Category Archives: News and Events

Should I Buy a New or Used Wheelchair Van?

Buy a New or Used Wheelchair Van

When considering an accessible vehicle purchase, first-time buyers and seasoned consumers alike face a crucial question: Should I buy a new vehicle or a used one? Here, we outline some considerations to help you make the best-informed decision when choosing between a new and a used wheelchair van.

Purchase Price

First and foremost, there’s a clear difference in price between new and used wheelchair vans, with new vehicles costing a good deal more. You could save $20,000 or more by opting for a pre-owned or a used van. This alone can be the deciding factor for people with limited budgets. 

Also note that, as with vehicles of all types, the value of a new accessible van depreciates significantly during the first year of ownership. So, selecting a newer-model “slightly used” van provides the buyer with an opportunity to save money while still driving a relatively new vehicle, perhaps only a year or two old. Deeper discounts can also be given based on model year, mileage, and other factors.

On the other hand, if you’re well set financially and can afford a brand new vehicle, you can proudly enjoy that “new car feel” (knowing that you’re the only driver), as well as the ability to customize it exactly as you wish and take advantage of the latest mobility technology.   

Reliability

Many potential buyers aim to balance cost with reliability, and they may view newer vehicles as more reliable than used vans. That sounds reasonable, but a trusted local mobility dealer ensures that every vehicle they sell is safe. Among their offerings are “certified pre-owned” vehicles that have been through rigorous inspection and testing for performance and reliability. 

Mobility van warranties are also an important aspect to consider, and you can find out more about them here. In addition, regular service (every six months is suggested) helps to maintain a well-functioning vehicle (both the van itself and the conversion equipment), whether it’s new or used. 

Repairs & Insurance

There are other factors to mull over when deciding between a new and a used van. For instance, used vehicles have a lower purchase price, but new vehicles tend to have fewer out-of-pocket repair costs. You have to decide for yourself how these elements balance out.

Insurance premiums also increase with the “value” of the van, so you can expect a used van to have less expensive insurance. 

It’s important for used-van buyers to do their due diligence. A local mobility specialist will help you secure the most reliable vehicle and conversion equipment for the best relative price.

New or used? We hope we’ve given you a few things to consider as you make your decision. The Bussani Mobility Team is standing by ready to assist you whenever you need or want help. Contact us or stop by one of our locations today for answers to all of your mobility questions.


5 Tips for Happily Working from Home During the Pandemic & Beyond

Disabled coder working from home
Although COVID-19 quarantines and restrictions are beginning to be lifted, many businesses throughout the country are still asking their employees to work from home. In fact, the new work-from-home normal may well become the way much business is done as we all move into our new future.
For those who are used to having a lot of social interaction at work, this can be a lonely experience at times. It can also be difficult to stay on task with pets and kids in your workspace. And then there are the household tasks, like laundry and house cleaning, that can contribute to a distracting at-home workspace. But, there are ways around all of it.

Here are five helpful tips for creating a happy and productive at-home work environment, during and beyond the pandemic:

1. Confine your workplace to a specific area of your house. This way, you are not subjecting yourself to the distraction of the activities that typically take place in shared or multiple areas. Instead of attempting to do your work near a television, create a quiet space where it’s easiest to stay on track. If another room is not an option, find an area with little or no foot traffic.

2. Block out the noise. A helpful trick is to use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Studies show that peaceful music and nature sounds can activate the calming part of your brain that helps with concentration.

3. Set strict boundaries. Treat your workplace like you would the office and make it well-known to your family or housemates that your workplace is just that, a place to work. Make sure they respect the fact that you have a long list of things you need to do, and you will not be able to accomplish them without peace and quiet.

4. Be prepared. The pandemic impact on the workplace has paved the way to more virtual meetings and communication. Be sure you know how to operate virtual meeting applications ahead of time. Doing so can save you and the company time, not to mention potentially embarrassing moments or delays.

5. Avoid cabin fever. When you’re spending the majority of your time at home, it’s important to take breaks and get outside … whether it be venturing out around the block or participating in an outdoor activity that you enjoy. Once your workday is successfully finished, remove yourself from your workplace and enjoy other parts of your home. Spend time with your loved ones or get busy with that hobby you love to do.

The Bussani Mobility team cares about you, and we’re staying optimistic that we will emerge out of this crisis stronger than ever and with a greater appreciation for the little things we may have sometimes taken for granted. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please call us.


