Vehicle delivery or pick up from airport?
*Pricing is each way*
SJO $100
SFO $150
Oakland $150

Vehicle delivery and pick up is available Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Please note that we can make special arrangements outside of these hours for an additional charge.

All of our rentals have side entry.
We do not provide hand controls or transfer seats. Wheelchair user will not be able to drive.
Front passenger seat can be removed upon request.
Customer must provide copy of driver’s license and proof of insurance (Insurance must cover rentals ).
Drivers must be 23 years or older to rent and drive vehicle and have a Visa or MasterCard

We have a 72 hour Cancellation Policy.  If renter cancels reservations within the 72 hours (3 days) of pick up, renter will be charged $100.  If renter cancels in advance of 72 hours (3 days) of pick up, no charges will incur.

Please call for further information or submit your request on-line and one of our representatives will contact you. When submitting an on-line request, please specify your needs on our Rental Form.

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Tips on Properly Anchoring Wheelchairs in Mobility Vehicles

**Posted on August 15th, 2016 in Living With a DisabilityMobility EquipmentWheelchair Accessible


Vehicles that are not accessible are designed with a safety bubble comprised of firmly anchored seats, seat belts and a belt restraint system to protect the upper and lower torso, and air bags to protect you in the event of a crash. This “cone of protection” does not exist for those with disabilities riding in wheelchairs, but there are ways to ensure your vehicle is adapted to keep you safe.

Protect Yourself
To get such protection in a wheelchair accessible vehicle it must be modified by a mobility equipment manufacturer or Quality Assurance Program (QAP) dealer. Mobility equipment dealers know that transferring to the vehicle seat offers the highest level of protection.

The next best option is a WC19 compliant wheelchair, which is designed for use as a seat in motor vehicles, because regular wheelchair frames and seats are not as strong to withstand crash conditions.

The Risks of a Quick Fix
The pricing for each vehicle varies depending on each individual’s specific needs, the cost for a modified handicap vehicle can be anywhere from $20,000 on up. Today, some people are avoiding the cost of making their vehicle safe and accessible by creating unreliable gadgets that will allow them to drive.

While this method can be temporarily effective, the long-term repercussions and risks of operating a vehicle this way are massive, not to mention illegal in many cases.

Let The Professionals Handle It
Below are some reasons to let the professionals handle the installation of your seating and restraints on a vehicle with no modifications:

  • It is difficult to find suitable places on the wheelchair frame to attach wheelchair tie downs. Or it is likely that the places you find are not strong enough to hold up under a crash.
  • Tie down straps may be attached to the most accessible places on the wheelchair, which are often the weakest. (Attaching to detachable footrests or armrests is a really bad idea.)
  • Belt restraints should fit over the pelvis and shoulders. However, most wheelchair designs make positioning vehicle-anchored restraints difficult.
  • When wheelchair occupants are placed facing sideways in the vehicle, since this is easiest for getting a wheelchair in and out of the vehicle. But then occupants are in the least-safe orientation for a frontal crash. All occupied wheelchairs should face forward during transit.
  • The experts will tell you trays and tray-mounted accessories are rarely fixed to wheelchairs with safety in mind.
  • They should be stowed elsewhere during transit or attached securely.

Finding a licensed and trustworthy dealer/mechanic should be a number one priority when it comes to getting your car modified. Access Options, Inc, is an accredited NMEDA QAP dealer and  works to make your ride the safest and most comfortable possible.

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Spotlight on Adapt Solutions


The passionate, creative Adapt-Solutions team brings you innovative mobility solutions. Their products are reliable, sleek, and designed with simplicity so that they work when you need them.

In one smooth, simple motion, the XL-BASE rotates and then gently lowers out of the vehicle. This cycle can be stopped at any time to allow transfer at desired height.


The XL-BASE has a 350 lbs weight capacity. The vehicle battery is the power source and power is not drained when the XL-BASE is not in use. Every unit is equipped with a manual backup system. The XL-BASE is designed exclusively for the front and center passenger positions of most minivans.

Open your vehicle’s door and fold the XL-SEAT down. Once transferred onto the XL-SEAT, use the retractable support arm for safety and balance while it takes you up to the driver’s seat.

XL Seat

When using the XL-SEAT you transfer onto your original seat. You get to keep all the original features from your vehicle. All seat adjustment functions remain operational, the seatback still reclines completely; even power or heated seats can remain intact.

The XL-BOARD is a stationary, foldable and retractable vehicle transfer board designed to bridge the gap when transferring from a wheelchair to a driver or front passenger seat of the Mazda 5®.


The XL-BOARD is designed to be installed into the Mazda 5® exclusively. The Mazda 5® is the only vehicle of its kind to offer a sliding door in the central position. This feature offers ideal space for loading and unloading a wheelchair.

