Driving Mobility Archives - Driving Mobility

Disability Awareness Day – Warrington

260 exhibitors, equipment suppliers, transport, holidays, leisure, employment, support groups and services. PLUS a Sports Zone including Scuba diving, an Arts Marquee, Centre Arena and family entertainment. The show opens at 10am and finishes at 5pm, and entry is FREE with a FREE programme.

AccessAbilty Exhibition June 2021

This exhibition will be showcasing Options and advice on Assistive Technology, Equipment and Driving for disabled children, young people, adults and older people. Our Occupational Therapists will be on hand to offer guidance.

The AccessAbility Exhibition has been rescheduled to Wednesday 2nd June 2021, 10.30am to 4.30pm at Centenary Pavilion, Elland Road Stadium, Leeds, LS11 0ES due to covid-19

This exhibition will be showcasing options and advice on Assistive Technology, Equipment and Driving for disabled children, young people, adults and older people. Our Occupational Therapists will be on hand to offer guidance.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE?

Wheelchairs, Tricycles etc Moving and Handling
Switches and Adapted Toys Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Sensory Car Seats
Sports & Leisure Passenger Access
Environmental Controls Medical Fitness to Drive
Bathing/Showering Test drive (from 14 years+)
Accessible Gaming Electric Car
Beds/Sleep Systems Vehicle Adaptations
Associated Charities Manual and Automatic

Please find further information attached.

Rebook your free ticket: https://accessability2021.eventbrite.co.uk

Find out more here: https://www.wmdlc.org/accessability-visitors

Father praises charities’ free Bugzi wheelchair loan scheme and assessment services for disabled toddler

Two-year-old Olive, born with cerebral palsy, is enjoying her first independent steps with a unique long-term loan of a free Bugzi powered wheelchair following an assessment at North West Driving Assessment Service

Two-year-old Olive, born with cerebral palsy, is enjoying her first independent steps with a unique long-term loan of a free Bugzi powered wheelchair, provided by children’s disability charity MERU, following an assessment at North West Driving Assessment Service, accredited by the charity Driving Mobility.

Her father, Rhys Corkwood, a paediatric Occupational Therapist, says free provision of specialist equipment in this way is normally unheard of, with funding a massive issue in the world of disability.

The MERU Bugzi is a small, indoor powered wheelchair that can be used on any flat surface such as at home, nursery or school. Suitable for children up to approx. 6 years of age, it enables a child to move around independently, play and interact with friends and family, whilst also encouraging learning about cause and effect as they use the controls.

Olive has quadrilateral or full body cerebral palsy following a complicated, premature birth. Low tone means she is unable to sit, stand or walk unaided and lives with tightness on one side of her body. Olive also has cochlear implants to overcome deafness and her condition is affecting her speech.

Rhys says: “Olive had tried a small walker but was unable to step, so my friend, a physiotherapist, recommended the Bugzi to me. I visited an event called Kidz to Adultz North with Olive to trial specialist equipment. North West Driving Assessment Service (NWDAS) was exhibiting alongside Driving Mobility and MERU, which provided a fantastic, hands-on opportunity to try out the Bugzi.”

MERU manufactures the unique powered wheelchair and charitable support enables them to provide free loans to families across the UK; following an application, assessment and a small refundable deposit. MERU works closely with several Driving Mobility centres across the UK, whose specialist staff can provide Bugzi assessments. Driving Mobility accredits a network of twenty independent organisations, many with satellite services, which provide professional information and assessments for safe and independent mobility.

The Corkwood family from Manchester applied online to MERU for a Bugzi wheelchair, which Olive’s father states was a straightforward process. He also explained he could not fault his daughter’s assessment at North West Driving Assessment Service, part of the Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. NWDAS began offering Bugzi assessments as a new outreach service in 2019, which complements the Centre’s existing provision of driver, passenger and equipment assessments for the North West community.

Rhys says: “I really valued how uncomplicated this process was as life can be so busy for parents with disabled children – you feel you move from one appointment to the next. Our MERU application was handled quickly and within a month we attended NWDAS for an assessment. It was an additional bonus to have a Driving Mobility assessment centre locally in St Helens.”

“The centre’s Occupational Therapist, Hilary, explained the assessment service clearly and discussed Olive’s medical history and her physical abilities. Olive’s always happy to meet people and the staff were clearly interested in her, so it was a non-pressured, very personal experience. Olive drove the Bugzi, tried different hand controls and played with toys. She was totally at ease. I can’t rate the assessment centre highly enough. We even had a moving and handling assessment with our car.”

“The Bugzi means Olive can move independently for the first time. She practices navigation in a therapy space at home, whilst playing with her sister, 3-year-old Connie. We recently took the Bugzi to a church hall party. Olive loved it – a big, wide, open space where she could move freely and interact with other children. Of course, they all wanted to chase her which was delightful to watch.”

Emma Pryce, Bugzi Engineer from MERU, comments: “Bugzi is a safe, compact and manoeuvrable indoor wheelchair for young children with disabilities. Our loan scheme provides families with access to a Bugzi so that a child can benefit from experience and learning that independent mobility brings. We work with several Driving Mobility assessment centres across the UK, where specialist staff can adapt and tailor a Bugzi chair to the child’s needs and usually it can be taken home on the same day.”

