The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) recently launched the country’s first ‘Drive from Wheelchair Tuition Vehicle.’
It is an innovative breakthrough and Longford/Westmeath Independent Alliance TD Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran along with the CEO of Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) Rosemary Keogh, together with people with disabilities and their families, launched the vehicle.
The vehicle will provide people with physical disabilities who use a power wheelchair the opportunity to learn to drive safely alongside an IWA Driving Instructor and securely from their own wheelchair.
“This represents a major advancement for people with disabilities to improve their daily lives to pursue a range of activities,” outlined Deputy Moran.
IWA provides driving tuition in ten centres throughout the country with the programme and duration of tuition tailored to suit the person’s individual needs.
Deputy Moran explained that the new vehicle has a range of adaptations, controls and assistive technology which makes driving possible for those with a very wide range of physical disabilities.
“Driving is the gateway for people to access a range of everyday activities and this new vehicle will greatly enhance the lives of those with disabilities, particularly those who have the use of power wheelchairs,” said Deputy Moran.
“Being mobile and getting around in today’s fast changing world is vital for everyone and the Drive from Wheelchair Vehicle will enable users to increase their independence and freedom, as well as providing them with an opportunity to seek employment, further their education and lead an active social life.”
“I want to applaud the IWA for once again taking the lead in making sure that people with disabilities can have the same opportunities in life as able-bodied people. The organisation is successfully closing the gap with the launch of this vehicle.”
Last year, over 500 people were assessed or received driving tuition from the IWA Driving School which gives a small indication how many lives have been transformed by having the opportunity to drive.