Medical Driving Evaluations

Joan Cramer

Joan Cramer
Joan Sevigny Cramer, MS, OT/L, CDRS received her Bachelor’s in Science in Occupational Therapy from Quinnipiac University and continued her education at the University of Hartford where she earned a Master’s in Science in Organizational Behavior. Joan’s career has involved work in various clinical arenas serving clients with a variety of diagnoses. Her clinical expertise includes seating and positioning and home care consultation. After assisting her mother through the process of retiring from driving, she became intrigued with the specialty of Driver Rehabilitation. Her journey to become a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist began in 2015 by attending a comprehensive seminar lead by Susan Pierce, OTR, CDRS, SCDCM. She attended additional training sessions hosted by The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) who supports those working in this field; they establish guidelines for best practice and oversee the process for certification in this specialized field of practice. In August 2017 Joan successfully passed the certification exam making her the only Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist in the state of Connecticut. She has recently been appointed the chair of an Ad Hoc Committee for ADED to assist with the development of training resources for those planning to take future certification exams. As the past President of the Connecticut Occupational Therapy Association, she continues to volunteer as a speaker at local conferences with a mission to heighten awareness of her peers as they guide their clients, young and old, in preparation to drive following injury/illness. Joining the team at The Next Street will allow Joan to offer comprehensive services to those in need across the state. She is excited to learn from her associates who specialize in driver training and to broaden her involvement with young adults who wish to drive. In her free time Joan values time with her family, spoiling her 5 grandchildren and making memories with her mom. She hopes to incorporate her love for service animals in her efforts to work with clients behind the wheel.
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Recent Posts

Driving With a Left Foot Accelerator

Posted by Joan Cramer on Feb 6, 2021 4:17:51 PM

There are a number diagnostic groups for which a vehicle can be adapted to accommodate for the loss of the right foot function. The individual driving with a left foot accelerator must enter the process knowing it will require a great deal of training and practice to successfully learn to operate a vehicle in all conditions with this adaptation.

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Topics: driver rehab, adaptive driving, left foot accelerator, equipment

Deciding to Install Pedal Extenders

Posted by Joan Cramer on Feb 6, 2021 2:58:36 PM

The physical challenges associated with being short statured must be addressed before one can operate a vehicle. Access to the pedals is a concern for many short people. The use of pedal extenders is an option for adjusting foot support on the pedals, but it is not the only, or first, step to take when driving with modifications.

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Topics: short stature, adaptive driving, Pedal Extenders

Identifying Driving Concerns During A Visit to Family Members

Posted by Joan Cramer on Dec 23, 2020 10:22:36 AM

This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has definitely disrupted plans for the holidays, and for many of us means a cancellation of the annual trip “home”.

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Topics: Safe driving, elderly, driver rehab, adaptive driving

How Do I Talk To My Aging Loved One About Their Driving?

Posted by Joan Cramer on Feb 20, 2020 11:34:10 AM

You may have noticed that when your dad drives, he struggles to stay between the lines or stop as quickly at lights as he used to. Maybe you’re concerned about the new dents in your mother’s car. 

Any aging driver will experience changes in their vision, physical condition, and cognitive abilities, so it’s natural to be worried about their safety behind the wheel. If so, it may be time to sit down with your elderly friend or family member and have a serious discussion about the future of their driving.

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Topics: aging, health, elderly, memory loss, alzheimers, driver rehab, driving evaluations, medical, arthritis, vision, adaptive driving, anxiety

Driving With Anxiety

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:44:05 AM

Driving can be a stressful experience for anybody. And for those with driving anxiety or a driving phobia, even the thought of getting behind the wheel can be daunting.

These are all very understandable worries, but overcoming these challenges and becoming comfortable behind the wheel can bring a life-changing sense of mobility and independence. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at anxiety and how it can affect your ability to drive. Then, we’ll touch on some things you can do to improve your driving ability at home, as well as some steps to work with your mental health professional and a driving specialist to overcome these challenges and get out on the road.

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Topics: driver rehab, driving evaluations, medical driving, anxiety

Driving with Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:42:13 AM

A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease can bring a number of questions and challenges that affect every area of your life, particularly your mobility and independence behind the wheel. However, this progressive movement disorder doesn’t mean that you need to stop driving immediately. 

In this article, we’ll discuss Parkinson’s disease and how it can affect your driving ability. Then, we’ll touch on the common challenges of driving with Parkinson’s, how they can be overcome, and how you can work with a driving expert to confidently and safely extend your time behind the wheel.

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Topics: driver rehab, driving evaluations, medical driving, parkinsons

Driving with Spina Bifida

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:35:56 AM

If your child has grown up overcoming the challenges of spina bifida, the idea of them successfully operating a motor vehicle may seem out of the question. 

However, in reality, there are actually a number of different ways, through adaptive driving equipment and additional training, that people with spina bifida can successfully learn to drive

In this article, we’ll explore spina bifida and how it can affect your child’s driving ability. Then, we’ll touch on some of the ways that your child can overcome these challenges, and with the help of some specialized training and guidance gain the mobility and independence of the open road.

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Topics: driver rehab, medical driving, adaptive driving, spina bifida

Driving With ADHD

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:31:06 AM

It’s perfectly normal for a parent to be stressed or concerned as their teen learns to drive. Driving is a high-risk behavior for teens, and should definitely be taken seriously. 

For parents of teens with ADHD, this concern can be elevated, and understandably so. Drivers with ADHD often struggle with inattentiveness, distractions, and impulsivity on the road, and are more likely to get in an accident

However, with some additional help, any driver can overcome these challenges, comfortably master the ability to operate a car, and safely enjoy the freedom of the road.

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Topics: driver rehab, medical driving, ADHD

Driving After a Limb Amputation

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:27:17 AM

Limb amputation can be the start of a long road to recovery, both physically and mentally. On top of the time spent healing from the surgery, adapting to physical therapy, a prosthetic limb, and the many changes to your life can be a significant challenge.

Even daily tasks such as driving can seem difficult or impossible after a limb amputation. However, the good news is that there is a wide range of options for people with disabilities and amputations that include rehab, training, and adaptive driving devices. All can help you keep your freedom and independence behind the wheel.

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Topics: driver rehab, medical driving, limb, adaptive driving

Driving With Cerebral Palsy

Posted by Joan Cramer on Sep 24, 2019 7:23:10 AM

Having a child reach driving age can be a stressful time for any parent, and this can be particularly true if your child has cerebral palsy. Even though your child may have learned to overcome any physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities they may have, driving may seem insurmountable.

However, in most cases, it’s actually possible for aspiring drivers with cerebral palsy to make use of special techniques and adaptive driving equipment to safely compensate for any impairments they may have behind the wheel. 

In this article, we’ll explore cerebral palsy and how it can affect your child’s ability to drive. Then, we’ll touch on the process where — with the help of a certified driving rehabilitation specialist — your child can identify their challenge areas, refine their driving skills, and begin driving safely.

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Topics: driver rehab, medical driving, Cerebral Palsy, CP

Driving is Important

We Are Here to Keep You Safe Behind the Wheel

Our Driver Rehabilitation program works with patients whose change in health may affect their ability to safely drive. We have a team of Certified Driving Rehab Specialists that will work with patients on evaluating your driving abilities. We also have a team of professional instructors to help you gain or regain the skills you need to drive. We created this blog to talk about the various diagnoses we experience and how they may affect your experience behind the wheel. 

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