The loss of the ability to drive can become a major obstacle to independent living and limit the ability to return to employment following an illness or disability.

The Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program at the Cleveland Clinic is available to evaluate a person's current driving ability, assess driving potential and enable the person to return to safe, independent driving whenever possible.

Driver rehabilitation may be beneficial whenever a medical condition causes limited function. These medical conditions may be neurological, orthopedic or developmental, or they may be the result of age-related changes in function.

Our primary goal is to enable clients to attain low-risk, independent mobility in the community.

Services are provided by occupational therapists who are trained as driver rehabilitation specialists. This therapist is trained in the evaluation and treatment of visual, physical, sensory and cognitive/perceptual dysfunctions that impair driving.


Occupational Therapy (OT) Driving Evaluation

Clients entering the program undergo a three-hour OT driving evaluation that consists of:

  • A clinical evaluation consisting of vision, visual perceptual skills, physical ability, reaction time and cognition.
  • An on-the-road assessment in an adapted vehicle

Occupational Therapy (OT) Driver Rehabilitation

If safe driving concerns are identified, or if training to ensure the safe use of adaptive equipment is required, a specific, goal-oriented therapy program is developed to decrease the client's driving risk.

Therapy sessions may be as few as one or two, or as many as ten or more, depending on the client's needs and his or her ability to progress toward an eventual return to independent driving.

Initial assessment and discharge progress are reviewed with the client and referring physician.

There are times when cessation from driving is the prudent course of action for a patient, as difficult as this might be. The Driver Rehabilitation Program can facilitate patients and their families through this difficult change in life style.

The final decision to drive or discontinue driving is ultimately a decision made by the state of Ohio Department of Public Safety. The physician and the Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program only provide professional recommendations.

Vehicle modification

If a client has successfully completed the Driver Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program and will require modifications to his or her personal automobile, the Driver Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program can assist in the selection of adaptive equipment and provide guidance in the professional installation of this equipment.

Referral criteria

To be eligible for participation in the Cleveland Clinic Driver Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program, the client must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 16 years of age or older
  • Have a valid driver's license or temporary permit
  • Be seizure-free or have a physician's authorization that the seizures are under medical control
  • Have a physician's order for an Occupational Therapy Driving Evaluation

Appointments: 216.444.6262

You must have a valid driver's license or temporary permit and a physician's order to make an appointment.

For more information, contact:

Patrick Baker, MHS, OTR/L, CLVT, CDRS
Phone: 216.445.8479 or 800.223.2273 ext. 5-8479
Fax: 216.445.2161

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