Karla Crawford OT Reg(PEI)
Welcome to Drive-Ability
I am a proud graduate of the Masters of Driving Rehabilitation Therapy (2016) and Masters of Clinical Science in Occupational therapy (2004) at Western University, London Ontario.
I have worked as a clinical Occupational therapist in the Health system on Prince Edward Island since 2004. Practice areas I have been employed with include acute care, rehabilitation, home care, outpatients, and long term care settings. I am currently an Occupational therapy Learning Manager for an Occupational therapy assistant/Physiotherapy Assistant program and still operate and own Drive-Ability.
Drive-Ability is PEI's only driving rehabilitation therapy service and has been in operation since 2017. Please browse my website to learn about its services.
Driving is a skill of daily living that most people value. When injury, disease, illness or aging potentially affect one’s ability to drive, a comprehensive driving evaluation should be taken. These are different than screening tests to renew a licence. Driving licence assessments are more of a screening tool and not the same as what is described here.
Drive-Ability may assess and work with individuals of all driving ages for various reasons. People are generally referred to Occupational therapy driving rehabilitation programs because of physical or cognitive changes to their bodies which may have increased fitness to drive risks for the driver.
All individuals who have been referred to Drive-Ability are assessed by myself, trained in Driving Rehabilitation. Driving intervention is on a case-by case basis and number of sessions will be determined following the assessment.
Comprehensive Driving Evaluation
This evaluation is completed in two parts: a clinical evaluation and an on-road evaluation.
During the clinical evaluation, the OT will obtain information on your medical & driving history and goals; assess your joint movements, muscle strength, coordination, reaction time, thinking skills required for driving; and a visual screen. This is also when specialized driving equipment may be indicated to drive.
The on-road evaluation includes an assessment of your driving performance and considers any physical or cognitive limitations that may exist.
Part of driving is being comfortable but most importantly, safe. Knowing what the proper setup for you to drive within any vehicle enhances your comfort and safety in your vehicle.
Anxiety & Driving
Most people approach driving without a second thought. There are others however who feel anxious at the thought of getting in a car, let alone behind the wheel.
Driving anxiety can be triggered by a car accident or another bad experience and it can affect people differently. Generally, it's a fear of making an error while driving or being in a car with someone else who potentially may make an error.
Like lots of other types of anxieties or phobias, the longer someone puts off driving, the more difficult it becomes to return to it.
The driving assessment will include a personalized treatment plan geared towards the specific needs and anxieties.
Frequently Asked Questions
You Ask — We Answer
Got questions? I've got answers! At Drive-Ability, I'm committed to providing our community with answers to all of your medical queries and requests. I've pulled some of the most frequently asked questions and compiled them all into one place. Should you have any other questions that I may have missed, please contact me .
How do I get referred to Drive-Ability?
Referrals may be initiated by yourself, your Occupational therapist, Physiotherapist, or Psychologist however a physician referral is required to sign off on the referral form. This sign off is to confirm there are no contra-indications for you to otherwise be behind a wheel, eg. seizures
Why do I have to pay a fee for this service?
As with all rehabilitation driving centres/clinics across Canada, there is a fee for service. This service is not covered by our government health insurance. You should check with your health insurance provider to determine if they will cover Occupational Therapy services.
Can I claim the cost of the driving program or assessment as a health care expense on my income tax?
Yes, you should be able to claim your assessment and possibly driving interventions as a health expense.
Who will evaluate me?
You will be evaluated by myself, an Occupational Therapist trained in driver rehabilitation as well as a certified driving specialist for the on-road evaluation only. After the on-road evaluation, we will hold a debriefing so the driving instructor and myself can provide you with feedback on your driving performance.
Will you take away my license?
No. I do not have the ability to take away your license. I provide my report findings and my recommendations to your doctor and Highway Safety (with your consent). It is up to your doctor to notify Highway Safety re: your ability to resume driving. Ultimately, Highway Safety however has the final determination about your licensure (with my assessment & recommendations and physician input).
Can I use my own car for the on-road evaluation?
No. I consult with a Driving School and we use their car which has a dual brake system.
What if my license is suspended?
If you have been referred by your physician to be assessed by myself at Drive-Ability and your license is suspended, I will need to know in advance of the date of assessment. I will contact Highway Safety to request a temporary license so that you can be legal on the road to be assessed. If further on-road intervention/lessons are required, Highway Safety will need to issue a restricted license for you to drive with a certified driving instructor.
What if I have never driven before?
If you have never driven before and you and your physician are curious about your ability to drive, you may be referred to complete the Occupational therapy clinical assessment. You would however, be still required to complete your driving education prior to initiating an on-road assessment.
What if I can't drive a regular car?
Part of the clinical assessment with myself is to determine your functional strengths & abilities, and any physical limitations that would indicate adaptive driving controls may be necessary. There are options for being assessed and trained in a vehicle with the necessary adaptations.
Please reach out if you have any questions regarding Drive-Ability and the Occupational therapy services I offer.
2225 Covehead Road