Congrats to the recipient of the 4th Annual Great American Jeep Giveaway at Westbury Jeep! Christopher Levy, U.S. Army, who served 8 years including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, was honored earlier this year. Bussani Mobility worked with Westbury Jeep to install hand controls that operate the gas and the brake – and to give an American hero a chance to get back on the road. We salute our heroes.
Vehicle hand controls give people living with physical disabilities the ability to drive and operate a motor vehicle. Hand controls allow for the driver to manage both the brake and gas pedals using levers that are generally mounted below the steering wheel and attach to the pedals.
There are many different types of hand controls available, which is why it is important to speak to a mobility expert, often working hand-in-hand with a driver rehabilitation specialist, to find which ones will best suit your needs. Here is an introduction to help you get started in understanding hand control options.
When the driver pushes the handle forward, the brakes are applied. When the lever is rocked back, the vehicle accelerates. This model is ideal for individuals who have no finger dexterity as they operate the controls.
Push/Right Angle Style
Individuals who have limited finger dexterity can benefit from these types of hand controls. When the driver pushes the handle upward towards the instrument panel, the brakes are applied. When the control is pushed downwards at a right angle, the vehicle accelerates.
In this type of hand control, when the lever is pushed forward, the brakes engage. When the lever is pulled backwards, the vehicle accelerates. If needed, a three-post hand interface can be installed, providing the driver with the ability to maintain contact with the handle, ultimately providing greater control. Push/pull style hand controls are ideal for individuals with limited finger dexterity.
Electronically Assisted Hand Controls
With electronically assisted hand controls, the driver typically uses Joysticks and touchscreens to operate the vehicle. A primary set of controls manages the gas, brakes, and steering. A secondary set of driving controls operates other vehicle functions. This option is good for those who must use only one hand for driving, and who have limited strength and range of motion in both upper and lower extremities.
There’s much more to know, and this is just a beginning description of what to expect with the various types of hand controls. The individual’s needs and abilities will help to determine what style of hand controls will work best for them to safely operate the vehicle. Experienced mobility experts are standing by at Bussani Mobility to help drivers of all ability levels.
Southside Hospital has teamed up with Bussani Mobility to train healthcare professionals in the latest automotive mobility options that help people with disabilities get back on the road – and regain their independence.
More than 20 physical therapists gathered during a lunchtime presentation at Southside Hospital to learn about wheelchair accessible vans (with raised roofs, lowered floors, ramps, and/or wheelchair lifts), adaptive driving equipment (such as hand or foot controls), and other mobility products (including scooter lifts and power seat lifts). These customized vehicles and products make everyday life easier for people who use wheelchairs or scooters, people who just need some help getting in and out of a vehicle, and caregivers of those living with disabilities.
Other topics discussed at the training included: information about industry associations like NMEDA, how to work with driver evaluators, and how to help patients get financial assistance. Attendees received CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for participating in the complimentary training.
“We are always striving to partner with our vendors to provide the latest technology to our patients in order to assist them in being as independent as possible,” said Valerie Kruszon, PT, MS, Administrative Director Rehabilitation Services at Southside Hospital. “The Southside rehabilitation department thanks Bussani Mobility for assisting us in achieving that goal.”
Daniel Bussani, Vice President at Bussani Mobility, added: “We were so pleased with the turnout at Southside Hospital and the reaction from the staff. Through these trainings, we’re providing medical doctors and physical therapists with the most up-to-date information about automotive mobility products so they can best help their patients who become disabled from an injury or illness. Our shared goal is to safely get people mobile as soon as possible, and help them regain their freedom and independence.”
Bussani Mobility Team
( www.bussanimobility.com and www.bussanicommercial.com ) is a leading provider of automotive mobility products and services for people with disabilities. The company helps people with disabilities regain the freedom and independence to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Established in 1974 with headquarters in Bethpage, NY (Nassau County) and with offices in Smithtown (Suffolk County), Mamaroneck (Westchester County) and Sunnyside (Queens), Bussani Mobility Team is a market leader in the Tri-State (NY, NJ, CT) area. The company’s team of experts offers: a complete line of wheelchair vans and mobility equipment from top manufacturers available for purchase or rental, wheelchair accessible taxis, a full-service automotive shop, 24-hour emergency service, special financing options, insurance services, educational opportunities, and in-store consultants who are dedicated to meeting their customers’ every need with a highly personal touch.
a member of North Shore-LIJ Health System – and only the second tertiary hospital within Suffolk County – offers centers of excellence in cardiology, orthopedics and neurosciences as well as women’s health services.
Southside offers North Shore-LIJ’s cardiac surgery program with a state of the art hybrid operating room. The Cushing Neuroscience Institute at Southside includes a comprehensive Spine Center, an Epilepsy Center and a state-designated, Gold Plus Award Stroke Center. The North Shore-LIJ Orthopaedic Institute at Southside Hospital specializes in multidisciplinary orthopedic care for the entire spectrum of musculoskeletal disorders.
Southside Hospital is the only Long Island hospital that has received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) for four rehabilitation programs including inpatient, stroke, brain injury and outpatient rehabilitation. Among these programs is the highly respected Regional Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation.