More MS news articles for June 2001

Cars For Disabled Make Life Accessible

Tuesday June 26 12:05 AM EDT

Heidi van Arnem and Gary Talbot drove the "I Can Vette" cross-country from Pontiac to San Bernardino.

The local pair were part of Hot Rod Magazine's power tour to introduce the Adaptive Vehicle segment of the tour.

Van Arnem, a quadraplegic since age 16 is an entrepreneur and founder of "I Can."

Gary Talbot, a paraplegic, is a top engineer at General Motors heading a team in development of a variety of their adaptive vehicles.

For those with disabilities, they're examining options in mobility not on the drawing board, but in real life.

Van Armen teamed with General Motors, supporting their efforts in development of adaptive vehicles which will enhance the lives of older persons afflicted with strokes and multiple sclerosis, for instance.

"The sky's the limit," Van Aremen said. "I guess that's the point here today. People, no matter what the limitation is, they need to be evaluated. There are a great many vehicles out there that meet their needs."

Talbot, 45, knows how vehicles allow you to stay involved in life.

"You make it easier for somebody to really stay active, especially after they've had an illness or injury, and the family doesn't forget that," Talbot said.

We were curious about how a paraplegic and quadraplegic drove the "I Can Vette" across the country.

"In this specific case, the car's been modified, so you can drive it and you can brake with your hands, so essentially, you don't need your legs to drive the car," Talbot said.

"We're out here showing all the different vehicles and we want people to know there's versatility," Talbot said.