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Richard Martin

Richard Martin

I love driving and couldn’t wait to learn to drive!

I was taught on a disused WWII airfield at 16 and passed my test within a few weeks of turning 17. Soon after this I joined the RAF and trained as an engineer before working on Lightning and Phantom jet fighters in the eighties.

I later went on to join the Police service and took the opportunity to work my way through police driving qualifications to the highest level. I retired from the Police service in 2014 and I’ve been an approved driving instructor in the Notts/Derby area running my own driving school since.

Having had the opportunity to work with the Deaf Community as a police officer, I attended college and achieved qualifications in British Sign Language (BSL). Once I began work as a driving instructor it seemed only natural to use my BSL skills to begin to help local Deaf people achieve their driving licences. The communication skills, empathy and patience required to teach Deaf pupils attracted other pupils with particular needs, notably those on the ‘autistic spectrum’. Although teaching these special groups of people is challenging at times, the reward to me of seeing their lives change so much when they gain their driving freedom makes it all worthwhile.

Having seen John and Mike talking about the work of the Speed of Sight charity I thought this could be a natural progression for me to give more opportunities to people living with disabilities to experience the thrill of driving that I love so much! The rest as they say, is history.

I’m now proud to be part of the Speed of Sight family helping to make dreams come true and love working with a huge range of people from all backgrounds towards that one goal.

I’m more than happy to be proven wrong, but I suspect I may be the only ADI qualified to teach both Deaf AND Blind people to drive!