Driving Mobility Archives - Driving Mobility

Driving Mobility – how we deliver driving and mobility independence across the UK

In this video, the assisted driving and mobility assessment services provided by Driving Mobility are showcased through the William Merit Centre in Leeds

In this professional video, the assisted driving and mobility assessment services provided by Driving Mobility are showcased through the William Merit Centre in Leeds. This centre is part of the Driving Mobility network across the UK. Find your local centre here

Driving Mobility, supported by the Department for Transport As a registered charity, Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 driving assessment centres covering the whole of the UK. Many with outreach facilities, these centres include independent charities and NHS centres which offer professional information and assessment so disabled and elderly people can gain or retain independence.

Driving Mobility ensures that there are common standards, promotes good practice and offers training and education to all regional centres, whilst working closely with associated national organisations. These include the Department for Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Driver and Vehicle Agency (NI), Motability and the Police, along with many other valued stakeholders.

Driving Mobility is privileged to have Baroness Thomas of Winchester as their patron, and is supported by HM Government.

#MyDrivingMobility

Driving Mobility to showcase services at largest virtual international disability event

Disability Awareness Day (DAD), the largest annual single-day event of its kind, will be taking place virtually for a week this year, 25th-31st October – supported by Driving Mobility.

Disability Awareness Day (DAD), the largest annual single-day event of its kind, will be taking place virtually for a week this year, 25th-31st October – supported by Driving Mobility.

DAD is a ‘pan disability event which promotes a culture that focuses on what disabled people can-do’. Dave Thompson MBE founded the organising charity Warrington Disability Partnership (WDP) in 1991 and the annual DAD event in 1992. Held in a tented village on the grounds of Walton Hall, Warrington, DAD provides a wide range of features including assistive product displays, workshops, advice and entertainment for disabled adults and children. It has inspired similar events across the world and has been visited several times by members of the Royal family, the Minister for Disabled People and received a Red Arrows flypast. WDP was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services in 2006 and has raised over £1,000,000 for good causes.

In 2019, the event was supported by 260 exhibitors with over 25,000 visitors attending on the day. The event has run for 28 years and welcomed over 600,000 people however due to the pandemic, the 2020 event will be held online at: https://dadvirtual.org.uk/. This year there will be over 200 virtual exhibitors including Driving Mobility.

The main event will take place on 25th October 2020, followed by video seminars, workshops and events until 31st October. Alongside other specialist exhibitors, Driving Mobility will be demonstrating its range of assisted driving and mobility assessment services for all ages. Service users self-refer or are signposted to its 20 Centres from the DVLA, Motability, the Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs and Occupational Therapists. These Centres provide over 70 outreach facilities bringing services closer to where people live. Centres are managed by independent charities or NHS departments – all focused on helping people with disabilities or life changing diagnosis to continue driving safely.

Edward Trewhella, Driving Mobility CEO, comments: “We are delighted to be supporting DAD this year as we believe it is a fantastic initiative to help people with restricted mobility on an international scale. Our stand will include an array of useful information including case studies, videos and a brochure that introduces our services. Visitors will be able to contact us direct to enquire about driving and mobility assessments.”

2020 Driving Mobility AGM to go ahead

Driving Mobility will be holding our Annual General Meeting on 15th September at the new flagship RDAC centre in Solihull, with limited attendees on site and national members connecting via video technology.

We will be holding our Annual General Meeting on 15th September at the new flagship RDAC centre in Solihull, with limited attendees on site and national members connecting via video technology.

Due to current pandemic restrictions, our AGM schedule will be adjusted this year to ensure the maximum number of delegates can attend whilst maintaining safety. The curtailed content will focus on internal charity matters and to ensure all members are aware of our latest national initiatives. The AGM will be hosted by charity Chair and CEO of RDAC, Colin Barnett, from the recently opened RDAC headquarters at Patrick Farm Barns, Hampton in Arden.

We look forward to welcoming centre staff and highlighting topics including the annual report and plans for 2021.

Vlogger Emily with Cerebral Palsy aims to stop discrimination through independent driving

YouTuber Emily Roberts, 22 from Swansea and wheelchair user, is aiming to highlight achievement with disability through her ability to drive independently thanks to Driving Mobility.

