Diversity and Inclusion Success Story

American Sign Language and Commercial Truck Driving Train the Trainer Program

Fastport Truck Driving FASTPORT—an industry intermediary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship—is sponsoring and coordinating a pilot program to provide American Sign Language (ASL) training to commercial truck driving instructors in conjunction with the National Association of Publicly Funded Truck Driving Schools.

Historically there have been limited opportunities for people who are deaf to receive commercial truck driving training and find meaningful employment in the transportation sector. These limitations are primarily related to the substantial cost of employing ASL-qualified interpreters for students. However, it is considerably more cost-effective to provide ASL training to CDL instructors, which will increase the number of students with hearing impairments who can receive CDL training.

Dave Harrison, the executive director of national apprenticeships for FASTPORT, said, “We are convinced that with the ability to utilize remote training resources, we can utilize a few individuals who are qualified in ASL and CDL instruction to train other CDL instructors in ASL. This will provide exponentially more opportunities in multiple locations for deaf students to thrive in the transportation sector.”

The pilot program is being facilitated through the Amarillo College-Truck Driving Academy because of its success in providing commercial driver’s license (CDL) training to students who are deaf or hearing impaired.