"MY GOAL IS TO GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF GAINING DRIVING INDEPENDENCE AND TO CELEBRATE WITH YOU AS YOU GAIN A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE.

NIKKI SIMMONS OTR/L, CDRS

Driving Independence offers a wide range of adaptive equipment that suits each individual driver and their needs.

Occupational Therapists help individuals return to the highest level of independence through the use of functional activities.

In order to help maintain your independence or return to your highest level of functioning, Driving Independence offers driving evaluations, driver training, and vehicle equipment/fitting.

Driving is one of the most complex activities of daily living that an individual can perform.

Driving Independence is an independently owned Occupational Therapy clinic focusing on driver rehabilitation. Driving Independence offers driving evaluations, driver training and vehicle/equipment fitting.

 

The owner and Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)/Occupational Therapist, Nikki Simmons, since 1999 has experience in acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient, pediatrics and home health and has specialized in spinal cord injuries, neurological disorders and geriatrics. Nikki is a member of The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) , the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. (NBCOT), and National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association (NMEDA).

 

Contact Nikki Simmons to set up your appointment today!

ABOUT DRIVING INDEPENDENCE

We offer driving evaluations, driver training and both vehicle and equipment fitting for persons with some conditions such as:

CLINICAL EVALUATION

A registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who is also a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)  performs a clinical, objective evaluation which assesses vision, perception, cognition, physical function and activities of daily living. This assessment last up to 2 hours.

 

BEHIND THE WHEEL EVALUATION

If the client is a candidate to drive, the assessment proceeds to a Behind the Wheel evaluation. The Behind the Wheel evaluation is performed in a specially modified vehicle owned by Driving Independence, and will last approximately 1 hour. This allows the CDRS to see if the client is able to make safe driving decisions.  All parts of the evaluation are done at or near the client’s home, as this is likely where the client will be driving and where the client will be the most comfortable.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, the CDRS will discuss with the client and family recommendations for driving.  The final evaluation report, with recommendations, is sent to the the referring  physician.

 

DRIVER TRAINING

Driver training may be recommended after the initial evaluation.  Driver training may include the use of adaptive equipment including hand controls, steering knobs, left foot accelerators or other adaptive equipment.  Driver training may be provided in the Driving Independence vehicle until the client is fitted with the appropriate equipment and vehicle.

 

VEHICLE/EQUIPMENT FITTING

Vehicle and equipment fitting is performed at the vendor’s location after the equipment has been installed in the vehicle.  The CDRS will perform an equipment check with the vendor and client at the vendor location to ensure all equipment is properly installed and working.  The CDRS will have the client drive with the new equipment in vehicle with a CDRS to ensure client safety and comfort with new equipment.

WHAT SERVICES DO WE OFFER?

 
  • Stroke/CVA

  • Neuropathy

  • Brain Injury

  • Spinal Cord Injury

  • Amputations

  • Neurological Disorder (Multiple Sclerosis & Parkinson’s disease)

  • Congenital disorders (Cerebral Palsy & Spina Bifida)

  • Mild Dementia

  • Orthopedic conditions

  • Normal Aging

  • Visual Disorders

WHAT'S INVOLVED IN THE CLINICAL EVALUATION?

A registered and licensed Occupational Therapist who is also a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)  performs a clinical, objective evaluation which assesses vision, perception, cognition, physical function and activities of daily living. This assessment last up to 2 hours.

 

WHY DO YOU NEED THE BEHIND THE WHEEL EVALUATION? 

If the client is a candidate to drive, the assessment proceeds to a Behind the Wheel evaluation. The Behind the Wheel evaluation is performed in a specially modified vehicle owned by Driving Independence, and will last approximately 1 hour. This allows the CDRS to see if the client is able to make safe driving decisions.  All parts of the evaluation are done at or near the client’s home, as this is likely where the client will be driving and where the client will be the most comfortable.

At the conclusion of the evaluation, the CDRS will discuss with the client and family recommendations for driving.  The final evaluation report, with recommendations, is sent to the the referring  physician.

 

SHOULD I GET DRIVER TRAINING?

Driver training may be recommended after the initial evaluation.  Driver training may include the use of adaptive equipment including hand controls, steering knobs, left foot accelerators or other adaptive equipment.  Driver training may be provided in the Driving Independence vehicle until the client is fitted with the appropriate equipment and vehicle.

 

HOW DOES THE VEHICLE/EQUIPMENT FITTING WORK?

Vehicle and equipment fitting is performed at the vendor’s location after the equipment has been installed in the vehicle.  The CDRS will perform an equipment check with the vendor and client at the vendor location to ensure all equipment is properly installed and working.  The CDRS will have the client drive with the new equipment in vehicle with a CDRS to ensure client safety and comfort with new equipment.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
 
 
 
 

TESTIMONIALS

"After driving for 35 years it had become a chore for me. I had loved driving for many years because of the freedom it afforded me. I asked my VR Counselor for a Driving Evaluation and I'm so happy that she chose Nikki Simmons at Driving Independence to do my evaluation. Nikki was patient and encouraging. She asked all the right questions and she really listened to my answers. She introduced me to new devices and systems that addressed all of the problems I was having! She was my advocate at each step of the process. Now I love driving again. It's so much easier that it's no longer a chore!"

- Renee L.

"I can never thank you enough for helping me regain my independence! You were such a good teacher!"

I just want to say Thank You! Your patience and kindness with my mother-in-law was greatly appreciated. You made the testing process very smooth for her. That made this hard day go much better. I would highly recommend you.

"Driving Independence helped my son improve his thinking and reasoning skills while driving. Nikki helped him think clearly when approaching different driving situations. His confidence grew stronger during his time with Driving Independence, and he just recently passed his driving test and received his license! I highly recommend Driving Independence!"

- Kathy O.

CONTACT

(901) 734-7472  |  fax: (866) 811-6440  |  nsimmons@drivingindependence.com
Nikki Simmons, otr/l, cdrs
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