Category Archives: Company News

Rehabilitation Specialist

What You Need to Know Before Meeting with a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist

Many individuals have injuries or medical conditions that can reduce their ability to operate an automobile. Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (DRSs) are trained professionals who specialize in determining alternative driving options for people of all ability levels. A DRS can help a person drive safely and have the freedom to move about in life as they please. 

There are a few things you should know before meeting with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist.

What Does a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist Do?

Driver rehabilitation is a branch of occupational therapy. A certified DRS will typically have a college degree and will always have a document or badge confirming his or her certification. Driver rehabilitation has one fundamental goal: driver independence. A DRS works with clients to determine what adaptations must be made to the vehicle in order to produce the greatest amount of mobility.

Step One: Addressing Individual Needs

Each client presents a unique set of goals, preferences, and abilities. Some people may utilize a DRS if they need special hearing or vision technology. Others may have to become familiar with other types of adaptive equipment. Still others may benefit from general coaching as a result of aging, mental illness, or a brain injury. A driver rehabilitation specialist is thoroughly trained to assist with dozens of conditions and injuries.

What’s Involved in the Driver Rehabilitation Process?

A driver rehabilitation specialist begins with a comprehensive assessment. He or she evaluates necessary skills involving cognitive, visual, and physical aspects. If an individual meets the criteria to move forward, the next step is a driving assessment. The driving experience includes any needed adaptive equipment. For new drivers of an accessible vehicle, a course in driver education is included.

Driving plays a critical role in independence. With the proper guidance, individuals with limited mobility can enjoy the freedom of operating a vehicle. A certified driver rehabilitation specialist can assess and coach individuals in such cases. Consider the above points before meeting a DRS, then schedule an appointment with the Bussani Mobility team to continue on your road to independence.

Top Accessible Beaches

Top Accessible Beaches to Visit This Summer

Top Accessible Beaches
Summer is finally here. And there’s nothing like feeling a gentle sea breeze blowing through your hair and the warm summer sun on your face while enjoying a beautiful ocean scene. If you use a wheelchair, we want you to know that, with a little research, you can find accessible beaches with accessible boardwalks, beach wheelchairs, and long rubber mats that lead to the shorelines. 
Here are some of the best accessible beaches in the United States, and in New York state, in particular. Just a quick note first: If you’re planning on using your wheelchair accessible van for a road trip this summer, be sure to come to Bussani Mobility for a maintenance check beforehand so we can help keep you safe during your adventures. 
New York Beaches
Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach on Coney Island is a summer getaway for New Yorkers looking for a place to unwind from the daily stresses of life. It’s also perfect for tourists looking to cool down after sightseeing in the city. This beautiful beach welcomes all visitors. Like many of the other beaches on this list, Brighton Beach provides beach wheelchairs for anyone who needs them. 
Long Beach

One of the most wheelchair-friendly towns in New York, Long Beach is also called the “City by the Sea.” In Nassau County, just over the border from NYC, this beach town is really beautiful and easy to navigate. There’s plenty to do, from food to events to shops, and a classic boardwalk. All-terrain beach chairs and wheelchair Mobi-Mats are available upon request at all of the beaches.
Cedar Grove Beach
This beach is relatively new and has a modern flair. Cedar Grove is a smaller beach known for its charming and family-friendly atmosphere. It’s made more accessible with beach mats that provide a smooth, hard surface to make navigating the sandy shores in a wheelchair easier.
Orchard Beach
Orchard Beach is nicknamed “The Riviera of New York.” Located in the Bronx, it’s a high-traffic beach that offers both beach wheelchairs and beach mats for people who use wheelchairs. Always bustling, this beach is a great choice for those looking to have an active, good time.

Rockaway Beach

A popular summertime destination in Queens, here you’ll find a wonderful beach and annual events that include adaptive surfing, along with designated spots for saltwater fishing, and plenty of fun boardwalk activities and food spots. Beach wheelchairs and beach mats are available to rent.

