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Learn About Adaptive Driving
Understanding Your Needs
Before you purchase any adaptive equipment, Ford Motor Company recommends that you follow these steps to begin your driving independence.
- Assess your driving needs
- Enroll in a driver's education class
- Learn your state's driving laws
1. Evaluators can assess your driving needs.
DriverAssessment Centers can help select adaptive equipment for drivers and passengers with physical disabilities. Many are members of ADED, The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists , have evaluators who are Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS). CDRS evaluators are driver educators and occupational therapists who have advanced training and specialized skills in driver rehabilitation. Call (877)529-1830 or visit www.aded.net for more information
To ensure that modifications and equipment are appropriate for your individual driving skills, obtain a driver evaluation from a Driver Assessment Center. During an evaluation, the evaluator will assess these three areas:
- Personal Skills: physical capabilities, mental acuity and cognition
- Behind-the-wheel skills: ability to drive with the recommended adaptive equipment
- Personal Adaptive Equipment: type of wheelchair, scooter, etc.
Once complete, you'll receive a copy of the evaluation and a "prescription" for the proper adaptive equipment. The Ford Mobility Motoring Program offers a Ford Mobility Resource Guide that lists Driver Assessment Centers for your reference. By entering your zip code, desired radius and by checking Assessment Center, you'll be provided with a list of Assessment Centers in your area.
2. Driver Rehab Specialists have specialized driver education classes.
Once your vehicle is modified, it's important to receive on and off-road training on how to use your adaptive equipment, even if you're an experienced driver. Contact your local Assessment Center for help in locating a facility, or reference the Ford Mobility Resource Guide .
3. Your state vehicle agency will provide information about driving with a disability.
State driving laws vary and you should check with your state motor vehicle agency to learn about requirements for driving with adaptive equipment and what steps are necessary to acquire a learner's permit or driver's license. Some states also require that changes in physical condition, which may effect driving, be reported. As for all drivers, failure to comply with state licensing laws can threaten your driving privileges.