DVLA Archives - Driving Mobility

Driving Mobility’s Harlow Centre delivers successful Open Day for drivers with disabilities

Driving Mobility’s Harlow Centre delivers successful Open Day for drivers with disabilitiesThe national charity Driving Mobility and its Herts Ability Driving Assessment Centre in Harlow, have hosted a popular Open Day dedicated to helping drivers with disabilities.

The national charity Driving Mobility and its Herts Ability Driving Assessment Centre in Harlow, have hosted a popular Open Day dedicated to helping drivers with disabilities.

Jointly organised by Herts Ability, East Anglian DriveAbility and South East DriveAbility, the event offered the opportunity for public and professional visitors to discover the latest driving adaptations and wheelchair friendly vehicles for people with restricted mobility. Several vehicle adaptation companies and an NHS wheelchair team worked alongside Driving Mobility staff to offer a varied showcase of assistive equipment. The day attracted a healthy number of visitors and VIPs including Councillor Sue Livings and charity patron Jonathan Goodwin.

Injured celebrity stunt performer Jonathan, a Herts Ability client and wheelchair user, commented: “The Open Day has been a fantastic opportunity for people to come along and see the potential for driving independence. There are so many solutions these days to help overcome driving challenges especially as technology is moving on at pace. You can only start to understand what might suit you by getting hands-on with equipment – this is what today has all been about.”

Alongside exploring the array of accessible vehicles, specialist controls, equipment hoists and mobility scooters on display, visitors were able to experience driving with adaptations on the unique test drive track located on site. This facility was busy all day with clients and occupational therapists testing various methods of driving and different vehicles first hand.

Sean Lawrence, CEO of Herts Ability, concluded: “Today has been a success on many levels. We have engaged with local NHS staff who will now signpost more people to our services and in terms of end users, we have helped a wide range of different people get behind the wheel. As Jonathan said, there are so many ways you can drive these days with a medical condition or limited mobility and it is our job to advise and make more clients aware of these possibilities. Our Open Day has been the perfect platform for this and so we would like to thank all our exhibitors and supporters for making it happen.”

Powered wheelchair and mobility scooter retailer training comes to Inverness

City Mobility, Inverness is set to host the PWMS Retailer Training in Inverness on the 23 August 2024 with the support of DriveAbility Scotland.

City Mobility, Inverness is set to host the PWMS Retailer Training in Inverness on the 23 August 2024 with the support of DriveAbility Scotland.

Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church Office, Wellside Road, Balloch, INVERNESS IV2 7GS. 11am-3pm.

The training scheme, provided by Driving Mobility which is backed in England by the Department for Transport (DfT), aims to enhance road safety through comprehensive training for PWMS retailers and hirers. By offering free training, including both online modules and practical sessions, the scheme equips retailers with the skills needed to assess clients effectively, ensuring that individuals with mobility difficulties receive the most appropriate scooters or powerchairs.

Driving Mobility is a national charity which coordinates a network of fitness to drive and mobility equipment assessment centres. Its PWMS scheme fosters closer collaboration between retailers and it’s services so client referral pathways are strengthened. Retailers can refer clients needing more extensive clinical assessments to occupational therapists at each Driving Mobility centre so the most appropriate equipment is recommended for the best outcome.

The PWMS Inverness course marks another step in a series of well-attended training sessions across the UK. This ongoing program continues to expand, with future events planned in various locations:

23rd August 2024 – Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church Office, Wellside Road, Balloch, Inverness, IV2 7GS (organised by City Mobility, supported by DriveAbility Scotland from their Aberdeen outreach centre)

20th September 2024 – Devon Assessment Centre (Managed by Cornwall Mobility), Unit 13, Dakota Way, Skypark, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, EX5 2GE

17th October 2024 – Herts Ability, Suite 4, Wentworth Lodge, Great North Rd, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 7SR

Lunch will be provided at all venues.

Driving Mobility’s Harlow Centre to host Open Day dedicated to driving with a disability

Driving Mobility’s Harlow Centre to host Open Day dedicated to driving with a disability

The national charity Driving Mobility is inviting all members of the public and professionals, with an interest in driving with a disability, to its Herts Ability Driving Assessment Centre in Harlow for a free Open Day on the 11th July 2024.

