Adapted Van is a Driving Force Behind Reader's Independent Lifestyle

The following article appeared in the Washington Assistive Technology Alliance Newsletter, Spring 1995, Vol. 1, No. 4.

My name is Sean Barrett. I am 25 years old, a graduate of the University of Washington, and a counselor for DSHS Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. I have had many experiences with adaptive technology, so I'll try to be brief.

My single favorite object in the world is my van, a 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan LE with an IMS conversion kit. Remote control door, fold out ramp, auto lock down for the scooter and like a billion different directional power drivers' seat. Simply put, this van has made me as independent as I choose to be. Because of this van I can drive anywhere to work, as I do every day. Furthermore, I can drive anywhere I need to be for fun.

The van (with me driving, I drive as long as I can before I let someone else take the wheel), has been to the Rose Bowl, a women's basketball game at University of Oregon, about 50 Mariner games, a Pearl Jam concert, Soundgarden concert, Tool/Candlebox concert, a number of clubs, countless softball games/practices and many clubs.

The ironic thing about the clubs is the combination of the fact that I don't drink and that my van holds about six people has made me the designated driver !!! To put it bluntly, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY VAN.

There have been other items I use for adaptive tech--crutches, a Fortress scooter, ergonomic chair etc...The overriding factor in all these items is one thing--with them I am able to be and do what I wish.