This program supports safe driving through vehicle adaptation and skills development.

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

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 to 614-293-9002 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.


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:


Occupational Therapy Driving Evaluation

A two to two and a half hour appointment that consists of a clinical evaluation and on-road assessment in a hospital owned vehicle. The clinic portion assesses vision (i.e. visual fields, acuity, depth perception), visual-perceptual skills (i.e. accuracy and timeliness in which the brain understands what the eyes are seeing), physical ability (i.e. reaction time, strength and mobility) and cognitive skills (i.e. attention, decision making, memory). The on-road assessment completes a driving course with a driving rehabilitation specialist. Upon completion of the evaluation, all results and recommendations are shared with the client.

On-Road Training

Instruction on how to safely operate a vehicle using vehicle adaptions, compensatory techniques and/or safety procedure training. Vehicle adaptions may include:

  • Spinner knob
  • Hand controls
  • Left foot accelerator
  • Turn signal crossover


High Tech Evaluation and Training Van

Preview of assistive devices on our training van before modification of your vehicle. Features on our van include:

  • No-effort steering system
  • Electronic gas and brake system
  • Touch pad static secondary control
  • Voice scan in-motion control


Transportation Resources

Connecting you with community information for:

  • Public transportation
  • Shuttles
  • Senior transit services and more


Vehicle Modification Recommendations

We provide written prescription for vehicle adaptions that allow for passenger transport or independent operation of a vehicle as a driver.  The prescription is used by NMEDA (National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association) certified dealers to install the vehicle modifications.

Treatment Team

Our Team

MeredithSweeney

Meredith Sweeney, OTR/L, CDRS

Team Lead, Outpatient Therapy Driver Rehabilitation Program

Meredith Sweeney, OTR/L, CDRS has over 20 years of occupational therapy experience. A licensed driver training school instructor and certified driver rehabilitation specialist, Meredith serves as clinical team leader for the Driver Rehabilitation Program in Assistive Technology Services at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. She also is the Midwest regional speaker for the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association course, “Comprehensive Automotive Mobility Solutions for Health Care Professionals.”

AmyGrace

Amy Grace, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Amy Grace, OTR/L, has 28 years of experience in inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation. Employed by Assistive Technology Services at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, Amy works in such specialties as wheelchair seating and positioning, adaptive upper extremity (UE) skills, computer/mobility skills, UE orthotics and driver rehabilitation. She has extensive rehab experience with patients who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury and orthopedic conditions.

Susan Wolf, OTR/L, DRS

Occupational Therapist

Susan Wolf, OTR/L, DRS, 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.

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

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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