Thursday 11th July, Herts Ability (an accredited Driving Mobility Centre), The Road Safety Centre, Edinburgh Way, Harlow, CM20 2BX. 10am-3pm. Free admission and accessible parking.

For further information and a video click here

As a charity, Herts Ability provides fitness-to-drive and mobility equipment assessments for people with disabilities. Co-ordinated by Driving Mobility and supported by the Department for Transport, Herts Ability aims to enable as many drivers as possible through clinical guidance on the most appropriate adapted controls and vehicles. Other services include specialist driving tuition and advice on accessible transport choices if using a car is not an option. Its clients self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, NHS and Police.

Members of the public who are seeking to maintain or regain independence are invited to learn more about Driving Mobility services at this South East Open Day. Professionals who support these clients, such as Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors, are also invited to ensure their skills and knowledge are up to date.

In addition to Herts Ability, there will be members available from two other Driving Mobility Centres at the event. Representatives from East Anglian DriveAbility and South East DriveAbility will be showcasing their services which are available in Essex/Suffolk and Kent respectively.

The Open Day will offer public visitors:

  • A showcase of all Driving Mobility services
  • A chance to discover the latest driving adaptations and wheelchair friendly vehicles
  • Test drives in adapted cars
  • Advice on travel as a disabled passenger
  • Free guidance on all aspects of personal mobility and equipment

For professionals visitors:

  • Ways to improve everyday practice
  • Engagement with clients to understand and solve current challenges
  • Fresh insight from networking with fellow peers
  • Develop career opportunities

Free refreshments will be available for all visitors along with goodie bags and insightful literature. The event promises to be a positive and welcoming experience for people of all ages and professionals with a vested interest in assisted driving. For further information contact: James.hinkins@hertsability.org.uk

 

Herts Ability, a Driving Mobility centre, gets injured stunt performer driving again

Jonathan Goodwin, 44 from Potters Bar, is a retired escapologist and stunt performer who has been able to drive again following a life-changing accident through the support of Herts Ability, a Driving Mobility Centre.

Jonathan Goodwin, 44 from Potters Bar, is a retired escapologist and stunt performer who has been able to drive again following a life-changing accident through the support of Herts Ability, a Driving Mobility Centre.

Jonathan enquired about a driving assessment in the winter of 2022 after moving back to the UK. He had been living in America for 15 years until sustaining severe injuries during a stunt rehearsal for the TV show ‘America’s Got Talent: Extreme.’ The intention was for Jonathan to avoid two swinging cars colliding into him whilst he was suspended 30 feet in the air and attempting to escape a straitjacket, upside down. Instead, the cars were released too early crushing Jonathan and exploding on impact. Jonathan fell resulting in life changing injuries which led to five months in hospital and a long road to rehabilitation. Jonathan managed to pull through this ordeal and is now a successful entrepreneur running an innovative, online hypnotherapy clinical called Project Rewire. As a full time wheelchair user, Jonathan wanted to get back to driving independently so contacted Herts Ability for help.

Herts Ability, based in Welwyn Garden City, is part of the Driving Mobility network. Driving Mobility, a charity supported by the Department for Transport, co-ordinates 16 independent ‘fitness to drive’ and mobility equipment assessment centres across the UK. Many with outreach facilities, each centre employs Approved Driving Instructors and Occupational Therapists who provide clinical assessments and recommendations to clients signposted from the DVLA, Motability, NHS and Police. These consultations ensure drivers with disabilities can remain safely on the road through the most appropriate vehicle adaptations, techniques and training. Jonathan took a proactive approach to getting back behind the wheel by self-referring himself to expedite the possibility of receiving his driving licence back after his accident.

Jonathan picks up his story: “I had returned from America and felt like I had become a burden to my partner. I was very reliant on her if I wanted to go anywhere or do anything. My recovery was a long process; however, I needed to try and get back to driving as soon as possible. Back in 2022 during the pandemic it was taking longer for the DVLA to process cases and as I assumed they’d send me on some sort of driving assessment, I took the initiative and found Herts Ability. I hoped with their direct connections with the DVLA and a successful outcome to my assessment, I could get my licence back sooner rather than later”.

