Learning to drive is a great way to get mobile. Although the minimum age for learning to drive is normally 17, if you are receiving the mobility component of Personal Independence Payment at the enhanced rate, you can drive at 16.

Many people with ataxia may be eligible for the Blue Badge Scheme. This gives parking concessions for drivers or passengers who have problems walking. It allows badge-holders to park close to their destination. To apply for this concession contact the social services department of your local authority.

Or to find out more, you can visit:

Web:    www.gov.uk/apply-blue-badge 
Tel:      0844 463 0213 (England)
               0844 463 0214 (Scotland)
               0844 463 0215 (Wales)

If you drive, you must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) as soon as you are diagnosed with ataxia. This does not automatically mean you have to stop driving. For some people with ataxia, their condition means they need adaptations to their car to carry on driving and eventually may decide to give up driving. For more information on this, contact the DVLA.

Web:    www.gov.uk/contact-the-dvla
Tel:      0300 790 6801 

Other useful organisations include: Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF) which offers advice and gives training and assessments for those wishing to drive adapted cars and personal mobility vehicles; Motability helps people to lease cars, scooters and powered wheelchairs; The Disabled Motorists Federation (DMF) gives advice on suitable vehicles and other aspects of travel, including planning holiday travel.

Web:    http://qef.org.uk/   
Tel:      01372 841 100

Web:    www.motability.co.uk 
Tel:      0845 456 4566

Web:    www.dmfed.org.uk