After work experience as an occupational therapist in rehabilitation/hospital settings, Susan Pierce discovered a passion for the specialty field of driver rehabilitation. After developing driving programs at facilities in three different states, Susan Pierce had a strong desire to develop a community-based driving program in an occupational therapy private practice setting. In April 1990 with the encouragement and assistance of her father, Brooke Pierce, she founded Adaptive Mobility Services, Inc. in Orlando, Florida.
Soon Carol Blackburn joined the company as a senior OT and driver rehabilitation therapist. As the demand for their services continued to increase, the company expanded with several driver rehabilitation therapists and PRN driver instructors. Requests grew for additional OT services from vocational rehabilitation counselors, attorneys and RN case managers for wheelchair evaluations, home assessments and OT functional evaluations. To meet this demand, the company expanded its services to include all of these aspects of ADL function and community mobility.
Adaptive Mobility Services, Inc. has provided driving and community mobility services to clients who live in all parts of the state of Florida (as well as other states). The company continues to be a strong community service provider today for all age and disability groups. Over the past 10 years the referrals for driver evaluations for older drivers has tripled requiring a focus in that area as well.
On a national and international level, Susan Pierce and Carol Blackburn are widely known for their passion and commitment in providing quality driver evaluation and training services as well as bringing therapists into this specialty field through educational workshops and professional mentoring. Through their educational offerings over the past 27 years, they have taught over 2000 therapists in this specialty area of occupational therapy. Their blend of classroom instruction with real-life stories of their personal experiences in the field and their unique hands-on learning opportunities has been a successful formula for educating occupational therapists into the field. What started in 1982 as telephone conferences with inquiring therapists, quickly evolved into 1 day, then 2 day workshops that Susan offered on her weekends. By 1987 the courses were in such demand that Susan and Carol developed a formal 2 and ½ day workshop.
Today that course has become two workshops that are 9 days total and offered a minimum of twice a year. They have developed other workshops over the years as the need was there. In 2006 the newest workshop was developed to teach the advanced specialists knowledge and skill in Bioptic and Low Vision Driver Evaluation and Training. In 2010 working with modern technology and the popularity of network marketing, Susan developed a new interactive website with online educational options and social/mentoring opportunities for therapists.
Susan and Carol hope that their legacy is not only the large number of successful drivers on the road with various disabilities but also the many therapists that are providing this valuable service in many areas around the world.