Olive’s father concludes: “Most local authorities wait until a child is much older before assessing for a powered chair, yet the skills that Olive is currently acquiring through use of the Bugzi cannot be overestimated. Learning to move within a certain space, concentration, coordination, independence – these are fundamental skills. A free loan and assessment service such as this, is something I’ve never come across before either as a parent or an Occupational Therapist. It’s a very ethical service.”

For more information regarding North West Driving Assessment Service:  www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/northwestdrivingassessmentservice or call 01942 483713. For more information on MERU or the Bugzi loan scheme visit www.meru.org.uk or email info@meru.org.uk

To find your local Driving Mobility Centre please visit: https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk/find-a-centre/

 

#MyDrivingMobility

RiDC produce new car measurements – data for you to choose the right car

RiDC has a newly revised online car search. With data on over 1,700 vehicles, the car search helps disabled and older people to shortlist suitable vehicles using specific accessibility measurements.

Car measurements – data for you to choose the right car

Increasingly people need specific measurements when choosing a car for their needs. Older drivers, who find bending more difficult, are looking for a car with higher seats. Carers often want a vehicle that has a large, flat boot to make loading a light mobility scooter or wheelchair in and out easier. Some drivers are looking for small cars with big boots.

Now help is here, at the touch of your keyboard, with a newly revised online car search1. With data on over 1,700 vehicles, the car search helps disabled and older people to shortlist suitable vehicles using specific accessibility measurements.

The vehicle database will also be of interest to people working in the motor trade including salespeople, garage technicians, researchers and car enthusiasts.

The car search is produced by RiDC (the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers)2, a research charity that works with disabled and older consumers to improve access and inclusion.

Thirty internal measurements of each vehicle are recorded and verified in a laboratory, with data on over 150 vehicles added each year. Measurements include driver and passenger seat heights, door and boot sills and door opening angles and boot dimensions.

“I just wanted to say thanks for your research on cars.  I was about to break my brain trying to find a rental to carry two large dogs and their dog crates along with three pieces of luggage.  Your site is the only place I could find with useful interior space dimensions on cars.  I know this was not your intended use, but thanks just the same!”                                                                                          Rick

Using the advanced search3 people can peruse individual makes and models and use measurements as filters to find vehicles that have no boot sill, lots of legroom, headroom or have high seats. Each vehicle has a PDF factsheet listing all the data with useful photos.

RiDC also has guidance, based on its research with its consumer panel4, for older drivers, drivers with specific disabilities – including about car controls – and solutions for getting in and out and getting a wheelchair into a car. Its latest research will look at access of electric vehicle charge points for older and disabled drivers5.

Notes:

  1. The RiDC car search has internal vehicle measurements for both drivers and passengers. Read about how vehicles are measured. The measurement data, funded by Motability, is used in their vehicle price guide.
  2. RiDC is a UK charity providing independent research with disabled and older consumers:  RiDC believes that products and services should be inclusive and accessible for all, from the word go, not as an afterthought. Find out more at: www.ridc.org.uk
  3. The advanced search enables users to also search by boot dimensions to check the space available if you need to carry anything large such as a bike, luggage or furniture. There are also some quick searches based on popular requests.
  4. In all its research, RiDC uses its UK-wide consumer panel of over 1,600 disabled and older people who provide the collective wisdom, knowledge and experience to review, compare and assess products and services.
  5. In its latest research, RiDC has investigated how accessible the electric car charging infrastructure is for disabled and older drivers. The project focused on the electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles currently on the market. The report is due for release in March 2020.

 

Latest mobility scooter training at QEF to support new Driving Mobility HUBS initiative

TGA has provided a free educational workshop for professionals at QEF Mobility Services, South London, so its assessors can provide the latest mobility scooter advice to clients.

TGA has provided a free educational workshop for professionals at QEF Mobility Services, South London, so its assessors can provide the latest mobility scooter advice to clients.

Part of the Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People, QEF Mobility Services is one the UK’s largest charitable providers of mobility advice and equipment for people with disabilities and age-related impairments. Based in Carshalton, it is part of the nationwide Driving Mobility network of driving assessment centres which is supported by the Department for Transport. Each of the 20 main centres, many with additional outreach facilities, provide guidance on assisted driving, adapted vehicles and fitness-to-drive. Occupational Therapists (OTs), Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) and Administration staff support individuals signposted from the DVLAMotabilityPolice and healthcare professionals.

QEF Mobility Services is currently one of seven centres involved with a pilot ‘HUBS’ scheme led by Driving Mobility which aims to provide advice regarding accessible travel, transport and lifestyles. Part of this initiative is to focus on providing solutions if individuals have their driving licence revoked ie. keeping people mobile and connected as per the Government’s latest inclusive strategy. Solutions can include the safe and appropriate use of mobility scooters – hence the workshop by TGA.