Simply back an empty wheelchair up to the SPEEDY-LIFT and push the ‘IN’ button. The SPEEDY-LIFT picks up the chair and secures it in place.

speedy lift

The compact design takes up very little space. In most cases, only one seat is removed from the inside of the vehicle. Keep the use of up to 6 seats in a minivan application.

The POWER-PULL is designed to help a wheelchair up the ramp of a lowered floor minivan. Pick up the POWER-PULL hooks and position the wheelchair in front of the ramp. Place the hooks on the wheelchair and then press and hold the IN button. It’s as simple as that!

Power Pull

Because there are so many factors that can increased the difficulty in wheeling up or down the ramp of a converted vehicle, a simplified assistive device can offer that little extra needed help. With the ease of a wireless remote, and because the POWER-PULL can be reached from outside the vehicle, independence becomes within reach.

The newest member to Adapt Solutions product line up, the LINK truly is the solutions we have all been waiting for. The LINK allows you to have your vehicle, your way. It installs without any structural modification, offering amazing legroom and comfort, it is the LINK between you and your vehicle.


Love your vehicle. Keep the look, comfort, safety features and style of your ride. The LINK is so compact the original seat is always used. No lost space. No aftermarket seat. No need to try and match the interior finishes.

Interested in a quote? Give us a call today!


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Friendly Reminder


Access Options, Inc. will be closed on Monday September 4, 2017 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. We will be back in the office on Tuesday September 5, 2017.




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Funding Resources for Accessible Vehicles



Although purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle can be expensive, Access Options, Inc. can guide you to programs that may help you. Below are a few general options to research:

  • State Agencies – Every state has a Vocational Rehabilitation Program. These are state funded programs that assist people with disabilities to get back into or remain in the workplace. In some cases they provide funding for vehicle modifications. Check with your local program for qualifications. Check with your mobility dealer to help find local programs and third party funders.
  • Veterans Administration – The Veterans Administration funds up to $18,900 for adaptive equipment for qualifying veterans. For more information visit
  • Charitable Organizations/Churches – The options here can be extensive. Research what is available in your local market.
  • Mobility Rebate Programs – Several OEM manufacturers (Chrysler, Ford, GM, Toyota, etc.) provide rebates to purchasers of new vehicles that require modifications for disabilities. Before you purchase a new vehicle for modifications, inquire with the dealer about applicable rebates.
  • Special Finance Programs – A variety of programs are available for financing mobility vehicles including loans with extended terms, leasing packages and more. Please ask your NMEDA dealer for more information about special financing programs offered.
  • Fundraising – Contact all the people in your life and turn your need for a mobility solution into an outlet for socializing and creativity that can bring your whole community together. Get local news agencies involved by explaining what you’re trying to do and ask if they’d be interested in covering your story.
  • Public Assistance – Depending on your disability and if you are on Social Security, you may be eligible for the PASS program. If you need an accessible vehicle to go to school or your job, they may be able to help you.
  • Grants – There are several different organizations for different disabilities that provide information, support and resources to help assist those with specific conditions. For example, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society might help if you have MS or United Cerebral Palsy may be able to help if you have CP. Reach out to the local chapter and see if they can provide assistance or guidance.


This mobility funding update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. 
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Spotlight on Bruno stair Lifts


Reach all levels of your home safely. Restore access and peace of mind with a Bruno indoor stairlift. Setting the standard for stairlift design and dependability, there’s a Bruno stair lift for every budget and space. Discover which indoor stairlift is right for your unique home and needs.


Get Bruno’s most popular straight stairlift, the Elan. Bruno’s Elan offers years of dependable use with Made in America quality. The Elan stair lift comes standard with a variety of features to meet your individual needs. With a unique low-profile rail design, Bruno’s Elan stairlift leaves plenty of open space on the steps for family member.



Combine quality, comfort and style with an Elite Straight stairlift. Bruno’s Elite Indoor Straight chairlift offers worry-free access and the premium design blends in with your home’s environment. Consider options such as power swivel seat and power folding footrest to customize your Bruno Elite stair lift to match your unique situation.


Enjoy the stairlift built specifically for your home. Experience the smooth, quiet ride of Bruno’s Elite Curve stair lift from start to finish. With Bruno’s signature stairlift, the quality and comfort are second to none. Add power options to further customize your Elite curved chairlift to fit your lifestyle.

If you are interested in a FREE assessment send us an email HERE or call us at one of our two locations.

Access Options, Inc.
Fremont Office       408-734-5438
Watsonville Office  831-722-6804



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Spotlight on Guidosimplex Driving Aids


Guidosimplex has been providing handicap hand controls for cars for over 50 years, and has helped millions of disabled drivers throughout the U.S. and the world get back on the road.

