Learning to drive a car is a normal teenage activity. With complex physical disabilities this is more challenging but adaptations to make vehicles accessible are now common. As a communication aid user, the whole (long) assessment process to getting a van, anticipating how I will deal with new situations and addressing communication whilst driving has led to a steep learning curve for everyone involved.
I will use the process of getting an adapted motability car, taking driving lessons, sitting my test and everyday driving to explain the communication challenges I anticipated (and some I didn't) and how these were overcome.
Two years after starting the process, my van is due to arrive in April 2012.
I will summarise the process and end with a checklist of my recommendations for others about the processes and considerations needed for learning to drive if you have a communication impairment.