The Directorate General of Traffic, with the aim of favouring the relationship of all users with the administration and facilitating their access to mobility, has published a guide to improving accessibility to the driving licence for people with specific learning difficulties.
Specific learning difficulties, of which dyslexia is the best-known example, are the most common neurological disability in today’s society, affecting approximately 15% of the population to a greater or lesser extent. In the specific case of dyslexia, it is estimated that it affects 10% of the population, 4% of them severely.
For this reason, the Directorate General of Traffic has been collaborating for some time with the Spanish Dyslexia Federation (FEDIS) with the intention of trying to reduce the barriers that people with specific learning difficulties encounter when they need to interact with the DGT and mainly at the time of obtaining their driving licence.
According to Maria José Aparicio, Deputy Director of Training and Road Safety Education at the DGT, “With this guide, we aim not only to adapt the process of obtaining the exam to people with dyslexia but above all we want to raise awareness of the difficulties faced every day by all those who suffer from this and other invisible and often forgotten disorders”.
In addition to dyslexia, the guide covers other neurological disorders that can hinder learning, such as dysorthography, dyspraxia or developmental coordination disorder, dyscalculia, attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity, or autism spectrum disorders.
It is important to bear in mind that no two people with specific learning difficulties have exactly the same profile of strengths and weaknesses, but there are some areas of difficulty that tend to be common to all of them, for example:
Sequencing, organisation and time management
Direction and location
Lack of awareness
Obtaining a driving licence
The guidance notes that some people with specific learning difficulties sometimes have character traits that need to be taken into account in the driving licence aptitude tests.
Firstly, people with dyslexia and other ASD should be identified, either by the presentation by the person concerned of a report stating the diagnosis signed by a registered professional, or by other supporting documents, such as an ASD Passport.
In addition, the guide includes a series of recommendations to be taken into account for both the theoretical and practical exams. For the theory test, since in general people with AEDs tend to have difficulties in managing the notion of time, it is recommended, among other things, to explain the general instructions to them personally and slowly before the start of the exam, to provide them with 50% extra time to take the exam and to have headphones so that they can listen to the questions and answers of the exam.
In the case of the practical test, it is recommended to bear in mind that these students tend to be disorientated and blocked and tend to have, among other things, difficulties in identifying right and left or in making a decision in a matter of seconds, and it is therefore essential to give them clear and very concise instructions, avoiding technicalities, as well as informing them beforehand that you know their personal characteristics in order to avoid them blocking during the exam.