Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Driver Assessment and Training Services

By: Tayler Sykora

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Driver Assessment and Training service is a state-licensed driving school that helps individuals with a variety of disabilities, injuries, and age-related impairments discover and reach their driving potential. This unique program has been a leader in driver assessment and training services for these populations for over thirty five years and has long provided specialized assistance to both new and experienced drivers.

By evaluating the results obtained through a two-part assessment of the client’s driving performance and medical status, an experienced team of occupational therapists and Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS) identify an outcome regarding the client’s driving status. Courage Kenny Driver Assessment also evaluates clients’ potential to drive with adaptive equipment, additional training, or recommendations for alternative means of transportation in order to maximize mobility for as many people as possible.

Evaluating Driving Potential

Unlike traditional driving facilities, Courage Kenny Driver Assessment follows a multidimensional evaluation process that examines both the client’s driving skills as well as their medical condition in order to more accurately determine their driving potential. The first stage in this process is an initial interview with each client to discuss their personal goals for driving as well as any concerns they may have, providing instructors with a better understanding of the individual and what they hope to accomplish. After completing this interview, the next stage is a two-part assessment that every client is required to complete before continuing their training.

Part One of this assessment is a clinical examination in which the client will be tested on their vision, reaction time, coordination, memory, physical strength, and cognitive processing skills.

Once this examination is complete, clients will begin Part Two: the in-vehicle assessment. During this stage, the client’s driving skills will be observed in a minivan or sedan that has been fitted with any necessary adaptive equipment such as hand controls and left foot gas pedals. This assessment is administered by occupational therapists CDRS who are also licensed driving instructors by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and trained to assist people of all ages and abilities.

Optimizing Driving Performance

Another distinct feature of Courage Kenny Driver Assessment is the development of a comprehensive report outlining the client’s strengths, weakness, and how these factors influence their driving potential. This report will analyze the results obtained through the various assessments to identify an individual’s potential to continue or return to driving.

Potential outcomes may include:

  • a continuation of driving without restrictions,
  • driving with restrictions such as no driving at night, during rush hour, or beyond a certain distance from home
  • or a prescription for vehicle modifications.

If any modifications or adaptive equipment are included in the outcomes of the assessment, lessons are often recommended to further develop the client’s skills using the equipment and to optimize their overall driving performance in order to prepare them for the state road test. Other results may also include a referral to therapy to strengthen their skills, a continuation of lessons, or, if a client is deemed unsuitable to drive, a recommendation for alternative mobility options. All results are kept confidential and are only shared with a physician if given permission from the client.

Locations of Courage Kenny Driver Assessment include: Buffalo, Burnsville, Cambridge, Coon Rapids, Forest Lake, Golden Valley, New Ulm, Owatonna, St. Cloud, and Stillwater.

For more information:

Courage Kenny Driver Assessment and Training Services

or contact Kathy Woods Rakowczyk, CDRS, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

at 612-775-2829 or

About the author:  Tayler Sykora is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in marketing communications with a minor in professional writing. Tayler has written several articles for ConnectWC focusing on disability-related topics of interest to individuals with special needs, their families and the community.
Phone: 715-338-6150