For more than 30 years, the Association of Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED) has operated as an educational association devoted to the support of professionals working in the field of driver rehabilitation. Paying close attention to the issues that affect drivers with disabilities and those that support them has topped the organization’s list of priorities.
And in 2008, ADED doesn’t plan to change it up much. It is the goal of the association to continue to work with other organizations to call attention to the challenges affecting disabled drivers. The organization is hoping to make even bigger strides toward its goals with a new, full-time executive director, Teresa Evans-Hunter. Hunter plans to work with the board to bring ADED to the next level.
“I am honored to be selected as ADED’s executive director,” she says. “This position creates a unique opportunity to help the organization expand its membership, further develop its programs and services and create greater public awareness among industry, government and academia.”
Evans-Hunter says the organization will focus on growth in the field of driver education and training for the disabled; encouraging more people to achieve certified driver rehabilitation specialist (CDRS) status; and establishing ADED as a resource on topics pertaining to driver education and training for the disabled.
Staci Frazier, ADED board of directors president and a CDRS, agreed with Evans-Hunter that the organization is in need of more certified members. And ADED will strive to make sure the field has quality, well-educated providers, she says.
The organization is also concerned with the following issues: improved safety for wheelchair securement in vehicles; and driver education and training services for the disabled that are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Since there is always new equipment being developed and continuous striving by manufacturers to increase the independence and safety of transportation for people with disabilities, ADED does its part by striving to provide key components of education and information for those working in the field of driver education and transportation equipment modification through assisting the end-user and the professional, Evans-Hunter says.
“Because of the nature of the work, our members are very sensitive and familiar with the challenges of being a disabled driver and repeatedly exhibit caring, compassion when dealing with persons who may require their services,” she says.
For those who may need driver training or assessment, ADED makes available a directory of members, which include professionals that provide driver evaluations and driver training, companies that sell mobility adaptive vehicles, companies that install mobility adaptive driver and passenger aftermarket equipment and manufacturers of adaptive mobility equipment. ADED also has a directory of the Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists and fact sheets that explain characteristics and driving of various disabilities and conditions. For the professional currently working in the field of driver rehabilitation, ADED provides continuing education, an annual conference and vendor expo with the latest developments in the field, a quarterly newsletter and a certification program.
ADED will host its 32nd annual conference on Aug. 3-5 in Kansas City, Mo. The conference will include workshops and seminars on driver rehabilitation, plus an exhibit of state-of-the-art adaptive equipment, vehicle modifications and driver assessment tools. For more information about ADED or its services, visit www.driver-ed.org or call (919) 529-1830.