National Association of the Deaf

Transportation and Travel

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Deaf and hard of hearing people need access to transportation services, regardless of the mode of travel.  The NAD is committed to ensuring equal access to transportation services, including equal access to information and communication related to those services.  Towards that effort, the NAD consults with and provides assistance to federal agencies, state and local governments, and private businesses to improve access to transportation services.

The NAD continues to advocate for:

  • Rescission of the Department of Transportation rule 49 C.F.R. § 391.41(b)(11), establishing hearing requirements for interstate commercial drivers’ licenses.  This rule effectively bars many qualified deaf and hard of hearing individuals from certain types of employment.
  • Modification of Air Carrier Access Act rules requiring deaf and hard of hearing individuals to self-identify in order to receive accessible information.  Self-identification is not an effective means of obtaining accessible information, because information is provided in multiple locations by different people. Instead, all audible information should be routinely made accessible visually.
  • Require all transportation systems (airline, train, bus, subway, etc.) to make all audible information accessible by providing the same information in a visual (text) format.
  • Enforcement of existing accessibility rules.

The NAD is also committed to ensuring equal access to public accommodations used when travelling, such as hotel and motel services and facilities.

Related Issue: Civil Rights Laws

Recent NAD Action Highlights

  • Participated in meeting with and submitted written comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to provide input on passenger vessel access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Attended the U.S. Department of Transportation forum on the new Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rules.
  • Met with U.S. Department of Transportation representatives to convey dismay about the Air Carrier Access Act rules and advocate for improved access for deaf and hard of hearing passengers.
  • Participated in U.S. Access Board's Passenger Vessel Emergency Alarms Advisory (PVEAA) Committee meeting and submitted recommendations to the Access Board for the purpose of rulemaking.
  • Participated in roundtable discussion with members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on NAD transportation priorities.

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National Association of the Deaf | 8630 Fenton Street, Suite 820, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3819