East Anglian DriveAbility’s extended centre in Thetford successfully launches to help elderly and disabled drivers
East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD) has officially opened its new extended Thetford centre to high visitor numbers.
East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD), a charity which is part of Driving Mobility’s UK network of assessment centres for elderly and disabled drivers, has officially opened its new extended Thetford centre to high visitor numbers.
Isabel Coe, retired Centre Manager, officially cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new training facilities and expanded waiting area facilities. The opening was also supported by Helen Dolphin MBE, chair of the EAD charity and highly respected accessibility campaigner. A high number of visitors attended particularly Occupational Therapists (OT) and fellow healthcare professionals who were keen to discover more about the latest services offered by EAD. EAD is currently expanding its services beyond driving assessments to include quality guidance regarding all forms of accessible travel and independent mobility.
Driving Mobility accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. EAD is part of this network with centres in Thetford and Colchester. In addition to guidance regarding adapted controls and wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV), its OTs and Driving Advisors provide additional advice regarding mobility scooters, powerchairs and wheelchairs.
The open day showcased several adapted cars and WAVs from the EAD fleet which included a variety of specialist driving controls and disabled driver and upfront passenger solutions. Visitors were also able to meet several specialist manufacturers which included TGA mobility scooters, Autochair car boot hoists and the WAV convertor Sirus Automotive. The TGA mobility scooter test drive course proved to be busy all day with OTs trialing products and gaining new insight. CEA Mobility, Andys Kars and David Relph also assisted with vehicle adaptations during the event.
Yvette Bateman, CEO, East Anglian DriveAbility, comments: “Our official opening was a significant success for visitors and our charity. Attendees told us they gained so much from coming to the event and hence we now plan to hold an open day annually at either our Thetford or Colchester centre. It was a delight to welcome lots of OT students from the UEA who gained invaluable vehicle and product knowledge for future client prescriptions. Thank you to all the EAD team for organising such a positive event and we appreciate the support of several manufacturers who attended and added depth to our showcase. We are proud of our new facilities which give us the platform to expand services so independent mobility is achievable for many more people whether that’s in a car or any other mode of accessible transport.”
Driving Mobility’s RDAC Salford assessment centre opens up assistive driving opportunities for Paula
Salford’s RDAC has given powerchair user Paula Taylor from Bolton the route to complete driving independence through its specialist assessment and advice service.
As one of the UK-wide Driving Mobility assessment centres, Salford’s RDAC has given powerchair user Paula Taylor from Bolton the route to complete driving independence through its specialist assessment and advice service.
Charity Driving Mobility, supported by the Department for Transport, accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. Service users can self-refer or are signposted by the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs. The new, custom-built RDAC centre in Salford advises Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, mobility scooter and wheelchair users on independence mobility.
Paula, aged 46, has driven the same adapted vehicle since a car accident in 2001 which caused a progressive decline in health and mobility. Following injections in 2003 to treat Fibromyalgia, she became paralysed from the neck down and spent a year recuperating in hospital. Paula was subsequently diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), a debilitating complex pain condition in her limbs. Now a full-time wheelchair user, Paula’s needs have recently changed and she finds unaided transfers into her car particularly difficult. Having first visited a Driving Mobility centre fifteen years ago, she decided to arrange another assessment at RDAC Salford in preparation for a new vehicle purchase. Paula wanted to ascertain that she was still using the most suitable adaptations and which controls would fit her new vehicle.
Paula comments: “Following my time in hospital, I became very depressed as I needed help with everything. I knew something had to change and my first Driving Mobility assessment in 2004 was incredibly helpful. In fact, I have used the recommended adjustable floor-mounted hand control ever since. I now have a more limited range of movement and a PA visits during the week to assist me – but I’m determined not to lose my driving independence, especially with five children and seven grandchildren. As I wanted to thoroughly research all my options, I contacted RDAC who have been really helpful.”
Following an update regarding Paula’s medical history and a cognitive assessment, Sean Barratt, RDAC Centre Manager, suggested Paula trial various new hand controls to operate the brakes and accelerator, as well as steering wheel rim controllers. However, as Paula found them unmanageable over extended periods of driving time, Sean subsequently recommended she updated her current controls to a Carospeed Menox. This can be installed in most vehicles and is highly adjustable to suit individual requirements. Sean also recommended a steering wheel ball and pedal adaptations to enable Paula to be more comfortable in the car.
