I. MOTOR VEHICLE MODIFICATION SERVICES
Motor vehicle modification services may be provided when necessary to enable eligible consumers to attain or maintain gainful employment.
In cases where the vehicle will be modified for transportation purposes only (consumer will not be driving), the Vehicle Modification Specifications should be obtained from an LRS approved Mobility Equipment Dealer or Driver Assessment Facility qualified to make appropriate recommendations. (LA Tech program staff is available for review of the specifications if requested.)
Motor vehicle modification services can be provided only when a specific employment goal has been identified on a Plan and such motor vehicle modifications are necessary for the consumer to participate in planned vocational rehabilitation services and subsequently enter gainful employment.
A. Evaluation of Need for Motor Vehicle Modification Services
1. Consumers who request motor vehicle modification services to enable them to drive shall be required to undergo an evaluation by an LRS approved Driver Assessment Program to determine the need for motor vehicle modification(s), the type of vehicle that would be appropriate if a consumer does not currently own a vehicle, and the type and extent of modification(s) required.
2. It is very important to identify “consumer choice” in regard to the various systems on the market. The assessment should address whether or not the system the consumer prefers will meet the needs of the consumer and enable the consumer to safely operate a motor vehicle. If it is determined that the consumer can drive with modification, but the “consumer's choice” is not appropriate, the assessment should include a recommendation(s) for a more appropriate system(s).
3. LRS will assume the cost of the driver's assessment. Assessments are obtained using the following guidelines:
a. Class I - If a consumer has been driving a modified vehicle and there have been no changes in the consumer's medical condition, the Counselor will contact the LA Tech program for a review of the consumer’s situation and recommendations regarding the assessment.
b. Class II - Van, first-time driver; Van, Power Seat; Van, Multiple Controls. The Counselor will schedule an assessment at LA Tech. (Use of another
Motor Vehicle Modifications
*September 21, 2015** Authorization
Federal Register, Volume 66, Department of Education, 34 CFR 361, Part VI, State Vocational
Driver Assessment Program in these situations will require the review and approval of the Regional Manager.)
4. If a Counselor is considering the purchase of van modifications for a
consumer who will be driving for the first time, or first time post-injury, LA Tech's Driver Assessment Program is under contract for this level of
5. If a consumer has a history of brain injury, progressive neurological disease or peripheral vascular disease and wishes to become a driver, the Counselor should authorize a neuropsychological to further evaluate and measure perceptual, perceptual-motor and cognitive capacities prior to scheduling the Driver's Assessment. In requesting the neuropsychological evaluation, the Counselor should indicate that the results will be used as part of the driver assessment process, and the examiner should include statements regarding the consumer's fitness for operating a motor vehicle.
6. In some cases where a consumer is denied a license renewal or permit by the Office of Motor Vehicles, qualified driver rehabilitation specialists are allowed to issue a “Class E Temporary Medical Permit” for the purpose of conducting a driver assessment. In these cases, the consumer must apply for a renewal or permit and be denied for a medical reason. The consumer must obtain a statement from the driver license examiner stating the reason for denial. The Office of Motor Vehicles will then review a copy of the assessment report and recommendations when making a final decision regarding licensure.
B. LRS Approval Criteria for Driver Assessment Programs
1. LRS has established “Requirements for Vendors Providing Driver
Rehabilitation Services.” Facilities are required to provide all of the following services:
a. Clinical Evaluation b. In-Vehicle Evaluation
c. Vehicle Modification Prescriptions d. Final Fitting
e. Driver Education
2. The personnel requirements are the same as those used by the Office of Motor Vehicles for issuing Temporary Class “E” instruction permits. These
qualifications include certain educational, experience and professional requirements.
3. The assessment facility must provide a complete report of the consumer's evaluation including the following:
a. Recommendations b. Summary of Test Results
c. Vehicle Modification Specifications
4. LRS will be responsible for an on-site evaluation of the program prior to approval.
1. LRS will not purchase any of the following: a. Vehicles for consumers (see Note below).
b. Modifications to a vehicle, if the individual owns another vehicle that would meet transportation needs.
c. Modifications to vehicles which do not meet the requirements of the Louisiana State Motor Vehicle Inspection.
d. Modifications to a vehicle for an individual who is not capable of driving a motor vehicle with reasonable safety due to the limitations of the
disability, as indicated by a Driver’s Assessment with which LRS concurs. e. Modifications to a van if, with or without modification, an automobile
would satisfy the consumer's need for transportation.
NOTE: It is highly recommended that Counselors advise consumers to delay purchasing a vehicle until they have been evaluated/assessed for driving, since not all vehicles can be modified to meet the specific needs of an individual with a particular disability.
