What is NMEDA?
NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) is a non-profit trade association of mobility equipment dealers, driver rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals dedicated to broadening the opportunities for people with disabilities to drive or be transported in vehicles modified with mobility equipment. All members work together to improve transportation options of people with disabilities.
NMEDA was formed originally as an association of mobility equipment dealers in the state of Florida. In 1989 membership opened on a national level and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association was established. The organization promotes and supports individual members engaged in the modification of quality transportation for people with disabilities. Membership has grown from 15 to more than 600 members with the bulk of the membership located in the United States and Canada.
NMEDA members are required to adhere to the safety standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and to follow the NMEDA Guidelines. NMEDA members update the Guidelines, a living document providing detailed recommended practices on equipment installation and modifications, yearly. Every NMEDA member agrees to follow these Guidelines when they join the association.
NMEDA is striving to unify and improve the mobility equipment industry and service to people with disabilities. Transportation is the key to freedom, NMEDA is the key to quality transportation.
About the QAP:
The Quality Assurance Program (QAP) is the only recognized accreditation program for the mobility equipment industry, and is now a requirement of all NMEDA Dealer members. The program was developed to promote quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. It is based on the principle that in order to satisfy customers consistently, companies must have a systematic and documented approach to quality. The program was developed to elevate the level of dealer performance to reliably meet consumers’ transportation needs in the safest manner possible.
Some states now require a dealer’s participation in the QAP to perform work for the Vocational Rehabilitation Programs. The QAP is the only program of this nature developed for the mobility equipment industry. A QAP designation enhances vehicle modification and mobility equipment installation in a manner consistent with the highest guidelines available in the industry.
The QAP designation is indicative of enhanced vehicle modification and adaptive equipment installation consistent with the highest industry standards. Dealers are required to follow guidelines written in accordance with motor vehicle safety standards, a professionally managed dynamic and static testing program and proven quality control practices that advocate the highest level of performance and safety.
Dealers who participate in the QAP are held to extremely high standards. They are required to:
- Maintain Product and Completed Operations and Garage Keepers insurance for liability purposes.
- Have certified welders if they perform structural modifications to vehicles.
- Have technicians certified for the equipment they sell, install and service.
- Maintain records of all adaptive work.
- Undergo an inspection/audit process at least annually by an independent auditing firm to ensure compliance to the NMEDA Guidelines, certain aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and “Make Inoperative” and Canadian mandates.
- Abide by the Mediation Committee’s decisions when a complaint is lodged by a consumer, a Dealer, or any other person or entity.
- Provide 24 hour service to their customers.
- Meet shop facility and equipment requirements.
- Have four-corner scales.
Categories of QAP Accreditation:
The QAP accreditation categories are established by the type(s) of modifications that the mobility equipment dealer is performing with respect to the adaptive equipment industry. QAP dealers can earn accreditation in any or all of the following three categories. The details related to the types of work included in each accreditation category, along with the requirement for annual vs. semi-annual mandatory site inspections are listed below.
At R & J Mobility Service, we are in Good Standing with the QAP and we are accredited as a Mobility Equipment Installer, Structural Vehicle Modifier and High Tech Driving Systems Installer.
Mobility Equipment Installer:
All mobility equipment not considered as structural or high tech, including, but not limited to:
- Trunk lifts for wheelchairs and scooters
- Portable ramps
- Power and manual wheelchair tie-downs
- Simple non-driver devices
- Manual hand controls
- Steering devices
- Left foot accelerator
- Pedal extensions
- Roof-top carriers
- Driver and passenger power and manual transfer seats
- Wheelchair lifts
- Secondary driving aids (non-electrical)
- Driver trainer brakes
- Power seat bases
- Mandatory Site Inspection: Annually
Structural Vehicle Modifier:
All structural modifications including:
- Raised roofs
- Raised doors
- Support cages
- Mandatory Site Inspection: Semi-annually
High Tech Driving System Installer:
All high tech primary driving systems include:
- Low and zero effort steering systems with backup
- Low and zero effort braking systems with backup
- Electronic and pneumatic gas/brake
- Horizontal, joystick, hydraulic, and electronic steering systems
- Touch pads/secondary controls (requiring electrical)
- Mandatory Site Inspection: Semi-annually
Visit NMEDA for more information.