50 Years of BraunAbility

Celebrating the past, present and future of Mobility Freedom

What started a project between Ralph Braun and his father in their garage has evolved over the last five decades to become a transformative mobility company that has brought independence to millions. This year marks our 50th anniversary, and we’re celebrating by both looking back at how far we – and mobility transportation – have come and looking forward to our bold future.

BraunAbility Timeline

Ralph Braun builds his first motorized scooter with the help of his father. 

The world’s first wheelchair accessible vehicle is born when Ralph equips an old Post Office Jeep with a hydraulic lift and homemade hand controls.

After Chrysler introduces its first full-sized van, Ralph makes it accessible with his first wheelchair lift, a precursor to his revolutionary Lift-A-Way wheelchair lift.

The Braun Corporation, officially incorporated the prior year, develops its first raised-top, raised-door van conversion. 

As the demand for accessible transportation in the United States soars, The Braun Corporation invests in new manufacturing technologies.

Shortly after the minivan is born, the lowered-floor minivan is engineered. Named the Braun Entervan, the groundbreaking vehicle quickly becomes the company’s flagship product. 

A new vehicle assembly manufacturing center opens, housing production lines for the Entervan and paratransit vehicles. 

Now branded as BraunAbility, the company makes several strategic acquisitions to broaden its portfolio, giving consumers the widest choice of accessible transportation options in the industry. 

Ralph Braun passes away at the age of 72, leaving behind a hand-selected leadership team and dedicated staff who carry his vision and values into the company’s bold future.

BraunAbility remains the global leader in accessible transportation solutions, serving consumer and commercial markets worldwide.

Featured 50th Anniversary Articles

Watch Jay Leno Surprise a Family with a BraunAbility Vehicle

As a special donation highlighting our 50th    anniversary, BraunAbility teamed up with Chrysler and Jay Leno to surprise the daughter of a long-serving Los Angeles Police Department officer with a customized BraunAbility Chrysler Pacifica on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Building 50 Ramps in 50 Days

BraunAbility, the Indiana-based global leader in wheelchair accessible vehicles and lifts, is recognizing its 50th anniversary by partnering with Servants at Work (SAWs) on an ambitious goal: to build 50 ramps in 50 days in the communities where its employees live and work.

50th Anniversary Vision Series

The Future of Mobility Technology

Dr. Feranmi Okanlami is a practicing physician with a passion for making medical facilities more inclusive for individuals with mobility challenges. As part of our 50th anniversary, we asked Dr. O to share his hopes for how mobility and inclusion technology will evolve over the next 50 years.

The Future of Accessibility in Society

Madeline Delp has spent most of her life with a spinal cord injury, and she’s made it her mission to drive inclusion efforts, literally. She’s an impassioned speaker, disability advocate, wheelchair adventurer, and more! 

The Future of Mobility Inclusion

Guest writer Ann Tisdale is the mother of Mighty Miss Maya, a tenacious young girl who is “living her life with cerebral palsy like a total boss.” As part of our 50th anniversary, we’ve asked advocates of the disability community to share their hopes for how mobility and inclusion will evolve over the next 50 years.

50th Anniversary Featured Videos

BraunAbility and the LENN Foundation partnered to award four Turny Evo seats to families with a child who has cerebral palsy. We surprised our finalists via a Zoom call and captured their excitement when they learned they were winners!