In 1921 the Pennsylvania-based Van Artsdalen Express was a successful freight company. By 1972, it had been restructured to operate school buses instead of trucks.
While working for the company, J. Edward Van Artsdalen noticed that people using wheelchairs were some of the most poorly served individuals in the transportation market. Motivated by this discovery, Van Artsdalen founded Wheelchair Getaways Inc. in 1988.
The company rents wheelchair-accessible vans to individuals and groups. The company began franchising in 1989 and was purchased by J. Stewart and Jean Gatewood in 1994. Wheelchair Getaways is now based in Versailles, Kentucky and owned by Richard Gatewood and Moon Ko.
Wheelchair Getaways is owned by JDR Franchises, LLC. The principals Jennifer and Dale Richardson have sterling credentials and are both highly qualified to head a national franchise corporation. Jennifer holds a BA in Computer Science and Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Dale has a BS degree in Molecular Biology from Vanderbilt University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Indiana State University.