“Herts Ability were more than happy to help. We scheduled my driving assessment and honestly and truly, it couldn’t have been easier, everyone was super lovely. It was clear they were very good at doing their job and taking due diligence. The team really made sure the process was as comfortable as possible”.

“The assessment involved a desk based cognitive session and then we went out in one of the centre’s cars. I totally understood having a cognitive assessment as I’d had a very significant accident; however, thankfully I didn’t hit my head so have no issues. Once in the car it was a bit of an unusual situation for the Herts Ability Assessors as I had used adapted driving controls in the past during my stunt work. I hadn’t used them in the capacity that I was doing, but it probably made it a little bit easier for me to pick up. Saying that, I don’t think for most people adapted controls would be too difficult”.

“The outcome was I passed with flying colours and the adaptations recommended to me were a hand operated push-pull system for accelerating and braking and a steering ball. Herts Ability submitted their report to the DVLA and within a matter of a few weeks I was given the all clear to drive again with the right adapted vehicle. I found PB Conversions online who were also fantastic and managed to convert my Volvo at very short notice before Christmas”.

Jonathan has been driving for over a year now. He hopes to qualify for a Motability vehicle soon as he has been back in the UK long enough. As he lives in a remote, rural location with no public transport links, being able to drive is priceless. More recently Jonathan was asked by Herts Ability to become one of its Patrons which he proudly accepted.

In conclusion he says: “I was very flattered to be asked to be a Patron of the charity especially as I had such an amazing experience with Herts Ability. I’m all for promoting the charity and getting more people to understand that driving is possible with a disability. The adaptation technology that exists today is extraordinary”.

 

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Driving Mobility to offer expert advice at Motability’s The Big Event

The charity Driving Mobility, which co-ordinates a network of driving and equipment assessment centres, will be demonstrating its unique range of services at Motability’s The Big Event.

The charity Driving Mobility, which co-ordinates a network of driving and equipment assessment centres, will be demonstrating its unique range of services at Motability’s The Big Event.

NEC, Birmingham (Hall 17-19). 17th and 18th May 2024. 9am – 4pm. Free entrance and parking.

Supported by the Department for Transport, the 16 Driving Mobility Centres comprise of NHS departments and independent charities that assess clients with restricted mobility who are signposted from the DVLA, Police, NHS and Motability. Its Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) and Occupational Therapists (OTs) aim to enable as many disabled people as possible through clinical ‘fitness to drive’ assessments and guidance on appropriate vehicle adaptations.

Several centres and outreach facilities also provide many other services including specialist driver training and the Hubs Mobility Advice Service. This information and advice service launched recently to assist clients who are unable to drive and require the latest recommendations with accessible transport choices in their area.

Friendly and knowledgeable representatives from Driving Mobility will be on the charity’s stand  ready to answer all queries regarding assisted driving at whatever age.  Details on the following services will be available:

  • Advice for drivers of all ages affected by Stroke, Dementia, Amputation, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Restricted Mobility, Spinal Cord Injury and more
  • Driving and passenger assessments
  • Wheelchair and scooter assessments
  • Driving tuition
  • Retirement from driving
  • Vehicle adaptations
  • Provisional drivers
  • Mobility equipment loading
  • LGV and PSV qualifications
  • Motorcycles
  • ShopMobility UK

Visitors to the stand will be able to discuss individual needs on a one-to-one basis and book driving assessments at their Driving Mobility Centre of choice.

For further information visit: https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk/find-a-centre/

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Driving Mobility launches new training scheme for mobility scooter retailers so customers are safer on the roads

With funding from the Government, the charity Driving Mobility is introducing new training for staff at mobility scooter and powered wheelchair showrooms so more customers buy products that they can drive safely.

With funding from the Government, the charity Driving Mobility is introducing new training for staff at mobility scooter and powered wheelchair showrooms so more customers buy products that they can drive safely.

This new voluntary scheme is being launched in June as the number of scooters and powerchairs is on the rise. With more products being driven on the road and pavement, retailers need to make sure they are matching vehicles with customer capabilities and advising on the Highway Code. The new ‘PWMS Retailer Training Scheme’ will offer, for the first time, a consistent and approved way of providing mobility scooters or powerchairs.

