Motability Archives - Driving Mobility

Driving Mobility to showcase assessment services at Motability’s The Big Event

Your opportunity to put questions, about all aspects of adapted driving, to several Driving Mobility advisors who will be available on a live chat throughout the event.

The national charity Driving Mobility, which accredits a network of driving and mobility assessment centres, will be exhibiting at Motability’s virtual ‘The Big Event’ on 6th and 7th August.

https://thebigevent.motability.co.uk/

Free to attend, The Big Event from Motability will be online this year and provides a unique opportunity to discover the latest options for accessible driving and personal mobility. The event will showcase over 25 car manufacturers, 20 WAV (wheelchair accessible vehicle) and adaptation suppliers, and 10 powered wheelchair and mobility scooter manufacturers – all providing solutions available through the Motability leasing scheme. Motability provides the opportunity for people with restricted mobility to assign some of their Personal Independence Payments towards leasing of an adapted vehicle or scooter. Alongside manufacturers, the virtual event will also provide access to specialist speakers sessions, Motability advisors and specialists service providers such as Driving Mobility.

Supported by The Department for Transport, there are 21 Driving Mobility centres with over 70 outreach facilities across the UK. These centres include independent charities and NHS centres which offer professional information and assessment so disabled and elderly people can gain or retain independence. Clinical guidance, from Occupational Therapists and Approved Driving Instructors, provide recommendations regarding fitness to drive, vehicle adaptations, alternatives to driving and driving tuition. Details regarding these services and more will be available on the Driving Mobility stand at The Big Event.

There will also be the opportunity to put questions, about all aspects of adapted driving, to several Driving Mobility advisors who will be available on a live chat throughout the event. An introductory video to charity services and what benefits they offer will be on the stand along with downloadable information.

#MyDrivingMobility #DrivingAssessments #DisabledDrivers #Disabilities 

 

Ella beats amputation to drive once more with Driving Mobility support

Ella Dove, 30 from East London, has achieved motoring independence once again after experiencing a leg amputation due to a freak running accident – made possible by Driving Mobility.

Ella Dove, 30 from East London, has achieved motoring independence once again after experiencing a leg amputation due to a freak running accident – made possible by Driving Mobility.

Ella qualified to drive a manual car when she was 18 and drove for a few years. However, she moved to London in 2014 and decided not to take her car as it was easier to use public transport in the capital. Ella’s car remained at her parent’s house. In 2016 Ella unfortunately experienced a freak accident whilst running which involved a trip and fall. She fractured and dislocated her knee so badly the circulation to her foot was severed which finally resulted in a right leg amputation below the knee. Ella did not drive for six years until she was guided back to adapted motoring by Driving Mobility.

As Ella lives in Stratford, she decided to contact the Driving Mobility centre nearest to her at Harlow (a satellite centre for Herts Ability in Welwyn Garden City). This centre is one of 20 Driving Mobility centres across England and Wales which are supported by 70 outreach facilities. They provide clinically led, driving and mobility assessments so individuals can gain or maintain personal independence through appropriate adapted vehicles, mobility scooters, wheelchair or accessible transport. Driving Mobility centres are operated by independent charities or NHS departments – all accredited by the national charity Driving Mobility. Service users can self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and the NHS.

As Ella’s physical abilities had changed, her driving licence was put on hold by the DVLA. Hence, she was advised to seek a professional driving assessment so that official recommendations could be gathered and an appropriate solution to independence could be concluded.

Ella spoke to an advisor representing Driving Mobility who initially assessed her needs and organised an appointment with their team at Welwyn Garden City. Ella attended the centre for a driving assessment in one of their automatic vehicles. Ella explains: “I was initially quite nervous, but I really enjoyed the experience and definitely felt myself progressing in confidence and ability as the session went on. The private Driving Mobility test drive course in Harlow is a fantastic idea and a great way to ease back into driving again. I had not been behind the wheel for six years so this reassured me…  especially when driving for the first time just using my left foot for acceleration and braking.”

Ella adds: “The fact that the Driving Mobility team were so supportive massively helped me. I wouldn’t describe myself as a confident driver to start with; I’ve always been quite cautious behind the wheel, so I did feel myself gripping the wheel quite tightly and moving like a snail to start with during the assessment. However, I discovered that my road sense was still there, which was comforting, and driving didn’t feel as alien as I thought it would. By the end of the assessment in the automatic car, I was really enjoying myself and left feeling very proud – it was an enormous milestone for me!”

Following her driving assessment, Driving Mobility concluded Ella was safe and competent to drive an automatic car. This was amazing news to Ella and was a significant result for her confidence and independence. She received her driving licence back from the DVLA with the all-clear to drive a non-manual car with adapted pedals. In conclusion, she offers this advice: “I’d say have courage. Confidence for me is the biggest barrier. So, it was more a psychological push to get myself back behind the wheel than a logistical one. Getting used to an automatic, especially with specialist pedals and using my left foot for everything hasn’t been easy, but the more I do it, the more confident I become. So, go for it! Don’t let fear hold you back!”

