Alternative Drive Control
The Alternative Drive Control Program provides patients with opportunities to experience power wheelchair mobility. This unique program provides many participants with a level of independence that they might not have otherwise achieved. Program participants are often first time users learning the basics of effectively driving a wheelchair using a joystick. Other users may have been unsuccessful with trying power mobility with a standard joystick and could benefit from trying alternative drive control options. The alternative drive control program provides a wide variety of switch and drive controls to enable participants to trial several options during evaluation and treatment sessions. Evaluations consist of thorough assessments with an occupational and physical therapist as well as a vendor. Ongoing trials are conducted for seven weeks todetermine the patient's potential to safely operate a power wheelchair.
Research has shown that early utilization of power mobility for the appropriate child enhances independence, improves psychosocial development, and enables children to grow to become productive and integrated members of society. Without some type of independent mobility, children may develop learned helplessness and experience delays across multiple domains including physical and cognitive. When power mobility is not addressed early enough in a child's development, passiveness often occurs. Mobility should be effortless and provide children with the opportunity to attend to and fulfill all daily tasks as typically expected from non-disabled peers.
Go Baby Go Program
In addition to alternative drive control evaluations and treatment, Go Baby Go is an option to address early supported mobility. This program was developed by Dr. Cole Galloway and Sunil Agrawal. It includes the modification of commercially available ride-on cars and adapts wiring, uses switches, and adds seating/safety equipment to create modified power mobility. It solves problems associated with early power mobility training including the disparity between "Best Practice" and "Current Practice" due to factors limiting availability of power wheelchairs for infants/toddlers. At CHoR, the Go Baby Go program includes assessment, the car build, and the final product give away.
Referrals and Location
Alternative drive control referrals can be made by physicians, school systems, families, employers and through self referral.
Call (804) 228-5985 to register and receive an intake packet. Important information including medical and educational history, environments (e.g. work, school, home) and an AT history are collected before the evaluation is scheduled.
The Assistive Technology Program is located at the Brook Road Campus.
Assistive technology treatment is also available at CHoR's therapy centers.