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Course Overview

This course will address two key components of productive aging in a community setting. The morning session will focus on providing strategies to minimize barriers for clients who have low vision, while the afternoon will address strengths and limitations of the driving evaluations process and discuss when a client would benefit from an assessment.


Monica Perlmutter, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV, will provide practitioners with an understanding of common age-related vision disorders and the evidence related to impact of vision loss on successful aging and daily activity performance. Participants will learn to administer vision screening evaluations and home lighting assessments that can be integrated into the OT evaluation process. Intervention strategies related to increasing the visibility of the home environment will be reviewed and applied to a case study. Indicators regarding need for referral to a low vision specialist and other community resources will also be addressed.


Peggy Barco, OTD, OTR/L, SCDCM, will provide an understanding of the strengths and limitations of the driving evaluation process from both a specialist and generalist perspective. Emphasis will be placed on providing clinicians with evidence regarding how assessment tools can be utilized to determine whether an older adult with cognitive impairment would benefit from a driving evaluation. This course will further the participant's understanding of how deficits associated with not being able to drive may impact alternative community mobility options. Additionally this workshop will provide information and discussion regarding state reporting laws and ethical dilemmas that can occur while addressing driving concerns.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • integrate knowledge of age-related vision disorders and the evidence regarding impact of vision loss on daily activity performance into their OT practice 
  • describe how central and peripheral vision loss impacts daily activity performance and community mobility
  • administer and interpret vision screening evaluations and home lighting assessments and use results for intervention planning and referral to community resources
  • develop an understanding of the driving evaluation process, resulting recommendations/restrictions, and state licensing reporting laws that are pertinent to older adults with dementia
  • increase knowledge of current evidence related to various cognitive assessments and their ability to predict driving performance in older adults with dementia
  • integrate the driving evaluation process and current evidence through presentation of a geriatric case study involving a driving assessment.

Continuing Education Credits

Occupational therapy
The Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. This course is offered for 6.0 AOTA CEUs. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

Program Agenda

8:00 am   Registration
8:30-9:30   Age-related Vision Loss and Impact on Daily Activities
9:30-10:00   Assessment of Visual Function in the Older Adult: Overview and Hands-on Practice
10:00-10:15   Break
  Home Lighting Assessment and Intervention Principles; Case Study Application
11:45 am-1:00 pm   Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:15 pm   Fitness to Drive in Older Adults: Understanding the Driving Assessment Process
2:15-2:30   Break
2:30-3:00   Aging Adults: Licensure Renewal and Reporting Procedures
 3:00-4:15   Clinical Predictors of Driving Performance in Dementia: Evidence and Case Studies
4:15   Wrap up and questions; Adjourn

Course Presenters

Peggy Barco, OTD, OTR/L, SCDCM, is certified by AOTA as a Driving and Community Mobility Specialist and has been performing comprehensive driving evaluations for over 15 years. She has been instrumental in the development of two driving evaluation and rehabilitation programs at major medical centers including The Driving Connections Clinic at The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. Dr. Barco, in collaboration with Dr. David Carr, has been funded over the last 8 years by Missouri Department of Transportation to investigate medical fitness to drive in older adults. Additionally, Dr. Barco is an instructor at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University, where she teaches courses in cognitive assessment and intervention.

Monica Perlmutter, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV is an associate professor at the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy. She has 33 years of OT experience that includes 10 years in low vision rehabilitation. She completed the Graduate Certificate in Low Vision Rehabilitation Program at the University of Alabama and has Specialty Certification in Low Vision from AOTA. Dr. Perlmutter developed a home lighting environment assessment for persons with vision impairment and established its clinical utility, reliability and validity as well as a self-management program for adults with vision loss. In addition to her teaching and research responsibilities related to successful aging, low vision rehabilitation and home lighting, she is the lead OT for the Aging and Low Vision Community Practice program at Washington University.


Registration Fees

  • $125 - Registration fee
  • $100 - AOTA member fee
  • $75 - WU faculty/staff/alumni/fieldwork educator registration fee
  • $25 - Student registration fee
  • Click here to register online

Course Location

This course will be held in the OT Auditorium, located inside the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. Our building is located at 4444 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, MO 63108.
Click here for directions.

Course Cancellations, Special Accommodations, and Disclosure Policy

Contact Us

Please contact us at (314) 286-1600 with any questions or for more information.

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