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Driving Assessments

"Confidence replaces worry when you get a safe driving assessment!"

ADED-Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists recommends that every person get evaluated for adapted driving and that adaptations and modifications are recommended individually. A person undergoing driving rehabilitation will actually receive a prescription for vehicle modifications, just as one is prescribed a leg brace by a sports medicine doctor, or oral medication from an internist.

Having a driving assessment is strongly advised for anyone about to begin driving with a disability who's

never driven before or never driven since a disability occurred and/or
ambivalent about his or her physical ability regarding maneuvering a vehicle, seeing, or reacting quickly to other vehicles, and/or
overall physical ability has changed following an accident or progression of disease or illness.

Sometimes a driver must be re-evaluated when he or she is elderly following a change in perception or other physical ability such as vision. It's not only a suggestion to have a driving assessment in these cases, but absolutely imperative in order to ensure personal safety for all drivers on the road. Becoming road-ready involves preparing both the driver and vehicle.

A driving rehabilitation program will arm a driver with whatever training is needed, if any, as well as any prescriptions needed for vehicle modification. This gives a driver confidence that he or she will be driving safely, and therefore, free to hit the road!

Here is What to Expect from a Driving Assessment

1. First, a qualified driver rehabilitation specialist (in a driver rehabilitation program) will make a clinical evaluation of physical functioning, perform a visual, perceptive and cognitive screening, and where applicable, conduct a wheelchair and seating assessment.
2. Then, depending on ability, an on-the-road driving evaluation is performed, using adaptive equipment when appropriate.
3. Based on demonstrated driving performance, a prescription for vehicle modification is written, which includes a description of the vehicle and any mobility aid (wheelchair or scooter) used.
4. Drivers education will include sufficient practice and training to enable the driver to operate a motor vehicle with newly prescribed equipment (if any), at a level meeting the need for a driver's license.
5. Finally a total fitting and operational assessment is performed in the modified vehicle.

Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
http://www.driver-ed.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1
To find a driver's rehabilitation evaluation specialist near you phone (828) 855-1623, (866) 672-9466 toll free, fax: (828) 855-1672. Or, see your local directory for a rehabilitation center near you that offers driver rehabilitation.

Fact Sheets on Driving with a Disability
http://www.driver-ed.org/public/articles/index.cfm?cat=2
from the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists

Community Inclusion Driver Strategy - Assisting People with Disabilities Living in Rural Areas in Finding Personal Transportation
from Easter Seals Project ACTION. Available in PDF, MSWord, or text file.
http://www.projectaction.org/newdlist/cat7docs.htm

Illinois

Marion Joy Rehabilitation Hospital
Driving Rehabilitation Division
26 W. 171 Roosevelt Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
Phone: (630) 462-4000

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Driving Evaluation
345 E. Superior St., Rm. 1072
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 908-6277

Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital and Care Network
Rehabilitation Technology, Driving Eval.
1401 S. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: (773) 522-2010

Additional Resources

Bryn Mawr Rehab Adapted Driving Program
414 Paoli Pike, P. O. Box 3007
Malvern, PA 19355-3300
Phone: (610) 251-5503

National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)

3327 West Bears Ave.
Tampa, FL 33618
800-833-0427
813-264-2697
http://www.nmeda.org
Phone: (800) 833-0427
www.nmeda.org
NMEDA provides guidelines and regulations for vehicle modifications and equipment vendors. NMEDA also holds annual conferences.

RESNA
Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology

Society of North America
1700 N. Moore St., Suite 1540
Arlington, VA 22209-1903
Phone: (703) 524-6686
Fax: (703) 524-6630
www.resna.org
For driving rehabilitation resources.


Americans with Disabilities Act-Paratransit Eligibility

www.bts.gov/smart/cat/manual.html
For those for whom driving is not an option, this site lists information on paratransit eligibility provided by the ADA. Privileges on public transportation systems include half fare for persons with disabilities.