About ADED

ADED: The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, is a professional organization promoting excellence in the field of driver rehabilitation.  ADED's members work with persons with disabilities and the aging for driving independence and graceful retirement from driving.  ADED is the only organization that offers the Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS) credential, and a comprehensive credentialing program for providers at every level of service.   

What is a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist?

Driver rehabilitation specialists come from a variety of backgrounds and work with people of all ages and abilities, exploring transportation solutions for drivers with special needs and the aging. 

Driver Rehabilitation Specialists:

1.     Conduct a thorough evaluation of abilities and limitations

2.     Provide driver remediation and training

3.     Assist with navigating the state driver licensing process

4.     Work closely with mobility equipment dealers to achieve optimum vehicle fit

Driver rehabilitation specialists are professionals with backgrounds in healthcare and/or driver education who have completed additional training and education in the field of driver rehabilitation. Available through ADED, driver rehabilitation specialists may earn accolades (badges) identifying them as having additional training in a singular aspect of the profession. Additionally, ADED offers a microcredential, Driver Rehabilitation Professional (DRP), identifying the earner as a trained provider for basic and low-tech driver rehabilitation. 

The most knowledgeable of the specialists are Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS), who may offer the full spectrum of services, including high-tech programs. The CDRS certificate is the accepted benchmark for quality in driver rehabilitation services. ADED provides practitioners with high quality training and is the only organization to offer the driver rehabilitation specialty certification designation. Candidates who have successfully passed the certification examination will earn credentials designating them as a CDRS and are required to maintain continuing education and update their knowledge in the profession to retain this important designation.

What type of professional background does a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist have?

Drawing from a wealth of caregiving fields, ADED members include occupational, physical, kinesiotherapy and speech-language therapists, driver education specialists, and equipment manufacturers/dealers, as well as rehabilitation and vocational professionals. With backgrounds in healthcare and/or driver education, driver rehabilitation specialists are professionals who have completed additional training and education in the field of driver rehabilitation. These are smart, caring people with excellent interpersonal skills and a creative, "can-do” attitude – people who can make a real difference for older drivers and those with special needs.

There are a lot of different types of programs out there. Which one should I offer if just getting started?

ADED recommends offering a driver rehabilitation program that will best suit the market needs and your skill level. Not everyone will need to provide a program that has high tech and advanced driving systems and not all clients can be serviced by a traditional driving school.  Here are a few types of driver rehabilitation programs and their level of service: 

Basic:  The program professional is typically a driver rehabilitation specialist or a Driver Rehabilitation Professional (DRP), or a  Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS),  with a professional background in occupational therapy, other allied health field, driver education, or a professional team of CDRS with a licensed driving instructor. The basic level program offers a comprehensive driving evaluation, training and education. Services may include use of adaptive driving aids that do not affect operation of primary or secondary controls (e.g. seat cushions or additional mirrors).  The program may also include transportation planning (transition and options), cessation planning, and recommendations for clients as passengers.

Low Tech: The program professional is a driver rehabilitation specialist, a Driver Rehabilitation Professional (DRP), or a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS), or in combination with a licensed driving instructor. Credentialing as a Driver Rehabilitation Professional (DRP) or Certification in Driver Rehabilitation (CDRS) is recommended as the provider for comprehensive driving evaluation and training. This type of program offers comprehensive driving evaluation, training and education, with or without adaptive driving aids that affect the operation of primary or secondary controls, vehicle ingress/egress, and mobility device storage/securement. A low-tech program may include use of adaptive driving aids such as seat cushions or additional mirrors. At the low-tech level, adaptive equipment for primary control is typically mechanical. Secondary controls may include wireless or remote access. Services in a low-tech program may include transportation planning (transition and options), cessation planning, and recommendations for clients as passengers.

High Tech: The program professional is preferably a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS). Certification in Driver Rehabilitation (CDRS) is recommended as the provider for comprehensive driving evaluation and training with advanced skills and expertise to complete complex client and vehicle evaluation and training.  A high-tech program offers a wide variety of adaptive equipment and vehicle options for comprehensive driving evaluation, training and education, including all services available in Low-tech and Basic programs.   At this level, providers can alter positioning of primary and secondary controls based on client’s need or ability level. High tech adaptive equipment for primary and secondary controls includes devices that meet the following conditions: 1) capable of controlling vehicle functions or driving controls, and 2) consists of a programmable computerized system that interfaces/integrates with an electronic system in the vehicle.