Numotion's COVID-19 Response: What you Need to Know

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1. Be an advocate for  your own independence. I transitioned over to high tech hand controls once I was unable to turn a steering wheel safely. As a person with a muscular dystrophy, over time I have lost strength in my shoulders and upper arms. I love being independent, and the high tech driving system in my van goes a long way towards keeping me that way. 

2. Connect with a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS). Under the guidance of a CDRS, we trialed two separate control systems before deciding on the Joysteer system. It allows me to drive my van with a 4-way joystick, much like driving my power wheelchair, except that pulling backwards on the van’s joystick applies the brakes and on the wheelchair’s joystick the same movement lets me drive backwards. 

3. Choose equipment that is right for your needs. In my van, the box mounted to the driver’s door has a dynamic display and lets me operate everything from shifting the van in/out of park to activating the windshield wipers and turn signals, changing the heat/cool temperature and fan speed, and opening/closing the windows.  

4. Drive with confidence! The amazing part of the whole thing is that by flipping two switches, one that controls the motors in the steering column and the other that takes input from the joystick, the van can be driven “as normal” once you get it started and shifted into gear. 










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Heather Markham, MS CS, MS RST, ATP

Author

Heather Markham, MS CS, MS RST, ATP

Heather Markham, MS CS, MS RST, ATP lives in the Phoenix area, and is a Virtual ATP for Numotion. Heather has been a wheelchair user for the last 12 years due to limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. She has a B.S. in Education from Texas A&M, M.S. in computer science from Midwestern State University, M.S. in Rehab Technology and Science from University of Pittsburgh, and a Doctorate from Walt Disney University. She is a photographer, competitive para-surfer, and was Ms. Wheelchair KY 2013. She lives with her cat, and loves living near family.