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“Now I don’t have to drive everywhere, and the controls for me are the same as before.” She uses the foot pedals and Wrighton uses the hand controls in the same vehicle. Wrighton had an option to buy a new vehicle, but he decided the Silverado was a good fit for him and his needs. He states “I like the way it rides; it’s smooth on the raggedy roads of New York.” Since March 2014, he has been using hand controls to run errands, take his wife shopping and attend DAV events. And, for the first time since learning to drive again, the Wrightons will be heading to Virginia to visit family. They plan to make the trip together in the Silverado – part of the way by hand and part by foot. For the first time since learning to drive again, the Wrightons will be heading to Virginia to visit family. The VA Driver Rehabilitation Program is coordinated through Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at 48 sites across the country. More specifics can be acquired through the PM&R department at your local VA medical center. Information on AAE and other programs can be found at www.prosthetics.va.gov or benefits.va.gov. Betttterr Contact the Amputee Coalition at 888/267-5669 or amputee-coalition.org 21 After training, veterans may be eligible for the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program, a Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) program administered by the VA Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS). Salvatore Gambino, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and chief of patient services for VA VISN 3 PSAS, explains that “Veterans with certain serviceconnected disabilities can receive this benefit to provide access to enter, exit and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance.” Gambino states qualifying service-connected disabilities include “loss or loss of use of one or both feet or hands, ankylosis of one or both knees or hips, or permanent impairment of vision of both eyes that have a central acuity of 20/200.” He clarifies that “a veteran with a severe visual impairment might only use the benefit to allow them to be a passenger in a vehicle, but that is determined by medical team evaluation, which will likely include the driver rehabilitation specialist.” An AAE benefit strictly for ingress and egress to a motor vehicle is permitted under this program for certain eligible non-service-connected veterans. To find out if you are eligible, Gambino recommends that each veteran contact the prosthetic representative at their local VA medical center. Wrighton uses his AAE to travel from his home in Queens to the VA’s Brooklyn campus three times a week. Before receiving his hand controls, he needed to take medical transport, which would often leave him waiting for hours to be picked up. He now drives his 1994 Chevy Silverado to his appointments, and his wife drives home. “This is much better because when I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go,” Wrighton says. Wanda Wrighton adds, Both the brake and accelerator pedals are operated with the push/pull hand control. PERFORMANCE n QUALITY n RELIABILITY Toll Free: 800.279.1865 on The Web: www.trsprosthetics.com n www.oandp.com/trs


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