Why is a community mobility evaluation needed?
The privilege of driving is very important to most individuals to maintain independence. However, one's driving skills may become compromised due to illness, disability, or aging. A community mobility can help an individual, their family, and physician make an informed decision regarding the level of their driving skills and their ability to continue operating a motor vehicle safely.
Who Is An Appropriate Referral For A Community Mobility Evaluation?
Persons who are 18 years of age or older, who have been driving previously, and may have had an illness or disability which could affect their driving skills are appropriate. All individuals must have a valid driver’s license or learner’s permit.
Individuals who have experienced the following conditions are often referred for a community mobility:
- Head injury
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Orthopedic/Musculoskeletal Problems
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
What Does The Community Mobility Evaluation Include?
Upon a physician’s referral, an occupational therapist will evaluate the following:
- Vision Screening
- Visual acuity
- Depth perception
- Peripheral vision
- Visual scanning
- Physical Skills
- Range of motion for arms and legs
- Head and neck motion
- Brake and gas pedal reaction time
- Cognitive Skills
- Road sign recognition/interpretation
- Problem solving
- Reading comprehension
An on-the-road practice test may be performed in conjunction with an Indiana certified driving instructor (CDI) and an occupational therapist.
The CDI is an independent agent and requires a small fee at the time of the assessment. This fee is not covered by insurance.
A dual control car (additional brake) may be provided by the driving instructor for the road examination.
The road test gives an opportunity for actual practice and evaluation of skills in a realistic setting.
A courtesy road test performed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles driving examiner is also recommended in addition to the first practice road test.
If deficit(s) in driving skills do exist, the occupational therapist can offer the client one of the following options:
- Assess rehabilitation potential for skill deficits.
- Refer the client for adaptive equipment assessment/training in order to enhance skills despite skill deficits.
- Recommend driving lessons to incorporate compensatory techniques for skill deficit.
- Provide client with education/training on alternate community mobility options.
- Make a referral to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a legal assessment of driving skills.
For more information about our community mobility program, please contact Rachael Norton, MS, OTR at 812.353.5534 or email@example.com, or Liz Peterson, OTR at 812.353.5366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.