Changing Gears is a Learner Permit Training Course we deliver Free of Charge to Community Groups and Charities.
Course fees for community organisations & charities are covered by grants we can help you apply for.
As we are an Official NDIS Provider, your program tuition is covered. Just fill out an intake form.
Adaptive Learning Strategies
Changing Gears teaches road rules and safe driving behaviours to support the needs of people with specific learning needs.
Unfortunately, due to things like economic disadvantage, poor literacy, neurological diversity or sensory issues like deafness, some people are unable to pass the VicRoads learner's permit test. This can result in a lack of access to training and educational pathways, employment opportunities, social inclusion, and many other aspects of life that most people take for granted. But Changing Gears changes that!
Getting Your L's Creates Opportunities.
Working with community groups and charities for over a decade, we have consistently achieved an impressive 93% learners permit test pass rate. Last year our pass rate was 98%! This is why our program is loved by organisations like The Brother Hood of St Lawrence and other NFP's addressing social disadvantage. We level the playing field by using adaptive learning strategies to teaching road rules and safe driving behaviours for people in ways that suit their specific learning needs.
Also, because of our trusted relationship with VicRoads and various funding bodies, we can deliver our Get Your L's program to community groups and charities, free of charge. We can also deliver it via the NDIS.
NFP's Charities & Community Groups: Unfortunately, due to funding restrictions we can only offer a limited number of programs each year . So, if you represent a community group or organisation and would like to deliver a fully funded Changing Gears program, book a meeting with us on this page so we can answer your questions and reserve a program for you.
How Changing Gears Makes a Difference in the Lives of People With Specific Learning Needs.
Assists individuals with low literacy or learning difficulties successfully apply for their learner permit
Our program teaches road rules and road safety in a way that sticks for an audience that struggles in traditional classrooms or in an online setting. An impressive 98% of program participants passed their learner permit test last year.
Promotes social inclusion and community connection
Disadvantaged youth struggle with feelings of isolation, hopelessness and anger, because of the social exclusion they experience. Not being able to pass their L's and get a license is a prime example. We change this and the resulting social and community inclusion can be life changing.
Provides a valid, Government issued ID
The final day of the Changing Gears program involves students going to a VicRoads facility and applying for their Victorian learner permit. This provides not only a valuable positive experience with a government organisation but students also come away with a paper copy of their learner permit and the finalised copy in the mail. For many people this will become their primary ID for the rest of their lives.
Offers a meaningful, life affirming accomplishment
Obtaining a driver's license is a 'rite of passage' for young Australians. Can you imagine how frustrating and alienating it is for young people with learning difficulties when they can't obtain their L's? The significance of simple self-esteem building wins like this cannot be overstated when you're working with young people and trying to address their social disadvantage. In fact, Changing Gears was conceived when social workers realised many 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.
Teaches Safe Driver and Passenger Behaviours to VicRoads standards
At the same time as teaching road rules, we teach a range of safe driving attitudes that ensure 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 requires 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.
Consider the positive impact Changing Gears has had on 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 and was due to appear in court. Thankfully Elle was referred to the Changing Gears program by a caring community worker and that intervention encouraged the court to treat her leniently. Now, instead of having a record, 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.
WHAT COMMUNITY GROUPS SAY
"The Changing Gears framework is tried and tested. It is delivered by experienced, skillful facilitators
with great success, and achieves great outcomes."
"Changing Gears is an outstanding program that assists young people gain their drivers licence in a way that speaks their language… Fun and interactive, young people learn shared responsibility and best practice towards road safety."
"Changing Gears has worked seamlessly with Vic Deaf support workers in creating an innovative program, with a visual approach. The most recent program saw 100% of participants pass their learners. There is currently no organisation offering this type of service to this disenfranchised group of people.…”
"Changing Gears has been a very valuable program for Pavilion, accommodating the needs of our students. The program facilitators have worked well with our staff in managing any challenging behaviour and all our students successfully passed and are now in possession of a learner permit."
"Changing Gears staff were invited to run a pilot program with ten young refugees. The program was conducted in a highly professional yet practical way, with proper technology and rich material.
Direct feedback from client’s stated they couldn't have achieved what they did without the program..…”