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1.1. Adaptive Driving - Where to Begin


The Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) 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:

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

Drivers Assessments

Sometimes an elderly driver must be re-evaluated 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:
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. Then, depending on ability, an on-the-road driving evaluation is performed, using adaptive equipment when appropriate. 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.

Driver's 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.

Finally a total fitting and operational assessment is performed in the modified vehicle.

Who Performs Driving Assessments?
There are two types of professionals who conduct driver evaluations: CDRS and DRS. The CDRS is a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (DRS) with additional training and certification. A DRS typically has a health professional degree (such as occupational therapy) with additional training specific to driver evaluation and rehabilitation. CDRS individuals pass certification exams and are required to complete continuing education to maintain their credentials.


The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists was established in 1977 to support professionals
working in the field of driver education / driver training and transportation equipment modifications for
persons with disabilities through education and information dissemination. ADED, a nonprofit association,
is the primary professional organization in this specialized area, and stands ready to meet the professional needs of its members through educational conferences and research support as well as encouraging equipment development to maximize the transportation options for persons with disabilities.
Drivers Training and Evaluation Services


Adaptive Automotive Equipment Options for People with Spinal Cord Injuries 1/24/18
This webinar highlights a range of topics pertaining to adaptive automotive equipment for personal use and information for allied health care practitioners and other stakeholders in understanding and advocating for individuals seeking automotive vehicle modification solutions. In addition, it educates consumers and caregivers about the unique process involved in evaluating and purchasing appropriate automotive options to fit specific accessibility needs. The webinar will also provide a high-level summary of available products and solutions from the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association's Quality Assurance Program for people with disabilities who want to drive or be transported safely.


ADA Nationwide Roadside Assistance provide emergency roadside services for your wheelchair, scooter and your vehicles with transportation for the whole family. Like Triple A only better.
American Alliance Auto Club


Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System Forum video "On the Road Again: Driving after Spinal Cord Injury" Driving can give a person tremendous independence after SCI. More people with SCI can drive than you might think, but getting back behind the wheel can be a complicated process. In this video you will learn what it takes to return to driving, how to find vehicles that might work for you, and some options for potential funding. Melissa Patopea, OTR/L, talks about the University of Washington's Driving Rehabilitation Program, which evaluates individuals with disabilities for driving potential, determines what vehicle and which types of equipment best suit them, and provides instruction and practice in the use of adaptive driving equipment. Then we hear from several individuals with paraplegia and tetraplegia (quadriplegia) explain how they chose the vehicles they currently drive, discuss their equipment and modifications, and share videos showing them "on the road again." This SCI Forum took place on June 12, 2012 at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Forum Video


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yet we all recognize the importance of a car to the success of families. Collectively and individually we
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  ownership for working families.
Working Cars for Working Families

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