Community Therapists is a pioneer in the field of Driver Rehabilitation. Having developed an evidenced based protocol for Functional Driving Evaluation in 1994, we are one of the first practices to offer this vital service to the community and have completed more than 3000 evaluations and On-Road rehabilitation programs. This service meets the needs of individuals whose ability to drive has been challenged by cognitive impairment, visual deficit, anxiety/PTSD, or physical limitations including weakness, amputation and paralysis. Our programs are provided by occupational therapists with specialized expertise and are delivered in active partnership with the client, the primary care physician, a certified driving instructor, RoadSafetyBC and the client’s funder.
Unlike other driving assessments that are heavily computerized and focus on a rigid "pass/fail" score, Community Therapists' evidence-based methodology evaluates the core abilities required to demonstrate functional driving skills. Testing typically includes a combination of In-Clinic and On-Road evaluation. Following assessment and where appropriate, clients are offered a comprehensive driver rehabilitation program to facilitate a return to this vital daily activity. Driver Rehabilitation Assessments are available in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Courtenay, Langley, Surrey and Victoria office locations.
Functional Driving Evaluation
Cognitive, perceptual, behavioural, visual and physical core skills are assessed to determine the functional impact on operational, tactical and strategic driving skills. The Functional Driving Evaluation is divided into 2 components: In-Clinic and On-Road evaluations. The In-Clinic component is comprised of a battery of validated tests to assess an individual's abilities, functional limitations and skill deficits. The On-Road component takes place upon successful completion of the In-Clinic evaluation. During the On-Road evaluation, driving performance and ability to compensate for identified limitations is further assessed. All vehicle classes can be assessed including professional classes 1-4.
Vehicle Modification Assessment
Individualized assessment for vehicle modifications is completed by assessing the client's physical, cognitive and visual abilities required to operate primary and secondary vehicle controls. Recommended modifications may include hand controls, left foot accelerators, switch activated functions and spinner knobs. Community Therapists works with NMEDA member dealers to facilitate safe, reliable and effective modifications.
On-Road Driver Rehabilitation
Under the supervision of the OT, adapted driving lessons with a certified driving instructor are provided. The OT develops and monitors this program and provides the client with a Driver Rehabilitation Lesson Plan. Each program is customized to meet the client's specific needs. The program targets improvement in the client's ability to compensate for identified limitations or skill deficits through targeted intervention, strategy use and/or driving practice with vehicle modifications. The goal is to develop functional driving skills in a variety of driving conditions (i.e. time of day, roadway type, weather).
Our FDE & Driver Rehabilitation programs are also used to determine and develop functional driving ability for clients experiencing driving anxiety or phobia. Through the use of progressive exposure, psychosocial barriers that impact driving performance are addressed. By grading exposure to triggers including driving maneuvers, contexts (e.g., weather, traffic) and locations (e.g., work, community), driving ability and tolerance is developed. OTs liaise with the client’s mental health professional and physician to ensure a safe, timely and effective program.
Individualized assessment for vehicle access by driver or passenger is conducted to provide recommendations for safe and reliable vehicle access and storage of mobility devices. Solutions may include motorized ramps, transfer strategies and vehicle selection recommendations.
Frequently Asked Questions - Clients
Frequently Asked Questions - Clinicians and Funders