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Reading Disability and Driver's Test
Q: My 16-year-old wants to get his temporary driver's permit, but he has a reading disability. He has studied the driver's book and is ready to take the test, which consists of 20 questions and 20 signs. However, most things have to be read to him and then scribed. I know I'm setting him up for failure if he takes the test without these accommodations. What can I do to help him?
A: You should be able to request modifications in the exam administration for someone with a documented learning disability. I know that in New York, for example, a license applicant who has a learning disability may request to take the written test orally, in English, for a non-commercial license. A DMV representative will read the test to the license applicant. Some DMV offices require an appointment for an oral test, so you should definitely contact someone at the office directly to find out how to arrange accommodations for your son.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.