Other Beaches Around the U.S.
Gulf Shores, Alabama 
As with most of the South, Gulf Shores, Alabama is tops as a gracious host, with its welcoming Southern hospitality. Here you’ll find friendly locals and pristine sandy beaches. To fully experience these beaches, you’ll probably want to rent a beach wheelchair, enabling you to travel along the shore. When possible, plan ahead and book a reservation for a wheelchair accessible charter boat, where you can go out into the water and see dolphins and sea birds up close. 
Panama City Beach, Florida
One of the appealing features of Panama City Beach, Florida is that you can go out and experience the beach in your own wheelchair. Take in the beautiful turquoise waters, and roll out the red carpet, also known as the Mobi-Mat. In Panama City Beach, you can roll directly from wooden walkway ramps onto the smooth rubber pathway, making the beach accessible for every type of wheelchair. 
San Diego Beaches, California
Located all around San Diego, there are over a dozen wheelchair-accessible beaches, including Coronado City Beach, Mission Beach, and Imperial Beach. At Coronado City Beach, the sand sparkles because of the mica (a gold-like mineral that’s found in abundance here). At Mission Beach, there’s a classic bustling boardwalk offering a variety of places to stop and grab a bite to eat. And Imperial Beach, located just four miles from Mexico, offers a serene atmosphere to take in some breathtaking sunsets over the Pacific. Not only does San Diego offer some of the most beautiful beaches around, but they also have motorized and manual beach wheelchairs free of charge for visitors, along with accessible parking and restrooms. 
Key Largo, Florida
Key Largo, Florida is also home to a variety of wheelchair accessible beaches. Here you’ll find golden and white sand leading right up to the water. Consider chartering a wheelchair accessible boat for an eco-tour. Because of its close proximity to the Everglades, tourists can see native mangroves, underwater coral reefs, and possibly an alligator lurking along the shorelines. 
Hanauma Bay, Hawaii
Hanauma Bay features 1,800 feet of breathtaking crescent-shaped beaches. This natural wonder is carved out among the cliffs of an ancient volcanic crater, with the beaches nestled up against a mountainous backdrop. It’s accessible via the road or a transport shuttle. The shuttle is recommended, as the steep road is known to burn out power wheelchair motors. Hanauma Bay also offers beach wheelchairs free of charge for those who want to explore and get close to the water.
Before You Go
Important note: Before you set out to visit any beach this summer, check with your local authorities to see if they’re open, as the global coronavirus pandemic is an ever-changing consideration that continues to affect our daily lives and the availability of outdoor activities around the country.
At Bussani Mobility, we’re all about independence and helping you get mobile. Our customers often become our friends and we want to provide information that builds a sense of community where we can improve accessibility for all, together. If you’d like to see more helpful resources, visit our blog. And, if you’re thinking about buying a wheelchair accessible van to improve your mobility, our mobility specialists are standing by ready to help.

Bussani Mobility Creates First 3D Accessible Parking Aisles

To raise awareness for the importance of respecting accessible parking spots, Bussani Mobility has created the first 3D accessible parking aisles.
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The goal of the 3D accessible parking design is to bring attention to a significant issue faced by people who use wheelchairs or scooters. The 3D optical illusion of a raised barrier was created to stop someone who is not disabled from parking on the access aisle, thereby keeping it open for someone who needs it to deploy a wheelchair van ramp.
The 3D handicapped parking aisles are in place at Bussani Mobility’s Smithtown and Mamaroneck locations, but Bussani Mobility CEO Daniel J. Bussani says: “The 3D accessible parking aisles should be done everywhere, not just at mobility dealerships. They help people be more aware of the everyday obstacles faced by people living with mobility challenges. If someone parks illegally in those spots, especially if they block the striped lines, the person who needs the access won’t be able to exit their vehicle. Let’s all pay more attention … and do a little bit of good in the world.”
Accessible parking abuse is rampant. In fact, in a recent U.S. survey, 74% of participants said they have witnessed accessible parking abuse. People with disabilities make up the largest minority in the world, according to the United Nations, and mobility disabilities affect one in eight adults in the U.S. Yet the daily challenges faced by this group, like parking, are largely ignored by society.
The 3D access aisles are part of a larger, nationwide program launched by mobility vehicle manufacturer BraunAbility, in honor of the recent 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Bussani Mobility is one of 17 mobility dealership locations across the U.S. that is installing 3D accessible parking designs to combat illegal parking in spaces designated for those with mobility disabilities.

