Richard Nead, CDRS
Giving the gift of mobility…giving people the freedom to get around on their own is remarkably rewarding. It helps to complete the rehabilitation circle.
Moving safely and with confidence from one place to another is an important sign of independence for every patient. For some, it may be with the assistance of a cane; for others it may be in a high-tech wheelchair or with a state-of-the-science prosthesis. And for others, it may mean having the ability to get behind the wheel of a car or van.
"Driving is a symbol of independence…it's a sign of freedom. For a person to be able to drive to the market, a doctor's appointment, lunch with friends…well, that's what it's all about: access. And if we're successful in restoring the necessary skills, we've literally opened the door to a whole world of possibilities for our clients," says Richard Nead, a 20-year veteran with Kessler's renowned Driver Rehabilitation Program.
Through the years, Rich and his colleagues have helped thousands of individuals to return to driving. This unique program, he notes, involves extensive evaluation and instruction and is likely to include vehicle modifications to accommodate a driver's individual needs. It depends on strong collaboration with physical and occupational therapists, wheelchair and seating specialists, and vocational counselors, as well as physicians. And it requires a great deal of patience.
"We want every client to drive, but the reality is that not everyone will be able to, despite our best efforts and the many technological advances available," says Rich. "On the other hand, when all the pieces fit, it's amazing."