Steve Roome standing in front of Skoda vehicle with dog

Images are taken from AA Directions Spring 2022 Issue.

Steve Roome and his ŠKODA OCTAVIA Wagon

Based in Christchurch and a father of two, Steve Roome is an inspiration to many and despite his condition of being born without arms, Steve still manages to manoeuvre his vehicle up the ski slopes for a day on the mountain and to visit friends in South Canterbury. How does he do this? Well, with the help of modern, state-of-the-art technology Steve is able to drive and steer the car with his left foot. (Yep, you read that right, his left foot!)

Installed in Steve’s 2015 ŠKODA OCTAVIA is a 3D-printed indicator imbedded into the headrest which is activated via head movement and pressure. This innovative technology produced by a local Christchurch business, allows him to safely turn his vehicle without taking his foot off the steering wheel by simply activating the headlights through pressing down the middle of the headrest. Furthermore, the keyless entry, a push-button start mechanism, and automatic window wipers make Steve feel as if his ŠKODA OCTAVIA wagon was made just for him.

The ability to drive a vehicle and go from one place to another is a luxury many of us unwittingly take for granted. Having the ability to do so, gives people with impairment the freedom and independence while breaking conforming social standards. Steve says that while the ability to drive has given him the freedom and extra zest for life, it has also been a key tool in breaking the public perception of the capabilities and limitations of people with disabilities.

“It is so important to be seen out and about. If you were to walk past my car in a car park, you wouldn’t know [about my disability] and I kind of like that. I like to blend in with society as much as possible.”

“It may empower someone with an impairment to know that with the right support and training, they too can do it.”

Steve Roome

Steve room driving with left foot on steering wheel

Having a vehicle suited to one’s needs and make achieving day-to-day tasks easier is something that we are proud to take part of and hope to continually improve for more people to have access to. Hence why each ŠKODA model features a range of sophisticated gadgets designed to make your life easier every day. Our Simply Clever features carefully designed by ŠKODA’s engineers provide solutions for various situations we have to deal with in life, helping you to always be prepared. Discover ŠKODA’s Simply Clever features here.

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