In December 2017, the Center purchased a new vehicle with a grant from MoDOT and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The minivan is equipped with a ramp for wheelchair accessibility, can transport up to six people at a time and allows for our participants to have greater access to the community.
Participants in our Adult Day Program and MAAP (the Center’s adult autism program) benefit greatly from opportunities to engage in the community, so the minivan is used by these two programs multiple times each week. The participants volunteer at local non-profits to increase vocational and social skills and they engage in life experiences, such as grocery shopping and recreational activities. Through these opportunities, they have the added benefit of forming new relationships with outside community members, enhancing their support systems.
Several years ago, the Center purchased its first minivan which, unfortunately, is not equipped with a wheelchair ramp. Having an accessible van now allows people that depend on adaptive equipment to receive the benefits of community integration activities. Because the Center now has two vehicles, more participants can participate in outings at the same time.
Daniel Greenspan, day program coordinator at the Center, said, “Participants who were once difficult to transport, due to limitations with wheelchairs, can now be transported with ease. In the past, a person who uses a motorized wheelchair would have to switch out of their wheelchair when going on outings; but with the new van they can happily stay in their own wheelchair. We have been able to increase the number of outings for all of our participants. They have especially enjoyed outings to St. Louis attractions, such as the Zoo, the Science Center and the new Arch grounds.”