Having a disability is hard, especially when society is structured for those without one. Skills such as driving become harder to obtain or maintain when you have a disability, especially when you need to face the NDIS driving assessment.
Drivers with a disability face different assessments due to their unique conditions. By getting in touch with driver-qualified providers, you can gain a good understanding of the process of your NDIS driving assessment.
To ensure you are maximising your opportunities, you should know the ins-and-outs of how the NDIS driving assessment works and how to best prepare!
Know the assessment requirements
The NDIS driving assessment will has two components, which will take approximately 2 to 3 hours in total.
The off-road assessment seeks to identify if there are any medical conditions that could impact on a person’s driving ability. This component will often be done at your home before the on-road test is taken.
A qualified driver-trained occupational therapist will administer the off-road assessment and family members are welcome to sit in.
During the on-road component, both the qualified driver-trained occupational therapist and a driving instructor will be in the car. It will be tested in the person’s local area to determine whether they can drive safely. The test must be conducted in a dual-controlled car.
After the disability driving assessment, you and your family or carer will discuss the results and recommendations with the driver trained occupational therapist.
Get a trustworthy driver trained occupational therapist
It’s important that your driving teacher is someone you trust and that you’re comfortable with. Whether it’s your first time driving or you’re returning to being in a car, it can be nerve-wracking to be in the driver’s seat with a stranger in the car.
For this reason, it’s important that you discuss with your NDIS provider to get the right driver trained occupational therapist for your driving journey. You want someone who is easy to communicate with and who can help you build your driving skills.
Practice and plan
Like all skills, driving takes practice to make perfect. Talk to your provider to ensure that you are completely ready before taking your NDIS driving assessment.
Your provider can draft up a plan suitable for your driving journey. By working with experienced rehabilitation driving instructors, they often have an indication of driving plans that are evidence-based and help people achieve their driver’s license.
Don’t rush your driving lessons – it is important that you learn the rules of the road!
Make sure your car is fully equipped
Some disabilities will require the modification of a traditional driving vehicle in order to make the driving process easier and safer. In some cases, physical disabilities will require a car to be modified before an NDIS driving assessment takes place.
It is recommended that you undertake driving lessons with your driver trained occupational therapist in your modified car before taking the NDIS driving assessment.
By talking to your NDIS provider, you can determine the necessary modifications for your vehicle. Some modifications may include electronic signals or additional mirrors. You must visit a registry or service centre to have the conditions for those vehicle modifications noted on your license, and in some cases, your vehicle registration.
It is possible for these modifications to be covered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, so make sure you know what is available to support you in your journey to getting a license!
Driving is a journey which requires a lot of patience and planning. Talk to your driving provider to ensure that you get the practice and knowledge necessary to accomplish the goal of getting your driver’s license and having a good NDIS driving assessment.