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What car should first time driver needing hand controls get? Fundraiser ideas????

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    What car should first time driver needing hand controls get? Fundraiser ideas????

    I know of a local girl who has spina bifida. She is looking to get a car with hand controls. She is looking at a Scion xb or a Honda Element. Does anyone know if this would be a good vehicle for her to start with? Any suggestions for a different car for a first timer?

    Also we are looking for fundraiser ideas to help cut the cost for the vehicle. So far we have a possibility of a golf scramble and silent auction. Also we are going to contact local dealerships to see if they would be willing to donate a vehicle or a motorcycle to be raffled off. Any ideas and suggestions would be great. Thanks so much.

    #2
    Persons with spina bifida have wide range of functional levels. Recommending a vehicle would depend a lot on her specific requirements. Do you know her spinal lesion level?
    Daniel

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      #3
      dan is right. can she walk? stand? many sb kids i know just have regular cars, no specific type, and can put their chairs in the trunk then walk to the driver seat. others just pull it across the chest
      "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
      http://www.elportavoz.com/

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        #4
        I know she is in a powerchair. I dont think she can transfer on her own. I will find out the specifics though.

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          #5
          subaru forester

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            #6
            Originally posted by medic1 View Post
            I know she is in a powerchair. I dont think she can transfer on her own. I will find out the specifics though.
            If she is in a power chair and can't transfer, she will need a van with lift and will need to drive from her chair. It needs to be verified exactly what her skills are in regard to transferring, ability to use manual chair, etc. If she will be using power chair and can't transfer she may need a specialty driver evaluation to identify needed equipment. This would involve an evaluator certified to identify mobility needs of disabled, not just some driving instructor. If she needs a van with special equipment sometimes these can be found used at mobility dealers - check some of their websites for used vans. You could have the evaluator match the van to this young girl to be sure it would meet her needs.

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              #7
              Ok so the details are. She has SMA, is one of the more severe forms, but she can hold her head up and has very limited arm movement. She cannot do transfers on her own and she will be driving from her powerchair. (She actually does have a metal rod in her spine to help her sit up.)
              Being 17 she really does not want a mini van. The youtube video on the honda element showed that she could drive from her chair. She has good hand function. Her parents are in touch with Freedom Motors in Battle Creek. She knows she will have to go through special training and drivers ed. That is why they would like to get her her own car with hand controls so she can learn on what she will be driving. Any information would be great.

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                #8
                If she has very limited arm movement will she be able to turn the steering wheel and use the handcontrols???????? Would it be safe for her?????

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                  #9
                  i would advise against purchasing a vehicle before you get some sort of evaluation. there are systems where u can drive with a finger but man, get the eval first
                  "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
                  http://www.elportavoz.com/

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by crypticgimp View Post
                    i would advise against purchasing a vehicle before you get some sort of evaluation. there are systems where u can drive with a finger but man, get the eval first
                    Amen to that

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                      #11
                      Most conversion shops will NOT install hand controls or other adaptive driving equipment until you have been trained by a driving instructor on how to use that equipment, and even if that equipment is right for you. When I got my hand controls (Menox) I had to have written certification from a licensed driving instructor saying that I had satisfactorily driven using the hand controls and was a safe driver with them. They make you go through this process because of liability, if they install a system in your car that you don't know how to use, then two hours later you kill a group of school children because you don't know how to use your equipment, they are liable to get sued.
                      She needs to find a driving specialist through a rehab center or driving school that can help evaluate her needs, and get her behind the wheel of one of THEIR cars with the equipment she needs, do a few lessons and THEN get a car adapted for her needs.
                      ~Mandy~
                      SCI as a result of spinal surgery
                      TiLite Aero Z!!!

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                        #12
                        Thank you very much for all of the input. I will for sure pass on the suggestion of getting the driving evaluations done first so she can be eveluated and figure out what hand controls will be best for her. I would hate for them to go through getting a vehicle and hand controls and it just sit there. I will keep this updated.

                        She is set up for a cognative skills test and then the hand control evaluation at Mary Freebed in Grand Rapids. She is hoping to be in for testing early this summer.
                        Last edited by medic1; 27 Apr 2011, 4:53 PM. Reason: added info

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