Izzy, aged 16 and quadruple amputee, has just received her brand-new adapted car and started specialist driving lessons thanks to the Derby-based Driving Mobility centre.
Driving Mobility accredits 20 independent driving assessments centres across the UK, with over 70 outreach facilities, which provide clinically-led driving and mobility assessments. Service users self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs and Occupational Therapists (OT). Each Driving Mobility Centre, such as the NHS facility at Kingway Hospital Derby (Derby DrivAbility), provide guidance and support to individuals with restricted mobility. A large number of young disabled people use these services when aiming to drive for the first time such as Izzy.
Izzy contracted meningococcal septicaemia aged 7 which resulted in life-saving amputations. As a young teenager Izzy was keen to learn to drive however, she knew adapted controls would be needed. Izzy was referred to the Driving Mobility Centre by her OT who was based at the City Hospital in Nottingham. Being able to drive was simply another challenge Izzy would take on without hesitation thanks to her determined attitude.
Following an initial telephone consultation, Izzy visited the Derby-based Driving Mobility Centre to meet an OT and ADI (Approved Driving Instructor). To help ascertain the right vehicle for her needs, Izzy was paired up with another service user, Angela Yates, who also was a quadruple amputee. Angela has previously achieved driving independence through the support of the Centre and so discussed the type of car and adapted controls that worked for her. This gave Izzy confidence that she could achieve her goal, not that extra confidence was really required thanks to her positive personality.
A driving assessment was arranged so that Izzy could try a vehicle with suitably adapted controls. Accompanied by an ADI and OT, she drove using a radial accelerator, push away brake, steering wheel cup, lightened power steering and a bleeper control system for secondary controls including indicators and horn. Izzy was able to confidently use these adaptations quickly and drove for five miles comfortably – the team were delighted with her ability and approach. However, the Driving Mobility team advised that further bespoke adaptions would be necessary for Izzy if she was to use a car fulltime. She was signposted to the vehicle adaptations specialists Des Gosling Mobility who had previously adapted Angela’s car. This established supplier assessed Izzy’s needs and agreed to provide a solution when she had selected a car.
Izzy decided to lease a new car through the Motability scheme however due to the Covid-19 outbreak she experienced a delay. However, in early July 2020, her new car was delivered to Des Gosling and the new controls were fitted. Izzy has now approved all the adaptations and has just begun driving lessons.
All the Derby Driving Mobility team expect Izzy to reach her goal of being able to drive without any issue. If it had not been for the coronavirus crisis, she might have achieved this before her 17th birthday as she was able to get her licence a year earlier because of her disability. Everyone at Driving Mobility wishes Izzy the best of luck.