John Bussani Inducted Into NMEDA Hall of Fame

JohnOn March 7, 2019, our founder John Bussani was inducted into the NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association) Hall of Fame. He was honored as “one of the true pioneers and ground-floor innovators” of the mobility industry.
John’s Backstory

NMEDA told the story of how John fled Yugoslavia at the age of five with his mom, to join his father, who had defected to Italy to make a better life for his family. He remembered riding on a train in the dark, with the sounds of war raging all around him.
He had his first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty at 11 years old, from the ship that brought his family to America. They settled in Hoboken, New Jersey, and later moved to Freeport, New York. Later in life, John served in the U.S. Army, and experienced some of the physical challenges faced by veterans who were disabled in their service to our country. He started thinking about how he could help.
After the war, John worked as a draftsman and then started repairing automobile transmissions. While having dinner with friends one night, he was introduced to a polio survivor and the conversation touched on mobility. That night inspired him to start on a career that spanned over four decades and touched thousands of people’s lives. At first, he worked out of the trunk of his car, visiting people’s homes to put hand controls in their vehicles. John went on to become a charter member of NMEDA; was actively involved in developing the QAP program; and participated in the Adaptive Driving Alliance, as well as leading industry organizations.
Advancing People’s Lives
John retired in March 2017, and passed the torch to his son, Dan Bussani, who is a co-owner and CEO, and who has been involved in the business his entire life. Today, Bussani has two locations on Long Island (one in Nassau and one in Suffolk) and one location in Westchester, New York. Dan Bussani shares ownership of the company with co-owners and long-time employees, Dan Walsh and Stephen Wilmer.
At the time of John Bussani’s retirement, Nassau County District Judge Hon. Robert E. Pipia, who is also a customer and friend of Bussani Mobility, wrote this about him: “John’s development of his business and his hand in the nurturing of the vehicle modification industry, setting the standards to what it has become nationally, and has advanced the lives of individuals with disabilities throughout our country, making people mobile, and most importantly, independent. Where would we be without John’s vision and hard work? Enjoy all the fishing and libations you so richly deserve, John, because you ‘got us there.’”
His Inspiration

When John Bussani received his award, to much applause, he talked about how it “was an incredible honor.” And, he went on to acknowledge some of the people he met early on that made a big impact as he was starting his business.
First, there was Alan Ruprecht, founder of Drive-Master in New Jersey. He would not allow his disability to stop him from driving. So, he fought back and used his ability to create universal hand controls to help him regain his mobility.
The second person who impressed John with his beliefs and business ability was Ralph Braun. He was told he probably would not survive past his early teens, let alone have a job or family. He proved them all wrong. Ralph’s abilities rose above his physical challenges to create products for his own use that, over time, became the world-class industry leader, BraunAbility.
And third, was Peter Zarba, who started as a customer and then worked for Bussani Mobility for 30 years. He inspired everyone who met him, and led the way by playing quad rugby, marathons, kayaking, fishing, and even skydiving ─ always putting abilities above disabilities. He said: “Pete was a daily reminder of what we (all of us in the mobility industry) work for, improving quality of life for people.”
Parting Words
John went on to say that these three unique people ─ Alan, Ralph and Peter ─ “were all told that their prospects were limited, but they saw beyond that. They saw the truth behind it, which was that they had abilities to live very useful and productive lives.
“In summary, we in this industry, are blessed on a daily basis to touch so many lives and help people achieve mobility freedom. We offer people products and services that are truly life-changing. So, keep it up, guys.”
John, everyone here at Bussani Mobility, is so grateful to you and proud of you!

