People with disabilities should never be discriminated against. If you are one, then you should not hesitate to do the things that other people can.
And that includes driving.
For those who are living with physical disabilities, learning how to drive is a big leap. It gives them a sense of professional and personal independence. It gives them the freedom to somehow control their lives, and not rely on others too much.
Surely enough, there are still concerns when it comes to this matter. Many are still hesitant to place those with disabilities behind the steering wheel.
For you to know more about this matter, read on.
Can A Person With Disability Drive?
First of all, we need to define disability first. There are various types of impairments, after all. In the legal context, there are some restrictions as to the kind of disabled individuals that can drive.
Technically speaking, the term “disability” refers to individuals who have special requirements and adjustments to operate a vehicle. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of these disabled people from being discriminated against while they are driving. Because of this law, the Department of Motor Vehicles of any state cannot reject a disabled person when he or she is applying for a license.
Moreover, the law integrates that all public spaces have parking spaces reserved for those who are disabled. There should be special access and aid to these amenities so that the disabled can use them properly.
Keep in mind that each state has regulations when it comes to motor vehicles and drivers with a disability. But generally, those who are disabled must inform their respective DMV that they have special conditions. It is a legal requirement that should be met religiously. Once the DMV is aware of this matter, the latter can provide a restricted license based on the current physical limitations that you have.
Furthermore, it is common for the DMV to require disabled drivers to modify their vehicle so that they can operate it efficiently and legally.
What Kinds Of Disabilities Are Allowed For Driving?
Again, not all disabilities are allowed to drive. For instance, if you are an amputee who lost two of your legs, then it is physically impossible for you to drive any vehicle safely. The same is true if your hands are severed, or already absent.
Meanwhile, the following disabilities are allowed to drive:
- Absence of one limb
- Reduced or minimal limb
- Injuries in the spinal cord (depends on the location and severity)
- Mobility problems due to disorders, stroke, and heart attack
- Muscular dystrophy
- Cystic fibrosis
- Neuromuscular disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
Driving Education For Persons With Disability
Similar to non-disabled drivers, those who suffer from physical disabilities can always enrol themselves in driving education courses. Many states offer special lessons designed for disabled drivers. In these instructional lectures, they will be taught how to use modified vehicle controls. They will also be educated regarding the special rules and considerations that are applicable to disabled drivers.
Meanwhile, there’s a minimal requirement that these disabled drivers must possess. For age requirements, they should be at least 16 years before they can apply for a driving license.
Parking Permits For The Disabled
After acquiring their respective driving licenses and modified vehicle, these disabled drivers are also required to get a disabled parking permit. These permits, which are also called badges, tags, or disabled placards, allow disabled drivers to use the parking spaces that are strictly reserved for them.
Having these special parking permits will also allow you to access metered parking without the need to pay at all. Or if not, you will be allowed to park longer than what is stipulated. You can check more of these privileges on your respective DMVs.
Also, each state has its respective requirements for those who can qualify to get a disabled parking permit. Typically, these are the special criterion.
- Conditions that restrict your ability to walk
- Conditions that impair your mobility such as the presence of wheelchairs and cane
- Weakness in one’s vision such as partial sightedness
- Absence of both legs and hands
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
If you fall into any of these disabilities, you are free to acquire your disabled your parking ticket. You simply need to apply to the DMV in your state.