Being able to drive is a sign of independence and freedom. A disability can affect driving, but many individuals do return to safe and independent driving. In some cases, this may require evaluation by a Driver Rehabilitation Program.
Driver Rehabilitation Programs are staffed by occupational therapists, rehabilitation engineers, and certified driving instructors. This team of professionals provides a comprehensive clinical and behind the wheel (BTW) evaluation. The goal is to determine an individual's potential for driving and recommend specific equipment for their vehicle if necessary.
To schedule a driver evaluation, a prescription from a physician or vision specialist is required. The prescription must include the patient's diagnosis, and must also state, "OT Driver Evaluation and Treatment."
Most insurance providers cover the cost of the clinical, but not the BTW, evaluation. When calling for information, ask about alternative funding sources.
Below is a listing of programs in Chicago area. NOTE: If you live outside of the Chicago area, please click on the link below to locate one in your city and state.
Association for Drivers Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED)
To locate a drivers rehab specialist in your area please:
- Go to the above link
- Click "I need assessment of training"
- Go to search here in the paragraph "Certified Drivers Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)"
- Complete the fields for search instructions
- Hit "continue" to locate places .
AMITA Health Rehabilitation Hospital in partnership with Shirley Ryan Abilitylab
935 Beisner Rd.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Chicago Lighthouse Driving Rehabilitation Program
for drivers with vision loss only
1850 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
Building 228, Room 5012
708-202-8387 Ext. 24382
Northshore University Health System Driver Rehab
Evanston Hospital | 847.570.2000
2650 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
Rush University Medical Center Driver Programs/Driving Rehab Program
1725 W. Harrison St.
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Strive For Independence
staffed by OTs/Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists
1919 S Highland Ave Building C Suite 119
Lombard, IL 60148
Call (630) 984-1919
Note: This location also offers a Teen Driving Program which coordinates services for teens with special needs in nearby high schools; a highly specialized low vision program; and a program that offers an adapted van for persons who drive from their wheelchairs.
You may find the following links helpful:
The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists - Driving Fact sheets
ADED has developed a series of Fact Sheets on disabilities and driving. All Fact Sheets are available for download, open to the public to share.
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center driving factsheet: https://msktc.org/tbi/factsheets/driving-after-traumatic-brain-injury
This content is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive. Information contained does not imply an endorsement from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and does not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. See here for further details.© Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) Henry B. Betts LIFE Center – (312) 238-5433