The Occupational Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center helps restore mobility to those affected by neurological, orthopedic or developmental conditions, or to those who have experienced age-related changes in function. Our goal is to help you return to safe, independent driving.

Our Patients

We provide driving evaluation and skill development services for:

  • Older drivers, including those with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
  • Drivers with acquired disabilities, including physical or visual impairments or the effects of stroke, brain injury and other conditions
  • Novice drivers with diagnoses such a spina bifida, cerebral palsy, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Screenshot of the Outcomes newsletterFor this issue of the Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO) newsletter, we will examine patients who have been seen in the OT Driver Rehabilitation Program during 2022. 

Read the newsletter

Why choose The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center?

People of all ages and with diverse medical conditions seek Ohio State for evaluation and training that will enable them to drive more safely. Here’s why:

Personalized Care: You will receive a personal clinical assessment to evaluate changes in physical functioning, vision, perception and processing abilities that could impact driving safety. Assessments are given by a licensed and registered occupational therapist and will lead to an individualized care plan.

Special Services: Our nationally certified driving rehabilitation specialist, who has special training in medical conditions and their implications on driving, does on-the-road assessments.

Accredited Programs: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Rehabilitation Driving Program is licensed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety as a Class D, Disability Driver Training School.

Nation’s Best: Ohio State’s rehabilitation program consistently ranks among the best in the nation. As an academic medical center, Ohio State offers comprehensive medical expertise, the most advanced technologies and treatment techniques, and innovative care backed by research knowledge.

To participate in the program

Please follow these steps in order to participate in the Occupation Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program:

  • Obtain a physician's referral stating "OT driver rehabilitation program" and include all pertinent diagnosis and contact information to be faxed or sent via electronic medical records. We will contact you to schedule the appointment upon receiving the referral.
  • A valid driver's license or permit is required for any on-road portion of the program.
  • Call if you have any questions about the process.
Our Services

Our Services

The Occupational Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program offers rehabilitation services after you have returned home from the hospital or another rehabilitation facility. These are known as outpatient services. These services help achieve your highest level of recovery.

Following your referral to us from your physician, our OT Driver Rehabilitation Program provides the following services:

Our Team

Wolf pic resize

Susan Wolf, OTR/L, CDRS

Occupational Therapist

Susan Wolf, OTR/L, CDRS, has 17 years of experience in outpatient rehabilitation. She specializes in driver rehabilitation in Assistive Technology Services at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Susan provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments for a varied population, including senior drivers, individuals who require adaptive equipment to drive, and those just learning to drive, such as young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Susan enjoys addressing mobility needs for each individual.

Mary Miller, MOT, OTR/L, DRS

Occupational Therapist

Mary Miller, MOT, OTR/L, DRS has 7 years of experience in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. She specializes in driver rehabilitation in Assistive Technology Services at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Mary provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments for clients with a variety of diagnoses and skill levels. She has extensive rehab experience with patients who have neurologic, orthopedic, cognitive and visual conditions.

Elizabeth Gauen

Rehabilitation Engineer

Elizabeth Gauen joined Assistive Technology Services at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in 2019. She works both in the Wheelchair Seating Clinic and the Driver Rehabilitation Program, with a focus on High Tech Driver Rehabilitation. Elizabeth enjoys collaborating with physical and occupational therapists and applying technology to meet each individual's unique needs.
Emily Haffner OTR/L, CDRS, LDI

Emily Haffner OTR/L, CDRS, LDI

Occupational Therapist and Driving Team Leader

Emily Haffner OTR/L, CDRS, LDI has worked in the field of driving rehabilitation since 2013. She is a licensed driving instructor and is also a certified driving rehabilitation specialist. Emily provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments for people who want to return to driving or learn how to drive. She has extensive experience working with adult neurological populations and with adaptive equipment and vehicle modifications.

Your Treatment Team

Our care team evaluates your driving ability and makes recommendations to your referring physician, who makes the final decision to allow or restrict driving. Your team may include:

  • Occupational therapists who specialize in improving patients’ ability to complete activities of daily living
  • Driving rehabilitation specialists who specialize in driver training for those with disabilities
  • Rehabilitation engineers who specialize in determining, implementing and training patients on assistive technology devices, such as wheelchairs, special computer work stations and remote control systems
  • Physical therapists who specialize in helping patients achieve maximum strength, balance and mobility, and provide vehicle transfer skills
  • Social workers who specialize in the social, emotional and financial needs of families and patients

Additional Resources

Columbus offers several transportation options. View our guide here.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has produced a series of short videos to show how different medical conditions can impact driving. Watch these videos.

For more information of driver rehabilitation, please reference the resources below:

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