Pate therapists recently presented a driver rehabilitation class at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s national conference in Philadelphia.
Occupational therapists Jaimee Perea and Amanda Hoelscher of Pate’s Whitley Place taught the hour long driver rehabilitation class that covered clinical aspects of driving after an acquired brain injury, including on and off road assessment, training, and clinical application.
Both Jaimee and Amanda are driver rehabilitation specialists, trained to assess an individual’s impairments and how they would affect their overall capability for driving. Their evaluations assess many critical cognitive, visual and physical skills required to drive safely. If the person is cleared for driving, then the driver rehab specialist will do an on-the-road evaluation.
Sometimes further retraining in driving skills is required, and our therapists can do that, too. Returning to driving is a major part of regaining independence after an injury and most people are typically anxious to return to it. Driving means freedom.
Pate is a bit unusual in that it offers its own in-house driver rehab program staffed by full time employees, not freelancers. Because it doesn’t rely on simulators we believe it’s more effective. The rehabilitation process begins with a Pate certified driving instructor performing an evaluation of the individual’s current road skills. If on the road training is needed or assistive equipment, the instructor will provide the training and at the end of the process, provide an assessment on whether or not the person is cleared to safely drive.
Pate’s driver rehab program available for any patient who qualifies free of charge and it’s one of our most popular programs. Most people who admit to Pate are not able to drive at the time. Pate’s return to driving rate is impressive for those who name returning to driving as a goal.
Congratulations to Jaimee Perea who also recently passed her certification exam and is now a certified low vision therapist which is a specialty in assessing and treating people with visual impairments from any diagnosis.