Cape Mobility recently donated a drive-from-wheelchair vehicle to the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) for its Driving Ambitions driver training project. The vehicle, a Renault Kangoo, is fitted with the Paravan Space Drive system, which uses a mini steering wheel and zero-effort brake and accelerator to control the vehicle.
All other controls are managed through the push of a button. It makes it possible for people who do not have strength in their shoulders to turn a normal steering wheel and, with minimal hand function, to drive competently enough to get their driver’s licence.
Although the Space Drive system requires very little strength, it demands high levels of coordination and control. Because of the technical nature of the vehicle, all candidates are required to go through a full, detailed assessment with an occupational therapist to ensure that they will be correctly positioned in the vehicle and that they have the function and coordination to use all the controls. In some cases, the controls need to be adjusted.
This conversion is not made locally, but these second-hand vehicles are being imported from the United Kingdom by Cape Mobility, which sources suitable vehicles according to the individual’s needs. Thanks to the Driving Ambitions’ vehicle, it is possible for interested people to first see and test the vehicle before importing it.
The vehicles are surprisingly affordable considering their level of in-built technology. (They are not recommended for rural areas.) For more info or to book an appointment, contact Ronelle Lyson at firstname.lastname@example.org, on 031 767 0352/48 or email Caroline Rule from Rolling Rehab at email@example.com. To learn more about Cape Mobility vehicles, visit www.capemobility.co.za.
The vehicle was on display at the 2018 Sabat Power Wheelchair Race. Learn more about the Race here.