Come visit Drive For Independence in Booth 116. We are extremely excited to be there! We were invited to be a part of the Expo and cannot thank our sponsors, Meeting Well and MobilityWorks, enough for making this trip a reality! Meeting Well MobilityWorks
You’ve seen Chris test out the Mobility SVM truck at the New York/New Jersey Expo, here’s your chance to come see all the great products to make life easier! Best of all, Admission is FREE!!!!! Check out all the exhibitors here: Abilities Expo Exhibitors
We made a lofty goal of $2000 for this year’s event
and have fallen just a little short.
We need your help! To help raise the remaining $200,
we have added a few incentives!!!
Donations are being accepted in person, by mail and via PayPal. For your convenience, use the Paypal link below to donate or use the contact form to contact us for our mailing address or to set up an in person meet. When making your donation, please be sure to include your mailing address. This will help us to send your gift out to you! If you are local and would like to pick up your gift, please let us know!
The donation incentives are as follows:
For each $5 donation, we will send you one of the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack!
For each $10 donation, we will send you a Lower ’48 Tucker Reproduction by Rob Ida poster and the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack!
For each $15 donation, we will send you one of our Drive for Independence Key Chains, in addition to the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack, and Lower ’48 Tucker Reproduction by Rob Ida poster!
Thank you for your ongoing support of Drive For Independence!
The last week and a half we were in Johnstown. It was quite a different experience to be kid free for that long since the boys were born. We also had to adjust to a different schedule for that time but we managed. Getting up at 6 in the morning instead of heading to bead at that time was a little tough but we managed.
Chris went out driving about 4-5 hours everyday for the most part. He drove some crazy roads most of the time that were snow covered. He was learning to drive on very sensitive equipment so this is a pretty good indicator he can definitely handle the equipment he needs! Let alone it wasn’t set up specifically for him. He had to make do with what was available. Here’s a map to give a idea of what Chris was tackling everyday.
The full joystick was a little too finicky for him so they decided on gas/brake lever and steering on the joystick. The T handle on the gas/brake set-up wasn’t working well for him so Chris suggested a vertical handle instead. EMC doesn’t make a vertical handle surprisingly so they had to rig a makeshift stalk for him to use. The joystick was the same thing and has a pretty tiny ball and he had a little issue with that as well so they made another makeshift stalk for it. Once they got everything set up for him he did very well.
Tuesday Feb 17th he took his driver’s test to get the additional driving equipment added to his license. He had his license there are just additional requirements for driving via joystick. He is now able to get his truck equipped with EMC joystick steering!
We are now waiting for the prescription to go to OVR. Once they have the prescription we will get the go ahead to buy his truck. After we get the truck we will have to choose 3 companies to bid on the work. Once the bid process is over the truck will be dropped of with the bid winning installer. It will first head to Indiana for Mobility SVM to do the floor and lift conversion. It will then most likely head to EMC for wiring up in Maine. Finally it will then come back to the company who won the bid (we’re hoping we can get Ride-Away in Norristown) to finish the installing of EMC equipment, EZ-Lock, and all the finishing touches and we’ll take final delivery.
At final delivery Chris will have up to 5 days of additional training on his new truck with the rehabilitation specialist to make sure the truck is set up and working well for him. We still have a bit more of this process to get through but we are headed in the right direction! We’ve been warned it could be a year until we take final delivery. It shouldn’t take that long but we are preparing for the worst and hoping for the very best that it is only at most 6 months!
Here’s a video from the parent company Bolduc Technology Group (military contractor) that make the AEVIT system that will be installed in my truck. I’ll drive with a joystick instead of remotely but you get the idea. EMC-Digi is the one that handles the mobility end of their products.
Plenty of people are curious as to where we go next with getting Chris’s truck. Here is a basic run down of what’s to come.
This week we turned in the OVR agreement of what is to happen in the process and turned paper work into the doctor to be filled out so Chris can be re-evaluated (first hoop of red tape) for what hand controls he needs. We are now waiting for OVR to contact us to set up that evaluation. Once that evaluation is completed we have 3 months to purchase a vehicle as that is the length of time the evaluation is good for before you have go around again. OVR then does a bidding process (second hoop of red tape) that we have to go through to determine which company we will work with for the full conversion.
The next step would be purchasing the truck. We’ll pick out/order the truck Chris wants and then it will be time for conversion. The truck will first be sent to Mobility SVM in Indiana to do the floor/lift to enable Chris’s chair to get in and out of the truck. It will then come back to PA.
Once back in PA the joystick hand controls (most likely an EMC joystick) will be put in. This is mainly the part that requires the bidding process since there are a few companies in PA that do hand control installs. We’re hoping to work with Ride-Away in Norristown. We’ve seen a good bit of their work and have been pleased with it.
After all the work is complete Chris will have to be evaluated on the vehicle again to make sure it is fitted well for him and he can drive it safely (third hoop of red tape). We then sign the contract stating he’s not eligible for another vehicle conversion for 10 years. That is one of the major reasons we chose a truck. The durability of a truck cannot be matched by a minivan and we like to get out there and use our vehicle quite a bit!
When all is said and done the truck will have probably $50,000 worth of equipment added to it! Easily making the vehicle worth around $100,000 even before Chris gets his hands on it!
Yep it will be worth more than our house!
We may still have 4-6 months before the truck is ready for Chris but we can’t wait to share the good news when Chris is driving himself!