Occupational therapy practitioners are experts in addressing the essential and everyday activities of daily living. By choosing to specialize in driver rehabilitation, you are helping individuals remain mobile and independent. You are helping ensure their meaningful participation in the community.
Your specialized training not only can help optimize and prolong an older driver's ability to drive safely but also can ease the transition to other forms of transportation if limiting or stopping driving becomes necessary.
What You Need to Know
To get started in the field of driver evaluation and intervention, occupational therapists can apply much of what they currently do and already know.
Occupational therapists are trained in task analysis and in identifying the appropriate match of activity demands and skills to achieve optimal outcomes. You build on this foundation when receiving specialized training in driver rehabilitation.
For courses and programs that provide you with specialized training, see Continuing Education.
You can also find out more about driving rehabilitation and community mobility as an emerging practice area in the OT Connections forums.
The Toolkit for Professionals provides information for occupational therapy practitioners interested in this growing field.
A variety of tools are available that enable individuals to drive safely longer. These adaptive features can be added to a vehicle to help compensate for an individual's physical changes or functional loss, or simply to make the vehicle fit the person more comfortably and safely.
Although many businesses sell adaptive equipment, people who need such equipment should have a thorough assessment by an occupational therapy driving rehabilitation specialist to ensure that the right equipment is selected. In addition, the specialist can help make sure that the equipment is properly installed and can provide training on using the equipment before the person takes to the road in a vehicle.
AOTA's Buyer's Guide
Select vendors in the "Adaptive Equipment/Technology" category.
NHTSA Web page: Automotive Safety Issues for Persons With Disabilities
Includes adaptive equipment articles, brochures, regulations, standards, and a questionnaire.
Adaptive Equipment and Vehicle Modification links:
These resources are located in the For Consumers and Caregivers section, which focuses on the driving and transportation needs of older adults and their families.
Resources Outside AOTA