But beyond the innovative functionality, Guidosimplex has made car hand controls more CONVENIENT, unobtrusive, and more in keeping with your vehicle’s own interior styling.

It’s “Freedom to Drive” the way you want to drive – with both hands on the wheel, natural “push” movement to brake, up to 11 secondary controls at your fingertips – even a clutch for a manual shift vehicle! And every Guidosimplex hand control is beautifully styled to complement your vehicle’s interior.

Guidosimplex means “Driving made simple” – with the most technologically advanced driving controls available!

Gas & Brake Hand Controls for Adaptive Driving
Guidosimplex hand controls for cars include “all-in-one” systems that allow you to control both the Accelerator and the Brake in a single lever. For your accelerator, choose either an Electronic or Mechanical accelerator. Choose from a selection of mechanical or hydraulic Brake systems.


Concept Lever – (GT2)

Floor-mounted lever, right of driver’s seat, in just about any car. Controls accelerator and brake with one lever.

Q Hand Control

For those with limited wrist/upper body control or grip problems. Steering-mounted lever for gas & brake.

Oceania Lever – (Modena)

All in one accelerator and brake on a long-arm lever. Mounts on steering column, left or right.



Revolutionary single lever looks like a gearshift — and only the handgrip portion moves. Nothing to rub against your leg. All controls inside a sleek console.

To see more of what Guidosimplex had to offer visit their site here: Guidosimplex


To get a quote on Guidosimplex or any other controls reach out to us here: Access Option, Inc. Contact Us

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How to Make Travel a Breeze this Summer


It’s the time for sunscreen, sunshine and some plain, old summer fun! If you’re looking for travel ideas or tips to make sure all your summer adventures in your wheelchair go off without a hitch, you’ve come to the right place! Next time you’re planning a trip or packing for one take these tips into consideration!

Cruises: While some cruises are more accessible than others, they are said to be some of the most wheelchair friendly vacation options. Cruise ships sailing in and out of U.S. waters should be ADA compliant and ships are so large now room to get around shouldn’t be an issue. Some of the best cruise lines to look at include Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruises, and Holland America.

Hotels: Shop around when looking for the right hotel. Once you’ve found a few you like give them a call to discuss their amenities, accessibility and any other information you may require. Even if you’ve booked a room requesting a roll-in shower or any other amenities, be sure to follow up a few days before your trip to confirm your room is equipped for your needs.

Flying: One way to reduce travel stress is to book flights with longer layovers. This allows for more time to get to gates or to reassemble any equipment. If your chair does need to be disassembled to enter the aircraft attach directions so the crew can understand and help simplify the process.

General: If you’re traveling via car or van always ensure maintenance is completed before you embark on your road trip! The best tip of all is to plan ahead – you can never be too prepared for your trip in land, air or sea!

** Original article from EZ Access’ Blog on June 18, 2017. 
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Prepping Your Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for Summer


If you live in an area known for its seasonably high temperatures during the summer months, then you should be taking the proper precautions necessary to summer-proof your wheelchair accessible vehicle, and ensure it runs at tip-top shape as the heat continues to rise.

Here are some essential vehicle maintenance tips that you need to consider as the summer season sets in.

Stock Up on Coolant
This should go without saying, but you should always keep an eye on your accessible vehicle’s coolant levels. Too little, and your engine wills start running hotter than normal. Add the high temperatures outdoors, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disaster.

As a precaution, it’s always good to keep an extra bottle of coolant in the trunk, or under a seat, in case an emergency occurs while you’re on the road.

Cut Down on Cracks
High temperatures under the hood are pretty commonplace, which means its effects can be doubled or tripled during the summer months. High heat over time can cause cracks in hoses and tubing, which can lead to fluid leaks and even damage to your engine or other important components.

Regular servicing and replacement can help prevent costly damages, and extend the overall life of your mobility vehicle.

Assess Your AC
The more integral system in your car, especially during the summer months, your AC should always be in tip-top shape. If for any reason you feel a decline in the performance of your AC system, do not ignore it. The worse you let the problem get, the more expensive it will be to get fixed.

Check Your Tires
Even the most advanced rubbers are still prone to wear and tear over time. This can be exacerbated by any sudden changes in temperature, which causes some tires to literally rot from the inside out. This is especially true for wheelchair accessible vans and trucks, as they prone to carrying more weight than their non-modified counterparts.

It’s recommended you get your tires checked every three months or so, and replaced every year, to reduce the risk of damage to your mobility vehicle.

Call today to make an appointment at one of our two locations!


Originally Posted on June 6th, 2017 in Drivers With Disabilities
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