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Hear from the Experts at The Big Event

For the first time ever, The Big Event welcomes a range of expert speakers to its event line-up. Between 10am and 3.30pm, guests will be able to attend several talks to find out more about the Motability Scheme. The talks will include top tips for visiting a dealer, more information on Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles and adaptations, and guest speakers from Driving Mobility, DMUK and Transport Focus.

Schedule of talks

Below is the schedule for the talks. Each session will last approximately 20 minutes and the speaker will be available after the talk to ask any questions you may have on a one to one basis.

The talks will be running at the same time on both Friday 6 and Saturday 7 July.

Time Talks Speakers
10:00 The Motability Scheme - everything you need to know about how to get started

Chris Edwards - Motability Events Ambassador,
Motability Operations Ltd

     
11:00 Travelling in your wheelchair - an introduction to Wheelchair Accessible vehicles Graham Farrant - WAV and Adaptations Account Manager,
Motability Operations Ltd
     
12:00 Driving assessment centres - hear about the advice and support available Driving Mobility
     
13:00 Could adaptations improve your driving experience forever Graham Farrant - WAV and Adaptations Account Manager,
Motability Operations Ltd
     
14:00 Parking pains and refuelling woes Graham Footer - CEO,
DMUK
     
15:00 Experiences of disabled users of the Strategic Road Networks latest research shared Catherine Folca - Stakeholder Manager,
Transport Focus

 *These talks may be subject to change

Session 1: The Motability Scheme – everything you need to know about how to get started

Chris Edwards, Motability Events Ambassador, Motability Operations Ltd

As Motability Events Ambassador, Chris Edwards' job is to travel up and down the UK, supporting Motability Scheme events, talking to Motability Scheme customers and sharing his knowledge and experience of the Scheme.

As well as working at Motability Operations, Chris has also been a Motability Scheme customer for over 20 years. He got his first car through the Scheme when he was 16 and has never looked back.

Motability Operations Ltd is the organisation that operates the Motability car and the powered wheelchair and scooter schemes.

Description of talk

Chris’ session will include a general introduction to the Motability Scheme and the all-inclusive leasing package, as well as help to dispel some of the common myths and mis-understandings. Learn about:

  • How the Motability Scheme works
  • How to know if you’re eligible
  • How much a new car will cost you each week
  • Whether you need to be able to drive
  • Where you should go to find out more about the Scheme.

The talk will include top tips on getting started, advice on what to think about when you're deciding whether the Scheme is right for you and top tips for planning your dealer visit.

Girl in car with dealer showing her things

Session 2: Travelling in your wheelchair – an introduction to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs)

Graham Farrant, WAV and Adaptations Account Manager, Motability Operations Ltd

Graham has worked at Motability Operations for over 11 years and manages the many WAV and adaptation suppliers that support the Scheme. He has built up extensive knowledge of adaptation and WAV solutions, ensuring our specialised mobility products best meet customer needs.

Motability Operations Ltd is the organisation which operates the Motability Car and the Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Schemes.

Description of talk

This session will provide an introduction to WAVs, including an overview of the different solutions that are available. If you’re new to considering WAVs Graham will share his wealth of knowledge to help you identify the key considerations to making the right choice for your needs. Including advice on where to get started, things to consider when assessing which solution is right for you, the importance of researching your options fully and how to get the most of your home demonstrations.

Features of a WAV

Session 3: Driving assessment centres – hear about the help and advice available

Driving Mobility is the national network of independent centres which deliver fitness to drive assessments with support from HM Government. They address all aspects of driving as well as passengers, transfer and specialist seating including for children. The network aims to bring the service to within a 30 mile or 1 hour journey of most of the UK population.

Description of the talk - Hear about the support available.

Session 4: Could adaptations improve your driving experience for ever?

Graham Farrant, WAV and Adaptations Account Manager, Motability Operations Ltd

Graham has worked at Motability Operations for over 11 years and manages the many WAV and adaptation suppliers that support the Scheme. He has built up extensive knowledge of adaptation and WAV solutions, ensuring our specialised mobility products best meet customer needs.

Motability Operations Ltd is the organisation which operates the Motability Car and the Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Schemes.

Description of talk

Currently around 10% of customers benefit from adaptations to help make driving or travelling easier or more comfortable.

This session will cover the different types of stowage, driving and access adaptations that are available to help you, including a focus on some of the most popular adaptations available on the Scheme. Graham will share his top tips and considerations when thinking about adaptations. Finally you’ll get advice on how to get started, where you can find more information and how adaptations work on the Motability Scheme.

Adaptations overviews.jpg

Session 5: Parking pains and refuelling woes

Graham Footer, Chief Executive, Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK)

Graham Footer has been Chief Executive of DMUK since January 2010 and previously served in the British Army for over 20 years.

DMUK is the charity which supports disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. They work with government and businesses across the UK to improve parking, refuelling, and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services that they need.

Description of talk

In this session the issues that disabled motorists have parking and the rising levels of Blue Badge abuse and misuse will be discussed. Graham will also talk briefly about the problems encountered by many disabled motorists when trying to get assistance refuelling at service stations.

Session 6: Experiences of disabled users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads. New research findings shared

Catherine Folca, Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus

Transport Focus is the independent transport user watchdog. Their mission is to get the best deal for passengers and road users. With a strong emphasis on evidence-based campaigning and research, they ensure they know what is happening on the ground. They use their knowledge to influence decisions on behalf of passengers and road users to secure improvements and make a difference.

Description of talk

Disabled drivers represent approximately five per cent of the driving population (of 2,000,000). Transport Focus will share their research findings on the experiences of disabled drivers using England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads. The purpose of this new piece of research is to understand the needs and experiences of this group of road users, leading to a greater focus on meeting their requirements.

The research comprised in-depth interviews with 50 people with both physical and cognitive disabilities, using private cars. Participants were asked about both the emotional and practical elements to their journey and invited to propose solutions to overcome some of the barriers encountered. Interviews were also conducted with some of the different industries who supply services to users of England’s motorways and major ‘A’ roads, such as breakdown recover and motorways service operators.