Day 19: Alannah

24-year-old Alannah lives with her parents in regional Victoria. She has worked hard to get her L plates and her goal is to one day have a full licence. Alannah shares how having a licence will help her stay connected to her community and live with independence.
Day 19: Alannah thumbnail.

How did you get your Learner Licence?  

Last year Mum and I started doing one chapter of the rule book each day. Then I had a break from it for a while.

At my work at the Purple Chicken Café one of the support coordinators started helping people to do the practice tests.  A few of the others got their Learner’s so I decided to do the lessons with her. I had remembered a lot of the things Mum and I had gone over and was doing well on the practice tests.  

I told Mum I wasn’t ready to do the big test at VicRoads, but she said I should just do a practice test and see how I go.

I was excited but nervous doing the test. Once I got started though I felt more confident. I couldn’t believe I got such a good score – 29 out of 32!

What is the best thing about having your Learner Licence? 

Now I can learn to drive and soon I will have my own car.

Where was the first place you drove to?

I drove around the streets near my home with my driving instructor, Kerryn.

What advice would you give someone else with Down syndrome who wanted to get their Learner Licence? 

Go for it!

How have you stayed connected to your family and friends last year?

I live at home with my mum and dad, and my foster brothers come to visit.

I was lucky that I was still able to go to work and to dance classes.  For a while the dance classes were on Zoom.

I text my friends and stay in touch with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

How will being able to drive help you stay connected?

I will be able to get myself to work, to dance, to the shops and to visit friends

Why did you want to get your licence? 

Getting my licence has been one of my goals.  

I have dreamed about having my own car and what colour it would be.  I have saved enough money to buy my own car.  It should be ready for my 25th birthday in May.

What has made you feel connected with friends and people in your community? 

I have a busy week.

On Mondays I spend an hour with my personal trainer Deb at the gym then I have a double dance lesson – tap and adult dance – in the afternoon.

On Tuesdays I work at the Purple Chicken Café from 9am to 3pm then I have another double dance lesson (jazz and hip hop) from 4pm.

On Wednesdays I am back at the Purple Chicken Café from 9am to 3pm then I walk to the myotherapist for a massage before going home at 4pm.

On Thursdays I have another hour workout at the gym then have an appointment at the hairdresser to get my hair washed and blow dried.

On Friday I work at Chemist Warehouse from 10am to 1pm then have my last dance class for the week (Broadway). 

Before all the lockdowns I had netball and swimming on Saturdays and ten pin bowling on Sunday.

I love spending time with my work friends and my dance friends.