2014 – A Year of Anniversaries at Bussani Mobility

It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play….
While New York City and Beatlemaniacs everywhere are marking the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arriving in New York, we at Bussani Mobility are celebrating a few anniversaries of our own that we are excited about.
In 1974, our founder John Bussani, brought a dream to life.  A brief stay at an Army Hospital during the Vietnam era was the catalyst for John Bussani’s vision to improve the quality of life for veterans, and ultimately many other people. 40 years ago John began his family owned business out of the trunk of his car by offering the installation of hand controls in vehicles for people living with physical disabilities. Over the next few years, the news spread by word-of-mouth. People learned about a service that was enabling handicapped individuals to reclaim their mobility…and their independence. Before long, folks from all over Long Island and the five Boroughs were reaching out to John for assistance. He was onto a life-changing product. John’s vision was, without a doubt, something people wanted and needed:
mobility and freedom.
Over the next 10 years the business grew with Bussani’s first facility opening in Freeport, New York in 1980.  It was common to see the roof of a van being removed and replaced with a raised fiberglass top. Cutting the floors out of vans and making them lower so a wheelchair user could drive himself/herself, or be easily transported, was an everyday occurrence.  Next, John hired client-turned-employee Peter Zarba, who uses a wheelchair himself. Peter was able to personally connect with, guide and support clients while John focused on the technical side of the business. This perfect blending of the strengths of two talented men resulted in their ability to enrich the lives of so many people.

Mamaroneck showroom

The Mamaroneck Showroom

 
As the business grew, more locations were needed to serve the Metro-New York region.  In 2004, John along with his son Dan established our second location in Mamaroneck.  This new location made it easier for people in the Bronx, the Hudson Valley and southwest Connecticut to experience the commitment to the disabled community. As our Mamaroneck location celebrated their 10th anniversary we look forward to the coming year with great hope and excitement.

Our Smithtown Store Front

Our Smithtown Store Front

Finally, our newest location in Smithtown is celebrating it first anniversary serving Suffolk county.  Newly installed store manager Andrew Parente along with new Mobility Specialist Mike Garramone and the entire service staff are working hard to increase growth for this newest office.
Along with our company and our offices celebrating anniversaries, many of our employees are as well and we look forward to sharing their stories here over the coming year.

Welcome Michael Garramone, the newest Bussani Mobility Team Member

We would like to welcome Michael Garramone, the newest member of the Bussani Mobility Team, to our Smithtown location.

Mike Garramone, Smithtown's New Mobility Specialist

Mike Garramone, Smithtown’s New Mobility Specialist

Mike joins us as our Mobility Specialist, filling the void left when Andrew Parente assumed his new role as store manager for the Smithtown location.  Be sure to say hello the next time you are in for service or inquiring about our many vans and mobility products.

Press Release – Bussani Mobility Announces Appointment of Dan Walsh as General Manager of Bethpage Showroom & Service Center

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(Bethpage, NY) – The Bussani Mobility Team proudly announces the appointment of Dan Walsh, Service & Production Manager for the Bethpage Showroom, to the position of General Manager of the location.  While assuming the responsibilities of General Manager, Mr. Walsh will continue to serve in the role of service & production manager ensuring the seamless operations that Bussani customers have come to rely on.

Daniel Bussani, Vice President at Bussani Mobility Team, said: “Dan Walsh has been an asset to the Bussani Mobility Team since joining us over 9 years ago, driving our service & production teams to greater success.  Simultaneously, our customers have come to trust Dan and his team with all of their needs.  Dan’s appointment as our General Manager is a tribute to his hard work and dedication and represents our trust and confidence in his stewardship of our Bethpage location”

Dan has served as the Service & Production Manager for Bussani Mobility in Bethpage, New York, since 2004. He supervises new vehicle production and oversees the complete service needs of Bussani customers for both OEM and conversion vehicles. He is also responsible for reconditioning used vehicles and maintaining dealership sales and rental fleets. Additionally, he manages all auto-body estimates and repairs, purchasing from part vendors, 24-hour emergency service for customers as well as the hiring for all service-related positions, from mechanics to porters to drivers.

