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 extensive experience in outpatient rehabilitation and over 10 years of experience in the field of driving rehabilitation. At the Assistive Technology Center Susan provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments and training for young adults through seniors. Susan is an instructor for the Central Ohio bioptic driving program. She also has specialized training for adaptive driving equipment and meeting the driving needs of individuals with autism. Susan enjoys addressing mobility needs for each individual.

Mary Miller, OTR/L, CDRS, LDI

Occupational Therapist

Mary Miller, OTR/L, CDRS, LDI has been working in the field of occupational therapy since 2014. She has years of experience in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, currently specializing in driver rehabilitation at the Assistive Technology Center. Mary has obtained specialty certification as a certified driver rehabilitation specialist and licensed driving instructor. Mary provides clinical and behind-the-wheel driving 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 and is a member of the Central Ohio bioptic driving program.

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 CScD, 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. In addition to driving rehabilitation she has advanced skills in knowledge translation and implementation and enjoys working on ways to bring evidence from research into practice.
Nick Bell

Nick Bell, OTR/L, CDRS, LDI

Occupational Therapist

Nick Bell, OTR/L, CDRS, LDI has been providing skilled occupational therapy services since 2017. He specializes in driver rehabilitation in Assistive Technology Services at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Nick provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments for clients with a variety of diagnoses and skill levels. He has extensive rehab experience with individuals with autism spectrum disorder, as well as patients who have neurologic, cognitive and visual conditions.
Christine Kennedy

Christi Kennedy OTD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Christi Kennedy OTD, OTR/L is an occupational therapist at Ohio State’s Assistive Technology Center. She is an early career professional and received her OTD education from OSU where she gained advanced experience at the AT Center and as a student intern with a local wheelchair supplier. Christi is passionate about finding a just right match between equipment and users and regularly advocates for the needs of her patients. She is a leader in complex power and manual mobility with skills in propulsion analysis, pressure mapping and custom seating.

Christi shares her time as a Driver Rehab Specialist focusing on new drivers, aging drivers, and neurodivergent populations. She also shares her time in the Smart Clinic at the AT Center helping match people with adaptive gaming equipment, home automation devices, and other assistive technology. Christi enjoys collaborating with PT, OT, SLP, and Rehab Engineering to best serve her patients.

Andy Van

Andy Van OTD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Andy Van OTD, OTR/L is an Occupational Therapist at The Ohio State University’s Assistive Technology Center. He is an early career professional who joins the team from the inpatient rehabilitation setting, where he treated both orthopedic and neurologic patients. Currently, Andy shares his time between driver rehab and wheelchair clinic. He provides clinical and behind-the-wheel assessments for aging drivers and drivers who require adaptive equipment. He also conducts wheelchair evaluations for power and manual mobility with skills in propulsion analysis, seating, and pressure mapping. He is passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities in living their lives as independently as possible, engaging in the activities they want and need to perform without the burden of discomfort or increased pain.

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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