Mobility solutions for people with disabilities - My Take
I always had a passion for cars and could not imagine anyone missing out on the joy of driving. I started off by modifying a car for a friend and then experimented on my own car. Then I took it forward by doing this for friends. Soon, people with all types of requirements started reaching out. I felt there was an unmet need and that I must do what I enjoy doing, which is reach out to people with disabilities.
Many think that people with disabilities cannot drive. They are, in fact, among the safest drivers because they know the value of driving. I spent a lot of time researching and innovating with my car and making hand controls so the disabled could drive. Many friends used to think I was crazy. But l wanted to create something new. There was no one to fund my work, so it took a while to come up with a model.
Modifying each vehicle is a challenge. So far we adapted almost every car model. We give people with disabilities the pleasure to drive the vehicle of their choice with dignity and help improve quality of life. We give them mobility of their choice.
The cost is anywhere between Rs 9500-45,000. There is a 100% exemption on road tax and 50% exemption on insurance. We are always there to support, suggest and help.
When you hand over the finished vehicle, it is a moment of emotion, of pure joy that you have to experience to understand. There have been special moments, like meeting Professor Stephan Hawking for whom I built a customized accessible vehicle. Doing a vehicle for him was glory to our country.
We also make seats for children with cerebral palsy, swimming pool cranes, and also import devices to help people with disabilities enter swimming polls and the sea. There are devices that help them to go trekking and portable ramps. We help make dreams a reality.
About the Writer
Dr. Ferdinand Rodricks has over 30 years experience adapting vehicles and devices for people with various disabilities. He can be reached at www.MobilityEnhanced.com.
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