2. LRS will provide modifications to a used vehicle only after it has passed an inspection by a certified automotive mechanic, qualified mobility equipment dealer, and/or a qualified driver assessment program. In these cases, a report regarding the vehicle's condition, suitability for the anticipated modification, and anticipated, useful life of the vehicle must be provided. Counselors are encouraged to contact the AT Program Coordinator for technical assistance when requesting modifications to used vehicles.
3. LRS will provide vehicle modifications costing over $5,000 if the consumer is within one (1) year of being employment ready. If the consumer is not within one year of employment ready and vehicle modifications are needed, an exception from the Director must be requested.
4. LRS will consider second vehicle modification if:
a. The consumer is employed and if it has been six (6) years since the first vehicle modification; or
b. If modifications to a vehicle are required as the consumers’ disability has changed.
1. LRS can provide non-structural modifications to an automobile and
equipment designed to enable a disabled individual to enter, exit, operate, or be transported in the modified vehicle.
2. LRS can provide for the purchase and installation of equipment such as a C.B. radio or cellular telephone if it is documented that such devices are necessary for safety purposes.
3. LRS will not provide standard equipment or customary optional equipment that is ordinarily available when purchasing a new vehicle.
E. Insurance on Motor Vehicle Modifications
LRS will neither repair nor replace motor vehicle modifications damaged by accident, vandalism or fire. Consumers who receive vehicle modification services must arrange for adequate insurance coverage for both the vehicle and
The insurer will need to know the cost/value of the modifications before writing an insurance policy; therefore, consumers are advised to insure the vehicle prior to the installation of modifications, as would any vehicle owner. Once modifications are completed, additional coverage for the cost/value of the modifications should be acquired. The Counselor should obtain a document indicating the vehicle to be modified is insured prior to proceeding with modifications.
F. Repair and Maintenance of Vehicles during Warranty Period
If a defect in the modification to a vehicle is discovered within the period of warranty on the modification, LRS will require the vendor to repair or replace the modification.
G. Vendor Requirements
The Counselor must furnish the potential vendor with a copy of LRS’ RS-30 form, Vendor Requirements for Providing Vehicle Modification Services, as a part of the specifications for price quotes.
H. Additional Criteria
All of the following additional criteria must also be met:
1. Valid Driver’s License/Learner's Permit - Required if the modification is made to enable the consumer to function as the driver of the vehicle *or documentation of successful completion of a driver assessment or applicable pre-licensing training requirements for the consumer, provided by an
approved LRS provider.**
2. Proof of Liability Insurance for vehicle being modified.
3. Ownership of vehicle must be in consumer's name, spouse’s name, parent’s name, or legal guardian’s name before any modifications are actually started.
II. REQUIREMENTS FOR VENDORS PROVIDING DRIVER REHABILITATION SERVICES
In order to be eligible to provide driver rehabilitation services to LRS consumers, a vendor must provide documentation that it can provide the following components: A. General requirements - Services
1. Clinical evaluation - includes testing in the areas of visual, cognitive, perceptual, and physical skills as they relate to the operation of a motor vehicle.
2. In-vehicle evaluation - includes an on-road performance evaluation in an actual driving environment. Where applicable, the vehicle shall be equipped with appropriate adaptive driving equipment. If the facility does not have personnel available who are qualified to conduct an on-road assessment, a qualified commercial driving school may conduct this.
3. Vehicle modification prescription - All prescriptions shall be based on the consumer’s demonstrated performance in an actual driving experience with equipment similar to that which is being prescribed. The prescription shall include all appropriate attachments and be written in a format adopted by LRS.
4. Final fitting - The consumer shall receive a final fitting and operational assessment in the modified vehicle.
5. Driver education - This shall include sufficient practice and training to enable the consumer to operate a motor vehicle with the prescribed equipment at a level that meets the consumer’s needs for driver licensure.
The facility must have a qualified driver rehabilitation specialist meeting the following requirements:
a. Undergraduate degree in rehabilitation, education, health, safety, therapy, or related profession (or equivalent of 8 years experience in driver rehabilitation/education.)
b. Or, may possess current Certification from the Association of Driver Educators for the Disabled (ADED) as a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist.
2. Experience - One year full-time experience or equivalent career experience in driver rehabilitation/education. Persons conducting clinical evaluations should have a minimum of one-year full-time experience in the evaluation and treatment of adults with cognitive and physical impairments.
3. Professional Practice
a. Persons providing these services should continue to obtain appropriate continuing education experiences and/or maintain their ADED
b. Maintaining an active membership in and adhering to the Code of Ethics and Best Practices of the Association of Driver Educators for the
Disabled (ADED): The Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists.
