For the First Time, Ohio to Allow Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals to Get Commercial Driving License

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will be allowed the chance to obtain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in the state of Ohio. The state has become one of the first to do so since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted a hearing exemption waiver.

fmcsaFor years the FMCSA has relied on individuals passing the “forced whispered voice” test from a distance of 5 feet and/or a hearing loss threshold average in the better ear at .5, 1 and 2 kHz no greater than 40 decibels (dB).


State Agencies Collaborate


Ohio has taken the proactive steps, with multiple state agencies collaborating, to develop test procedures that allow individuals who qualify for a hearing exemption waiver to become properly trained and test for their CDL license.


“This collaboration is another example of Ohio breaking down barriers to employment for individuals with disabilities,” Kevin Miller, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities


According to reports, since implementing the new CDL testing process, the state has witnessed immediate interest from the hearing impaired community wanting to learn more about how to obtain a CDL. Within just the past month, Ohio has had more than 25,000 job openings available to individuals with a CDL.

The state is currently developing a video in American Sign Language (ASL) that helps explains the requirements and testing process, which is said to be available on state websites this fall.


Source: The Review