Driving & Disability

A small thought (from my time in studying for my UK driver’s license)…

I got this practice question on a practice test and it made me pause. Can you read it and think of why?

ID: A screenshot of a question from a practice quiz about driving theory. It reads, “You’re looking for somewhere to park your vehicle. What should you do if the only free spaces are marked for disabled drivers?” The answer choices given are, “Use one of these spaces,” “Use one of the spaces as long as one is kept free,” “Wait for a regular parking space to become free,” and “Park in one of these spaces but stay with your vehicle”. The third option, about waiting for a regular parking space to become free, is marked as the correct answer.

Do you see how it automatically assumes that the person reading this must not be a disabled driver?

But in 2019-20 (the last year I could find data on), nearly a million “Blue Badges” were issued — the handicap parking sticker tag system here in the UK.

So a million of them are given out per year, yet the wording on the test just assumes that the person reading must not be disabled.

What would fix this? Rewording the question only slightly. “If you’re looking for somewhere to park your vehicle and you don’t have a Blue Badge, what should you do if…”

It’s a small thing, yes. I’m nitpicking, yes. But it’s in noticing the small things that we become more inclusive, when we make sure that our language doesn’t assume that disabled people don’t exist.