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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Deaf Truck Drivers in the United States:

A friend of mine who is a fully licensed truck driver in Canada was offered a task hauling agriculture grains to a location near Chicago. He wanted to accept the task, but he told his employer that he saw stories that Deaf people were not allowed to drive trucks in the United States. His employer decided to call to find out if Deaf people could drive trucks in the United States.

His employer got back to him and said that Deaf people are not allowed to drive commercial trucks in the United States. I have seen that story before, but have never been able to verify if that is true because I find it hard to believe. I decided to contact NYS Department of Motor Vehicles to see if I can get confirmation.

If it indeed is true, I will be surprised because I always thought Deaf people had more privileges and opportunities in the United States than in Canada.

I will get back to this post once DMV responds to my inquiry.

9 comments:

Buzzair said...

wow, that is a surprise. So much for the ADA. Kind of like not being able to fly commercial airplanes.

Samuel said...

same idea in Jamaica island not let Deaf ppl to drive car or Motorcycle.. it make me pissed off think DEAF can't drive oh yeah DEAF can do it i know .. what an excuse Law in Jamaica island ???

proudpetite said...

I had this discussion with several people about the differences in both countries: Canada and US.

There are streets, parks and such named after Deaf people in Canada, especially in Ontario. There is Deaf Culture Center in Toronto. Deaf people and their culture in Canada are well recognized by province or country at large for who they are, not for their rights as a Deaf person. There is no certain law that enforces the rights of equality for Deaf people or people with disabilities here yet. Do we need it? I would rather have it enforced anyway but better after people are well aware of Deaf people and culture first.

In the states where three BIG letters, ADA, are being frequently used under grievance or such, I feel that the law doesn't make any difference in gaining awareness and recognition of who Deaf people really are. I'm thinking that the law is not helping as it brings resistance against recognition.

The awareness before law makes the difference. Still, there is a long way to go here in Canada, such as the communication systems (videophone, etc) but I'm appreciating the open-mindness so far here.

The belief that Deaf people cannot handle trucking is clearly old fashioned and ignorant. When and how are they going to be educated?

Buzzair said...

Here's a case of deaf drivers winning the right to drive UPS
UPS

According to the article, Federal rules demand that trucks exceeding 10,000 pounds be staffed by those meeting certain vision and hearing requirements. But the government leaves it up to companies to decide who is qualified to operate lighter vehicles.

The U.S. Postal Service and FedEx Corp. allow some deaf drivers to operate delivery vehicles under 10,000 pounds.

Personally I don't understand how a difference in ones hearing allows them the ability to handle more weight.

slaplore said...

then let's be proactive.

oneninefive said...

Proudpetite - you have good points.

Buzzair - oh yes, I forgot about that case with the UPS drivers. My friend hauls more than 65,000 pounds of grain so in his case I guess he is not allowed to drive in the U.S.

And I do not see how being able to hear makes a difference below or above 10,000 lbs, I just guess the government is trying to protect the jobs many hearing people have as truck drivers being stolen by Deaf drivers.

Connie said...

Interesting! I never knew about it... Dang -- Canada can be better than America in many little ways!! :)

FrecklesFly said...

Did little research, found this information under FMCSA (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?section=391.41#SubpartE)
It actually stated, "However, Canadian drivers who are insulin-using diabetics, who have epilepsy, or who are hearing impaired as defined in §391.41(b)(11) are not qualified to drive CMVs in the United States."

There's also some extensive report on pros&cons about hearing-related for trucking job, about how job can effect the hearing and how deaf is or not any different, etc. It was pretty long report (pdf file)..guess they have not reached to conclusion whether deaf should be allowed or not even through some parts showed that ability to hear might not make much of difference...read it if you want to know more and if you got time, heh
The link is http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/publications/medreports.htm
Reports for that part is at bottom under "Hearing Disorders and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers"

FrecklesFly said...

Sorry the links were cut off, here the links are:

FMCSA

FMCSA Medicial Report