There are many people with dwarfism who learn to drive successfully, requiring a variety of different adaptions, some more simple than others.
Pedal extensions are a common adaption used for people with dwarfism to allow them to drive, these can be purchased from a number of different places:
- Clarke and Partners
- Menox Pedals
- Easy Rider Pedal Extenders (U.S based)
- Pedal Pals
- Best Lil' Extensions (U.S based)
There are a number of other different adaptions which may be useful, including hand controls, extended stalks (indicators and wipers), extended/electronic handbrake to name a few. It may also be useful to consider automatic cars for ease.
- Some of the options can be found on the RICA website.
Depending on your adaptions, you may be able to learn to drive in a regular driving instructors car, or one with extended pedals. It may be possible to find this with the British School of Motoring.
However, on many occasions it is necessary to use your own car with personalised adaptions. If you are in receipt of higher level DLA, you may be able to access Motability, leasing a car through their scheme.
The first step would be to apply for a provisional driving license, indicating on the application form the necessary type of dwarfism. You will then be contacted to provide medical evidence from your doctor, to support you ability to drive and the form of dwarfism you have indicated on the initial application.
If you are in receipt of DLA, once you have your provisional license, the next step would be to contact Motability who will advise an assessment to determine the adaptions needed, these are often organised through Motability and Driving Mobility.
They will then arrange for you to undertake an assessment with an Occupational Therapist to determine the correct adaptions to suit your specific needs and facilitate your driving. Advising on the car specifications which would be suitable, along with the adaptions which would allow you to drive.
In terms of a driving instructor, it is possible to have a regular driving instructor, from your local area, who isn't specialised in disabled driving etc. however they may need to be accommodating in terms of allowing you to do things slightly different to standard. However, if you do require a specialised disabled driving instructor, there is some information from the Disability Driving Instructors website and if you are on Facebook, there is some information on this page.
A huge supporter of LPUK is Chris Elliott, who has adapted many cars for people with dwarfism, he has attended many of our conventions and would be happy to speak with anyone requiring advice.
Chris Elliott Adaptions
Chris Elliott Adaptions Mobility create vehicles that transform the driving experience for people with disabilities. Our products range from steering balls to hydraulic lifts - as well as bespoke tailor-made adaptions designed just for you. Our 20 years in this specialist industry means that we can find a solution to most problems.
At this years LPUK Expo, we are proud to be launching a range of adapted mobility scooters, specifically for little people. At present, there are two different models, and each order will be custom fit to that particular individual.
Telephone: 01733 333023
Filling up with fuel
When you can drive there are somethings which may be difficult to undertake indpendently, for example filling up with fuel. To help with this, a new app has been created to identify fueling stations near you where it is accessbile, or support is available.
The fuelService app can be downloaded to most phones, they also have a text service available.
For more information, visit the fuelService website.
If you have gone through the transition of DLA to PIP, there is financial support available, below are some of the thing you are able to apply for when receiving PIP -
Vehicle Tax Reduction
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
You must include the following with your application:
- A letter of statement from the DWP that shows your PIP rate, and the dates you're getting it
- V5C - Vehicle log book
- V10 form
- Original MOT or GVT certificate (if needed)
- A cheque, payable to DVLA Swansea for 50% of the full rate of car tax for the vehicle