III. VENDOR REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDING DRIVER TRAINING SERVICES
In order to provide driver training for LRS consumers, vendors must comply with the following:
A. General Requirements - The vendor must: 1. Possess a current general business license.
2. Meet all applicable requirements for Comprehensive General Liability insurance and Worker’s Compensation insurance.
3. Insurance Requirements
a. Maintain insurance for public liability and property damage,
comprehensive public liability insurance, including, but not limited to bodily injury, property damage, with a minimum aggregate of
b. Professional liability insurance coverage must be maintained by the instructor or vendor to protect against any future claims by the consumer or other injured parties.
B. Instructor Certification
Each instructor providing the training services must possess at least one of the following credentials:
1. Louisiana Resident
a. Commercial Driving School Behind-the-Wheel Instructor, issued by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
b. Driver Education Instructor, issued by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
c. Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist, issued by the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (ADED).
2. Non-Louisiana Residents
For non-Louisiana residents, credentials from agencies regulating commercial school instructors, secondary school instructors, or driver rehabilitation specialist will be considered. The Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist credential from ADED is nationally recognized and is accepted.
C. Instructor Training/Experience
1. Instructors must have a minimum of two years of successful experience as a driving instructor. Documentation of employment must be provided. 2. Instructors must complete specialized training on disabilities and their
implications for driving. The training must be obtained from a recognized training provider. Activities must include a minimum of 1.5 continuing education units (15 contact hours.) Documentation of successful course completion, contact hours, and course agenda must be submitted. Counselors may request updates to this list from the AT Program Coordinator.
D. Delivery of Services
1. The instructor must be able to travel to a pickup location convenient for the consumer (residence, office, etc.)
2. The vendor will provide training services as indicated by the driver-training plan developed by the Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. Driver Rehabilitation Specialists will be allowed to observe training sessions upon request.
3. It may be necessary for training to occur in the consumer’s vehicle. This is usually the case when the vehicle is a modified van. Training in the vendor’s vehicle will be considered, providing that the vehicle is equipped in a manner to suit the consumer’s needs.
NOTE: In cases where the training is conducted in the consumer’s vehicle, the consumer will be required to provide proof of collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance as required by current LRS policy.
4. The vendor must contact the Drive Rehabilitation Specialist prior to making any alterations in the driver-training plan.
5. The vendor will provide a written report upon completion of the driver-training plan to the consumer’s LRS counselor and the Drive Rehabilitation Specialist. This will be filed in the hard copy case record.
IV. PURCHASING GUIDELINES FOR VEHICLE MODIFICATIONS A. Review and Assessment
1. The Counselor will review and assess the evaluation/assessment report’s recommendations and determine the need for the suggested modifications. 2. The Counselor should pay close attention to the assessment report
recommendations. In many cases, a vendor may be approved by LRS but not approved to install a particular item(s). The assessment report will suggest which vendor is approved for the purchase and installation of the item(s). B. Informed Choice
1. The Counselor must meet with the consumer to outline the specifications the vendor must comply with to meet the needs and choices of the consumer. 2. Counselors must discuss with the consumer the LRS approved Mobility
Equipment Dealers, Driver Assessment Facilities, and Driver Training
Vendors and offer the consumer a choice from among those vendors. Refer to Chapter 5, Parts 511 & 512 for a listing of approved Mobility Equipment Dealers and Driver Assessment and training.
C. Price Quote Procedures
1. Request quotes from at least three approved vendors if the vehicle
modification/or total of all the vehicle’s modifications exceed $5,000.00 (If fewer than three vendors are available, obtain quotes from only available vendors.)
2. If the consumer expresses a choice of vendors, the Counselor should obtain the quotes from those vendors.
3. If the Consumer chooses to use the Vendor submitting the lowest quote, then the Counselor need not apply Agency Policy relative to Consumer
Participation in the Cost of Services for the purchase of assistive technology devices.
4. If the Consumer chooses to use a Vendor other than the one submitting the lowest quote, then the Consumer must pay the difference in cost between the lowest quote and the quote submitted by the chosen vendor.
5. The Counselor must provide the vendor with a copy of LRS’ RS-30 Form and inform the vendor of their responsibilities to comply with those guidelines. 6. Obtain written quotes. Telephone quotes are not acceptable for Vehicle
Modifications. Give the Vendor a time limit for submitting a price quote, and include at least the following information as part of the request for a price quote:
a. Any features, drawings, and performance specifications.
b. Indicate the award as “all or none” or “as a package” if multiple items are involved.
c. Request for warranty information.
d. Date by which the work must be completed.
e. A request to include delivery and set-up costs (if applicable) in the price quote.
f. Any particular specifications:
For example: “the vendor will be responsible for the cost of pick-up and delivery, cost of adjustments, cost of repairs, etc. that could be required after delivery.”
g. Attach LRS’ Form RS-30 as a part of the quote request.
