Individuals with disabilities often face unique challenges accessing transportation to community and work environments. Whether students are considering applying for their permit and license or preparing to use alternative transportation methods, there are resources available that can help them through the process.
Students are eligible to apply for a Learner's Permit after their 16th birthday. Students operating a vehicle with a Learner's Permit must be accompanied by a licensed adult.
Students with disabilities who may have difficulty with the computerized permit exam may apply for exam accommodations. Accommodations include: Extended Time, Written Exam, or Oral Exam.
Students are eligible to apply for a Junior Operator's License (JOL) when they are 16 1/2 years old. They must have held a Learner's Permit for 6 months and completed a Driver's Education Program and Supervised Behind-The-Wheel Driving hours.
Students who are age 18 or older may apply directly for the standard Class D License as long as they hold a Learner's Permit.
The Medical Affairs branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles issues Disabled Plates/Placards and sets policies and procedures regarding minimum physical qualifications to operate motor vehicles. For more information, visit the MA RMV Website:
Organizations such as The Central MA Safety Council, Inc and Adaptive Driving Program, Inc. provide driver training programs specifically for youth with disabilities. Youth can also consult with an Adaptive Driving Specialist who can provide advice and support with adaptive driving equipment.
Driving Assessments are available for individuals who may be unsure whether they can safely drive due to a disability. Driving Assessments assess factors such as vision, hearing, reaction time, motor skills, and cognitive abilities. For more information about driving evaluation programs and assessments, see the following RMV publication:
Students who are unable to aquire a driver's license may benefit from Travel Training. Travel training programs help young people gain familiarity and experience with various forms of Public Transportation available including buses, trains, and taxis.
With training, young people can find ways to safely access community and work environments with a high degree of indepedence. Post-secondary support agencies often provide support and instruction related to these type of transportation needs.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires that comparable paratransit service (e.g. Dial-A-Ride) be available to persons who, because of a disability, are unable to use accessible, public fixed-route service. Paratransit companies provide curb to curb transportation for passengers who meet ADA requirements. For more information...