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Beginning stages of driving

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  • Beginning stages of driving

    Hello to anybody who is reading this , I had my car accident 16 months ago , I am a C6 C7 incomplete , I have very poor dexterity in my fingers and little to none on the triceps , I have pretty strong arms . I would appreciate any and all advice or recommendations for the stages that it takes to get approved to drive. My accident was in Florida and I now reside in Pennsylvania. Applying for a learners permit is my first step. And trying to find a driving school is next. What questions should I be asking ? How much can I expect to pay for school ? Thanks again for any advice I can get . I know it's going to be a long road ahead of me . It's at the top of my list of achievable goals ! There's no room for errors $$.

  • #2
    Well I was hoping to wake up to some answers to my thread, I see a lot of people viewed it but nobody responded , I'm kind of new on here as far as postings are concerned. Do I have it listed in the right place? I can't find it on your new posts ,please advise.


    • #3
      If you have any intensions of a work goal you can contact your nearest State Vocational Rehabilitation office (under state listings in phone book) and ask to meet with someone to discuss services available. As a former VR counselor I assisted many persons with Driver Evaluation by a professional who worked with persons who had a disability, had a van or car for them to be evaluated on, and provided report to VR.
      NOTE: VR would pay for training and hand controls if needed to complete a vocational plan.


      • #4
        Triumph I have already been in touch with them , they won't help me because my van has more than hundred thousand miles on it and is older than five years , I am going to be self-pay.


        • #5
          I'm a C4-C5 complete quad with no finger function and have been driving for 34 years. Things were different back then but I had to self pay so we bought a van and figured it out. I went to the DMV with my Dad and took the written and vision test to get a permit. I drove around empty lots and cemetery's to practice then worked my way to the street always with my Dad in the van. When I felt comfortable enough we went to the DMV and I took the actual driving test.

          I know things are a lot more complicated these days and you should be evaluated for which equipment you need.

          My .02


          • #6
            Is your van already modified? My son is a c6/7 also and we live in So. California. He did go through some evaluation for his hand controls. He had a few lessons to help him learn the controls and then did a drivers test with our DMV. The most important part of this, for my son, was whether or not he could get himself up the ramp and into his van. You need that upper body strength not only for the ramp, but also for driving because your body will fatigue easier and quicker. Spasms are also a concern. Have you checked with your DMV? You may not have to go to drivers school. Is your drivers license current? My son really did not have to go to school or take a DMV test. It was recommended, but not mandatory. I took him down to the mall parking lot to have him practice and he later took a drivers test. We were told that all of this helps in case he was ever in an accident and found at fault. I hope this helps!!


            • #7
              Laws vary state to state regarding if you must have formal training, and if you have to retest for the DMV or not. You should contact the DMV in your area to find out what the requirements are.

              In addition, Voc Rehab may or may not cover a van or drivers' training. Again, this varies by the state. In my state, they will only cover an adapted van if you can prove 1) that you must have this to work or go to school, and 2) there is no accessible public transportation that can get you to your workplace or school, and 3) that all of this is part of your approved VR plan.

              As far as finding a training program, many large rehabilitation centers have outpatient adaptive driving programs where they both evaluate your equipment needs and do training. Contact them (usually OT or PT departments) to see if they have a program, and if they do not, who they send their clients to in the community. If they are CARF accredited, they are required to either have a program or to contract for services with a community program.

              The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


              • #8
                Just to clarify, when I worked for VR there was a Driving Evaluator who could take you out in HIS van, adapted for driving. It was an evaluation to prescribe the kind of controls you needed. These evaluators are certified by a national organization. First step if you wish to go the VR route, is to schedule a face to face meeting with a VR counselor and discuss your needs, to include your work/career plans, and your desire to meet with a driving evaluator.
                You would then complete and application and your case would be opened; the next step would be to develop a plan stating the specific services you need. At some point later you would probably be expected to purchase your own vehicle, while VR would probably cover equipment that was recommended by the evaluator.

                If your accident was under "no-fault" insurance, you may be referred by VR to an insurance rehabilitation counselor.