When you’re driving over the road, you’re aware more than anyone of how dangerous trucking can be. In the blink of an eye, an accident can leave a trucker permanently disabled.
For truck drivers disabled on the job, the nonprofit truckersfinalmile.org wants to show appreciation for their sacrifice with their new mobility program. This program is part of the group’s mission to provide truckers and their families with travel, lodging and ground transportation in the event of an emergency. In the event of the loss of a driver’s life, the organization pays for the transportation of the driver’s remains.
“I want to do everything that we possibly can do to help the truckers and their families, and this is the progressive next thing to do,” said Robert Palm, the group’s founder.
The mobility program seeks to provide drivers disabled on the job with handicap accessible modifications to their home.
Referrals for the program are accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The referral email should include: who the individual is, what the situation is and details of the event that caused the disability.
The individual must be a CDL holder, and the event must be a career-ending permanent disability that occurred while they were on the job. After they select a referred individual, they will move forward with making arrangements for their home.
“The next step in the process is we would get ahold of their physician, or we would get ahold of their physical therapy team, and we would meet with them to see what recommendations they would put forward as to improvements for accessibility and mobility in their home that would enhance their quality of life,” Palm said.
Each case is specific to the individual’s needs as recommended by a physician. Possible home modifications could include a wheelchair ramp into the home, widening doorways, widening hallways, providing a sit down or wheelchair accessible shower, lowering light switches or providing lift assistance mechanisms to help the individual get up out of bed or out of a chair.
They will select one individual each month to participate in the program. The mobility program is funded through donations, which are accepted on a GoFundMe page Any money raised through this account will go into the program. Additional donations are accepted through other channels on their main website.
Palm said they will begin looking at referrals for February soon.
“We want to make sure that the quality of life continues regardless of the injury or the disability,” Palm said. “We want to make the sacrifices that they made in the trucking industry worthwhile. There are drivers out there for 25, 30, 35 years behind the wheel and then the next thing you know they’re sitting at home because they’ve lost two limbs or something like that. We want to make them feel those sacrifices they made were worthwhile in this industry, that they are appreciated.”