BraunAbility Celebrates 40 Years
Mobility leader empowers driving freedom among people with disabilities through its wheelchair accessible vehicles
Mar 28, 2012, 11:15 ET
WINAMAC, Ind., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BraunAbility, the world leader in personal mobility, is celebrating 40 years of offering its full line of mobility products including wheelchair-accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts. Throughout the decades, BraunAbility has empowered hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities to participate in the activities many people take for granted, such as running errands, commuting to work, visiting friends or taking a family vacation. To honor its customers and inspire people looking for automotive mobility solutions, BraunAbility is highlighting 40 customer success stories throughout its 40th anniversary year on http://www.braunability.com/.
"For 40 years, our company has been driven by our customers' desire to fully participate in everyday life activities," said BraunAbility's president, Nick Gutwein. "We manufacture the safest and most reliable mobility products to give people that freedom. Together with our national network of dealers, we understand the significant impact that mobility can have on the individual, their family and caretakers."
BraunAbility is the only mobility manufacturer that was founded based on a personal need for mobility. The start of the company marked the beginning of a mobility movement that would slowly change the public's perception of people with disabilities. As a young man, founder Ralph Braun was no longer able to get to and from work in his wheelchair, so he created the first electric-powered scooter, and later the first wheelchair accessible vehicle, a converted postal jeep. Ralph's own personal mobility solution paved the road to create BraunAbility, which eventually would change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
"When I invented my first accessible vehicle, I had no idea it would eventually change the lives of countless other people like me," said Ralph Braun, CEO and founder of BraunAbility. "It's been an incredibly rewarding journey, and I'm looking forward to celebrating 40 years with our employees, dealers and customers. I'm confident BraunAbility will be empowering even more individuals in the next 40 years."
BraunAbility has been the leader in the mobility industry for 40 years, and its commitment to helping individuals with mobility freedom has remained the same. To honor its customers, BraunAbility captured 40 personal stories to highlight the numerous ways BraunAbility products have changed their lives. To highlight just a few:
- 52-year-old Marcus Thomas broke his neck during a skiing accident and was left paralyzed from the shoulders down. The Raleigh, NC, resident never imagined he would become an artist, but today, his BraunAbility Entervan takes him and his wife side-by-side to art shows across the country, discovering new landscapes and scenes to bring to life in his paintings.
- As a former marine diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Charles Greenwald, 74, used his BraunAbility Entervan for everyday activities. When the Hartford, CT, resident became eligible for funding assistance to purchase a new vehicle, he donated his van to a fellow veteran free of charge. The two Veterans met for the first time when Charles handed Bert Francouer, a 92-year-old amputee, the keys to his own Entervan. Francouer passed away last year, but his family has paid forward that gift of mobility and donated it to another veteran in need of an accessible vehicle.
- Brian Amundsen, 36, is a quadriplegic and says he received a new lease on life when he was introduced to the BraunAbility Entervan. The van allowed for him to participate in wheelchair rugby in his hometown on Long Island, NY; he built up his strength enough to move from a power chair into a manual chair. Brian says the van turned his whole life around.
To read more on these customers and for a complete list of stories, visit http://www.braunability.com/40th-anniversary.
BraunAbility is also using its 40th anniversary as a catalyst for its "Respect Blue Spaces" campaign. The company is sponsoring a contest to select the best bumper sticker slogan that would make someone think twice before parking in a wheelchair accessible spot or the blue area reserved next to the spot which is needed to lower the wheelchair ramp. BraunAbility will select its top three choices, and its Facebook followers will pick the winning selection. The winning submission will receive a $1,000 cash prize along with a $1,000 donation to the disability-related nonprofit of their choice. In addition, the winning bumper sticker will be available at each BraunAbility dealership nationwide. The contest kicks off on March 28th and will run through May 10th. More information about "Respect Blue Spaces" can be found at www.facebook.com/braunability.
BraunAbility employees thrive on designing safe, reliable and dependable products that empower its customers. The company offers conversions to the most popular minivans on the market – the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Chrysler Town & Country, the Toyota Sienna, and the Honda Odyssey. People interested in finding more information on wheelchair vans and lifts can visit one of the more than 200 BraunAbility dealers across the country for a free mobility consultation, the first step toward discovering the mobility and freedom they deserve.
To learn more about BraunAbility and its products, please visit http://www.braunability.com/.
About The Braun Corporation
The Braun Corporation is the world's largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, ramps, and wheelchair lifts worldwide and enables people with physical disabilities to regain mobility and lead active and independent lives. The Indiana-based company was founded by Ralph Braun, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at a young age and unable to walk by age 15. Ralph's situation motivated him to invent the world's first electric scooter (the Tri-Wheeler) and wheelchair lift (the Lift-A-Way) in his parents' garage. Word spread and demand for the product increased, resulting in the birth of Save-A-Step Manufacturing, which ultimately became The Braun Corporation. The company, via the BraunAbility brand, offers the most diverse model lineup in the industry, including the most popular minivan models from Dodge/Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota. For more information about The Braun Corporation or our outstanding line of wheelchair accessible vehicles, please visit www.braunability.com.
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