Driver’s Ed at LIFEDesigns

Driver's Ed Group

The process to obtain a driver’s license can be challenging for many young adults. Coupled with a disability this challenge can almost seem insurmountable. Three young men set a goal to work towards this monumental step for independence, namely studying and passing the driver permit exam. Community Engagement Coordinator, Kristen King, quickly jumped in to help these clients achieve their goals. She began a Driver’s Ed study group which would meet weekly where these clients would take practice tests and quiz each other on topics. Additionally, she recruited a volunteer to assist with studying and teaching driving skills. When asked why, Kristen explained “LIFEDesigns goal is to make individuals with disabilities more independent. I hoped to take away a barrier leading to their greater independence.” After careful study, all 3 members took the test but were unable to pass because the test was conducted on a computer, an element they had not prepared for.  The clients persevered and continued to study diligently while Kristen planned testing accommodations with the BMV. The three clients took the test once again. This time the questions were read to them by a BMV employee. While none passed, two clients scored within a few points of a passing score. The group has not given up hope and although they took a short break to celebrate their substantial accomplishments, they plan to meet once again to work on passing the test! This is a great example of how volunteers and donors combined to make this opportunity possible for these three clients. Because activities like individualized support for driver’s ed are not funded through program reimbursements, we must raise funds to give our clients the opportunities and support needed to successful with projects like this, and to ultimately achieve their highest level of independence. This is our mission put into practice. Our individualized planning process identified these three people who need a little extra support and a few accommodations to have the same opportunity to learn to drive that everyone else does. Thanks to all who support people with disabilities to work toward their goals. 

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