7. The Counselor must obtain at least the following from the vendor before the vendor begins work for all purchases of vehicle modifications.
a. Outline of the work to be done. This could include any features, drawings, and/or performance specifications.
b. Warranty information. c. Cost.
8. Lower Floor Modifications - A consumer that needs to enter a vehicle in their wheelchair/scooter usually will require a lowered floor conversion in their vehicle.
a. One option for consumers is to obtain a vehicle with a pre-existing lowered floor conversion. This option may be available if a vendor is identified by the consumer and the vehicle evaluator that meets the needed specifications and has already been converted with a lowered floor.
b. If the consumer chooses to purchase a vehicle with pre-existing lowered floor conversion, the counselor may choose to pay for, with the prior approval of the Regional Manager, the cost for the lowered floor conversion. This procedure applies only to a pre-existing package of modifications, such as the Braun Entervan™ minivan or GoShichi™
pickup truck packages, and it must be on a vehicle approved by the lowered floor modification manufacturer. In addition, the modification being purchased must meet applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). A reliable source for appropriate modifications is the FMVSS Compliance Review Program of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. To exercise this option, Regional Managers will need to receive an exception from the Director, following a review by the AT Program Coordinator. (This process can save half of the shipping costs of a lowered floor modification and 8 weeks time savings over the traditional method of shipping an originally
manufactured vehicle to a modifier vendor. Because the vehicle is in the inventory of a vendor, it is not possible to get competitive price quotes with this option. Therefore, it will require a special exception.)
9. Special consumer requests: Purchases of items by the consumer that are not included in the LRS-funded modifications (i.e. sound systems, custom accessories, etc.) shall be kept separate and apart from the LRS purchasing process.
V. PLAN AND AWARE DRAFT AUTHORIZATION
The Counselor must complete the IPE or Plan and the RCA will complete the Draft Authorization in AWARE. Submit to the District Supervisor for approval unless Counselor is on Independent Approval Status.
A. If the total of all items/services on any IPE or Plan is equal to or greater than $20,000, the IPE or Plan shall be considered “high cost.” In these instances, all Counselors must have both the IPE or Plan and the Draft Authorization in AWARE approved by both the District Supervisor and the Regional Manager.
B. If the cost of any single IPE plan item exceeds the fee schedule as listed below, the Counselor must provide a written rationale in AWARE case notes for the excess costs; obtain approval of both the District Supervisor and the Regional Manager, and the LRS Director as an exception.
MAXIMUM COST SEDANS
Passenger conversion only (wheelchair/scooter loader) $3,500.00
Driving controls only $4,000.00
PICKUP TRUCKS and SUVs
Passenger conversion only with wheelchair/scooter loading equipment $16,000.00
Driving controls only $4,000.00
Driving controls with wheelchair/scooter loading equipment $8000.00 Driving controls with wheelchair/scooter loading equipment and
entry seat system $20,000.00
Driver, from a wheelchair $56,000.00
Passenger conversion only (occupied wheelchair) $23,000.00
Driver, transferring to a driver seat $32,000.00
Driver, from a wheelchair $56,000.00
VI. METHOD OF PAYMENT
Prior to the Counselor/Counselor Associate authorizing payment to the vendor/provider after actual delivery of item(s)/services the following must be met:
A. The provider must provide an original invoice in order to receive payment. If the provider/vendor does not have an invoice, the provider may use LRS’ form RS-22 Standard Invoice.
B. The Consumer must verify that services were secured as outlined on the invoice. The Consumer can either write anywhere on the invoice that the goods and/or services have been received or submit in writing (e-mail acceptable), a note to the Counselor indicating that the goods/services have been received. By doing so the Consumer is requesting LRS to make payments to the provider.
C. Vendor/Provider submits invoice to LRS for payment as outlined in A-B above. D. Counselors are authorized to withhold payment for services until A-C above are
received. If there are disagreements or evidence of significant departures from the original agreements then an administrative review of the case will be conducted to determine the appropriate, legal resolution.
VII. MOBILITY EQUIPMENT DEALERS
An up-to-date listing of approved Mobility Equipment Dealers, Installers, Evaluators, and Trainers has been moved to the Chapter 5, Vendors, Parts 511 & 512. Counselors are encouraged to call the Assistive Technology Program Coordinator for any questions they