Province Approves New MTO Assessments and Driver Rehab Assistance Service

Wendy Nieuwland/Occupational Therapist and Certified Driver Rehab Specialist, Debbie Smith/Licensed Driving Instructor, David Orazietti MPP and Janice Kloss/Occupational Therapist

The provincial government has approved Skill Builders Driver Rehabilitation to operate a new location in Sault Ste. Marie helping residents remain in the driver’s seat without the inconvenience of travelling outside our community, said David Orazietti, MPP.

“I am very pleased we were able to bring this important service to our city which will assist many local residents,” said Orazietti. “This facility will also reduce the burden on individuals who previously were required to travel to Sudbury for an assessment.”

Skill Builders is a Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre for drivers which provides assessments on medical fitness to drive, helps to determine the need for adaptive driving equipment and assists drivers with anxiety and more.

“Our assessment and training program helps those who have medical conditions which may affect their driving ability, are in need of adaptive equipment for driving and those who have recently experienced a car accident who are now anxious about driving,” said Wendy Nieuwland, Occupational Therapist and Certified Driver Rehab Specialist who works with the new Skill Builders satellite program housed at Our Driving School. “Our goal is to provide this important service to those who have the desire to remain on the road and help them to gain the ability and experience to be safe drivers. Janice Kloss, Occupational Therapist and Debbie Smith, Licensed Driving Instructor are excited to be helping drivers in their community.”

This facility is now open and is accepting clients for both medical and vision Ministry of Transportation (MTO) waiver assessments.

In assessing fitness to drive, the ministry considers results of all screening tools, expert medical opinion and, in many cases, the outcome of a formal functional assessment conducted by a registered occupational therapist (OT). Functional assessments include a comprehensive in-clinic evaluation conducted by the OT, and an on-road evaluation with the OT and a qualified driving instructor (DI). These assessments are conducted for a variety of medical impairments including cognitive impairment, neurological disorders and visual field impairment.

Ensuring Ontario’s roads and highways are safe is part of the government’s economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.