Paula concludes: “To be able to talk to a specialist about individual needs and receive impartial advice is so reassuring. I discovered exactly what I needed, and I was delighted that all the adaptation recommendations were suitable for any vehicle. I’m grateful to the Centre staff for also spending time trying to establish which new vehicle would be best for me. They considered transfer requirements and which car could cater for my hoist and powerchair. Following my assessment, I have ordered a new accessible vehicle which fits me like a glove and is so easy to transfer into. The hands-on information that people can receive from Driving Mobility centres is unparalleled. I certainly know where to go next time I need advice!”
The Big Event – NEC, Birmingham (Hall 17)
Driving Mobility will be at The Big Event at the NEC, Birmingham (28/29 June) which offers you the chance to see the UK’s largest display of vehicles for disabled people.
Friday 28 and Saturday 29 June 2019 – 9am to 4pm
The Big Event is returning to the NEC, Birmingham for its second year. Come along to Motability’s flagship event to see the UK’s largest display of vehicles for disabled people and discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with the Motability Scheme. It’s free to attend, with free parking and everyone’s welcome!
The event will showcase:
- Over 100 cars from 27 different manufacturers
- Over 45 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
- Over 50 scooters and powered wheelchairs
- Specialist advice from our Scheme partners
At The Big Event specialist advice will be available from:
- Motability Scheme advisors
- Adaptation and WAV specialists
- Disabled Motoring UK
- Driving Mobility
- Kwikfit, RAC and RSA Motability
Driving Mobility’s RDAC to open cutting-edge Manchester driving assessment centre for disabled drivers
OFFICIAL OPENING: Thursday 1st November 2018, 11am – 3pm.
PRESS CALL: All reporters and photographers are welcome to attend.
Accredited by the charity Driving Mobility, RDAC operates 11 driver assessment centres nationwide – it is opening a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Greater Manchester so that more people with disabilities can benefit from assisted motoring.
LOCATION: AJ Bell Stadium, 1 Stadium Way, Barton-upon-Irwell, Salford, Greater Manchester. M30 7EY
OFFICIAL OPENING: Thursday 1st November 2018, 11am – 3pm.
PRESS CALL: All reporters and photographers are welcome to attend.
The charity, Driving Mobility, accredits a UK network of twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. RDAC is part of this network and has been in existence since 1989 – it provides assessments for older and disabled drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and mobility scooter or wheelchair users. Within its services practical advice is given regarding appropriate driving adaptations, WAVs (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles) and specialist tuition so that domestic and professional drivers can remain independent and safe. The new, custom-built RDAC centre in Salford represents a ‘flagship’ modern facility servicing people from Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire.
Sean Barratt, Assessment Team Manager, directs a team of Approved Driving Instructors, Occupational Therapists and Administrative staff – all focused on providing the best individualised recommendations for mobility with peace of mind. This caring and experienced team delivers a service that seeks to minimise the worry of driving assessment and positively supports drivers, of all ages, with conditions such as Stroke, Arthritis or Spinal Injury. The new Centre boasts outstanding access and transport links with off road assessment areas for non-licence holders. Other ancillary services include Tryb4uFly cabin assessments to help with accessible air travel, and guidance regarding specialist car seats for disabled children.
Sean explains: “The team and I are so proud of our new spacious centre – its modern facilities will make a huge difference to service users looking to regain their driving independence. I would like to invite everyone with an interest in assisted motoring to attend our official launch day. We have an impressive range of features planned including the opportunity to test drive adapted cars from our specialist fleet. We will be welcoming several VIPs including senior representatives from the Department for Transport and Driving Mobility. Come and enjoy free refreshments and the opportunity to meet drivers and professionals ready to share experiences and advice.”
Sean continues: “RDAC is all about restoring confidence and improving safety – we strive to help as many people as possible to regain driving independence. We have a fully accessible indoor assessment zone so that vehicles can be driven into the Centre for demonstrations and discussions whatever the weather. This is a major advantage, especially during the winter months, making appointments to discuss driving adaptations far more engaging. Our spacious premises include a suite of private consultation rooms and an information lounge full of the latest guidance and literature. Thanks to our stadium location, service users can benefit from a driving experience that is calm and reassuring.”
Sean concludes: “Our contemporary spacious setting is a welcoming and fresh environment to help disabled and elderly drivers seeking answers – it perfectly reflects the nationwide RDAC and Driving Mobility commitment to service excellence. We look forward to helping more and more individuals enjoy the lifestyle benefits of assisted motoring.”
