NMEDA Spokesman Receives Highest Honor at PVA Wheelchair Games

“Seizing the Day” has been the motto for Mike Savicki, a Navy Veteran who recently participated in the PVA National Wheelchair Games in Tampa. During the closing ceremonies, Mike was named this year’s recipient of the events highest honor, the Spirit of the Games Award.
Mike was just 22 years old and training to be an F-14 pilot when he dove into the waters off Pensacola Beach, FL and received a C6 spinal cord injury.
Vowing to never giving up, Mike endured eight months of rehabilitation prior to entering his first National Veterans Wheelchair Games in 1991. Twenty two years later, Mike is still competing; he just completed his 22nd appearance at the games which was held in Tampa Florida.
In addition to competing over the years in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, Mike was also a member of the 2004 US Paralympic Rugby team. But that’s not all… Mike also has participated in the 70-mile Beach to Battleship Half Ironman Triathlon in 2009, and earned a bronze medal with the Navy team at the 2010 Warrior Games.
Even beyond rugby and racetracks, Mike Savicki has excelled. In 2008, he founded his business, Scratching Post Solutions. He received the 2011 Distinguished Achievement Award from Tuffs University. He is also a freelance writer, and has profiled numerous athletes, politicians, celebrities and artists. In 2012, Mike became the spokesperson for NMEDA’s National Mobility Awareness Month.
Once again! Congratulations Mike Savicki, the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games’ Spirit of the Games Award recipient.

What is a Driver Evaluation, and Do You Need One?

There are many reasons why an individual might require a driving evaluation, however before we address the reasons why, lets review what exactly is a driver evaluation.
A driver evaluation is a comprehensive set of physical and/or cognitive assessments, performed by a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS). The assessment is designed to evaluate an individual’s cognitive and/or physical limitation related to safely operating a motor vehicle.
Any individual that has a physical and/or cognitive limitation or impairment that is interested in regaining their independence by operating a motor vehicle.
Any person where a physician or family member has questioned an individual’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
When undergoing a driving evaluation, the following skills are addressed and performance must be deemed acceptable by a CDRS.
• Physical Function – Range of motion, strength, coordination, endurance and sensation.
Vision – Visual acuity, depth perception, contrast sensitivity, peripheral and color recognition.
Cognition – Attention, judgment, memory, spatial, perception, problem solving.
• Reaction Time – Ability to respond timely and accurately with regards to driving tasks.
• Self Control – Ability to modulate oneself in response to demands in the environment.
A driver evaluation usually consists of the following steps and can last 2 to 3 hours. However, each case being unique results in a variance of time allotted.
Clinical – Portion of evaluation consists of a variety of screening tools, assessments and standardized tests of skill related to physical, cognitive, visual and reaction time.
• Behind the Wheel – Portion of evaluation assesses the clients’ abilities to control the vehicle over various road situations. This step is only performed if the client demonstrated the necessary physical, visual, cognitive and reaction times during the clinical assessment. Use of adaptive equipment will be used and introduced if deemed necessary from the clinical evaluation. Client must have previous drivers license or permit to participate in this part of the evaluation.
• Results/Outcomes – Summary is provided of the evaluation and will detail the clients’ abilities with list of recommendations.
• Equipment Prescription – If warranted, a written prescription that includes the recommendation of adaptive equipment is provided, and referral to an appropriate vendor/vehicle modifier is made.
• Fitting and Inspection – After the vendor modification / Install, a final fitting is conducted to ensure that the prescribed equipment or modification is positioned properly and adjustments are made.
• Driver Rehabilitation Training – If necessary, training begins in the operation of modification / installation of equipment. The duration of this training is determined by the therapist and will vary based on clients needs.
Obviously, everyone’s needs and situation are different; however the most popular vehicle modifications and installation of adaptive equipment are as follows:
Lowered floor, wheelchair accessible van
Wheelchair or scooter lift
Hand controls
Transfer seat
High tech, electronic driving systems
• Wheelchair restraints
• Docking systems
Unfortunately, these services are not often covered by insurance plans. Please make sure you check with your insurance provider to determine your exact coverage.
Most insurance companies do not cover the modification / installation of adaptive equipment, however there are many sources that do provide assistance, and you might qualify. To see if you qualify, you should research the following services for assistance availability as they are the most common:

Vocational Rehabilitation Services (for your state)
Workers Compensation (if qualify and applicable to your situation)
Veteran Administration (if qualify and applicable to your situation)
Insurance Provider
Medical Assistance Programs
As you can see, a driver evaluation is not only very important, but it is a process. A process that is best started as soon as possible in a situation where time is an essence on regaining mobility.
If you think you might be a candidate or just interested in learning more about driver evaluations, please DO YOUR RESEARCH and contact a CDRS in your area. Most rehabilitation facilities will have a list of CDRS in your area and can provide contact information to you. We also work with numerous CDRS in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana, so feel free to contact any one of the Superior Van and Mobility locations in those markets. You can find a list of our locations on our web site superiorvan.com.

Superior Van & Mobility, Corporate Philanthropy Awards Finalist

We are HONORED…and Thank You!

Superior Van & Mobility has recently been recognized as one of the 10 finalists in the small company category of Business First’s third-annual Partners in Philanthropy awards program; an honor aimed at recognizing a company’s generosity and impact on a community.

The top 10 most generous Louisville-area companies in three categories – small, medium and large businesses — will be announced in descending order at a luncheon at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the Galt House Hotel.

A special publication about the honorees and the importance of corporate philanthropy will be inserted in the Aug. 23 edition of Business First. http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville

Vantage Mobility (VMI) Refreshes its Chrysler Handicap Accessible Vans with Advanced Improvements

Vantage Mobility (VMI) recently announced advanced improvements to their Chrysler products. The new Chrysler handicap accessible vans from VMI will now come with the same enhancements found in their Toyota and Honda products. The move was spurred from numerous dealer suggestions over the past year.

The new VMI Chrysler mobility vans will additionally feature the following on all product lines (Northstar, Summit, Northstar-E): Optional Step Flares, advanced interior sound deadening, new VMI branded ground effects, and labeled switches. In addition, VMI has added the L-Track in floor plate on their Northstar and Northstar-E models, and a new Honeycomb ramp and trolley with an 800 pound load capacity on their Northstar model.

For more information, visit any one of Superior Van and Mobility’s convenient locations and take a test drive today. In our service area, but can’t get to one of our locations? Let us bring the vehicle to you for a FREE in-home demonstration.