Once trained, suppliers will be officially accredited by The Department for Transport and Driving Mobility – the national charity which is running the scheme. Consumers will then be able to pick retailers that display these credentials which will provide confidence and peace of mind.

Up until now there has never been a standardised way to assess the needs of mobility scooter and powerchair customers or provide safe driving guidance. In addition, there continues to be several grey areas of understanding when it comes to the law regarding mobility vehicle use on the highway. Safe driver training has also been inconsistent across the UK whereas if retailers sign up to the new scheme, they will be able to apply expertise from Driving Mobility’s Occupational Therapists.

Driving Mobility Centres work with the DVLA, Motability, NHS and the Police to offer ‘fitness to drive’, equipment and accessible travel assessments for people with restricted mobility. Qualified healthcare professionals at several centres will be providing the PWMS training so retail staff can benefit from a better understanding of customer medical conditions and capabilities now and in the future. With this knowledge the scheme aims to ensure that the right vehicle is supplied to the right person, so competent and considerate driving is possible. Add to this the latest, easy to remember road safety advice, drivers should benefit from a more positive ownership experience whilst protecting other highway users.

Edward Trewhella, CEO at Driving Mobility concludes by saying: “Alongside the Department for Transport, we are aware that the way people are travelling is changing especially with increased ownership of mobility scooters and powered wheelchairs. In response we completed a successful pilot last year which underlined the need for a retailer training scheme. Our launch is timely and promises to enhance road safety for all through more suitable mobility vehicle provision and greater awareness of the Highway Code.”

Roads and Accessibility Minister Richard Holden said: “It’s really important that we improve road safety for everyone, including owners of powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters. This scheme, supported by Government, will help to ensure that people with restricted mobility can get around independently and confidently by training users, and I’m pleased to support it through our funding.”

For further information email: info@drivingmobility.org.uk

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Driving Mobility to help young disabled drivers get independent at Kidz Middle

Driving Mobility, the national charity that provides specialist driving and mobility assessment centres, will be exhibiting at Kidz to Adultz Middle to help young disabled people get mobile.

Driving Mobility to help young disabled drivers get independent at Kidz Middle

Driving Mobility, the national charity that provides specialist driving and mobility assessment centres, will be exhibiting at Kidz to Adultz Middle to help young disabled people get mobile.

Kidz to Adultz Middle, Thursday 16th March 2023, 9:30am – 4:30pm, Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry. CV6 6AQ. Free entry and parking. Driving Mobility stand – CZ9.

The national charity Driving Mobility coordinates a network of 20+ centres, many with outreach facilities, which provide ‘fitness to drive’ and mobility equipment assessments. Supported by The Department for Transport, Approved Driving Instructors (ADI) and Occupational Therapists (OT) guide and support young individuals who self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and NHS. Every member is committed to enabling people, of all ages, so they can remain independent whether driving an adapted vehicle, using assistive equipment or travelling by accessible transport. 

Young disabled drivers are permitted to gain their provisional licence a year early, at 16, if they receive the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP. Driving Mobility centres help these drivers through a range of services including:

  • Driving assessments to ascertain the right adapted vehicles and controls
  • Complete guidance from obtaining a licence to passing a test
  • Specialist adapted driving tuition – practical and theory
  • Expert help with transfers and mobility equipment

For younger clients and parents, Driving Mobility centres also offer the following services, again on display at Kidz Middle:

  • Assessment, advice and fitting of specialist car seats for children with disabilities
  • Advice on paediatric powered wheelchairs

Alongside vehicle related services, the charity provides guidance for travelling on public transport with a disability. From accessible buses, trains and planes through to community transport, the Hubs Mobility Advice Service, operated by Driving Mobility, is a unique service provided by 15 of its UK centres. There is also the Tryb4ufly advice service specifically for air travel with a disability. 

 

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Driving Mobility joins with Shopmobility to open up services to more disabled people

Driving Mobility, the national charity that accredits independent driving and mobility assessment centres, is delighted to announce it will now be operating the National Federation of Shopmobility (NFSUK).

Driving Mobility, the national charity that accredits independent driving and mobility assessment centres, is delighted to announce it will now be operating the National Federation of Shopmobility (NFSUK).

