HomeVA ProstheticsVA Handbook 1173.16 - Driver Rehabilitation for Veterans with Disabilities ProgramAppendix D - Sample Of A Driver Rehabilitation Instructor Training Course

16.14. Appendix D - Sample Of A Driver Rehabilitation Instructor Training Course

NOTE: This was prepared by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service (PM&RS), in cooperation with the Employee Education Service (EES) and the Long Beach VA Medical Facility


The 10-day course is to provide basic training for rehabilitation therapists to become Driver Rehabilitation Specialists in the theory, skills, and techniques required to teach disabled persons to drive and to administer a Driver Rehabilitation Program. 


At the completion of the course the prospective Driver Rehabilitation Specialist is able to:

a. Evaluate disabled persons in terms of basic mental and physical capability to perform the driving task. 

b. Analyze individual disabilities in terms of performance of the driving task and prescribe necessary adaptive devices.

c. Prepare and conduct specific driver rehabilitation lessons designed to enable individual disabled Veteran or Servicemember to become competent drivers.

d. Perform skills comprising the driving task in on-road traffic situations both with usual vehicle controls and with special modalities enabling the disabled to drive.

e. Evaluate patient performance in achieving competence in the driving tasks.

f. Determine individual need and manage ancillary learning enabling the patient to own, insure, maintain, and operate, a specially adapted vehicle.

g. Facilitate individual patient compliance with pre-and post-instruction licensing requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

h. Perform proper administrative tasks in operation of a Driver Rehabilitation Program. 

i. Perform follow-up evaluation of patients as needed to determine continued suitability of adaptive devices to patient’s needs.


VA is an approved provider of training courses and workshops endorsed by the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED (formerly known as the Association of Educators and Drivers for the Disabled)). All faculty members must hold current certification as a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist.

a. Session 1.

(1) Welcome

(2) Course Registration

(3) Review of Pre-course Assignment and

(4) Assignment of Reports on Disability

b. Session 2.

(1) Individual Traffic and

(2) Driving Exam

c. Session 3.

(1) Introduction to the library and Educational Resource Center and

(2) Work-up of Reports on Disability

d. Session 4.

(1) Vision and Driving and

(2) Perception and the Driving Task

e. Session 5.

(1) Basic Cognition and Visual

(2) Perceptual Motor Screening and

(3) Driving with Perceptual Deficits

f. Session 6.

(1) Shared-risk

(2) Identification of Visual and Neuro-muscular Deficiencies and

(3) Assessment and Techniques

g. Session 7.

(1) Traffic Safety and Driver Education

(2) Search, Identify, Predict, Decide, and Execute (SIPDE)

(3) Smith System and

(4) Space Cushion

h. Session 8.

(1) In-car Instruction

(2) Taking Control by Instructor and

(3) Driving from Instructor Position

i. Session 9.

(1) Preparing Lesson Plans and

(2) Preparation and Practice for Road; Lesson #1, Driving Only on VA Medical Facility Grounds

j. Session 10.

(1) Initial Clinical Evaluation with Patient for Sensory Integration

(2) Neuro-muscular and Motor Skills

(3) Student Instruction with Patients

(4) Road Lesson #1 in Automobile and

(5) Critique - Road Lesson #1

k. Session 11.

(1) Reduced-risk Turns and

(2) Turning Paths

l. Session 12. Preparation and Practice for Road; Lesson #2

m. Session 13.

(1) Student Instruction with Veterans or Servicemembers

(2) Road Lesson #2 in Automobile and

(3) Critique Road Lesson #2

n. Session 14. Wheelchair to Car and/or Van Transfers

o. Session 15.

(1) Adaptive Driving Equipment and

(2) Van Modifications

p. Session 16.

(1) Wheelchair Lifts and

(2) Specialized Driving Systems

q. Session 17. Vendor Tour for Presentation of Available Vehicles, Modifications and Equipment

r. Session 18.

(1) Van Operation and

(2) Behind-the-Wheel

s. Session 19. Written Vehicle Modification Prescription

t. Session 20. Freeway and Expressway Driving

u. Session 21. Preparation and Practice for Road Lesson #3

v. Session 22.

(1) Evaluation of Older Drivers and

(2) Proper Vehicle Selection

w. Session 23.

(1) Student Instruction with Veteran or Servicemember;

(2) Road Lesson #3 in Automobile and

(3) Critique Road Lesson #3

x. Session 24. Roundtable Discussion: Problems in In-car Instruction with Patients

y. Session 25. Accident Reporting

z. Session 26. Program Administration

aa. Session 27. Role of Prosthetic Service

bb. Session 28.

(1) Vehicle Selection for the Veteran or Servicemember with Disabilities

(2) Automotive and Van Adaptive Equipment Prescription and

(3) Practical Exam

cc. Session 29. Introduction and Advantages to Simulation for Veteran or Servicemember rivers with Disabilities #1

dd. Session 30. Student Reports

ee. Session 31. Introduction and Advantages to Simulation for Veteran or Servicemember with Disabilities #2

ff. Session 32. Familiarization with Audio-visual Equipment and Classroom Aids

gg. Session 33. Final Road Test Utilizing Vehicle Adaptive Equipment

hh. Session 34. Participant Competency Demonstration

ii. Session 35.

(1) Course Evaluation and

(2) Presentation of Certificate

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