1. Erin

    Peter stated the issue very eloquently. I too was moved by the story of the doctor and the paraplegic. I also agree with Peter that your post shows a lot of heart. Great job!

    • Thank you Erin. It’s always nice to know that my readers feel I am delivering value to them. Your comment has encouraged me to keep writing informative and what I would like to consider actionable steps to live a life of less pain and more joy.

  2. Peter

    I have a friend who is a paraplegic so I’m always interested in reading stories about mobility issues concerning the disabled. I recently read this entry from a doctor who had fractured his ankle and decided to get a scooter as a way of regaining mobility. He said:

    This experience makes me think of a lady I met years ago in Oregon who is paraplegic and enjoys riding horses. She has only partial use of one hand to hold the reins; however, she rides in the Cascades alone, strapped in a saddle with a cantle that goes up to her head, on a gentle horse. I frowned when she first told me this. I thought she was taking an unnecessary risk, and I told her so.
    “Dr. Miller,” she said, “how can I make you understand what it means to me, a completely dependent person, to be able to go into the forest alone, to hear the birds, to find a waterfall?”
    I didn’t understand then, but I do now.

    Most people are like Dr. Miller. They don’t understand what a life changing event it is for a disabled person to achieve the freedom of mobility. They can’t get past the disability. I think your post has heart. It’s obvious you’re not out there to just push products but have really concern for the people who would use those products. I’m going to tell my friend about this post.

    • Peter,
      I was moved and honored that you would take the time to give such a thoughtful response. Yes, unfortunately even people who should know better, like doctors, at times don’t see past a person’s disability. Your wonderful story about the doctor and the paraplegic is a great example of what happens when we all make the effort to see beyond our follow human beings disabilities.

  3. andrew

    Some states I guess go out of their way to make it as easy as possible for people to, as you say, gain independence with hand controls. Not so with my state Michigan. They make it really hard to get your license. I have a friend who went through the process. You have to have your doctor fill out a paper. Mail it to the state and then they set you up with the city to go and take a written test, eye test, road test. You have to make sure you can bring a licensed driver with you. (In case you fail you have to forfeit your license on the spot.) I just shake my head at what they made him go through.

    That said, I enjoyed your post. I really liked the videos. My friend hurt his back and walks on crutches so his disability isn’t as extreme as that shown on the video. Nevertheless, I feel that the post with the second video–and Chris really seemed happy to have the hand controls–is a good reminder that the disabled need not be dependent on others to drive.

    • Hi Andrew,
      I’m sorry that Michigan makes the process of getting a license to use hand controls so difficult. That said, I’m glad your friend was able to get through it and now has his car independence. I agree with you that the video with Chris is heart warming. To see him, a quadriplegic, drive himself really made me happy. I think a product like the Freedom Staff handicap hand controls can help a lot of people like Chris.

  4. Hector

    Very interesting article. If I understand you correctly, hand control systems do not interfere with standard driving, and the vehicle can be driven by people not using the hand controls without having to remove them from the vehicle. But do different states have different regulations? I assume they do.

    • Hi Hector,
      You’re right. Each state has different regulations concerning hand control usage. You may be asked to complete a course or verification training for your mobility. Some states have adaptive driving training courses. Other states only require a current driver’s license. Best thing to do is to your local DMV department for the most current information for your state. Here in New York state, where I live, the state really tries to work with different agencies and dealers to make it as easy as possible for people to understand and be able to use hand controls for their cars.

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