East Anglian DriveAbility team image

East Anglian DriveAbility (EAD), one of Driving Mobility’s UK assessment centres for elderly and disabled drivers, will be officially opening its enhanced Thetford centre in July and is inviting healthcare professionals to see its new facilities such as a spacious training room, mobility scooter test track and adapted vehicles.

Driving Mobility accredits twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. EAD is part of this network with centres in Thetford and Colchester.

In addition to driving assessments and guidance regarding adapted vehicles, its occupational therapists (OTs) and driving advisors provide several additional services focused on suitable mobility scooter, powerchair and wheelchair provision.

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Service users at EAD either self-refer or are signposted by the DVLA, Motability, police and healthcare professionals such as OTs and GPs. The EAD centres are managed by a team of specialist OTs, Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) and administration staff who are focused on recommended solutions for independent mobility.

Now, with enhanced facilities at the Thetford centre, EAD has the ability to extend and diversify services further with a view to helping more East of England drivers to remain on the road. The new extension includes an impressive training room for drivers and professionals and a larger reception which is spacious and welcoming.

EAD invites all healthcare professionals and members of the general public with an interest in adapted driving to attend the event on the 11th July from 10am-4pm.

A vast range of adapted vehicles, WAVs (wheelchair accessible vehicles), specialist steering and driving controls will be on display and attendees will have the opportunity to try the vehicle simulator.

Vehicle conversion companies will be supporting along with specialist suppliers such as Autochair car boot hoists and TGA mobility scooters. A scooter test drive course will be available so visitors can experience part of the EAD assessment process and determine which product is suitable for their needs.

Yvette Bateman, East Anglian DriveAbility CEO, said: “The official opening of our new extension promises to deliver a successful day for all. We are proud of our new facilities and the enhancement to services on offer for all elderly and disabled drivers within East Anglia.

“Sue Rogers from the Department for Transport and Helen Dolphin MBE, our Chair and well known accessible transport campaigner, will be available throughout the day. They will be able to explain the latest developments in legislation and topics such as disabled parking and the extension to the Blue Badge scheme. The team and I invite everyone with an interest in independent mobility to attend.”

The official opening of new facilities at East Anglian Driveability will take place at 2 Napier Place, Thetford, IP24 3RL.

As a registered charity, Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 driving assessment centres covering the whole of the UK. Many with outreach facilities, these centres include independent charities and NHS centres which offer professional information and assessment so disabled and elderly people can gain or retain independence.

Driving Mobility ensures that there are common standards, promotes good practice and offers training and education to all regional centres, whilst working closely with associated national organisations. These include the Department for Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Driver and Vehicle Agency (NI), Motability, NHS Trusts and the Police, along with many more valued stakeholders.

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