Dealing with a disability when driving

The practical and theory tests can be nervous and stressful for anyone but when you have a disability like dyslexia, dyspraxia, partial deafness, partial sight, ME or something else it makes learning to the driver that bit more stressful. None of the previous mentioned disabilities will prevent you from learning to drive but the DSA do need to know if you have a disability before you take your driving test.

Dyslexia and dyspraxia ‚ when booking the theory test you can apply for an extended test and depending on the severity of the dyslexia request that an examiner reads the questions. When booking the theory test you need to send a letter on headed paper from your college, school or doctor. The headed letter can be either faxed to 0300 200 1155 or sent by post to The Driving Standards AgencyBooking Department, PO Box 381, Manchester M50 3UW, make sure that your full name and address are included. Someone from the DSA will then contact you within 10 days to arrange your theory test if 10 days pass and you haven’t heard anything try calling them on 0300 200 1122.

With the practical, the DSA will also have to be informed when booking the test because one of the elements of the test is to drive independently for 10 minutes, therefore, the examiner may choose to give you verbal directions instead of telling you to follow signs to avoid confusion.

Partial sight ‚ this can affect your ability to judge distance and can affect your depth perception, depending on which eye is affected it can also cause problems when reversing. When booking the driving test click on the box asking about disability and change the answer to yes then write on the following page in the space provided that you have problems with vision again depending on the severity of the problem they may ask for a note from your doctor.

Partial deafness ‚ When the examiner is giving instruction if you are unable to hear him/her clearly then you may make mistakes or miss stop junctions as you are trying to second guess the instruction. Inform DSA when you book the test so they can make a note on the test sheet for the examiner test also inform the examiner before the test commences. He/she will then give you earlier and louder instruction and may even use his hands to help direct you.

When driving occasionally people forget where left and right are with so much else going on its an easy thing to forget the examiners are aware of this and when informed they will use their hands to point which direction to take as well as give you the verbal direction this makes your life and their life so much easier.

With other disabilities like ME, early-stage MS or anything else you think might affect your ability to drive sure when booking your test you inform the DSA and they make a note of it on the test paper so the examiner is fully aware, it could make all the difference.


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