Presently, in South Africa, Public transport is not accessible for people with mobility impairments. Most wheelchair users in South Africa who do not have their own transport, are not employable and most are unemployed as they do not have access to accessible transport which would allow skills development and job interview and work and career opportunities.
There is a strong lobby initiative driven by QASA and SADA to ensure an integrated and accessible public transport system becomes a reality. This includes integration of Metro bus services, BRT, MetroRail and Dial-a-Ride services.
Many NGO’s provide their own transport services to a limited number of members at their own cost and when resources allow. The majority of people with mobility impairments however, are handicapped by this scenario.
QASA has identified the need to provide a service of developing the capacity of people with limited mobility, mobility impairment that would need to use adaptations on vehicles, to drive. QASA has committed to providing a functional service of driver training to give the opportunity for members to achieve their driver’s license.
This achievement will bring them one step closer to being mobile and independent which will allow employment opportunities, social freedom and a life changing accreditation.
Driving Ambitions plans to be the centre of excellence in driver training which will include: functional assessment, learners license guidance, driving simulation, driving training, advanced driver training, training & sensitization of Metro Officers, training & sensitization for driver training schools and research & development for improved legislation within the Road Traffic Act.
The driver training process is not as easy as is thought and there are some significant competencies which are necessary to drive a vehicle as a person with a disability and a number of combinations of adaptations that need to correctly be specified to maximise the performance and safety for a driver with disabilities.
With the professional input from occupational therapist Caroline Rule, and the partnership of QASA, DRIVING AMBITIONS, has been launched