Changing Gears is a Learner Permit Training Course we deliver Free of Charge to Community Groups, Special Schools, DES Providers and NDIS Participants.
Course fees are covered by Vic Roads, the NDIS and other funding bodies that support educational programs for disadvantaged people.
Changing Gears teaches road rules and safe driving behaviours in a way that addresses the unique learning challenges faced by people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. Unfortunately, due to issues like economic disadvantage, neurological diversity, poor literacy, deafness, and other life challenges, people in these groups often face difficulties in learning road rules and safe driving behaviours.
Especially when they have to study in a conventional classroom or online setting that does not cater to their specific learning needs. This can play out in a lack of access to training & educational pathways, employment opportunities, social inclusion & many other aspects of life most people take for granted.
But Changing Gears Changes That!
Working with community groups & special schools for over a decade, we have consistently achieved an impressive 93% learners permit test pass rate. This is why our program is so loved by organisations committed to adressing social disadvantage. We level the playing field by imparting knowledge of road rules & safe driving behaviours in a way that resonates and sticks for people with unique learning challenges. This helps them make safer choices on our roads, gain access to training and employment opportunities and build a life that works.
And best of all, because of our relationship with VicRoads, the NDIS and other grant bodies, we can usually deliver Changing Gears to community groups with zero impact on their operational budget.
There’s only one catch. Due to budgetary constraints, Changing Gears can only offer a limited number of programs each year.
So if you represent a community group or organisation that would like to explore the opportunity to help people with a learning challenge get a safe driving education and obtain their learner permit. Or if you are someone on the NDIS. Click the book a meeting link on this page and schedule a call with us so we can answer your questions. Then, if you’d like to move forward, we can reserve a program for you or your organisation.
Ways Changing Gears Will Make a Positive Difference in the Lives of Young People in Your Community Group or Special School.
Assists individuals with low literacy or learning difficulties successfully apply for their Learner Permit
Our program is uniquely designed to effectively teach road laws and safe driving skills in a way that resonates and sticks with an audience that struggles in traditional classrooms or online settings. An impressive 93% of Changing Gears course participants pass their learner permit test on their first attempt.
Teaches Safe Driver & Passenger Behaviours compliant with Vic Roads funding criterea
As well as successfully imparting all of the material required to pass their learners permit test, our program teaches a comprehensive range of safe driving skills that ensures graduates begin their learn to drive journey with a solid understanding of the importance of:
adhering to speed limits.
separating drug and alcohol use from driving.
avoiding common distractions, e.g., the use of mobile phones when driving.
avoiding driving when fatigued or impaired,
plus the importance of ensuring everyone is wearing seatbelts, and the correct way to fit them.
Boosts self-esteem and employment prospects
Securing a learner's permit and developing driving skills is a crucial step in a person's journey to self-empowerment and independence. Did you know one in six jobs require a driver’s license? In addition, if people in suburban and regional areas don’t have a driver’s license, they may need to relocate just to find work. With the current low job vacancy rates and high costs in the rental market, not having a driver’s license becomes a significant social disadvantage.
Offers a meaningful, life affirming accomplishment
Obtaining a driver's license is a symbolic 'rite of passage' for all young Australians. So, can you imagine how frustrating and alienating it is for young people with learning difficulties when, through no fault of their own, they cannot obtain a learner's permit. The significance of self-esteem building wins like this cannot be overstated. In fact, Changing Gears was conceived when social workers noticed many good kids were getting a criminal record, simply because they couldn't pass their learner test; and so, out of frustration, chose to drive without a license. Its a real insight into privledge when you realise how small victories like this can be so life-affirming for kids struggling with learning difficulties.
Promotes social inclusion and community connection
Changing Gears helps break down social barriers and foster a sense of community and belonging among disadvantaged youth, who often struggle with feelings of isolation, hopelessness and social exclusion. These feelings are exaserpated if they cannot obtain their learner permit.
Provides a valid, Government issued ID
Changing Gears helps many young people get their first photo based government ID. This simple practical achievement can make a huge difference to young people trying to get established and make their own way in the world.
Consider the positive impact Changing Gears has had in the lives of these young people.
Elle - A 25 year old indigenous woman,pregnant, with her third child
Due to low literacy, Elle was unable to pass her learner permit test. Living in rural Victoria, where public transport is minimal, she told us she chose to drive unlicensed to “take care of my mob.” But like so many in her situation, she was eventually caught driving unlicensed and was due to appear in court in March 2020. Thankfully, Elle was referred to the Changing Gears program by a caring community worker. As a result, she obtained her learner permit in January 2020 and had a far more favourable outcome in court. That intervention and action encouraged the court to treat her leniently. Now, instead of being a convicted felon, Elle is a single mum with a driver’s licence.
Biak - A young migrant woman struggling with literacy difficulties
How about the story of Biak Tha Sung, a young woman who obtained access to the program through The Migrant Information Centre (MIC).
Biak successfully obtained her learner permit, which eventually led to her obtaining her probationary license, With the help of her parents, Biak was then able to buy herself a nice little car and secure regular employment.
I want to thank MIC for this great program! It really helped me feel good about myself…to be able to drive, understand how to be safe and get a job. Thank you so much!”
Tanya - Many challenges with the learner permit test before completing Changing Gears
Click on Tanya's face in the picture to left. See the big smile on her face? At twenty five years of age, Tanya had suffered the humiliation of failing her learner permit test four times before she completed Changing Gears. But because our program is specifically designed and delivered for the needs of people like Tanya, she now has her license along with access to all the privileges that provides.