QEF team members received an informative presentation from TGA’s Eric Cooper and the opportunity to test drive a range of latest products from this established supplier. Education included a variety of topics ranging from scooter classification, the Highway Code and social prescription. OTs, ADIs and clinicians were able to experience hands-on the TGA Breeze S4, Supersport, Minimo Autofold and the multi award-winning WHILL Model C powerchair.

Paul Graham, QEF Senior Occupational Therapist commented: “We would like to thank Eric and Dom from TGA for taking the time to present to us. Their practical mobility scooter demonstrations and our team test drives provided the opportunity to see and feel the latest technology in action and appreciate how mobility scooter styling has been modernised. We had a new member of staff attend who had never driven a scooter before so this provided the ideal opportunity to understand about speed control and handling.”

Paul continues: “The value of scooters in terms of social inclusion is immeasurable however safe driving and correct product provision is imperative – this is why QEF assessment services are vital. This also dovetails with our Transport Hub programme so we can offer advice on accessible travel with scooters. Amanda Beck, our Transport Hub Project Lead, also attended which was beneficial to the whole pilot programme. TGA’s workshop was a rewarding addition to our educational agenda.”

Eric Cooper, TGA Product Specialist added: “Dom and I were delighted with the positive feedback we received from the attendees at QEF. We were asked lots of questions and the interactive test drive session was a light-hearted experience with an educational purpose. We handed out copies of our new professional’s guide to scooters and highlighted the other signposting material we have in production, including the scooter passport. TGA is fully supportive of Driving Mobility’s HUBS initiative as we believe greater accessibility and social engagement is vital for positive mental health and well-being.”

TGA provides free educational workshops for healthcare professionals so the latest knowledge regarding mobility scooters can be gathered for enhanced assessment processes. In addition, it offers a comprehensive support programme for safe scooter driving awareness days, online advice, driver training and high-visibility clothing. Its test drive course is available free of charge for associated public and professional events and TGA advisors can provide objective guidance regarding the latest techniques to remain safe whilst driving. The test drive course will be next available at Naidex 2020 which will be held at the NEC on 17-18th March.

New accessible transport Hubs information service delivers lifeline to East Riding Stroke survivor Maureen

A stroke survivor from the East Riding, unable to leave home for over a year following a stroke, can finally enjoy “life-changing” days out thanks to guidance from the new RDAC Hubs service, part of Driving Mobility.

A stroke survivor from the East Riding, unable to leave home for over a year following a stroke, can finally enjoy “life-changing” days out thanks to guidance from the new RDAC Hubs service, part of Driving Mobility.

Maureen (81) and husband Colin, (82), from Hessle, were an active couple enjoying days out and trips abroad, including in their VW Campervan. In 2018, a stroke left Maureen unable to walk, whilst as her caregiver, Colin’s health also deteriorated.

Daughter Rachael (50) said:  “It has been a very tough time. Mum was stuck in the house and unable to get out for almost a year and my parents effectively lost their independence and social interaction. I really wanted to allow them quality time outside of the house, as they were so isolated. However, Mum can’t walk following her stroke, she is catheterised and has poor cognition, (she also has Hydrocephalus) so it isn’t easy to manage trips out. Using public transport is all but impossible. I commute and work full time and I can be tired if I’ve been up throughout the night with Mum. I despaired of finding a solution. Then I met Kirsty from RDAC Hull, which was a real turning point.”

Kirsty Flint is a specialist Occupational Therapist in Driving Assessment at RDAC. RDAC is part of the charitable Driving Mobility network of assessment centres which provide support and guidance for disabled and older drivers and those seeking personal independence. She is also Community Mobility Coordinator of the centre’s new Hubs Project which advises on accessible transport – including local bus and community transport through to accessible train and plane travel.

Having met Rachael at a Stroke Educational Programme, Kirsty was able to reassure her that solutions were available. Amongst other information, Kirsty signposted the family towards local charity Motorvation, in South Cave, which provides accessible transport and days out to locations of their choosing.

Rachael said: “It has been a ray of sunshine and a link to normality for all of us. I can’t explain it any other way. Motorvation collects us in a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) and takes us to venues that are disabled friendly and accessible. Our first trip to Shibden Hall in Halifax was perhaps a little ambitious, so we have organised visits closer to home, including to Ledsham, near Leeds and the marvellous ‘Sistine’ exhibition in Hull Minster recently.   It’s been great to be able to take my parents outside of the house and the trips give us all something to look forward to. I’m really very grateful to Driving Mobility’s RDAC centre and Motorvation for making this possible. It has made a significant difference to my family’s health and well-being.”

Kirsty Flint comments: “The national Driving Mobility centres deliver excellent services including adapted driving assessments. With the launch of Hubs, seven centres including RDAC now also provide wider transport guidance. Hubs services include free information so individuals can remain independently mobile without use of a car and we can signpost people to local services, such as Motorvation. I believe our new offering will enable more people to retain or regain social activities within their community through access to essential and accessible transport information.”

For information regarding the RDAC Hubs Project contact:
Kirsty Flint, Community Mobility Coordinator (HUBS Project)
Specialist Occupational Therapist in Driving Assessment (RDAC Hull/Scunthorpe)
Telephone: 0300 300 2240. Email: hubs@rdac.co.uk