An image of Roxanne sitting in her wheelchair, on the edge of the wheelchair ramp into her accessible van.

A Bright Light

For years, Roxanne had been using a wheelchair due to spinal cord injuries that impact her ability to walk and stand. Although she was still able to drive, the sedan that she owned was painful to get in and out of – and  didn’t fit her wheelchair. She explains: “I pretty much couldn’t go places. I sat at home for years because I couldn’t walk comfortably and couldn’t take my wheelchair with me.”

Roxanne’s children saved up to buy her a new van with good safety features, but it did not come with the accessibility features she needed. She learned about Northwest Access Fund while researching funding for van modifications. With a loan from Northwest Access Fund, she was able to install a VMI Northstar conversion with an in-floor ramp and tie-downs. “I couldn’t do what I needed with the van without the loan from Northwest Access Fund. I’m very grateful. I feel like I was blessed.”

The van and its modifications have exceeded Roxanne’s expectations. She believes that having the modified van “will probably extend my life,” as it allows her to visit her grandchildren and to explore Washington state. Her mental health has significantly improved as a result.

Roxanne says that Northwest Access Fund was like “a bright light” for her. She is passionate about working to ensure that people with disabilities – herself included – get the services, technologies, and respect they deserve. Now, when she encounters a person with a disability who needs a loan, she tells them: “Call the Access Fund – it’s an easy process, they walk you through it, they give you the information you need, and you can’t get it anywhere else.”