 

#MyDrivingMobility

Driving Mobility’s RDAC Disability Driving School helps first client pass driving test

Following a severe arm injury, James Martin, 30, from Farnworth near Bolton, has become the first Driving Mobility client to pass his driving test thanks to the support of the new RDAC Disability Driving School.

Following a severe arm injury, James Martin, 30, from Farnworth near Bolton, has become the first Driving Mobility client to pass his driving test thanks to the support of the new RDAC Disability Driving School.

Father of two young boys, James experienced a life changing injury whilst working at a plastic recycling centre in 2018. His arm and hand were crushed in a mechanical baler which resulted in hospitalisation, several operations and amputation of two fingers. After his initial recovery, James continued with rehabilitation however has been left with limited mobility and strength in his right hand and arm. His injury has also affected his back and ability to walk which meant passing his test to drive a car was essential for independence and supporting his family. To gain his licence, James would need to be assessed by a qualified organisation who could professionally check whether adapted driving controls would be suitably safe. His rehab manager researched suitable driving assessment services and decided to contact RDAC in Salford, a Driving Mobility centre, to see if they could help.

RDAC centres (Regional Driving Assessment Centres) are centrally located in the UK and are part of the wider Driving Mobility network. Supported by the Department for Transport, Driving Mobility is a charity that accredits over 20 driving and mobility assessment centres across the UK. Many with outreach facilities, these provide clinically-led ‘fitness to drive’ guidance for disabled drivers who want to maintain or regain independence behind the wheel. Driving Mobility centres either operate within the NHS or as independent charities – all focused on assisted driving or personal mobility through accessible travel, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. The Salford RDAC centre provides all of these services alongside a new Disability Driving School. Established in 2020, this specialist tuition service helps drivers with life-changing diagnosis, such as James, to learn how to drive with adaptations.

Following an initial telephone consultation to evaluate his needs, James attended RDAC for a driving assessment in October 2020. With the help of John Allen, ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) and an RDAC Occupational Therapist, James completed a desk-based session, checking cognitive abilities and general mobility, followed by a 45-minute assessment out on the road. James drove one of the centre’s fleet of automatic dual-controlled cars which had already been adapted with a steering aid to ascertain its suitability. RDAC had recommended a ‘Lodgesons Lollipop’ grip secondary control unit which clips to a steering wheel and communicates with a car via Bluetooth. This provides an easy-grip handle for turning a vehicle safely with one hand and can include a range of secondary controls.

During James’ assessment he demonstrated that he could use this adaptation to steer with confidence; however, it highlighted he could not affectively use standard indicators, especially when navigating roundabouts. This led to RDAC’s recommendation to integrate indicator controls within any future steering lollipop.

Following his assessment, James was given a consultation and a report explaining RDAC’s recommendations. To pass his DVSA driving test for the first time, they advised he completed driving lessons at the centre with a car specifically adapted to his needs. James agreed and was assigned specialist Driving Assessor Dominic Hibbin to instruct him for an initial 10 hours. It was estimated James would then be experienced enough to take his test and pass without any problems. He completed the course with the RDAC Disability Driving School and did indeed pass his test first time during November 2020 as he explains: “I thoroughly enjoyed my driving lessons; Dom was excellent and believed in me all the way. He gave me confidence that I could do it and made me feel relaxed. I passed the theory test and then when it came to driving, I took this relaxed feeling into the practical test. I knew this would be important, as if I was relaxed, the examiner would be relaxed. I’m so happy to say I passed first time and can now look forward to driving.”

James has applied for a Motability car through his Personal Independence Payment. He has the RDAC recommendations which will be used to specify the right adaptations so he can drive safely. James already has plans for how this is going to improve his life: “Having a car will make a massive difference to us. I’ll be able to take my boys further afield as they love to be out kicking a football and we can go and see my mum in the Scottish Borders. On a day-to-day basis, we won’t have to get taxis everywhere and I can help my elderly neighbours more with their shopping. Shopping at the minute is hard as I struggle to walk and carry bags so have to keep stopping. However, I’ve carried on during lockdown to help my neighbours who can’t get out.”

James is optimistic about the future and is so grateful for the support of RDAC. He recommends its services to all with driving challenges, as he concludes: “RDAC are one excellent organisation! I’m chuffed to have been the first person to benefit from this new service and will share the news with all my friends and family. They were all fantastic and gave me the belief I could pass my test again. John’s mock driving test really helped before the big day. Dom kept saying how comfortable he felt in the car with me during the lessons and we had a rewarding time together. I now have the details of a vehicle convertor who RDAC recommends so can get my car ready quickly when Motability hopefully approve my application. My rehab manager is confident I’ll be successful, so I can look forward to brighter days when the lockdown is eased.”

#MyDrivingMobility

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.

 

#MyDrivingMobility

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.”

Motability Post FAQs from the Motability Scheme regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on website

Motability updates website to include a useful list of FAQs regarding COVID-19.

