A Brief Report by Haydn Jenkins DSA ADI, with pictures by Lee Hewis DSA ADI
I attended this year’s GET GOING live event in my capacity as a Driving Instructor working with people with disability.
The show is primarily for young and newly disabled people, keen to get behind the wheel, or to research adapted motoring options, Get Going Live! Is now in its 3rd year, this exciting free one-day event designed to help people explore all the options for accessible motoring. At the event you can;
- Test drive a range of adapted cars
- Experience all-terrain mobility vehicles
- Gain advice and information from mobility experts
- Enjoy the thrill of 4×4, skid cars and much more!
It’s all about independence
Not everyone knows that young people with disabilities could get their driving licence at 16, a year ahead of those who are not disabled? That’s great news, but where do they start? Get Going Live! Has helped hundreds of people from all over the UK to try adapted driving for the first time, and welcomes young drivers from the age of 14 to come and get in the driving seat!
Donington Park – The Heart of British Motorsport
What better place to start the drive of your life? This FREE event takes place at the Launch Pad, a self-contained, fully accessible venue at Donington Park with ample parking.
There is the chance to drive on a circuit that includes the historic Heritage Loop, accompanied by experienced drivers, and a wide range of expert advice and information on hand to help the potential driver make the right choices for their particular needs.
Those interested could find out about the adaptation options and vehicles that are right for them. Before getting behind the wheel there was the chance to test their reactions to different road conditions and potential hazards at the Autoadapt Driver Test Station
There was friendly expert advice. Straight from its national launch at the Mobility Roadshow the new Association of Disability Driving Instructors, which in partnership with the Forum of Mobility Centres, will help gain easy access to specialist driving instructors.
This is where my involvement comes in, as I was one of a number of Specialist Driving Instructors manning, several of our own adapted tuition vehicles in which the potential young drivers could try the controls in a static situation and receive advice on which adaptations were suitable for their ability before moving on to the test track, where they could drive adapted vehicles in a safe and controlled environment.
I can’t name every vehicle available, there were just too many to mention, there were several different makes of controls available to try from;
- Brig-Ayd Controls,
- Jeff Gosling Hand Controls,
- Alfred Bekker Controls,
- they had available; push pull hand controls, left foot accelerators, steering aids and instructor dual brakes, also available Sirus Automotive- Drive-From-Wheelchair and Wrightington Mobility Centre- Drive From Wheelchair Vehicles.
Because I was involved in the static section I didn’t have much opportunity to look around as I would have liked. But I gave advice to lots of potential drivers and did manage to make some new contacts with some of the adaptation suppliers.
I would also like to thank my wife Linda for coming with me without her help and support I’m not sure I would be getting out and about as much. She also has to put up with me needing the Sunday to recover due to pushing myself too far.
To close I’ll leave the last word to some of the visitors;
This comment from one parent in 2012 reflects the feedback from many:
“My daughter got to drive for the first time and this gave her the confidence to realise she will be able to drive a car.”
A comment made to me from one of the parents of a young paraplegic “Trying to find an instructor with a suitable vehicle for my son was like trying to find rocking horse droppings, this new disability driving instructors association has given my several contacts, and this should make it easier for him to learn to drive.”
And from young learner drivers: “Absolutely fantastic: where else can you get to try so many cars.” “I’ve had a brilliant day; the driving was great – loads of choice and information too.” “It was awesome: I can’t wait to be 16.”
This article is the intellectual property of the author;
HAYDN JENKINS, Pictures courtesy of LEE HEWIS