The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry has grown at mach speed. This rapid development will require some growing pains to develop protocols and provisions for often overlooked people. The drone education nonprofit, Drone Forward Incorporated (DFI), recognized a profound need to develop a more inclusive UAV industry starting with the FAA’s Part 107 pilots license exam. In the mission to provide a more equitable exam, DFI has built a coalition with Aironautica and Vigilante Cares to begin the dialogue with the FAA to advocate for a Part 107 exam that is more accessible to disabled individuals. This coalition needs help from other organizations and individuals with connections to the FAA to ensure all people have the opportunity to become Part 107 pilots.
DFI first recognized that the FAA Part 107 exam was not easily accessible to disabled people in 2020 when the nonprofit was working with individuals preparing for the exam. After multiple interviews with people who struggled on the test and who self-identified as having a disability diagnosis, DFI recognized that all these people were unaware if American Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations were available. For many of the interviewed test takers something as simple as an untimed test was all that would have been needed to alleviate their issues.
In an effort to build a roadmap to help disabled people receive access to ADA provisions for the Part 107 exam, DFI navigated through the plethora of FAA material to come up empty handed. DFI took the next step and reached out to all FAA ADA compliance staff via email to begin the dialogue on how to build a bridge to the Part 107 exam for disabled peoples but did not receive a reply. Thus, it became apparent that DFI would need to dedicate serious efforts to building an advocacy coalition for disabled people seeking equitable treatment on the Part 107 exam.
Drone Forward was honored that Aironautica and Vigilante Cares joined the coalition to seek Part 107 exam accessibility. Both Aironautica and Vigilante Cares have been helping veterans find fulfilling work in the UAV industry and recognized that many veterans, specifically those with PTSD, would benefit highly from having accommodations such as an untimed Part 107 exam.
Drone Forward welcomes any other organizations or individuals interested in joining or furthering this mission to contact them via their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org directly. The goal of this mission is to have a button on the FAA Part 107 section of the website that says, “Test Takers Seeking ADA Testing Accommodation.” This button will provide all people with learning disabilities and other disabilities with a definitive list of accommodations and easily navigable application provisions to secure necessary accommodations.