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Driving assessment  17

My driving assessment I mentioned earlier is at 1 o’clock this afternoon and I can’t fucking wait!

Kelvin, one of N’s brothers-in-law, is driving me there (and back, hopefully!) so there should be no trouble with me being able to get in and out of the car/wheelchair/whatever device they put me in - he’s a big strong man who lugs carpets around most days.

I’ll update you all on how it went when I get back.


It went pretty, much like I’d hoped.

The general consensus of opinion is that I can still drive and that I need to go for electronic controls, i.e. joystick-type ones that require little physical effort, rather than the more usual “lever attached to the pedals” option. I did try various lever-type controls but it became quickly obvious that I lack the strength and I have actually strained both my arms in the process - they’ll be painful for a few days and they’re aching as I type this! The assessment centre is taking delivery of a van equipped with electronic controls and they said I can go back and try them out - can’t wait!

A guy from Sirus was also there to show me one of their converted Renault Kangoos - it looked really smart and the conversion itself is really well done. They basically remove two of the three rear seats, lower the axle, lower the floor and fit a motorised ramp in the boot - you press a button on the key-fob and the back door lifts up, the ramp folds down and the car/van’s rear suspension lowers so you can drive your chair in. You can see some photos on their site - select “The Kan-go” and then “Gallery”. Excellent stuff.

So now I’ve got to set the ball rolling with regards to getting an indoor/outdoor powerchair and contacting Motability to apply for a car … and maybe some funding - the minimum down-payment on a converted Kangoo is 13,000GBP!

I think I’ll start doing the Lottery …


*cough* - Grix

Good luck, Tim! And don’t forget your shades, man! :^) Oops! At the time of me posting this, your driving assessment is over for sure! Well, I hope all went well for you! - MHC

Nah, MHC, I posted this at 1am - my assessment’s in 2 hours time. Ah, the date on this entry is wrong … - Timmargh

DOH!!! Well good luck, then!!! - MHC

So come on, tell us!!! - charlesdawson

Yeah!!! - MHC

:) Shame about the cost, but glad it went well. Try and get a lever that’s like the Millennium Falcon if you can, and shout ‘PUNCH IT’ when you go into first gear - Grix

Great news so far, Tim, I hope you succeed! > And I trust N’s bro-n-law refrained from trying to roll you up and sell you as an offcut! - charlesdawson

Grix: I thought of you when I was coming back out of the Renault and I had the Emperor’s theme from Star Wars in my head … - Timmargh

haha it’s all Star Wars, I swear - Grix

So glad your assessment was a success. My Renault Kangoo, wheelchair adapted by Brotherwoods, via Motability, only costs me my DLA Mobility component each month, nothing extra up front. All the extra costs of the wheelchair adaption, including lowered floor, wheelchair tie-down system, (and prong attached to the wheelchair to slot into the tie down) was covered by the government grant system that Motability administer. It is a fantastic system; no extra charges if you are dependent on means tested benefits, and the Motability lease includes (as you probably know) servicing and insurance (including my P.A.). Brilliant. Good luck with yours !! - Sally

Great news, Tim! I hope you get the funding and the Renault Kangoo. Best of luck! - MHC

Timmay. I feel really sorry for people like you. If I had a million pounds I would give you that 12000 to buy that electric car thing. I’d also give you directions to the nearest cliff so you could kill yourself if you wanted to. - Tonay

You’re all heart, Tonay. - Timmargh

Nice one tim Any news on a timeframe on getting your indoor outdoor chair? I know your wheelchair service won’t order you one till you’ve been assessed, but a bit of advice when you do go - ask if they have any in stock or going for reconditioning which are your size. I know i’ve been lazy and not replied to your email you sent me ages ago - i’ve just been far too busy and not gotten around to replying - stonysleep

Thanks for the advice, stony. Haven’t had a timeframe or even an appointment for an assessment yet. No worries on the email - I hardly ever get round to replying myself. - Timmargh

Like you I am also disabled I have a manual chair that I can handle pretty well although I don’t do any driving. I have also recently acquired an interest in Apple’s Automator program included with OS 10.4. Any suggestions for workflows that would be helpful? - Slydude