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Press Release – Dan Bussani Elected To The Board Of The National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Greater New York Chapter

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(Bethpage, NY) – The Bussani Mobility Team proudly announces the election of Dan Bussani, Vice President of Bussani Mobility, to the board of the Greater New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NYCSCIA). 

The Greater New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (www.nycspinalcord.org) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, run entirely by volunteers.  Their mission is to help people rebuild their lives after spinal cord injury by providing resources, services and peer support to survivors and their families.  An official chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, the membership arm of United Spinal Association, NYCSCIA hosts a variety of local programs and events geared toward helping people with spinal cord injuries maximize their independence and increase their quality of life.  Their Grant Program helps people with spinal cord injuries obtain the equipment and services they need for independence and quality of life.  NYCSCIA is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of their members.

“Bussani Mobility has been a partner and sponsor of the NYCSCIA because of the important work they do.  As a board member, I look forward to working that much closer with the other board members to continue to improve the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D)” said Dan. “I am extremely honored to be elected to the board and I hope to bring some new ideas and perspectives that will contribute to the ongoing efforts of NYCSCIA in the New York area.”

Bussani Mobility Team (www.bussanimobility.com) is a leading provider of automotive mobility products and services for people with disabilities. The company helps people with disabilities regain the freedom and independence to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Established in 1974 with headquarters in Bethpage, NY, and with additional offices in Smithtown and Mamaroneck, Bussani Mobility Team is a market leader in the Tri-State (NY, NJ, CT) area. The company’s team of experts offers: a complete line of wheelchair vans and mobility equipment from top manufacturers available for purchase or rental, a full-service automotive shop, 24-hour emergency service, special financing options, insurance services, educational opportunities, and in-store consultants who are dedicated to meeting their customers’ every need with a highly personal touch.

Bussani Mobility & 10th Annual C.U.R.B. Bike Ride

This Saturday, August 10th, is the 10th Annual C.U.R.B Bike Ride in Long Beach and Bussani Mobility is pleased to be sponsoring this amazing event as they celebrate their 10th anniversary.  This year’s ride will include the newly finished Long Beach Boardwalk.

C.U.R.B. of Citizens United to Remove Barriers is a local, non-profit organization which gives the physically challenged a chance to live a life free of barriers.  Funding is provided for wheelchair ramps and lifts in and around the homes of those in need.
One of the first and ongoing achievements of C.U.R.B. was and continues to be the placement of a curb cut on every corner throughout the City of Long Beach. This agreement between Long Beach and C.U.R.B. has allowed persons with physical disabilities to travel independently throughout the city since the mid 1980s, way before the enactment of the ‘Americans with Disabilities Act.’

Along with sponsoring the event we will have a tent set-up with information about our various products & services along with one of our BraunAbility Vans for anyone interested in checking out these amazing vehicles.  We will be located in the Long Beach Recreation Center parking lot near the start/finish point.
 

August Mobility Club – Medicaid & Working with a Disability

Mobility Club - Medicaid & Working with a Disability

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It’s that time again, time for the monthly Bussani Mobility Club meeting.  On Wednesday, August 14th, at our Smithtown showroom we will be hosting a discussion on Medicaid and Working with Disabilities.  Our speakers will be:

Alex and George will discuss a number of topics including:

  • The rules and regulations concerning “allowable income limits” for SSI, SSDI, and Medicaid programs. 
  • Various tools, such as Trusts, will be examined to show how assets can be protected and benefits maintained.
  • Additional resources will be provided.

We look forward to an engaging and lively discussion and not only look forward to seeing many of our regular Mobility Club attendees but we also encourage anyone attending to invite friends and relations who may have an interest in this topic as well.  As always, the presentation will begin from 6:30-7:30PM but the evening begins at 6PM so that all can arrive, settle in, get some refreshments and do a little mingling before hand.

RSVP by email to rcarbone@wegetyouthere.com or by phone at 888-690-7709.

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