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Driver Rehabilitation

Driver rehabilitation

The Beaumont Driver Rehabilitation program offers a wide variety of services to adults (18 years and older) with a disability who would like to learn to drive or resume independent driving.
The program is available for:

  • new drivers with little or no experience who have a physical, learning or cognitive disability that requires adapted controls, skilled instruction and/or longer periods of time than standard driving schools
  • experienced drivers that have sustained physical or cognitive injuries and want to return to independent driving
  • people with visual impairments meeting the legal state vision requirements including telescopic training

Who can benefit from the driver rehabilitation program?

Individuals who may benefit from driver rehabilitation services include those who have experienced traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury (must be able to transfer to a car) or amputations.

Others who can benefit include patients with the following diagnoses:

  • anxiety disorders 
  • cerebral palsy 
  • low vision
  • multiple sclerosis 
  • dementia
  • learning disabilities
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • autism
  • arthritis

Maximum independence is our goal in rehabilitation. The inability to drive can be a barrier that we can help you overcome. We provide a comprehensive dynamic state-of-the-art program. The evaluation and training process is provided by a licensed occupational therapist who is also a certified driving instructor.

The two-hour initial evaluation is completed in the clinic. The comprehensive assessment includes a driving history interview, physical, visual, perceptual and cognitive assessments. Recommendations and individual instruction plans are discussed with the client. On-the-road training and/or evaluations are conducted in the Beaumont driver’s education vehicle. The vehicles are equipped with instructor brakes and adapted controls to ensure maximum safety and independence.


Program Details

Patient must:

  • be 18 years of age or have a level-one permit
  • have completed book work, if a new driver
  • possess a valid driver’s license or permit
  • be seizure free for at least six months
  • have a physician referral
  • have a satisfactory vision statement from an optometrist or ophthalmologist
  • meet Michigan legal vision requirements

Duration:

  • in-clinic assessments last approximately two hours
  • one-hour behind-the-wheel training sessions
  • behind-the-wheel evaluations that last approximately up to two hours
  • total number of sessions required depends on the type of disability and the previous driving experience of the client

In clinic evaluation areas to be assessed include:

  • medical history
  • driving history
  • visual perceptual skills
  • active range of motion of all extremities
  • sensation
  • motor control/planning
  • strength
  • reaction time
  • cognition
  • safety awareness
  • mobility

On the road evaluations to be assessed include, awareness of and compliance of driving rules, traffic safety, residential, business and highway driving and parking

The program features three vehicles with various adaptations, including left-foot accelerator, hand controls, adaptive mirrors, driving simulator, pedal extenders and spinner knobs.

Visual adaptions

  • Our instructors work in conjunction with Beaumont’s Vision Rehab Occupational Therapy program to help solve visual and or perceptual issues before driving.
  • Telescopic drivers must have completed an in-clinic scope-training program prior to on-the-road training.
  • Our instructors perform co-piloting with scope drivers to learn how to use the scope before the client gets behind the wheel.

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