1st March 2018 geri

Feels good to be back behind the wheel

For people with disabilities, the ability to drive can have a profound impact on their lives. The new found freedom to be able to go to visit family or friends, and to go shopping without having to rely on others cannot be underestimated. The process for taking driving lessons is that the person must be assessed. Depending on the disability the assessment will be undertaken by an Occupational Therapist and or a driving instructor. If the person needing assessment has a neurological condition then they must first be assessed by an OT.

Note: An on-road driving assessment should not be compared to a Road Safety Authority driving test. Both have the objective of promoting safe driving however a driving test has a pass or fail outcome, whereas an assessment has a much wider range of options. One of the main objectives is to support and maintain a person’s mobility through driving, and to explain the options available to them after a disability has been incurred.

Adaptations can modify the operation of the foot pedals, the steering and the secondary controls (indicators, horn, headlamp dip/flash, wipers and washers); the gear lever and the hand brake can also be modified. If the legs cannot be used for acceleration and braking then hand controls could be considered. If there is a weakness down one side then using the stronger side, either right or left, would be advisable.If the steering cannot be operated with both hands, modification can be made to operate it with one and if the secondary controls cannot be operated without letting go of the steering then these can be operated remotely. For more severe disability the adaptations required become much more complex.


I am a C6 spinal cord injured lady three years post injury and I am living alone, working and doing day to day tasks with minimal assistance. This site is to offer friendly advice and support to newly injured spinal cord people and their families. From issues of exercise, transferring, personal grooming, clothes etc and showing ways of relearning day to day tasks we took for granted in the past. I will also provide links to products and services that I have found useful to my progress. Spinal cord injuries are so unique to each individual so remember what works for one person may not work for someone else but feel free to comment if you know about something that may have helped you in regaining some of your independence. Currently, I am a Masters in Research NUIG Graduate tutoring Health Science and Physiology students. Research area is Neuroscience. I also hold a first class honours degree in Physiology from NUIG with twelve years experience in quality standard adherence, GMP and GLP and two years experience working in a global healthcare organization. I have a problem solving mind focused on quality with proven team working skills. Please note: I am not a medic and you should always consult your GP or consultant first before trying anything suggested on this website. All SCI's are different and what works for me may not necessarily work for everyone, depending on different health issues.

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