QEF Carshalton: Get Going Live! returns to help young disabled drivers get behind the wheel
Get Going Live! is back on 5th October 2018 and offers a unique experience to young and recently disabled individuals seeking driving independence.
The Carshalton based Driving Assessment Centre, managed by the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, will be hosting a relaunched Get Going Live! event so that young and recently disabled people can experience assistive driving.
Friday 5th October. 9:30am – 4pm. Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF),1 Metcalfe Avenue, Carshalton. SM5 4NR. Free admission and accessible parking.
QEF Mobility Services is one of sixteen independent organisations, many with satellite centres, which offer professional information, advice and driving assessments for people seeking assistance with mobility. Overseen by the charity Driving Mobility, all centres are staffed by Occupational Therapists as well as Approved Driving Instructors so that safety for drivers with injuries, disabilities or restricted mobility is maximised. As well as conducting assessments on behalf of the DVLA, Motability and healthcare professionals, Driving Mobility accepts self-referrals.
Get Going Live! – Try Adapted Driving And Explore Options For Accessible Motoring
QEF Mobility Services is delighted to be hosting the first in a series of free-to-attend Get Going Live! which will be officially opened by Mayor, Councillor Steve Cook and Mayoress Pauline Cook of the London Borough of Sutton.
The Get Going Live! events which focus on younger people with disabilities, novice drivers and individuals that have become recently disabled. Get Going Live! was originally a popular feature of the national Mobility Roadshow which was held annually from 1983 up until 2017. Attendees to this relaunched exhibition will be able to safely test drive a range of accessible and adapted vehicles around a dedicated test track with qualified specialist instructors. The event will provide the opportunity for visitors and their families, including teenagers from the age of 15, to try adapted driving for the first time and explore options for accessible motoring.
What’s On at Get Going Live!
Features of the event will include:
- Free test drives and driving assessments (pre-booking required) please call 0208 770 1151 to book
- Displays from a range of assistive product specialists who supply WAVs (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles), mobility scooters, wheelchairs and more
- The latest range of adapted driving controls and assistive technology
- Informative presentations regarding accessible motoring
- Refreshments and ample level parking
- Accessible aviation travel training
Marion D’Moirah from QEF comments: “We are delighted to be hosting the relaunched Get Going Live! event. Based on its popular heritage, we believe it will be well attended and deliver a unique experience to young and recently disabled individuals seeking driving independence. Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be on hand to offer the latest guidance regarding assisted driving and to provide instruction around our test drive track. We will have around 30 vehicles available for test drives and overall the atmosphere of the day promises to be fun and fully rewarding.”
Exhibitors at Get Going Live!
Click an exhibitor’s name to see more information…
AAT GB Ltd
Powered solutions to manage people up to 160kg with reduced mobility on stairways. Adult and peadiatric Vacuum Posture Cushions. Bathing solutions. Sleep systems including pressure relief and thermorgulation.Sensory solutions.
Adapted Vehicle Hire
Suppliers of an extensive range of adapted cars and wheelchair accessible vehicles for either long term or short term hire.
Barbara Bus Fund
Belmont Garage Ltd
Brig Ayd Controls Ltd
DS & P Mobility
Gerald Simonds Healthcare Ltd
GM Coachworks Ltd
John Preston Healthcare Group
Kent Mobility Ltd
National Tremor Foundation
The OHMI Trust
Shine Spina Bifida charity
Sutton Shopmobility R & R
Steering Developments Ltd
Have a range of mobility & healthcare products; ranging from scooters & powerchairs to smaller daily living aids such as walking sticks, special cutlery, rollators, bath mats, pressure cushions, wheelchair bags and perching stools.
EXHIBITOR NEWS: TGA Living to showcase pioneering mobility products including WHILL Model C powerchair at Get Going Live!
Surrey based TGA Living, will be showcasing a selection of its quality mobility products at the Get Going Live! event being held by QEF Mobility Services at the Carshalton based Driving Assessment Centre.
Friday 5th October. 9:30am – 4pm. Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF), 1 Metcalfe Avenue, Carshalton. SM5 4NR. Free admission and accessible parking.
TGA Living is a ‘next generation’ independent living showroom located near Farnham. Part of TGA Mobility, TGA Living provides a comprehensive range of quality assistive products including mobility scooters, wheelchairs, adjustable chairs, stairlifts and aids for daily living. Friendly TGA representatives will be demonstrating a selection of these at Get Going Live! – an accessible vehicle test-drive event for young and recently disabled people seeking driving and independent mobility.