How to Refresh Your Spirit This Spring

Bussani-Mobility-refresh-spirits-spring-wellness

Life has been turned upside down for all of us, around the world, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know instinctively that it’s vital during these trying times to stay as healthy as possible physically, but our mental health also needs attention. Here are a few simple tips to help you stay strong mentally, as we all ride this out:

1. Get outside and enjoy nature.
Yes, there are many places that are prohibited right now. But, you can still go out and experience the great outdoors. There is something to be said about the peace that we feel when we take a break from the stress of our daily lives and just breathe in the fresh air. It can improve your mental state if you take the time, each and every day, to experience and appreciate nature, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

 2. Start a daily gratitude practice.
While not always easy, reminding ourselves of the positive aspects of our lives rather than dwelling on the negative can reframe any difficult experience. By appreciating the good things in our new day-to-day, we can create an expanded perspective for ourselves. Some people practice gratitude in individual moments, while others prefer to keep a gratitude journal. Find whichever method works best for you and try to return to it every day.

3. Download a meditation app.
We live in a day and age where there is an app for everything, including meditation. Taking the time to meditate and quiet the mind is time well spent. Meditation can reduce anxiety and stress dramatically, and instantly. It has also been known to boost brainpower, enhance focus, and brighten your disposition.

4. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
Getting enough sleep may be easier to do during these times, when so other activities are on pause. But getting too much sleep can also have negative effects on your mental health. The experts say that it’s best to maintain a sleep schedule of 8-10 hours, and go to bed about the same time, every night for optimal health. 

5. Socialize while social distancing.
Obviously it can be difficult to socialize with friends and family when we can’t even leave our homes. But this pandemic has hit us at a time when it is still possible to communicate through Zoom, Skype, or via a simple phone call. Connecting with those you love can lift your mental well-being and theirs. 

Keeping it simple is often the way to go. If you’re not doing any of these things to maintain a healthy mental outlook, maybe you can try just one of them today. Or maybe they’ll inspire you to come up with a new idea or practice of your own. 

All of us at Bussani Mobility care about you, and we’re staying optimistic that we will emerge out of this crisis stronger than ever and with a greater appreciation for the little things we may have sometimes taken for granted. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please call us.


Veteran Christopher Levy Wins a New Jeep

 
Veteran Christopher Levy Wins a New Jeep

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Congrats to the recipient of the 4th Annual Great American Jeep Giveaway at Westbury Jeep! Christopher Levy, U.S. Army, who served 8 years including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, was honored earlier this year. Bussani Mobility worked with Westbury Jeep to install hand controls that operate the gas and the brake – and to give an American hero a chance to get back on the road. We salute our heroes.


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.
[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0c0-lYimrQ[/embedyt]
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!


Bussani Mobility’s Next Generation Management Team

L to R Dan Walsh, Dan Bussani, Stephn Wilmer, John Bussani

Left to right: Dan Walsh, Dan Bussani, Stephen Wilmer, and           John Bussani


With the recent retirement of founder John Bussani, the 42-year old Bussani Mobility Team has undergone a restructure and installation of a three-man executive team. According to the company’s new Chief Executive Officer Dan Bussani who formerly served as vice president under his father’s leadership, the company was purchased by himself and two partners who have been long-time employees.

Bussani teamed up with Gen. Mgr. Dan Walsh and Accountant Stephen Wilmer to make the purchase. When a larger company made an offer to John Bussani to buy his business, the three came together. According to John Bussani the employees’ offer was accepted in order to keep the “personal customer experience.”

Small Business Feel
“We want to keep the small business feel,” said Dan Bussani. “I think people like to do business with small companies. We don’t want the customer to become just a number. None of us want to get so big that it gets to that point.”

Newly named Chief Operating Officer Dan Walsh sees focus as the key. “Each one of us knows the other person’s goals,” he said. “Our roles are clearly defined now and it helps us to work together efficiently and it also helps the customer.”

“My dad never thought his business would grow to what it is today,” said the younger Bussani. The company now has three locations – two on Long Island and one in Westchester. “We want the business to grow in the area. We know of a couple of locations where we feel we’ll be doing a good job for our community,” he continued.

Expanding
“We want to keep the personal touch,” said the new Chief Financial Officer Stephen Wilmer. “Although we want to expand, we don’t want it to get so big that we lose the individualized service that was always part of the company.”

