The Office for the Blind provides Bioptic Driving evaluation and training to individuals determined to be eligible for services upon completion of a low vision examination. The ultimate goal of the Bioptic Driving Program is to assist individuals in obtaining a bioptic driver’s license.
Bioptic driving is a method of driving that utilizes both the patient’s general vision and intermittent vision through a small telescopic system that improves the sharpness of the patient’s vision. The bioptic telescope is only used to do quick spotting such as to read a traffic sign, check a distant traffic light or check events far down the road.
The process begins with an examination by a low vision specialist, to determine whether the patient meets the visual acuity and visual field guidelines for the Kentucky Bioptic Driving Program. We conduct an extensive assessment including a passenger-in-car evaluation of functional vision, as well as three paper-and-pencil tests that measure visual perception abilities, cognitive flexibility, and divided attention. The next step is training with a Driver Rehabilitation Specialist.
The requirements of the program are:
•Visual Acuity: Must have 20/200 or better with corrective lenses, in the better eye to be accepted in a certified driver training program;
•Visual acuity through the bioptic telescope of 20/60.Visual Field: 120 degrees horizontally and 80 degrees vertically in the same eye;
•Behind-the-wheel training with the Bioptic Telescope is required, a minimum of 30 hours for a new driver and 15 hours for a previously licensed driver;
•Daytime driving restrictions apply, but may be removed after 36 months if the licensed driver drives without any at-fault accidents and without any license suspensions;
•For night driving the driver must successfully complete additional evaluation and training specifically designed for night driving from a certified driver training program. The day time only restriction will be removed upon successful completion of training and a road skills test, designed specifically for night driving.
Training is based on individual learning needs, some individuals require more time than others. If they successfully complete the behind-the-wheel training portion, they are scheduled for a road skills test with Kentucky State Police division of Driver’s Testing.
Office for the Blind is committed to supporting individuals with vision impairment in achieving their vocational goals in the workforce securing competitive wages and benefits. The ability of an individual to drive and provide his or her own transportation to and from work is a crucial component of every individual’s independence. Transportation is no longer a barrier for an individual to become successfully employed. We believe that all individuals regardless of their disability can be successfully employed having a positive financial impact on our economy.
The Kentucky Law for Bioptic Driving passed in 2000.