Tell FMCSA To Let Qualified Deaf Truck Drivers Work

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 Urge the approval of exemptions for qualified drivers

Currently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting comments from the community on whether it should give exceptions from hearing requirements to forty-five (45) deaf people so that they may obtain their Commercial Drivers License (CDL)  to drive commercial trucks in the USA.

We need your help in supporting these truck drivers to obtain their licenses and also to tell the FMCSA that they should allow all qualified deaf drivers to drive any vehicle.  There is no valid reason to prevent deaf people from driving commercially because there is no proof of any safety issue.

In 2008, FMCSA did several studies and found no evidence that hearing affects people’s driving skills.  At this time, they are only considering 45 people for the exemption from the Federal hearing requirement.  We want these people to get that exemption.  But while we show support for the 45, let’s also tell FMCSA that we support ALL qualified deaf people and those with hearing loss to receive their CDL!

How can you help? Leave a comment online at the Government’s Regulations website by following the steps below:

  1. Visit
  2. Put “FMCSA-2012-0154-0001” in the search for box.
  3. Look for Qualifications of Drivers; Exemption Applications: National Association of the Deaf.
  4. On the right side under Actions click on “Comment Now!”
  5. The next window will ask you to fill in your name, address and contact information.
  6. And on the last part, you will need to decide if you would like to post in the comment area or create your own word document to upload in there.  If you prefer to work on your comments offline first, do so in MS Word, save it then upload it. 

When writing your comments, please be sure that you include the following things in your letter:

  1. FMCSA should grant the requests for exemptions for all 45 deaf truckers
  2. Believe that deaf truckers should be allowed to drive any vehicle, including vehicles both with and without air brakes.
  3. That modern trucks today are loud inside the cab and hearing drivers can not hear much inside the cab.  For this reason, many technologies were developed to help hearing drivers that benefit deaf drivers as well.  There are no legitimate safety issues connected to hearing and truck driving.
You can also revise the statement below to meet your desire:

I support the exemption for all 45 deaf truckers to obtain their CDL Class A Licenses.  The evidence has shown that not being able to hear does not effect one’s driving skills and that truck drivers, both hearing and deaf, equally use modern technology to deal with the inability to hear inside a truck’s cabin.

For this reason, I think FMCSA should allow ALL qualified deaf people to drive any kind of vehicle; that includes trucks both with and without air brakes.  A deaf person driving is no more of a safety concern  than a hearing person.  Again, I support this awarding of exemptions for these 45 people from the Federal hearing standard, but I also want the Federal hearing physical standards removed for ALL drivers because driving trucks is about skills not hearing.

There are other ways to submit your comments (mail, fax, etc).  Please visit the below PDF document for more information:

That means the deadline is June 25th.  Please, post your comments ASAP!Thank you for your support to help deaf truckers because it’s about skills not hearing.

To take action please visit the link below: you,

Dean DeRusso
Deaf Systems Advocate
Regional Center for Independent Living (RCIL)

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