The laws in the UK and US are incredibly similar, and although this may be true of other developed western nations (and almost certainly is) I haven’t specifically checked into them. When it comes to less developed or 3rd world nations there’s a strong likelihood that the information here isn’t applicable like it might be in a country such as Canada or France.
Various equality laws for both the UK/US are very simply non-discriminatory in the sense that you can take your driving test while using disabled vehicle hand controls or other car equipment, and assuming you pass that test you’re allowed to drive like everyone else.
However there are some exceptions, if your disability substantially increases the likelihood of you crashing you may well be banned from driving depending on the seriousness.
Good examples are people who have seizures or blackouts which when driving can lead to fatal accidents. These can be very common with paraplegics, however there are far more people who don’t have any extra or existing problems too.
In instances where your disability increases the likelihood of an accident then the severity of the ailment is looked into, usually by a doctor who can judge you as fit or unfit for driving.
If you have regular seizures then you almost certainly won’t be allowed to drive, and you shouldn’t be able to because you’re endangering your life and others.
On the other hand if you only have very infrequent and short blackouts there’s a good chance you’ll be allowed to drive, if it’s once every week or two, and only momentarily then it won’t pose too much of a problem.
Assuming you don’t have any kind of extra problems which significantly increase your chance of being in/causing an accident then you shouldn’t face any problems – especially because disabled drivers are actually less likely to be involved in an accident.
But this doesn’t mean that you definitely won’t face discrimination and people tend to have it hardwired into their brains, so assuming you can drive just like everyone else it’s a simple matter of being able to stand up for yourself.
Remember that assuming you’re just as capable as is required by the law than any discrimination is illegal, and threatening legal action is the best course if you’ve been genuinely wronged.
You’ll find that the laws for the disabled are very advanced in most developed countries, but that doesn’t mean that in practice the law’s going to protect you as you wish.
There will be times when you will have to battle to make sure that your rights are fulfilled, but the freedom for disabled drivers to drive a vehicle is one that everyone should have.
It’s important that if you want to start the process of being able to drive that you look into the misconceptions about disabled vehicle hand controls to make sure you hold no false illusions.
Or if you already have your disabled driving equipment then it’ll be worth looking at our tips to starting disabled driving for your vehicle which goes over a few key points above the ‘go to disabled driving school rhetoric which just isn’t possible for so many people.
It’s also worth looking into the differences between permanent and portable vehicle hand controls to make sure that you’re made completely aware of why they’re different and most importantly which is right for you.