Whether we like to admit it or not, driving is very important to being able to function in America. Our love of the automobile has built a society that makes us dependant on having our own transportation to get from place to place. Having to depend on public transportation, rides from family and friends, and other ride services can make life very complicated. While there are some people whose situations are simply too severe to allow them to drive, we find that people can often achieve a great deal more than one might expect if they are simply given the caring support, proper equipment, and skilled training. Over the last 20 years, we at the Adaptive Driving Program have helped thousands of people to become safe, skilled, independent drivers. If you are reading this web site, it is likely that you or someone close to you has a health situation or learning disability which makes it difficult for them to drive. Perhaps there is a lifelong condition which has put driving out of reach. Perhaps there is a recent injury which has limited your mobility. Whatever your situation, we are here to do everything we can to help you get on the road, if it is possible. It is important to remember that not every student of ours is ultimately able to drive. Sometimes physical or cognitive challenges are too great at the time that we work with them. This challenge may be overcome in the future or it could simply be too much. We do, however, encourage everyone who feels that they are ready to try. Even if you do not succeed on this attempt, you will know that you tried, and perhaps with more development you may be ready to try another time and succeed.
Roadmap to Mobility
Before any challenge can be faced, it must be understood, so the first step is an evaluation. This begins when you call us and we discuss your situation in detail and talk about what particular challenges you may face as well as options available.
Next comes an on-the-road evaluation. We come to you with our specially equipped vehicles to give you an on-the-road evaluation. This is not a test, and you cannot fail. It is simply a tool that we use to evaluate your current situation, including current skill level as a driver as well as any specific limitations which we will work through during the course of your training.
Many of our consumers are clients of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission or the Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services. These agencies are chartered to help people with disabilities live and work independently through services such as job training and driver training. They provide support to our consumers in many ways, including providing funding for your training with us.
People who are injured on the job may be entitled to retraining through the Workers Compensation Program. Persons who are injured in an automobile crash may have coverage through their insurance policy for retraining.
Some of our consumers have received partial funding through grants from disability organizations such as the MS Society and others. If you are a member of a disability organization, you may inquire about possible funding.
Some choose to pay for their own lessons for various reasons such not wanting to wait through an application process. While many of our consumers are clients of a state agency, it is certainly not necessary. A referral from a physician is not necessary to begin the process with Adaptive Driving Program.
Most of our teaching takes place right in the car, on the road. We work with you every step of the way and make sure to keep the work at a level with which you are comfortable. Step by step, we develop your skills as a driver and work with you to deal with your particular challenges.
How long it takes for you to be ready for your road test depends on your particular situation. Some people only need a few lessons while others could need many. While we can roughly project how long the training may take from the evaluation, it is generally only an estimate, and we will work together to make sure that you are completely ready before you go out on the road on your own.
The Road Test
New drivers will be working towards a road test. We feel that it is very important to be well prepared, and we will accompany you to the test.
If you already have a license, but are retraining on adaptive equipment, you will be taking either a Competency Road Test (for Massachusetts residents) or a Recertification Road Test (for Rhode Island residents). This test will be very similar to the one you took to get your license originally. Because you will have been well trained, this road test should simply be a chance to prove to yourself and the examiner that you are ready to be a safe, confident driver on your own.
Safe Driving Evaluations for Senior Citizens A growing segment of our business is to provide evaluations for senior citizens to see if they are still safely operating their motor vehicles. Referrals can come from family members, physicians, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the police, or the individual may self-refer. This can be either in connection with a hospital clinical evaluation performed by an occupational therapist or may be provided by us at a location convenient to the senior. There are three possible outcomes of this type of evaluation: we may decide that the senior is doing well and should continue driving; it may be determined that the senior has reached a point where he or she should retire from driving; or we may recommend one or more follow up sessions to correct bad habits or find safer ways of driving.
To begin this process, just send us an email letting us know about your situation, and we will discuss with you how to get started. You can click the link below to reach our contact page.