Mobility is essential to all our lives, but most particularly to people with a disability. Mobility can mean the difference between being able to have a job, go shopping, have access to education, simply get a change of scene or not I will be able to help you towards your mobility.
I am trained to understand the requirements of people with disabilities and with techniques learned at “Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation Mobility Centre”.
If you suffer with any physical or even visual disorder you must ensure that the D.V.L.A consider you fit to drive, and are happy to issue you with a provisional licence.
The restrictions are laid down in a booklet “Medical Fitness to Drive” which is published by the Medical Commision on Accident Prevention. This sets out the standards used by the D.S.A to assess fitness to drive. If you are unsure whether you will be allowed to drive or not you should approach your Doctor for advice or information.
If you have a hearing impairment there is no reason why you cannot learn to drive either a manual or automatic vehicle. You are likely to take longer than the average learner, and obviously learning in an automatic vehicle would be slightly quicker. We have been specially trained and have experience in teaching pupils with this problem.
When you are ready to take your theory test special arrangements can be made for those who are dyslexic or have other reading difficulties, who are deaf or who have other physical disabilities. These arrangements must be made in advance when booking the test.
When you are ready to take your practical test you must also at time of completing the booking disclose all relevent information as requested. For example in the case of someone who is profoundly deaf by disclosing this information the examiner can then be properly prepared and extra time can be allocated for the test to allow for slower communication.
A disability is not an automatic bar to driving provided the person is medically fit to drive and is able to control the vehicle safely.
There is a large, and growing, support network for people with disabilities where assessments, advice and help can be obtained as well as the advancement in technology giving greater choice of car adaptations,
If you have the desire to drive but feel that, because of some form of disability, you wouldn’t be allowed, my advice is to ask.
Having decided that you wish to drive, work through these stages and act on the advice given.
Contact your own GP or hospital consultant and explain your intensions. They will know if there is an underlying problem or if your disability will be aggravated by the physical movements of driving. Ask them if they feel that you should have a driving assessment.
A full driving assessment, carried out at a recommended centre, will test for all the physical and visual requirements and issue a report. You may even get to drive a car on the hospital grounds, even if you do not yet hold a provisional licence. (Links for finding assessment centres follow)
Having obtained your report, this will contain advice on the recommended adaptations required, you need to do a number of things.
Obtain the names of driving instructors, in your area, who have suitably adapted vehicles. (These can be found at Assessment centres, advertised in the local directories – Some useful addresses follow). Contact them, initially, for a general chat, agree prices and to get a feeling for the person. Before booking lessons, ask the school if you can sit in the car to check that it suits you. All cars are not the same for accessibility and elbow room.
If you have not already applied for a provisional driving licence, expect to be asked by the DVLA for a medical history from your GP, a report from an assessment centre or even to undergo a medical check. All are for your benefit.
You will need your licence before you can begin taking lessons.
FINDING ASSESSMENT CENTRES
A good starting point for information is on the website of MAVIS