Occupational Therapy Students Facilitate Workshop for Mature Drivers
Governors State University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) teamed up with the American Occupation Therapy Association and AARP to host a student-led workshop to educate drivers 55 and older on how to make their personal vehicle fit more comfortably.
The free and interactive program ran from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hantack House parking lot, where drivers reviewed 12 key areas of their fit to their car such as adequate space from the steering wheel, proper seat belt use and properly adjusted head restraints. They also learned how to use and adjust safety features during a 20-minute checkup.
Dr. Caren Schranz, Occupational Therapy (OT) Department Chair said the Carfit training cuts at the heart of what OT’s do.
“Occupational Therapists are experts in addressing the essential and everyday activities of daily living using activity analysis and creative problem solving, which naturally includes driving and safe community mobility,” she said. “CarFit training aimed to offer mature drivers a meaningful discussion on how well they currently fit their automobile, and then further explore individualized adjustments and safety features of their car.”
In addition to giving older drivers a chance to learn how to get behind the wheel more safely and comfortably, OT students were given the chance to work with clients, said Dr. Luther King, OT Assistant Professor.
“Students will be doing their field work soon and this gave them a chance to interact with real human beings versus being in the classroom,” he said. “So, we trained our students to facilitate this event to give them more hands-on experiences.”
Schranz said the event was also part of an effort to expand interest in drivers rehabilitation, as the department works to develop a drivers rehab program. Additionally, it worked to strengthen GSU’s partnership with its community.
“CHHS and the OT department can really impact our community partnerships with this and in turn keep people on the road that want to be on the road but safely,” she added.