05 October 2014

Dwarfism Awareness Month Topic #5: Driving. Since its late and barely still October 5th, I’ve picked a short (no pun intended) topic tonight. Lots of people ask about driving, and there are pretty much two major solutions to this one: 1) pedal extenders; 2) hand controls. My guess is that most LPs use pedal extenders, but don’t quote me on that. I used to use them, but it became very difficult to share a car with my husband, so we looked into hand controls. For me, this ended up being a good decision because I ended up having a right knee replacement that meant losing most of its ability to bend, making using pedals difficult. I use a fancy schmancy hand control system (Menox) that works well for left-handers.

Beyond adaptive pedals or controls, some people need built up seats or other modifications to ensure proper vision. I need a pillow behind my back and a stool under my feet.

The other big consideration is the front airbag. To disable or not disable? If you sit too close to the steering wheel, it can do more harm than good. It takes some bureaucracy to make it happen, but it’s a serious safety consideration. I happen not to need it.

I also use a stool to get in my car since my shoulder replacements. I was told to not consistently put body weight on them, which is how I get most high places, so I now use a handy dandy folding stool.

For a look at adaptive auto products for multiple types of disabilities, look at this site. They did my hand controls. Cool stuff.

http://www.mcmobilitysystems.com/Wheelchair-Van-Hand-Controls.aspx

 

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