TGA Living will be demonstrating a range of products including:
- New TGA WHILL Model C Powerchair – the pioneering, technologically advanced solution with stunning styling and transportable abilities
- TGA Minimo mobility scooter – the best-selling car boot scooter that folds in seconds
- TGA wheelchair powerpacks – the proven range for powered assistance of attendant controlled wheelchairs
- A selection of aids for independent living including walkers and shower stools.
QEF Mobility Services is one of 20 independent organisations which offer professional information, advice and driving assessments for people seeking assistance with mobility. Overseen by the charity Driving Mobility, all centres are staffed by Occupational Therapists as well as Approved Driving Instructors so that safety for drivers with injuries, disabilities or restricted mobility is maximised. As well as conducting assessments on behalf of the DVLA, Motability and healthcare professionals, Driving Mobility accepts self-referrals.
QEF Mobility Services is delighted to be hosting the first in a series of free-to-attend regional Get Going Live! exhibitions. Get Going Live! was originally a popular feature of the national Mobility Roadshow which ran for over 30 years until 2017. Attendees to this relaunched exhibition will be able to safely test drive a range of accessible and adapted vehicles around a dedicated test track with qualified specialist instructors. The event will provide the opportunity for visitors and their families, including teenagers from the age of 15, to try adapted driving for the first time and explore options for accessible motoring. They will also be able to see a selection of equipment innovations from leading product specialists such as TGA Living.
Roseanne Finch, TGA Living Manager said: “We are looking forward to exhibiting at Get Going Live!, it was always such a popular feature of the national Mobility Roadshow. It provides the unique opportunity to test drives WAVs and see the latest assistive innovations, such as our award-winning products. I’m sure our new WHILL Model C powerchair will be a real show-stopper. We believe exhibiting at regional events such as this are so important for TGA Living as it provides us with the opportunity to meet people face-to-face and discuss individual mobility needs. We focus on this approach every day at TGA Living so independence and peace of mind are maximised through correct product provision.”
TFL Travel Mentors
In partnership with Quickie and will be showcasing the new Q500 and Q700 range of powerchairs. There will be the opportunity to test drive and talk to the Quickie professionals about the revolutionary new chairs.
EXHIBITOR NEWS: Wheelfreedom Launch Q-Series Powerchair with Free Lift & Tilt Upgrade at Get Going Live!
Wheelfreedom are attending the relaunched Get Going Live! event at the QEF Mobility Services centre in Carshalton on 5th October, demonstrating the new Quickie Q-series powerchairs and allowing people the chance to try them out.
Get Going Live: Friday 5th October, 9.30 am – 4 pm, with an official opening by Mayor of Sutton, Councillor Steve Cook at 10 am. Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF), 1 Metcalfe Avenue, Carshalton, SM5 4NR. Free admission and accessible parking available.
Alongside Sunrise Medical, Wheelfreedom have an exclusive offer for attendees at the event, who can claim a free upgrade to powered Lift & Tilt (worth up to £1,750) on any Q500 or Q700 wheelchair purchased following the event.
The hosts, Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation Mobility Services are an independent organisation, overseen by the charity Driving Mobility, which offers professional information, advice and driving assessments for people seeking assistance with mobility.
Replacing a popular feature from the now defunct Mobility Roadshow, the Get Going Live! event is aimed at younger people with disabilities, novice drivers, and newly disabled people, to help with assisted driving. There will be the opportunity to safely test drive a range of accessible and adapted vehicles around a test track with a qualified specialist instructor.
Alongside this, a selection of assistive product specialists have been invited to attend, including Wheelfreedom, who are attending alongside Quickie Wheelchairs to demonstrate the revolutionary new Q-Series powerchairs that have just been launched.
Attendees will have the chance to try out the new Q100, Q500 and Q700 models, including the flagship standing Q700-Up M, and can arrange a specialist home demonstration. In partnership with Sunrise Medical, Wheelfreedom are offering a free upgrade to a Lift & Tilt module for attendees purchasing any Q500 or Q700 powerchair from them.
All of the Q500 and Q700 powerchairs come pre-prepared for Dahl docking stations, a TÜV certified system allowing people to easily dock in and drive their car from their wheelchair.
Wheelfreedom Managing Director Giles Donald commented: “We’re delighted to have partnered with Sunrise Medical to attend the Get Going Live! event this year. We have had excellent feedback on the Quickie Q-series range since it was launched in August, and believe the ground-breaking technology and choice of mid, rear and front-wheel drive bases makes them the ideal powerchair to suit different WAV configurations. We are looking forward to giving attendees the chance to put these chairs through their paces, and we’re sure they will be as excited about the Q-series powerchairs as we are.”
