A guide to help IAM RoadSmart volunteer observers adapt their driving and riding coaching to the different neurodiversity needs and learning styles of people who take their Advanced Driver or Rider course has been published.
The UK’s largest independent road safety charity teamed up with IAM RoadSmart member and training specialist Denis McCann to produce the guide, which is being made available to all 182 groups nationwide from this month (May).
Neurodiversity is the recognition of people who think differently or have a brain chemistry that means their brains work differently. This can include conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism and Asperger’s, Tourette’s and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), among others.
Denis, a retired fire officer and passionate motorcyclist, holds the IAM RoadSmart motorcycle Masters with Distinction, the highest civilian driving qualification. He is a national observer for his local group, Wiltshire and Bath Advanced Motorcyclists (WaBAM).
A visiting trainer for the Fire Service College and the College of Policing, Denis is dyslexic and champions raising awareness and understanding of dyslexia and other aspects of neurodiversity.
Richard Gladman IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving and Riding Standards, who worked with Denis to produce the guide, said: “It is essential that our examiners, observers and associates understand neurodiversity to ensure our training is accessible and meets the needs of all drivers and riders.
“To become an Advanced Driver or Rider means understanding and being able to process new skills. This guide supports the focus and development of understanding by all our associates as they learn the new Advanced Driving and Riding skills the courses offer.
“This guide offers a simple, easy-to-read insight into six areas of neurodiversity. It explains clearly what people who have a particularly neurodiversity condition can do well, what they may find more challenging and, most importantly, how best to support their learning and help them be successful.”
Denis said: “I am delighted to be associated with IAM RoadSmart publishing this guidance to support neurodiversity on their Advanced Driver and Rider courses.
“As someone who is dyslexic, I know that neurodiversity need not be a barrier to achieving success at the highest levels of Advanced Driving and Riding. IAM RoadSmart is taking its existing support for neurodiversity to the next level with the publication of this guidance.
“More than ever people can be assured that neurodiversity is not a barrier to achieving the highest levels of Advanced Driving and Riding with IAM RoadSmart. People can be confident they will find a supportive learning environment that will adapt to their individual needs.”
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Further information: The IAM RoadSmart Neurodiversity Guide is currently only being distributed to a limited audience (IAM RoadSmart observers and group officials) and it is viewable by this audience on our website, after login. If you are not within this community but would like a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Neurodiversity Guide' in the subject line and we will email you a copy as soon as we are able.