Since I became a specialist driver trainer a few years ago, I’ve learnt that nothing ever stays the same. Rules keep changing, requirements keep changing, prices keep changing. And in today’s climate that has never been truer. Learning how to navigate applying for NDIS specialist driver training is something that confuses many.
Not all OT’s the same.
Did you know that when you want to apply for funding for driving lessons, you are required to seek a specialist OT that focuses purely on driving assessments? Not all OT’s are the same. Such as, there’s OT for paediatrics, community health, environmental modifications, mental health etc.
But it’s in my goals.
Every week I receive phone calls and emails asking about booking in driving lessons with clients and support co-ordinators saying it’s in my goals so can I please book in some driving lessons? Unfortunately, having these goals written down, doesn’t automatically make it approved. Gaining approval directly from the NDIS involves seeking a quote, submitting it to the NDIS via the portal and awaiting approval.
Why can’t I use any instructor in my local area?
If you’re after driving lessons, you can most definitely use any instructor in your local area that you like. But when it comes to using someone who is trained in a particular field, such as a specialist driver trainer, it’s important to trust the person who has gone through a rigorous process to support clients with special needs. Such as professional development to support clients with autism, physical disabilities such as requiring a spinner knob, clients with mental health conditions that need specialist support. Remember, learning to drive is more than turning left or right. Having the right person beside you, as well as including supervising drivers in making it a team effort, is very important.
Why do I have to pay for some before I receive funding?
When you are applying for specialist driving lessons, part of the process is paying for some of them yourself. This shows the NDIS that you’re keen to gain your independence, rather than going down the easy route of hoping to get them approved and hope for the best.
Why do I have to provide a medical report?
Medical reports are another important aspect of ensuring you are able to drive in a safe and reasonable manner. Click on this link to find out why assessing your fitness to drive is important. https://austroads.com.au/drivers-and-vehicles/assessing-fitness-to-drive. The medical form can be downloaded via the Vic Roads website.
That’s a lot of information to provide.
Gaining all of this information is important to ensure you get the right support, not just general support. There’s nothing worse than doing something, to discover it’s the wrong support down the track and you’ve wasted valuable time, resources, and in some cases have to pay back what you thought you were entitled to.
If you’d like to know more here are some more websites to assist. All of these links can be found on my website at www.driveskills4life.com.au under the FAQ’s section.
These knowledgeable Occupational Therapists are highly skilled and well respected in their fields. Jenny from All Ages Occupational Therapy is based in Cranbourne North and covers most of the Casey area and beyond. Leonie from Nepean OT covers the Eastern end of the Mornington Peninsula. Megan from Drive Safe Assessments covers an area from St Kilda down to Seaford. And lastly is Allison who works for Community OT covers the western end of the Mornington Peninsula from Frankston down to Portsea.
Don’t hesitate to contact one of them for all your assessment needs.
Remember, we’re all here to support you and ensure you get the correct support the first time. It may seem overwhelming, but getting it right is our priority.
Until next time, take care.