COMPANY CULTURE / AUG. 23, 2014
version 3, draft 3

The Adaptive Driving Alliance: Getting Disabled Employees to Work

The Adaptive Driving Alliance (ADA) is an online resource that employees, employers, friends and family members of disabled workers really need to get to know. What is the Adaptive Driving Alliance? To put it as succinctly as possible, it is an organization that can help put productive minds back to productive work. Or even get a disabled person to work for the first time 

Here’s the longer version. The Adaptive Driving Alliance is an effective middle man between the disabled worker who cannot get to the job and the job that is not taking advantage of the disabled worker. How? By training those knowledgeable in the means of transport in how to deal with specific modifications necessary for conveying the disabled and by training those who know how to deal with the needs of the disabled in the ways of getting them access to modified transport.  

The ADA is there to provide the muscle and connections to get those with special transportation needs in contact both with those dealers and the customizing experts that can address vehicle modification on a case-by-case basis. What separates the ADA from less capable organizations is a commitment to a rigid means of attaining certification. Every single person who receives this distinction of authority must first pass the Adaptive Driving Alliance Quality Assurance Program (QAP).  

Here’s what it takes to earn get through the QAP: proof of actual hands-on experience making the specific kinds of modifications capable of transporting all manner of disabilities. It’s really as simple as that. If they can’t prove they’ve been successful at customizing vehicles to make getting the physically disabled from one place to another, they must go out and get that experience before trying again. Theory is fine in a classroom, but on the road it only intensifies the lack of first-hand knowledge.  

The QAP certification process is a program developed in partnership with the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA). Accreditation from the NMEDA is required for successful completion of the QAP and that means physically exhibiting the highest levels of competence in control of raising and lowering electric scooters, driving with hand pedals replacing the accelerator and brake and a broad range of vehicle conversion hardware.  

If you are disabled yourself or an employer desperately wanting to take advantage of the talents of someone having great trouble getting to your place of business or you know a friend or loved one who wants to get into the world of work, all you have to do is contact a representative approved by the Adaptive Driving Alliance. This representative can then get the ball rolling that may lead anywhere from simply finding a qualified driver to taking an existing vehicle in for a thorough overhaul to modify it for transporting the disabled.   

As for locating a driver, the ADA is every bit as rigid about them as they are about dealers and customizing experts.  If you hire someone recommended by the ADA, then you are hiring someone who has passed one of the most demanding driver evaluation program around. Drivers must exhibit total competence in dealing with any kind of modification that has been made to the vehicle they will be charged with driving. Evaluation is postponed until anyone who will be authorized as the primary driver for a disabled worker satisfied every single requirement related to all modifications made on the vehicle.  

When it comes to getting active minds back into the workforce, the ADA is an incredibly useful force for breaking through the obstacles that stand in the way of getting disabled bodies back on the job. 

 

Image Source: Electric Wheelchair 2

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