For further information on the special offer, please visit www.wheelfreedom.com or call 0800 025 8005 to speak to a Wheelfreedom product specialist.
Wilsons Automobiles & Coachworks
Adult Social Care Information & Engagement
Motor Neurone Disease Association
QEF Independent Living Services
QEF Neuro Rehabilitation Services
Offer neurorehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation and transition support for individuals with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) from all over the UK.
Sutton Community Transport
Triangle Community Services
Get Going Live! Talk schedule: In the Board Room
|9.30||Sarah Vines – Introduction to day|
|10:00||Mayor of Sutton – Opening|
|10:15||Paul Kane from DVSA – Disability Driving Tests|
|11:00||Brian Gordon from Transport for London|
|11:45||Chris Kingsley Introduction to teaching people with disabilities to drive|
|13:30||George Allen Young Drivers|
|14.30||Graham Race from Accessible Aviation & Tryb4uFly making it easier for disabled people to fly|
Talk schedule: In the Aircraft Fuselage
|11:00||Guide to Flying & Tryb4uFly|
|13.00||Guide to Flying & Tryb4uFly|
Partially sighted Bristol musician undertakes Driving Mobility assessment in bid to regain licence
Richard Dutton recently attended the Driving and Mobility Centre (West of England) to assess fitness to drive, twelve years after a serious vehicle collision resulted in partial loss of vision.
Richard Dutton, 65, from Bristol, recently attended the Driving and Mobility Centre (West of England), to assess fitness to drive, twelve years after a serious vehicle collision resulted in partial loss of vision.
The charity, Driving Mobility, is a network of sixteen independent organisations, many with satellite centres, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which offer professional, high quality information, advice and driving assessment to people who need to gain or retain independence through mobility. Driving assessments include checks of visual, cognitive, and physical abilities with all centres staffed by Occupational Therapists as well as Approved Driving Instructors. The Driving and Mobility Centre (West of England) provides passenger, driving and scooter assessments and enables people to stay independently mobile, in safety and comfort.
In 2006, Richard was involved in a head-on collision with a motorist travelling in the opposite direction, who was overtaking six cars simultaneously. The impact was so severe that Richard spent the following month in the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxfordshire. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by the force of the sudden head-on impact resulted in Homonymous hemianopia – a visual field loss on the same side of both eyes. It is often seen as a result of strokes and traumatic brain injuries due to the way vision is represented in the brain.
Richard underwent a standard eye test, the binocular Esterman visual field test, used by the DVLA to assess if people are fit to drive, and his right-hand side vision was graded as being lower than the acceptable benchmark.
Mr Dutton comments: “The day of the crash, I was on my way to work. A trained jazz musician and performer, I was teaching music at Magdalen College School in Oxford and had also taught prison inmates for 15 years. I simply could not escape the car coming towards me on the same side of the road. My injuries meant that I had to surrender my driving licence and as I was unable to transport music equipment in my car, unfortunately my professional career stopped at that point.”
In 2017, having relocated to Bristol, Richard decided to see if his driving could be assessed again. Accustomed by now to using public transport, he also felt that he had adapted to his altered vision and would like to see if he could regain his licence. The DVLA requested written support from medical professionals and his new GP contacted them. He also received support from a private neurologist in London, who was familiar with Richard’s eye condition and felt he was fulfilling DVLA criteria.
Richard comments: “The DVLA have now agreed to reconsider my case under Section 88 permission. They referred me for an initial assessment with the Driving and Mobility Centre (West of England), at the Vassall Centre in Bristol, who provide comprehensive assessments of ability to drive a vehicle safely. I had a meeting with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) and an Occupational Therapist, who then accompanied me out in a car.”
Richard continues: “This is the first time I had driven in twelve years and I admit to being a little rusty on the gears and clutch! Mark and Helen were both incredibly supportive however. Afterwards, we spoke about things that had gone well and they also highlighted some areas of concern. The centre has now sent a report to the DVLA and recommended that I take a short course with an accredited driving instructor. The services offered by the Driving Mobility centres are so beneficial and I really hope people are made aware of them in the early stages of rehabilitation. I shall be returning for a second assessment and I am hopeful that as I will be familiar with driving by that stage, a clear picture of my abilities will emerge.”