Motability has recently (23 April 2020) updated its website to include a useful list of FAQs regarding COVID-19.

The new website page states: “The Government announcements regarding COVID-19 are having a major impact on the Motability Scheme. Most dealership showrooms are now closed meaning they are unable to accept any orders, manage handovers, or car returns.

With the uncertainty that this is creating for many of us, we wanted to reassure you that we will support you where possible to help you remain mobile during this time. Our teams have now relocated to enable remote working, but like many organisations, we are working with fewer numbers of colleagues, so would ask for your support if we are unable to come back to you as soon as usual.”

The list of FAQs includes answers to commonly asked questions such as:

  • My lease expires in the next three months, what will happen if I can’t place an application for a new car?
  • I have placed an application, will the handover of my car go ahead?
  • I was in the process of choosing my first car on the Scheme but had not yet placed an application, can I still go ahead?
  • I do not want to place a renewal application, how do I hand my car back?
  • What will happen with my Good Condition Bonus?

Plus many more…..

There is also a section for scooter and powered wheelchair customers

Please visit the link below to view the full list:

FAQs from the Motability Scheme regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

 

Motability, the charity, is closed until further notice

Motability, the Charity, are currently pausing all applications for individual charitable grants until further notice

Motability, the Charity, released a statement on their website on 17 April 2020 announcing that with the continued uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus in the UK, and adhering to Government guidance they  are currently pausing all applications for individual charitable grants until further notice.

The statement from CEO of Motability, Barry Le Grys MBE reads: ”

We are currently pausing all applications for individual charitable grants until further notice. Arrangements are in place to keep any correspondence we receive secure until we are able to return to the office. We will contact you as soon as we can when we recommence grant-making. Read more about our charitable grants in the beneficiary FAQs here.

The suspension of individual grant-making by Motability, the Charity, does not in any way impact the running of the Motability Scheme which is run by an outsourced company, Motability Operations. If you are a Scheme customer, FAQs are available on the Scheme website here.

I am sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause but hope that you can understand and appreciate, the difficulties that we, along with many others across the UK, are facing in the coming weeks.”

You can find the release on the Motability website here: https://www.motability.org.uk/about/news/Motability-charity-pause-charitable-grants

Motability cancel regional One Big Day events and postpone The Big Event

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Motability regret to announce the cancellation of some of their regional One Big Day events and the postponement of The Big Event.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, Motability, has regretfully announced the cancellation of some of their  regional One Big Day events and the postponement of The Big Event.

In an online statement they said “The safety of all event visitors continues to be our number one priority and therefore we have taken the decision to cancel One Big Day Northern Ireland (6 June 2020) and One Big Day Exeter (25 July 2020). Additionally, The Big Event due to take place at the NEC on the 3 & 4 July 2020 is now postponed until further notice. We apologise for any disappointment this may cause.

You can keep up to date with all Motability One Big Day Events here: https://www.motability.co.uk/news/one-big-day/

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.”

 

Motability’s One Big Day – Peterborough

Saturday 7 September 2019 – 9am to 4pm. The perfect opportunity to discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability

Motability’s One Big Day – East of England Arena, Peterborough

Saturday 7 September 2019 – 9am to 4pm

Driving Mobility are being represented at this year’s One Big Day in Peterborough by the fabulous teams from Hertfordshire Action on Disability -David Sims (Driving Centre Administrator) and Simon Edwards ( Driving Assessor ADI) – and East Anglian DriveAbility.

One Big Day at the East of England Arena provides the perfect opportunity to discover everything you need to know about worry-free motoring with Motability. There is a huge range of cars, adaptations, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display and what’s more, admission is free!

This fantastic event brings together everything available on the Motability Scheme to make joining the Scheme as easy as possible. It’s free to attend and a great day out for the whole family. There will be:

  • Over 100 cars, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), adaptations, scooters and powered wheelchairs on display
  • The opportunity to test drive adapted and non-adapted cars
  • Motability Scheme advisors available to chat to
  • Free parking, free tea, coffee or soft drink
  • A children’s play area including a bouncy castle and more…

Your chance to see a large display of vehicles for disabled people.

The event will showcase:

  • Over 50 cars from 25 different manufacturers
  • Over 20 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
  • Over 35 scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Specialist advice from our Scheme partners

Specialist advice will be available from:

  • Motability Scheme advisors
  • Adaptation and WAV specialists
  • Disabled Motoring UK
  • Driving Mobility
  • Kwikfit, RAC and RSA Motability

New and exclusive at The Big Event Birmingham and One Big Day Peterborough, Motability are running WAV taster experience in a select number of passenger WAVs. The experience will allow people who have never travelled in a WAV and who are considering one for the very first time, to experience what it’s like.

Find out more here: https://www.motability.co.uk/news-views-and-events/one-big-day/wavs/

https://www.motability.co.uk/news-views-and-events/one-big-day/peterborough/