YouTuber Emily Roberts, 22 from Swansea and wheelchair user, is aiming to highlight achievement with disability through her ability to drive independently thanks to Driving Mobility.

Wheelchair user Emily is a passionate vlogger and works as an admin assistant in a bridal shop. She believes disability is not represented enough in the media and people with restricted mobility are a ‘lost group’ within society. She is determined through her YouTube videos to change the mindset of able-bodied people so they understand what can be achieved with a disability. Emily regular encounters phrases such as ‘I’m surprised people like you can do that’ which passively discriminates against disabled individuals when discussing aspirations and achievements. Emily aims to stop this as much as she can – starting with videos that explain how she drives independently as a wheelchair user.

Emily owns a car leased through the Motability scheme which has been specifically adapted following guidance from the Driving Mobility Centre based at Rookwood Hospital, Llandaff. Operated by the South Wales Mobility & Driving Assessment Service, a charity part funded by the Welsh Government, has helped Emily gain her full driving licence so she can ‘prove to the world what is possible with cerebral palsy’.

Emily first discovered Driving Mobility at a local disability youth group. The subject of assisted driving came up and the centre at Rookwood Hospital was discussed. Emily was slightly dubious and confused about the possibility of driving with her condition however she made contact and an appointment was arranged at The South Wales Mobility & Driving Assessment Service. This centre is part of the national Driving Mobility network which provides professional support and guidance for drivers with restricted mobility. Service users self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals. Each centre aims to provide independence to all people, of any age, who have restricted mobility or have experienced a life changing diagnosis.

Emily watched several YouTube videos showing various adapted car controls however she needed professional guidance from Driving Mobility to recommend the most appropriate systems for her. Emily went along to the centre and completed a driving assessment: “I already had my provisional licence and had passed the theory test at 19. However, to gain my full driving licence I needed lessons in an adapted car which suited my disability, I planned to apply for one from Motability.  When I went to Rockwood Hospital the Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors were all so lovely – firstly I completed a medical questionnaire to check my current condition including medication levels. My dosage was low so no problem there and as my disability only affects my legs the process began of determining the right controls for me. They had a fancy hi-tech driving simulator which I tried with different types of adaptations. They also took me through a brochure of different options and then we went out on the road in one of their cars. The have a big fleet of vehicles to try there. The car I drove included the type of controls that the centre recommended however they said it would still be a bit of trial and error to get the exact solution that was right for me. I was accompanied by a Driving Instructor and OT so felt safe and confident. The experience was amazing, it was a great day!”

Once Emily was happy with the recommended adaptations, she began the process of applying for a Motability vehicle. The car would be fitted with a steering ball plus grip and push-pull hand controls for accelerating/braking – inbuilt buttons for indicators and secondary functions. Driving Mobility signposted Emily to a selection of local vehicle convertors of which she chose LTC Mobility in Llanelli to adapt her Renault Clio. Once her Motability car was ready, Emily was introduced to a selection of specialist instructors so she could begin driving lessons: “The instructor I chose was really well experienced and gave me lots of confidence. I only needed lessons for six months and passed at the first attempt!”

“I think Driving Mobility are awesome – to think they were my first port of call and got the job done so well… I’m forever indebted. Also, the fact that they didn’t just focus on driving, but gave me solutions for all the other stuff, was superb. This started right from the off when I got into an assessment car – they immediately suggested a transfer board to bridge the gap between wheelchair and driver’s seat. Being able to store and access my wheelchair easier was also solved. They questioned how I intended to get my wheelchair in and out of the car especially as I’m petite. Folding and lifting my wheelchair would have been a nightmare so they recommended a ‘roof topper’ box. It’s so clever – it lifts and lowers my wheelchair right next to the driver’s door and stores it on the roof, really accessible. Even my binman has said its ‘so cool’!”

