Marine veteran Josh Himan was severely injured and left paralyzed from the waist down after his vehicle drove over an IED when he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2009.
He has since teamed up with his occupational therapist and driving rehab specialist, Tammy Phipps, to help others like him get back on the road.
The two of them created the Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence (DRCE), the country’s first driving rehab program that offers many different services for people and veterans or are injured or physically disabled.
While many veterans were told they’d be able to drive again, the problem was “how.” Phipps received numerous calls from veterans who needed help, but didn’t have the right customized vehicle for them to use or any idea how to find one.
They soon realized that driving rehabilitation was something that very few occupational therapists cover, and that this left a huge gap in services for veterans and people with disabilities.
Their mission was to fix this. And that’s when DRCE was born.
The driving rehab is located in Fairfax County, Virginia, and has helped hundreds of people who need help driving again. Whether they are wounded warriors, severely injured from an incident, paralyzed, or disabled in any way, DRCE can help.
First, the staff evaluates the driver and helps them find auto-adaptive equipment to fit their needs. The equipment is then installed into the car. The customer then goes through their driver rehabilitation programs, using their new vehicle, to help them comfortably integrate back onto the road.