Special Educational Needs – Driving Mobility

Special Educational Needs

It may or may not be possible for people with special educational needs to learn to drive to the required standard, and an assessment is recommended to explore this further.

It may or may not be possible for people with special educational needs to learn to drive to the required standard and an assessment is recommended to explore this further.

There are currently two parts to the UK driving test.

  • Theory Test – multiple choice questions and hazard perception videos
  • Practical Test – driving skills and safety test

It is mandatory to pass both parts of the test and the theory test must be passed before taking the practical test.  Both tests can be taken as many times as required but there are no adjustments that can be made to the standard required to pass.  There are, however, practical ways to support someone with special educational needs to achieve and demonstrate the required skills and knowledge.

For the theory test some of the options are:

  • Practicing online or with DVD, CDs and books such as the Highway Code, Know Your Traffic Signs and The Official DVSA Theory Test
  • For reading difficulties consider audio books and additional support during the theory test

https://www.gov.uk/theory-test/reading-difficulty-disability-or-health-condition

When starting driving lessons consider the following options:

  • Choosing an instructor with specialist experience and who the learner feels comfortable with
  • Discussing with the instructor any techniques that have aided learning in the past
  • If communication and/or anxiety is anticipated to be a problem initially, consider asking the instructor if someone supportive can sit in on the first few lessons
  • Trying an automatic transmission car as well as manual transmission
  • Being prepared to take more and/or longer lessons if needed

Potential to Learn to Drive Assessments

Mobility Centres have teams of occupational therapists and driving instructors with specialist knowledge to help with physical or cognitive challenges with learning to drive. Assessments are tailored to individual need but typically includes visual screening and cognitive assessments before progressing to an in-car assessment.  Some centres also offer assistance with the theory and hazard perception test. A local centre will be able to provide more advice and information.

Alternatively, specialist driving instructors can be found at www.disabilitydrivinginstructors.com.

Read Olive’s story here.