Being able to drive has literally changed Emily’s life. Spending time with her friends and shopping are always top of her list along with enjoying the local music scene: “Admittedly gigs are off at the moment but that hasn’t stopped me going out whilst following the social distancing guidelines. Most of my friends have never driven, I’d say about 60% don’t drive as they see driving as stressful. This means I’m the main driver to pick people up one at a time these days. I have my freedom… it’s the best thing in the world and reflects my abilities as a disabled person.”

Emily concludes: “When disabled individuals are pigeon-holed as ‘people like you’ it really frustrates me. There is always ability in every disability and I want able bodied people to understand and appreciate that. My vlogging aims to encourage, educate and empower ­– both to help fellow disabled people and the general public. I’d rather people be inquisitive than ignorant. Even when I passed my driving test, I received comments that implied a person with cerebral palsy should never be able to drive. This needs to change and will.”

“I can’t thank the team enough at Driving Mobility for helping me achieve my goal and I continue to admire what they do every day. They make sure as many people as possible can live their life to the full; championing independence and supporting people to adapt in an unadapted world. Even when I started driving full-time they followed up with calls to check I was doing ok… they really care. For anyone looking to drive with a disability I’d say this…don’t give up and believe in yourself. Never put timescales on milestones and always be proud of what you have achieved. Achievement can be taxing with a disability however this means the prize is even more rewarding in the end.”

Driving Mobility’s New Brochure is Now Available for Download

All the information you need to know about the Driving Mobility Centres in a new downloadable pdf brochure

Driving Mobility is delighted to announce that it has revamped and updated its information brochure.

This new and fresh design includes all the information you need to know about the Driving Mobility Centres, including:

  • Driving Services
  • How the centres can help you
  • How you can access the services
  • The costs (if any)
  • What happens when you visit a centre
  • Who is available to help you
  • Who the services are for
  • How you can be helped if you don’t have a car
  • Services for car passengers
  • How to find a centre
  • Contact details of all the Driving Mobility Centres

To download your free copy please click this here

Driving Mobility assessments reopen to safely support disabled drivers

Driving Mobility assessment centres reopening services with Covid-19 safety measures so drivers can once again receive expert guidance regarding assisted motoring.

Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits a network of specialist driving assessment centres, is reopening its UK services with Covid-19 safety measures so drivers can once again receive expert guidance regarding assisted motoring.

Driving Mobility Centres provide professional, clinically-led driving and mobility assessments for individuals who have restricted mobility. Service users self-refer or are signposted to its 20 Centres from the DVLA, Motability, the Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs and Occupational Therapists. These Centres provide over 70 outreach facilities bringing the service close to where people live, and which are managed by independent charities or NHS departments – all focused on helping people with disabilities or life changing diagnosis to continue driving safely. Since the lockdown in March, Driving Mobility assessment appointments have been suspended following guidance from the Government. However, from the 6th July, Centres will be reintroducing services with a phased approach so that clients and staff remain safe from coronavirus.

Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility, comments: “Every centre is preparing to reopen for safe driving assessments. All our staff are keen to get going and have been busy organising new procedures in terms of Covid-19. Our Approved Driving Instructors and Occupational Therapists will be fully observing Government guidelines and NHS clinical principles, so clients experience a rewarding driving assessment that focuses on a positive outcome. We have a backlog of enquiries which will be resolved as quickly as possible and our teams are ready for new stakeholder referrals to begin once more.”

Members of the public, as clients, will need to be in a vehicle with Driving Mobility assessors, and this will involve several new procedures to reduce risk. These will include the use of PPE and hand sanitiser, thorough disinfecting of vehicles, open windows at all times and limited close personal contact. Use of assessment rooms and waiting areas will all be adjusted in accordance with advice from Public Health England.

Edward continues: “We believe our services are now more vital than ever before in terms of supporting peoples’ independence. With current advice to avoid public transport where necessary and to take extra precautions if you have underlying health conditions, the ability to drive a car independently with a disability has great significance for mental health and wellbeing. Our Centres also provide assessments and guidance on solutions for mobility that facilitate social distancing, such as powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters. These comprehensive services which encompass all aspects of accessible travel, provide the key to many who have been unable to leave home in an appropriate and safe manner.

Edward concludes: “Driving Mobility is the national voice of assisted driving and independence – now is the time this will be even more pronounced.”