Most wheelchair users in South Africa are unemployable due to the lack of accessible public transport. QASA has identified the need for a driving centre of excellence that could professionally assess the agility and ability of people with disabilities to drive. The same driving centre should then also provide the facilities required to learn to drive.
With the professional advice of Rolling Inspiration’s occupational therapist, Caroline Rule, and in partnership with QASA, Driving Ambitions is about to be launched. Driving Ambitions is supported in a long-term relationship by Avis and 5th October was an exciting day as Jessica Branco, from Avis, handed over the keys of a Hyundai i20, the first of three pledged vehicles, to Rolling Rehab’s, Caroline Rule, for use in the project. Avis’ holding company, Barloworld, have also provided significant start-up capital to fund the project during the first 12 months.
This is the first step toward realising the dream of getting people with disabilities to drive and there will be financial support available for the driver training programme. The project will launch in the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas and hopefully, over the next few years, will migrate in a franchise form to the other provinces. Once the project has attracted the prerequisite funding, it will expand to a permanent residence and we shall operate with three vehicles of different configurations with a simulation assessment facility to measure the competencies of potential drivers before engaging with a vehicle.