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Unique wheelchair driving school opens near Cardiff

Craig Y Parc School has opened a unique course for wheelchair users to learn road safety.

At a special event, Councillor Daniel De’Ath, Lord Mayor of Cardiff visited the school to officially declare the facility open before taking a spin around the course in a motorised wheelchair.

The wheelchair driving school was designed and constructed by Luke Bacchetta and Nia Roberts from the assistive technology and occupational therapy teams at Craig Y Parc School. By speaking to students, parents and observing community visits, they were able to design the space, which allows wheelchair users to overcome some of the obstacles and scenarios they face in the wider community and develop overall driving skills.

The course’s aim is to provide a good understanding of road safety and a fun driving experience. The team has introduced a licence points system to ensure students’ progress, while maintaining the light-hearted approach to learning.  

The driving school consists of two pavements with double yellow lines, a traffic light system, curbed pavements, bumpy road, speed bump, roundabout, three parking bays and a zebra crossing.

On his visit, Cllr Daniel De’Ath, Lord Mayor of Cardiff, commented: “I was hugely impressed by this exciting new facility.

“It’s incredibly valuable for the students at Craig Y Parc School. It increases motor skills and helps them navigate scenarios they may face in the wider world.”

Clair Spring, head of education at Craig Y Parc School, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Lord Mayor to our school and to show off our exciting new facility.

“At Craig Y Parc School, we’re committed to providing every possible opportunity for our students. The wheelchair driving school is a perfect example of the innovative lengths to which we are prepared to go in order for our young people to thrive.”

Craig Y Parc is a specialist school for children and young adults with complex, neurological and multi disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. It offers 38 and 52-week placements.

Its school curriculum focuses on individual ability at every stage of the pupil’s development. All aspects of learning are supported by an experienced team.

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