There is no doubt that having the ability to drive creates independence and freedom. For people with disabilities, that privilege to be behind the wheel may take longer to obtain, but it is no less rewarding.
May is National Mobility Awareness Month and allows us to celebrate the many life-changing mobility vehicle solutions available today. Looking back at technology, it has improved tremendously over the past two decades.
I remember in the early ’90s, there were only platform lifts on big conversion vans. My mom had a Dodge Ram, and we called it The Dinosaur. Nowadays, in-floor and fold-out ramps are being installed in minivans like the Toyota Sienna and SUVs like the Honda Pilot. Mobility SVM modifies Chevy Silverado pick-up trucks and other vehicles where the driver-side doors detach from the body of the vehicle to reveal a platform lift. It is one of the coolest conversions available.
The options for adaptive hand controls are just as unique as the vehicles. From push-and-pull levers for gas and break to high-tech joystick systems that control acceleration, breaking and steering, driving systems are selected based on the individual’s needs.
Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialists conduct evaluations to determine the proper equipment. I attended the driving rehabilitation program through the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Learning to drive has been one of my greatest accomplishments and has given me the opportunity to be an advocate for others living with disabilities.
To learn more about adaptive driving equipment, read New Mobility’s story, Take to the Road.