The National Federation of Shopmobility (NFSUK) was founded in 1989 and is a non-profit organisation. Its schemes, such as mobility scooter and wheelchair loan stores in shopping centres, aim to ‘promote equality of access and to encourage the independence of people with disabilities (permanent or temporary)’. Managed by the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) since 2014, the organisation has achieved impressive expansion of its services, however to increase opportunities further, the NFSUK will now be managed by Driving Mobility. This development represents a significant milestone in NFSUK history, and will ensure that awareness and accessibility to its services will be greatly enhanced.

Driving Mobility is regarded as the national voice of assisted driving and independence.  As a charity supported by the Department for Transport, its 70 locations support over 20,000 clients each year with solutions for independent driving and personal mobility. The majority of its provision focuses on clinically-led ‘fitness-to-drive’ assessments and recommendations regarding appropriate mobility equipment. Service users self-refer or are signposted to Driving Mobility centres via the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals. Every centre operates with the expert guidance of Occupational Therapists, Approved Driving Instructors and specialist staff who strive to achieve positive outcomes for all clients with restricted mobility.

Many of the Driving Mobility centres provide additional information and guidance regarding accessible transport options and alternatives to driving – known as HUBs services. The charity also leads in educational and research programmes associated with mobility and independent transportation. Driving Mobility has aspirations to be an international leader in the field whilst delivering holistic solutions at a local level across the UK. By being part of this larger network, NFSUK member Schemes will now benefit from greater engagement with local NHS Units, neighbouring schemes, independent clinics, retail outlets and the general public.

Edward Trewhella, Driving Mobility CEO, comments: “We believe that managing the successful Shopmobility scheme will complement our current strengths and future aims. Through our unique sector knowledge and contacts, it will open up provision of loan mobility equipment to more disabled people so that levels of safety and independence can increase – critical during these challenging times. The BHTA has completed an excellent job in facilitating NFSUK development, however Driving Mobility are proud to be embarking on this vital role and look forward to delivering a strong platform for future growth.”

Driving Mobility is a membership organisation, driven by and for the benefit of, its member centres – an ethos which it will extend to the NFSUK members who will have full involvement in its ongoing development. There will be a dedicated Driving Mobility staff member responsible for working with the scheme, and ensuring quality of service is maintained, Shopmobility will continue to follow the BHTA Code of Practice approved by The Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

 

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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.”

Kidz North families and healthcare professionals benefit from Driving Mobility debut

Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits specialist driving assessments centres across the UK, has successfully showcased its services to a healthy number of visitors at Kidz to Adultz North.

Driving Mobility, the charity that accredits specialist driving assessments centres across the UK, has successfully showcased its services to a healthy number of visitors at Kidz to Adultz North.

Organised by the charity Disabled Living, Kidz North is part of a series of regional events that brings together the latest assistive products and services for disabled children and young adults. The latest exhibition at EventCity Manchester generated strong attendance figures from therapists, carers and families keen to discover new solutions for easier living. The Driving Mobility exhibition stand provided an opportunity for visitors to understand its services and experience a driving simulator that highlighted the many aspects of driving assessment.

The 20 independent centres within Driving Mobility, many with outreach facilities, provide professional support and driving assessments for young disabled people who wish to learn or retain the ability to drive. Individuals aged 16+ with a qualifying disability can self-refer or seek recommendation to Driving Mobility services via the DVLA, Motability and healthcare professionals. Once a provisional licence application is complete Occupational Therapists and ADI’s (Approved Driving Instructors) from Driving Mobility can assess, review and signpost young drivers to the most appropriate adapted vehicle. These services were explained at Kidz North by representatives from two Driving Mobility centres – namely the William Merritt Disabled Living Centre based in Leeds and RDAC Salford.

David Blythe, representing Driving Mobility commented: “We were delighted to have debuted at Kidz North as our services were introduced to a healthy number of professionals and parents. Our driving simulator was a popular feature as it offered both education and entertainment for adult and junior visitors seeking informed guidance on assisted driving.  OTs were able to understand how our assessment services maximise occupational performance for their clients and why choosing Driving Mobility enhances positive outcomes for all.”