The mission of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Older Driver Initiative is to build the capacity of occupational therapy programs to address the needs of at risk senior drivers, with the goal of ensuring IADL independence, including driving, for as long as safely possible. To support this goal, AOTA’s Older Driver Initiative was awarded funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to increase the availability of specialized driving rehabilitation services and to develop a toolkit of resources for occupational therapy program development.
After a very competitive process, AOTA awarded six NHTSA mini-grants ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 to occupational therapy programs covering the country from California to New York. The mini-grants were for a 6-month period and included extensive technical assistance and networking opportunities for the grantees. Beyond developing their own program’s ability to provide driver rehabilitation services, grantees developed tools for other occupational therapy programs to use. These tools, such as educational presentations for professionals and community groups, transportation resource guides, and various program development tools, are compiled into this toolkit.
The Mini-Grant awardees presented their projects at the AOTA national Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida on May 1st, 2010.
Photo: From left to right: Meredith Sweeney, OTR/L, CDI, CDRS; Donna Stressel, OTR/L, CDI, CDRS; Mary Jo McGuire, MS, OTR/L, OTPP, FAOTA; Elin Schold Davis, OTR/L, CDRS; Essie Wagner, MA, NHTSA Older Driver Program Analyst; Debra Kerrigan, OTR/L; Robyn Ogawa, OTR/L
How to use this toolkit
The purpose of this toolkit is to provide resources and tools that will assist generalist and specialist OTs in expanding or initiating specialized driver rehabilitation services. Each section includes an introduction followed by toolkit resources that provide detail on tips, lessons learned, barriers and solutions to building program capacity in that area. Tools are presented in a range of formats, to be used as designed or modified to better fit the needs of an individual program or setting.
Instructions for authorship citation
The tools and resources made available as a part of this toolkit are intended for occupational therapy program use as resources to facilitate driving and community mobility program growth. When building on published materials, the author credit must be included using standard citation language.
All National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funded resources are available for use without restriction. In actuality, one of the explicit goals of the mini-grant project was to encourage programs to seek existing resources (the toolkit examples as a starting point) and use their limited time and resources efficiently revising and tailoring toolkit materials for application in their setting.