NHS Archives - Driving Mobility

Harlow’s Herts Ability to host Open Day dedicated to driving with a disability

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

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

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

As a charity, Herts Ability provides fitness-to-drive and mobility equipment assessments for people with disabilities. Co-ordinated by Driving Mobility, the national charity 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 at Herts Ability’s services at its 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 Open Day. 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

https://hertsability.org.uk/events/harlow-open-day/

 

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”.

 

#MyDrivingMobility

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/

#MyDrivingMobility