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How Leana got back on the Roads

9 November 2020

Indigo’s OT Driver Assessment (OTDA) Lead, Andrew Browton shares a memorable experience he had with a highly motivated customer, and how they worked together to get her back on the roads.
Leana came to Indigo in February 2020 to investigate vehicle modifications that would enable her to get back behind the wheel. 

In 2019, Leana became seriously unwell, which led to bilateral below knee amputations and contractures in her right hand. Leana was super motivated to regain her independence and ability to access the community. 

As Leana was still becoming used to her prosthesis, the best option for her was to use hand controls. Due to contractures in the right hand, Leana has reduced ability to grip. A special fork-like spinner knob was sourced so she could safely steer a vehicle.

A mechanical push and pull hand control was mounted to the left of the drivers’ side so Leana could safely brake, accelerate and operate the vehicle indicators; and a power wheelchair lift was also recommended so she could take her wheelchair in her car.

Andrew said: “Working together with me, Leana underwent a period of rehabilitation using the new driving equipment and she quickly developed the skill to safely use the modifications, and then she successfully passed her Practical Driving Assessment. 

“Indigo applied for funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme to have this equipment funded in her vehicle. The application was approved in June 2020, and the equipment was installed by Omnibus Accessible Transit. 

“I am thrilled Leana is now back on the road and engaging in all her much-loved former activities. Being able to take her children to school and not rely on assistance from others has been enormous.

“Leana has found returning to driving has done more than simply enhance her independence, it has ultimately improved her mental and physical well-being more than she could have imagined.

“We have loved working with Leana and seeing her back on the road. It brings so much joy to the OTDA team at Indigo to see Leana back behind the wheel.”