31 Days of SMA: Driving an Adaptive Van

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 14 of 31 Days of SMA⠀⁣ Topic: How to get an accessible vehicle:⁣⠀⁣ ⁣ This is @annieheathcote story ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ Here is a brief process of how I got an accessible adaptive vehicle to drive:⁣ ⁣
1. Go through the drivers education course⁣⁣ 2. Let Department of Vocational Rehabilitation know that you are going to college and/or the workforce and therefore need transportation to get there and should begin the getting a vehicle process⁣ 3. Get a letter from your doctor saying it’s safe for you to drive despite your disability (they can’t approve you if you have seizures, spasms, or are blind)⁣⁣ 4. Take written test at your local DMV to receive Driver's Permit⁣⁣ 5. Have DVR cover a Driving Evaluation by a company that is trained in teaching people how to drive with adaptive driving equipment⁣ 6. If they decide it’s safe for you to drive, then ask DVR to approve behind the wheel training driving hours with an instructor and train⁣⁣ 7. Take drivers test at your local DMV and get license⁣ 8. Get Vehicle Modification Specifications (VMS)⁣ 9. Get quotes from 3 different vehicle modification companies⁣ 10. Get approved by DVR for them to cover the cost of the adaptations⁣ 11. Do Fundraising and/or pay out of pocket for the base vehicle⁣⁣ 12. Find & Buy actual base vehicle ⁣13. Send vehicle to an automotive mobility place to get Modifications⁣⁣ 14. Receive vehicle and do fitting so it works for your needs⁣⁣ 15. Process complete
With this vehicle I have my independence. I am able to transport myself to college, work, appointments, and social activities.⁣
I drive with an EMC AEVIT Driving System. I use a joystick to control the vehicle. Forward is gas, back is brake, left or right turns the steering wheel/vehicle those directions. I also have 5 cameras (left and right view, left and right blindspot, and backup camera) that let me see all around since it’s hard to turn my head. I also have a touchpad and buttons that let me control the other functions in a vehicle.⁣ ⁣ It took 2.5 years total to get my vehicle. God has definitely taught me patience throughout, but everything works out for the better in his timing. I am beyond blessed!⁣ ⁣Thanks to everyone who supported my dream!

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