Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) is a national charity committed to providing life-transforming services that enable people with disabilities to increase their independence and achieve their goals in life.
We work with over 5,000 children and adults every year with physical or learning disabilities or acquired brain injuries. Whether it’s gaining new skills to live independently, rehabilitation after a brain injury or stroke, or improving independence through increased mobility; QEF helps disabled people to fulfil their potential in life.
Kumba’s story: “Being able to drive has changed my life – it’s amazing.”
"I got polio when I was 4 years old. I lost the feeling in my limbs, although now it mostly affects my left leg and I don’t have much stability. Whilst I can walk short distances with crutches, I rely on my wheelchair.
I have 6-year-old triplets and previously I had to rely on public transport to get us around. The everyday trips, such as getting to school, were stressful. I can’t run for the bus, so there were times when one of my triplets would run ahead to hold the bus until I could get there.
I needed to learn to drive so I contacted QEF’s Mobility Services. I had an assessment with an Occupational Therapist who tested my reaction times on a static rig - using hand controls as I can’t move my legs. As I had a good response to this we moved outside, where I drove a car on their private track for the very first time!
It was a one-day assessment which, along with my doctor’s letter about the medication I was on, was sent to the DVLA. Once I received my provisional license, I started driving lesson with QEF and passed my driving test in May 2018.
Since then it has been fantastic – it has given me freedom - we can just get up and go and I can drive anywhere we want. There’s no stress and I don’t have to argue with anyone to get on the bus. Now I can get the kids to school on time!
Driving has opened up so much for me. I have my first paid job 2 days a week and I also volunteer at QEF’s Mobility Service's office because it’s changed my life – it’s amazing!"
Find out more about learning to drive with QEF