Some people with some disabilities find it easier to learn to drive in an automatic. You can try out driving using a simulation until you are more confident to go on the roads. You should start by learning off-road, like in an empty car park to get your confidence up. If you have a disability, you must tell the DVLA, otherwise you can face a £1,000 fine. Typically, you need to be 17 years of age to learn to drive, but if you get higher rate mobility of PIP or DLA, you can start to learn a year earlier, but not driving on the roads. There are many modifications that could help make driving easier and safer. You should go to a mobility centre for an assessment to see how they can help get you driving. If you get higher rate mobility of PIP or DLA you can apply to Mobility, a Charity that can provide adapted cars (and other things) in exchange for some of your mobility disability benefit. There are driving instructors that specialise in different disabilities. You may find they are more experienced to help you develop strategies to get you driving. If you get higher rate mobility part of PIP or DLA, you can apply not to pay car tax. If you get extra time in exams, for example, due to Dyslexia, you can get the same when you sit your theory test. These links should help get you driving.
Find strategies that help you, for example, if you have Dyslexia, you may like to put small stickers to remind you of left and right. Everyone should build there confidence once starting driving on the road by focusing first on roads they are familiar with. It is better to have fewer distractions, so have the radio off and fewer passengers.
Driving a Car with Adaptions Video from Attitude.
Driving an adapted car.
The experiences of passing his Driving test are recounted by the Autistic Genius as part of his many videos on daily life and experience.
Driving Mobility run a large number of assessment centres in the UK where you can have your practical driving needs assessed to see if driving can work for you and what adaptions, if needed, you may benefit from to make driving easier and safe and minimise the effect of any disability. They are trained professionals and used to assessing disability in relation to disability and finding workable solutions. https://www.drivingmobility.org.uk
Motability. www.motability.co.uk. Government car and scooter scheme for those who get higher rate mobility element of PIP. They also do a Big Event at the NEC and smaller regional events where you can try out different cars adaptions and scooters.
Blue Badge Disability Parking from Bucks County Council. https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/transport-and-roads/blue-badge/apply-for-or-renew-a-blue-badge. You can get a Blue Badge if you get at least 8 points for PIP Mobility, or you cannot walk more than 50 metres. You can also get a Blue Badge now for an unseen disability, like Autism, when there is a need.
Government advice on different transport options and considerations that may be relevant if you are disabled. https://www.gov.uk/transport-disabled
Safe Driving for Life: Driving with a disability. https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/driving-disability
Government Advice - Driving with Different Health and Disability Conditions. https://www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions
Specialist Disability Driving Instructors. You can use this site if you wish see a list of Specialist Driving Instructors. https://www.disabilitydrivinginstructors.com
Disabled Motoring. https://www.disabledmotoring.org
Able Thrive has a large section on driving for people with a spinal cord injury. Although American, the site has lots of personal accounts of experiences and videos, such as demonstrating driving control possible options. https://ablethrive.com/life-skills/driving
Blue Badge Parking provides a map of all the known blue badge parking throughout the world. www.bluebadgeparking.com
Disability Rights Booklet, ‘Doing Transport Differently’. Exploring different ways to adapt and use transport with useful case studies. https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/how-we-can-help/publications/doing-life-differently-series/doing-transport-differently
Disabled Rail Card. A one third discount on rail fares if you have a disability. https://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk
National Express Disability Coach Card. Coach travel with one third off coach travel for those with a Disabled Coach Card. https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/offers/coachcards/disabled
Disabled Persons Free Bus Pass. To qualify, you must be:
RiDC. Research Institute for Disabled Consumers. They research consumer products for disabled people, including, but not limited to, mobility products, like scooters,wheelchairs and cars. Includes research and user reviews to make informed recommendations on products for independent life. They help businesses understand the market and improve products and voice issues of consumers. www.ridc.org.uk
RiDc a look at accessibility public transport. https://www.ridc.org.uk/content/accessible-public-transport
Apps, like Google Maps, can help you with transport planning and walking between two places and are quite simple to use. While apps, like UK Bus Checker or Live Train Times give live updates, so you know when the bus is coming and where it is in real time. Family locator apps like LIFE 360allow you to track the location of family members, for example, if someone is not used to using public transport and may be lost. Charities like Talk Back, offer travel training for those with learning difficulties and autism if needed.
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