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One Stray Bullet Changed Todd Shelton’s Life Forever

Coach Todd Shelton put time and heart into reaching out to others in his community. After graduating from Missouri Western University, the football star came back to his hometown to get involved with football, track, and wrestling at McCluer South Berkeley High School. Todd was not just a coach; he was a role model. Todd worked hard to help these students navigate from high school to college. He touched, and continues to touch, so many lives.February 16, 2019, a random act of violence changed Todd’s life when he was shot during a drive-by shooting. This senseless act has not changed Todd’s mission in life; to make people’s lives better.

Watch this inspiring story to hear Todd’s story and to see how the KMOV Surprise SquadScott Credit Union and United Access teamed up to give Todd and his family a half time show of surprises.

Scottsdale family whose daughter has cerebral palsy gets new wheelchair accessible van

The Stedman family of Scottsdale is no stranger to adversity. They’ve triumphed over cancer, ADHD, Dyslexia and Cerebral Palsy. Their eight-year-old daughter, Sage, has cerebral palsy and is non-mobile. She was diagnosed at the age of four months.

Not having a safe and accessible vehicle to transport a child in a wheelchair can cause isolation, discouragement, frustration, and depression. That’s one of the many reasons the Stedman family wanted to get an accessible vehicle for Sage.

“Sage has a power chair and it is a joy to see her enjoy this newfound independence, but we’ve been unable to transport it,” said Mrs. Stedman. “Although she can take her chair to school on the bus, her schedule does not allow her to take the bus every day.”

The Stedman family has been searching desperately for the best wheelchair accessible vehicle for their daughter. “But, in addition to the large expense of such a vehicle, we have extra medical bills due to her father’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis,” said Mrs. Stedman, who added that her family has also been working hard to raise funds to help pay for it.

Thankfully, the Steelman Family Foundation, which assists families in need who are trying to purchase their own wheelchair accessible vehicle, has chosen to help Sage Stedman and her family.

 

Marcos Castillo – Back in the Driver’s Seat

Marcos Castillo was injured in an accident nearly 20 years ago. Marcos life has been a journey. After 18 years, Marcos is finally back in the driver’s seat! Watch how all of his hard work has paid off. Marcos, his driving instructor and United Access in Chandler, Arizona worked together to get him back on the road to independence.

 

Don’t Buy Before You Try: The Trouble with Buying Cars Online

Online shopping has changed the way we buy products in every industry. It can be quicker, more convenient, and sometimes it’s even cheaper. But not every purchase is best made virtually.

For example, the last time you bought a car, you probably went to a dealership or met the seller in real life. Though your research for a new vehicle may have started online, you probably don’t want to spend thousands on a car without looking it over in person.

A Craigslist seller or dealership may not describe the vehicle completely accurately, intentionally or not. And you probably want to test drive it and look under the hood to make sure your potential new car is as great as it seems in the description.

Sienna

1. United Access offers live, customized demonstrations.

No matter your needs, the mobility specialists at United Access can help you find the right accessible vehicle for you. Not only that, though, we’ll show you how to use every single feature on your potential new van. When it comes to ramps, lifts, handbrakes, and other hand controls, you have many different options depending on your particular needs. 

While some online car dealerships may have these options available for sale, they won’t be able to give you a personal demonstration of how to use them in your new wheelchair van.

 2. We bring the van to you.

Can’t come into the dealership yourself? We’ll come to you. Our mobility specialists will speak with you one-on-one to find a vehicle that we recommend for you and then bring it to your home. There, we’ll show you the ins and outs of the vehicle and answer all questions you have, no matter how small!

One of the biggest draws of online car shopping is the promise of door-to-door, white glove delivery. But what happens when that car shows up and you don’t like it after all? Back it goes to the dealership and the process has to start all over.

Instead, when you buy from United Access, you’re getting the benefits of a brick-and-mortar car dealership with the convenience of home delivery. The car-buying experience has never been easier!

3. We offer trade-ins.

Some online car-buying companies don’t deal in trade-ins, making that MSRP a little harder to swallow. Doesn’t sound like a fair price to us.

If you already have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle but are looking for your next car, we’re happy to give you an appraisal for trade-in value to help you get the best price for your new car. 

Once we do an in-person inspection and test drive, we’ll give you an appraisal for your car’s market value. This appraisal is valid for a full 30 days, giving you plenty of time to find the new wheelchair van of your dreams, regardless of sticker price.

Red Ram Promaster
Ram Promaster

Naturally, the same can be said of buying a wheelchair van online.

Wheelchair-accessible vehicles are an important part of independence for people who use wheelchairs. But as you likely know, choosing a wheelchair van is more complicated than buying a non-adapted vehicle.

As convenient as buying a car online might seem — no haggling, right? — you won’t know what the car is really like until it’s in front of your house.

And if you shop for an accessible vehicle online, you’re losing the benefits of shopping in person—like a mobility specialist explaining the different options available to you and customized personal demonstrations. Depending on your needs, we can help decide whether a rear-entry van is necessary, or if a side-entry van would better fit your lifestyle. Unfortunately, you don’t get that level of personal service when you’re buying from what is effectively a car vending machine.

Keep reading to find out why it’s better to buy a wheelchair van in person from a local dealership that knows your needs and how United Access can help you find the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle for you.

Silverado
Silverado 2

4. You can actually test drive our wheelchair vehicles.

You wouldn’t buy a house you’ve never walked around in. Why buy a vehicle you haven’t test driven? Unlike some online wheelchair van companies, we expect that our customers will want to test drive their potential van before you buy, and we’re happy to offer that service.

If you can’t make it into one of our dealerships, we’ll schedule a test drive at your home.

5. Our mobility specialists know our products inside and out.

We know that each of our customers has unique needs and want different things in their wheelchair vans. That’s why we make sure that our mobility specialists are trained in all the specifics of wheelchair-accessible vans. When you talk to a United Access specialist online or on the phone, you’re talking to a real person—no robots here! When you’re reduced to buying cars online, you’re at the hands of a robot to answer your questions about the inventory. We work hard every day to help our customers get the best accessible vehicle  for their individual needs. 

6. Our mobility specialists can you help find additional funding.

Need additional funding? Our mobility specialists can help with that! Our team can work with you to find the most reasonable vehicle within your budget. We keep track of which organizations offer resources and funding to individuals with special needs, including financial assistance for wheelchair vans. Additionally, our finance department can tell you about rebate programs and funding options to help you access the vehicle you need.

Want to get started on research? Take a look at our financing page, our and our list of resources for veterans. Our list of potential fundraisers might spark an idea, and you can learn how to raise money via GoFundMe with our guide to setting up a crowdfunding campaign that really works.

The wheelchair van buying process can seem intimidating, we know. But buying cars online isn’t your only option when you’re too overwhelmed to go straight to a dealership. Instead, contact one of our mobility specialists today to learn more about buying a wheelchair accessible van from United Access. We’ll explain the entire van-buying process and show you why United Access is where you can go to get the right wheelchair-accessible vehicle for you.