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Old 10-28-2012, 08:43 PM   #4
Sasha615 Sasha615 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Re: i need help for a friend who wants to drive with CP

Try looking for assistance for her from Vocational Rehabilitation (VR for short) They should have offices in every state. Now, when she goes to speak to them they are typically going to tell her that they don't assist clients with driving, but they actually do. VR helps disabled clients to find employment. What they assist with is anything the client needs to keep employment. So, if she tells VR that she has her learner's permit (she needs that for them to even consider her for the driving lessons) and she needs to drive to get to and from work, they should help her, with little to no cost. (They charge small fees to assist clients because of the different evaluations and such, but the determination of that cost is on a sliding scale based on the client's income, but VR pays for the majority of everything.)

As for the car itself VR will not pay for her car she will have to buy the car out-of-pocket. She can buy a used car, however VR has regulations that state the car can only be so many years old. (She will have to find that out from VR because I honestly don't remember and VR tends to change their regulations every now and then) They only pay for her to get the adaptive lessons, the hand controls, and the installation of them.

Now, like any assistance from a government agency VR likes to take their sweet precious time with things. I know this for a fact because I am one of their clients. The best advice I can give your friend is if she does decide to go forth and get assistance from VR once her case is open with them, keep on top of them. Call and email her VR counselor weekly/bi-weekly and keep reminding them about her case, so VR doesn't let her case "slide" cause they will allow that to happen. VR's rule of thumb is if they can't get in contact with a client within the time frame of 60 days for whatever reason they will close her case.

One more thing, when she applies for VR assistance VR will start a process of eligibility first. This will consist of 3 evaluations: physical, psychological, and if she wears glasses or contacts they will do a vision evaluation as well. Now, these evaluations will take time because VR refers the clients to their own doctors and specialists. Each doctor/specialist has to conduct the evaluation then send the report to VR. Now, in my experience the doctors are usually very timely with sending their reports back to VR (usually within a week), but it is VR that will let the report sit on the desk for a while before contacting the client. So, what I did was after 1 week after each evaluation I would email my counselor to remind her about my case. (Email works way better with VR than phone calls because they are usually are dealing with clients all day, so they let calls go to voicemail and they might not check their messages till the end of the week. Plus, email gives a better opportunity to be more detailed with what you want to say versus a voicemail message.) Another tip: VR picks the dates of the appointments, the client does not. So, if she has to change the date of any appointment she will have contact VR to have it changed (if the appointment is for a doctor she has to contact that doctor to change that date.)

Sorry for such a long post. Since I've been dealing with them for almost two years now i kinda of know the process in and out, so I figured the more info I can give the better. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me. I will be happy to answer them.

I hope everything works out. Good luck!

Samantha