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DRIVING AGAIN!

We are so proud of John for many reasons, but the newest is that he persevered and is now driving after not driving for six years. After John’s stroke in June 1995, he had a grand mal seizure about six months later leaving him with 2-minute seizures. Even though we began taking anti-seizure medicine, it would not control his 2-minute seizures. Therefore, he was unable to drive because of not knowing when a seizure would occur. However, about two years ago our doctor, Dr. Dostrow, changed his medicine. It seemed to control his seizures—he has not had any more! Therefore, John began wondering if he could now drive. After checking with the Kansas driving department, we found out that he had to be seizure free for six months. Therefore, after six months our neurologist said that John should go to The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City to be tested on his reflexes and his cognitive skills. Before we could begin this program, we had to have a letter from his doctor saying that he recommended John to begin his evaluation.
These are the steps we had to do in order for John to be able to drive again:

1. A written letter from your doctor.
2. Take the written test at the Kansas Driving License Department. (You can have an oral test if requested.)
3. Find a Rehabilitation Institute which has an “Automobility Driver’s Education Program”. This program will assist disabled individuals in resuming or learning to drive independently. The program consists of three broad phases: evaluation, equipment procurement and modification of your vehicle, and behind-the-wheel training. Our program cost us $410.00 for the evaluation. Some was covered by our insurance. The actual driving cost around $55.00 an hour and depends on the necessary hours they think you need to be safe and to be able to pass the driving test.
4. John had to take 10 hours of driving time.
5. Had to have a left foot gas pedal installed from the Handicap Conversions, Inc.in Kansas City. (Total cost: $276.25)
6. Went back to Kansas Driving License for final driving test.

John has never been this proud of an accomplishment as he is with having his driving license again. It means so much more independence for John. The first thing he did was to tell me the next day, “Judi, you stay home; I go to the movie!”

As you can see, this procedure took a little time for John to be a driver again; but it was worth every minute of it!

The new Dynavox Xpress

Xpress Yourself Inside and Out!

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The DynaVox Xpress is the world’s most powerful handheld augmentative communication device. Portable, discreet and easy-to-use, the DynaVox Xpress fits in a pocket or purse and delivers full communication capabilities previously available only in larger devices. With the Xpress, you can share meaningful messages, connect with friends and family and browse your favorite web sites with the optional browser – using a single handheld device.

Find Out More

Education Core Focus

The education focus is a continuation of the AHF’s original mission: aggregating and sharing information about aphasia to educate survivors, caregivers, and the professional community. This original goal will continue to be supported with this web site.

Based on our new findings and meetings in Washington, D.C., we discovered an additional focus relating to our education core. The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) informed us of Allied Health grants, which focus on training health professionals. To date there has never been any grant request to focus on aphasia specific training. We have been encouraged by HRSA to apply for such grants. This will require AHF to partner with an academic institution. This will also give us an opportunity to add our consumer driven focus to the academic focus of a four-year institution to properly train professionals.