English

AutO&Mobility: Driving with a visual impairment
 
The evidence-based rehabilitation program AutO&Mobility of Royal Dutch Visio aims to improve the opportunities for safe and independent motorised participation in traffic of visually impaired people.
 
This comprehensive rehabilitation program is build on a number of scientific studies (see below) on the practical fitness to drive of patients with different visual impairments. For people with impaired visual acuity we implemented a bioptic driving program which was legalised in the Netherlands in April 2009. This is the first bioptic driving program in Europe. For people with homonymous visual field defects we developed a saccadic scanning compensatory therapy. Next we implemented a specific rehabilitation program for people with nystagmus, including the use of a driving simulator and eye movement recordings. Currently, these programs are adapted to be used in a minicar (max. 45 km/h) or a mobility scooter (max. 16 km/h).
 
For each client the rehabilitation trajectory is based on the actual individual visual function parameters and additional impairments. If necessary, the trajectory is tailor-made together with the relevant professionals, special educated driving instructors and the national driving license authority (CBR). In general a rehabilitation trajectory of the AutO&Mobility program consists of an assessment day, a 4-10 weeks off-road training program, on-road driving lessons according to one’s needs, a practical fitness to drive test and, for novice drivers, a regular driving examination.
 
With the proper support, aids and training, people with a wide variety of visual impairments can gain sufficient practical fitness to drive a passenger car, minicar or mobility scooter in a European setting.
 
Royal Dutch Visio offers assistance to other European initiatives to set up an comparable rehabilitation program.
 
More information can be requested at: auto-mobiliteit@visio.org.
 

References

  • Visual Impairment Research. "A Demonstration Project on Driving with Reduced Visual Acuity and a Bioptic Telescope System in The Netherlands." Bart Melis-Dankers Aart Kooijman (Visio) en anderen. Download pdf.
  • Visual Impairment Research. " The Introduction of Bioptic Driving in the Netherlands". Aart Kooijman en Bart Melis-Dankers (Visio) en anderen. Download pdf.