The Independent Living Centre offers assistance with driving including Occupational Therapy Driver Assessments and Driving Lessons specifically for people with a medical condition or disability.
Occupational Therapy Driver Assessments
The Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment (OTDA) Service provides rehabilitation services for people with disability or a medical condition which may affect their ability to drive.
Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment is different to a Department of Transport (DoT) licensing test. It focuses on the impact of a person’s disability or medical condition on commencing or returning to driving.
Assessments are conducted by a registered Driver Trained Occupational Therapist in a supportive environment, and aim to ensure that people are safe and able to drive, where possible.
The Independent Living Centre WA conducts assessments across the Perth Metropolitan area from our Nedlands and Westminster centres and operates regionally from Bunbury, Mandurah and Northam.
Should I refer? Information for health professionals
If you are unsure whether to refer for an occupational therapy driver assessment, there is a useful app called DriveSafe DriveAware that can help determine if an on-road assessment is necessary. The app provides an objective, evidence-based measure of cognitive fitness to drive that accurately predicts driving ability for older and/or cognitively impaired patients. Find out more information here
How to refer
You can contact the ILC Driver Assessment Service on 9381 0635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 9381 0688.
A doctor or health professional is required to complete and sign the referral form to indicate the person is fit to undertake a driving assessment.
What happens in the assessment?
Appointments generally last two hours and include an interview about your medical and driving history, and assessment of physical, sensory and cognitive skills required for driving. This is followed by a practical driving assessment on a set route with a range of road conditions. It is conducted in a dual controlled automatic or manual vehicle provided by the ILC. It is conducted with a qualified driving instructor and driver trained occupational therapist.
Who are Occupational Therapy Driver Assessments suitable for?
Assessments may be conducted for:
- Fitness to drive – drivers with medical or age related changes
- Novice drivers – to determine driving readiness
- Experienced drivers with acquired medical conditions or disabilities to determine the impact on driving performance and possible need for modified driving controls
- Work related drivers – to determine the impact of injury or chronic pain conditions including ergonomic evaluation
- Commercial vehicle drivers – to determine medical capacity to drive heavy vehicles or workplace plant equipment
FAQ – Fact sheets
Would you like to know if you can drive your own vehicle? What happens after the assessment or what to do if you no longer hold a valid drivers license? Check out the below fact sheets to see if we may have already answered any frequently asked questions.
Visit the National Equipment Database (NED) to view all OT Driver Assessment Service details in Western Australia.
The ILC offers specialised driving lessons tailored to people with a medical condition or disability. Our Driving Instructor is experienced in rehabilitation and lessons are available for first-time drivers as well as clients returning to driving after an injury or illness. This may include refresher lessons for older drivers to gain a current understanding of road laws and improve confidence on the road. We also provide lessons to clients who require vehicle modifications. An Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment may be necessary to determine an individual’s suitability for lessons.
A Driving Instructor specialised in rehabilitation conducts the lessons in an automatic vehicle fitted with dual controls.
Driving lessons start at $80 per lesson and may be covered by private funding, NDIS, ICWA or the DEG program. Individual needs and preferences guide the number of lessons that will be needed. In most cases lessons can start from the driver’s home and are offered only in the Perth metropolitan region.
Contact OTDA on 9381 0635 or email email@example.com or fax 9381 0688 for more information about funding options and booking lessons.