Part of their expansion includes adding an enhanced service department. “I noticed clients would buy their vehicles from us and were going to dealerships and automotive facilities for service,” said Walsh. “They were either getting taken advantage of or refused. I started bringing in local repair shops. We would do mobility work and they would do automotive. After a while we started doing full service in house for customers who choose to have their work done in one place.”

Dan Bussani, 41, who lives with his wife and two daughters in Seaford grew up in the company. Although he had other jobs while in school, he has been a part of the Bussani team all his life and has worked hand-in-hand with this father as the roles gradually reversed and he took over much of the day-to-day operation as John Bussani neared retirement.

Forty-eight-year-old Dan Walsh has been on the team for 13 years. He lives in Seaford with his wife and two daughters. After learning about business by working in the restaurant and plumbing businesses and his family’s auto body company Walsh learned from Dan Bussani about the plan to expand the service department in the Bethpage location. “At the time they were only working on converting vehicles,” said Walsh. “I came in to take a look and I fell in love with it — the people, the atmosphere and the customers.”
“Accountability is the word we’re using continuously,” said Dan Bussani. “We’re accountable to each other and especially to the customer.”

Stephen Wilmer, 37, has been with the Bussani team for nine years. A month after graduating from college he filled a need. The company had just lost its bookkeeper and the Bussanis realizing their need was for more than a bookkeeper offered Wilmer the position. He handles the financial needs of the company as well as working with the regulatory aspects of the New York state Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of taxation. “You have to do everything right,” he said. Wilmer lives in Lindenhurst with his wife and his two daughters.

“I am confident that the new leadership will continue to service the disabled community with the same care and compassion that has been the hallmark of the Bussani ‘family’, “ said John Bussani.
This article appeared in Able News – Volume 26 – Number 7 – January 2017


John Bussani Retires From Mobility Business

John BussaniOne of the local pioneers of the mobility industry, John Bussani, has passed the torch to the next generation. John, who founded Bussani Mobility 42 years ago, recently announced his retirement.

Bussani remembers riding on a train in the dark with the sounds of war blaring all around, as his mother held him below the window to protect him. At five years of age, he and his mother were fleeing Yugoslavia to join his father who had defected to Italy to make a better life for them.
He had his first glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, at age 11, from the ship that brought his family to America. They settled in Hoboken, N.J. and then moved to Freeport, N.Y.

Bussani served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. While hospitalized with a broken arm in Germany, he watched as disabled soldiers returned from the war, and he wondered how he could help.

After the war, he worked as a draftsman and then started repairing automobile transmissions. While having dinner with friends one night, he was introduced to a polio survivor. They discussed what types of vehicle modifications would be needed for people with disabilities. He learned about a man in New Jersey who was installing hand controls in cars. He met with Alan Ruprecht of Drive Master, who showed him how to do the installations — and that was the beginning of a journey that spanned over four decades and touched thousands of people.

Bussani traveled around Long Island working out of the trunk of his car to give independence to people who were unable to use their feet and legs to drive. The word spread and people started asking Bussani for help with their vehicles. Eventually, he bought a building in Baldwin, N.Y., where he did modifications, then moved the growing business to Freeport and later Bethpage, which is now the headquarters for Bussani Mobility. The company continued to grow and now has locations in Smithtown in Suffolk County and in Mamaroneck in Westchester County.

Over the years, Bussani became well known in his field. He lectured at occupational therapy classes at SUNY Farmingdale, Touro College, and Stony Brook University. He opened his facility to students on a regular basis and actively participated in NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association), the Adaptive Driving Alliance and other leading industry organizations. In particular, he became an advocate of higher safety standards in vehicle modifications.

The mobility industry continued to develop as manufacturers like BraunAbility began mass-producing wheelchair accessible vehicles and advanced technologies became available. Bussani Mobility expanded accordingly, keeping quality workmanship and integrity in the forefront of daily operations.

One thing tL to R Dan Walsh, Dan Bussani, Stephn Wilmer, John Bussanihat has not changed at Bussani Mobility according to Bussani which is his original vision — to help people living with physical disabilities get mobile and to enjoy full and complete lives.
John’s son Dan has been involved in the business his entire life. “I even remember driving my toy car around the parking lot as a child while Dad was changing peoples’ lives for the good,” said Dan Bussani. Dan has now taken over the business as Co-Owner and CEO. Long-time employee Dan Walsh is also a Co-Owner and COO. Stephen Wilmer completes the team as the third Co-Owner and CFO.

