On Tuesday, April 9, Scott Friede left a video blog (VBlog) with caption and shared with another group on facebook. He was receiving news from different deaf trucker peers across the country about the following concerns.
- Weigh Stations have loudspeakers need to be replaced
- Staff and workers at the weight stations are not professional
- Deaf truckers need to pay twice as much for the exams
- Process to get the Hearing Exemption is taking too long.
- More schools should seek ADA accommodations for the deaf people
Deaf Truck Drivers agree with Scott about his concerns that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking so long. We had to wait so long for the 45 deaf truckers to get their results. FMCSA only approved of 40 drivers. We still are not sure if the 5 that were not yet declined actually had a reason to be declined or not. Some of the 5 truckers say that they were not yet declined but on hold.
Recently, we had 9 new deaf people apply for a waiver and we have no idea how long it will take for them to get their waiver papers from the hearing physical exemption. How much longer must our deaf truckers wait for this? We already know that some of the 40 deaf people who got their waiver stepped out of the process because they needed to make a living and decided to explore other employment opportunities out there.
Scott did raise another point, there are some deaf people who are currently working. He is concerned that the system is not giving them a chance. The workers and police are facing these deaf truckers with guns as if the deaf person is a threat to the industries. He feels that is not necessary. Even the schools, are declining the deaf people mainly because the school does not want to provide an accommodation that is required by the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Many of the industries do not want to provide a sign language interpreter.
He also raise another issue about the Medical Certification Examination is wasting deaf people’s money and making deaf truckers look expensive. For example, the deaf person gives the newly created Medical Waiver from the Hearing Examination from FMCSA and the doctors will decline the document because they did not know anything about it. Then, the deaf person will need to get FMCSA involved to help educate the doctor about it. After this discussion, the doctor will accept the deaf person again. The biggest concern was that the deaf person has to pay for each visit. Just because the doctor was not aware.
Deaf Truckers in the past argued with FMCSA that deaf people should have equal opportunity to go the same steps just as any other trucker who passes the physical examination. The goal was not to go additional unnecessary steps for their examination process. This means, our deaf drivers should go in and get their test without any struggles or questions about their hearing or speaking skills.
Then, Scott shows some of his past letters of commendation and application from his previous employers for his hard work as a truck driver. He feels that it is time for FMCSA to begin educating many states, agencies and industries about fair treatment to the deaf truckers who are about to gain their rights to be a driver.
RDT Administrations are currently working on writing a letters to both FMCSA and NAD. Because, RDT believes that driving truck is about skills not hearing.