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New Vehicle Equipped with Latest Technology to Accommodate Individuals with Disabilities

Wheaton, IL (March 1, 2011) – Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, a leader of comprehensive rehabilitation healthcare, announced it has added to its fleet of adaptive vehicles in the Marianjoy Driver Rehabilitation Center. The van is equipped with the latest technology which allows individuals with severe limitations such as muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, or spinal muscular atrophy, the opportunity to learn or relearn how to drive.

The Driver Rehabilitation Center is one of seven centers in Marianjoy’s Assistive Rehabilitation Technology Institute and widely considered one of the best driving instruction and evaluation programs in the Midwest.
The state-of-the-art vehicle is equipped with a touch screen which allows the driver to change gears, manipulate the windows, lights, climate control, and turn signals with a simple touch of button on the screen. Depending on an individual’s abilities, a small joystick or lever may be used to brake or accelerate. For those with limited range of motion or arm strength, a small, “zero effort” wheel controls the steering for the vehicle.

Funding for the vehicle was generously provided by multiple sources. “Marianjoy is grateful to have the Oakes Family Foundation donate funds for a chassis and a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase equipment for the vehicle,” notes Anne Hegberg, Marianjoy Occupational Therapist, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist, and Driving Instructor. “The new van, which is the only one of its kind in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin, will provide numerous driving opportunities for individuals with disabilities.”

About Marianjoy’s Driver Rehabilitation Center

Since 1988, the Marianjoy Driver Rehabilitation Program has provided expert evaluation and training for new drivers as well as experienced drivers and is staffed by experienced Occupational Therapists who are Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists. A wide variety of specialized adaptive equipment is available to address the needs of those with motor deficits and visual deficits. For more information on Marianjoy’s Driver Rehabilitation Program, call 630-909-7152 or visit

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About Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital is a nonprofit teaching hospital in Wheaton, Illinois, dedicated to the delivery of physical medicine and rehabilitation programs including stroke, neuromuscular, orthopedic, brain injury, spinal cord injury, and pediatrics. Marianjoy’s $60 million, 120 private room replacement hospital is a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the naturally holistic approach to rehabilitation. Founded in 1972, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital maintains an extensive network of inpatient, subacute, and outpatient sites and physician clinics throughout the Chicago area. Marianjoy is a member of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.