John Bussani was an only child. He was married to Barbara for nearly 40 years when she passed 10 years ago. He has two sons – Daniel and John Christopher (J.C.) who is an engineer. John is spending time enjoying his grandchildren.

Photo Left to Right: Dan Walsh, Dan Bussani,
Stephen Wilmer, and John Bussani

The Industry Says…

John is a true pioneer in the mobility industry. Those of us with mobility needs have had our lives transformed by his vision, determination and creativity. He has given me, and many others, a means to regain lost independence and lifechanging freedom. Thank you for everything John…enjoy your retirement.
-Tony Amorello, customer & friend

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, 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? Thank you John Bussani.
-Robert Pipia, Nassau County district court Judge customer & friend

John and the Drive-Master family go back at least 48 years when my dad Alan Ruprecht and John met. John started buying his hand controls. We have had a wonderful friendship since then, and will continue. To fish and call the nurse for libations. Congratulations on your retirement, you have certainly built a lasting legacy. Lv Ya man, Peter.”
-Peter Ruprecht president, Drive-Master Co., Inc.

When I was a green horn in the industry 14 years ago, I tucked myself under John’s wing and said ‘teach me.’ He was so willing to help, a great mentor, and we’ve been friends ever since.
-Greg Kiser, vice president of consumer sales, BraunAbility

John Bussani represents the very best in the accessiblemobility industry from his warm and welcoming personality to the products and services he delivers to his customers. It has been an honor for me to do business with JB.
-Brendan Healy, Eastern Regional sales manager, Q’Straint

This article appeared in Able Newspaper – Volume 26 – Number 5 – November 2016


WWII Vet Receives Accessible Van on 92nd Birthday


Yesterday, State Farm sponsored the donation of a wheelchair accessible van to WWII Veteran Sidney Germanski. We were so happy to be able to host the ceremony at the Bussani Mobility Team’s Mamaroneck, NY location, and provide the mobility conversion.

WATCH FIOS1 NEWS COVERAGE OF THE CEREMONY.

After learning of a local Mamaroneck Veteran’s struggle with daily transportation, State Farm coordinated with Bussani Mobility Team to secure a van and worked with Star Body Collision to have it equipped to meet his needs. The 2007 Dodge Caravan is a wheelchair conversion with fold-out ramp and wheelchair tie-downs.

92-year old Sidney Germanski is legally blind, paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. He depends on his wife and the local Veteran’s Affairs office for his daily transportation needs. “It has been a daily struggle and hardship to get me where I need to be,” commented Mr. Germanski. “This new van will change my and my wife’s life significantly, and we are so grateful.”

Monday’s vehicle donation ceremony happened to be Mr. Germanski’s birthday. “I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present,” he said.  Mr. Germanski plans to use the new vehicle to travel to the White House where he will be presented with a Medal of Honor for his military service. “One of the most important days of my life,” he said.
Photos courtesy of Risa Hoag.


MXV™ Wheelchair Accessible SUV is Here!

People who use wheelchairs can now choose a practical vehicle that’s not a minivan. Built on the Ford Explorer chassis, the BraunAbility MXV™ (Mobility Crossover Vehicle) is the first wheelchair accessible SUV being offered to the mass market.

The MXV personifies action and independence while allowing for easy access and safe driving by people living with physical disabilities as well as caregivers. It has been described as offering the freedom of an accessible van with the style and swag of an SUV.


MXV White REV small

Brought to market by trusted mobility conversion manufacturer BraunAbility, the MXV is getting rave reviews across the country. The vehicle has recently become available for purchase in New York State and is available at local mobility dealer Bussani Mobility’s four locations.

“The MXV represents a new era in mobility,” said Daniel Bussani, Vice President at Bussani Mobility Team. “This is nothing short of a breakthrough in mobility transportation options for people living with physical disabilities. It offers great new options for people to express their personality and live an active lifestyle.”

There are six patent pending features that maximize interior space without sacrificing style or safety, including a glide-out door operation and a space-saving sliding shifter. The in-floor technology makes the best use of interior space, and removable driver and passenger seating offers flexibility for power and manual wheelchairs. The SUV can be configured to meet the owner’s specific needs.

The MXV is on display at all of Bussani Mobility’s (www.bussanimobility.com) four locations: Bethpage, NY (Nassau County), Smithtown (Suffolk County), Mamaroneck (Westchester County) and Long Island City (Queens). Mobility specialists on-site can answer any questions about the vehicle.
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