Tim GilmerThe days of renting a wheelchair accessible minivan with hand controls from an adaptive van dealer are all but over. Too bad.

I love minivans. In 1984 I bought the first available minivan, a Plymouth Voyager. Then I purchased a 1988 Grand Caravan with the more powerful engine, followed by a used 1993 model. Now I own a 2001 Town and Country with 163,000 miles on it. I’m fortunate to be a low para with decent arm and shoulder strength. I use a tall wheelchair, so I can transfer with no need for a lowered floor. I take out one back seat, get in on the passenger’s side, pull my chair in with the wheels on, slide over to the driver’s seat (no console) and go.

I have rented dozens of minivans with hand controls from airport rental companies. I did that throughout the 1990s up until about 2012, renting in California, Florida, New York, Arizona, Hawaii — wherever business or pleasure took me. Then the airport rental companies stopped putting hand c