Featured image forA Family’s Adapted Van Makes Traveling Much Easier and Safer

A woman, a little boy, and a little girl in a wheelchair are gathering outside of a gray adapted van.

Drew is seven years old and loves bright lights and music, and enjoys good food. And she needs plenty of room to roll around when she’s playing at home.

Drew was born a late preterm baby and was diagnosed with meningitis resulting in severe hearing loss. At two, she received a cochlear implant on her right side. Drew also has epilepsy, low vision, and limited mobility.

Drew uses a Kid Kart (wheelchair for children), and a SleepSafe Bed to prevent falls. She also uses a walker during her classes at Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children in Pittsburgh. She goes to school full-time, has therapies there, and receives assistance from a teacher’s aide who stays with her throughout the school day. Since Drew was an infant, traveling from home to school and other places was often challenging. They used to have an SUV that wasn’t big enough to accommodate the Kid Kart when it was fully assembled.

A woman pushes a little girl in a wheelchair into an adapted van. A little boy looks on.

With the help of an adapted van, Drew’s commute is more convenient and comfortable.

“Getting around is a lot easier now. We can go places without having to struggle to get in and out of a van. Your loan program has been life-changing and greatly beneficial.”

– Drew’s Mom

Drew’s mom, Dontazha, would have to disassemble the wheelchair to fit it in the trunk of the vehicle. At times Drew’s car seat positioning caused her to lean forward so mom would have to keep an eye on her the entire time while driving. “It was tough getting around, we only went out when our relatives were able to help us with traveling,” Dontazha said.

A woman, a little boy, and a little girl in a wheelchair, are inside of a gray adapted van.

Drew and family are all smiles as they get ready to travel in their new adapted van.

Drew also uses a smart home technology device called a SAMI, which is a sleep activity camera that watches Drew while she sleeps and alerts Dontazha if there is any rapid movement that may be a sign of a seizure.

Check out the new edition of our guide, Smart Homes Made Simple: Your Guide to Smart Home Technology, 2nd Edition. This guide was written to help people with disabilities, older adults, and their families learn to successfully integrate smart home technology into their homes and their lives. Also, go to our Smart Homes Made Simple website: SmartHomesMadeSimple.org.

If you would like to share your story about the assistive technology or smart home technology that you bought thanks to a PATF loan, please contact Quintin Cliett at qcliett@patf.us.