Driving Lesson Tips for the Hearing Impaired


To be hearing impaired or deaf can result in little more than the occasional communication barrier. Sometimes the lines of communication need to be crystal clear, and this is certainly the case when you're learning to drive. The wearing of a hearing aid can be mandatory for driving in some instances, and so you should check with the Department of Transport in your state or territory for clarification. But this is something that can become applicable when you're out on the open road after having gained your licence. But what about the process for learning to drive? While some driving schools offer lessons specifically aimed at drivers who are hearing impaired or deaf, it's certainly possible to have exhaustive lessons with a school which might not necessarily specialise in teaching the hearing impaired. It's all about laying the necessary foundations so that those lines of communication are crystal clear.

First Contact

Contact the driving school online. Write to them and explain that you're hearing impaired and ask if they can provide a list of written instructions prior to each lesson. This allows you to know what will be covered, and what your instructor expects you to be able to demonstrate. You can also ask for elaboration prior to the lesson if anything is unclear.

An Interpreter

If you have a friend or family member who communicates with you in Auslan (Australian Sign Language), ask the driving school if they can accompany you during the lesson to act as an interpreter. This allows for more immediate feedback during and after the lesson.

Hand Signals

You and your instructor should have agreed upon a series of hand signals to use for direction so that these can be used when you're on the road, without having to pull over and clarify what they mean.

Messaging Apps

You might already make use of messaging apps in order to talk to people, and you should explain this to the school. If you don't have an interpreter, you and your instructor can simply message each other on your respective smartphones to converse (of course, after you've safely pulled off the road). If you read lips, your instructor should also know this so they make an effort to enunciate and therefore make it easier for you to understand them.

Of course being hearing impaired doesn't prevent you from getting your driving licence, but for safety's sake, that crystal clear communication while you learn is critical.

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A new car or truck is a big investment. Not only will you need to pay for the vehicle itself, you will also need to maintain it, pay any local taxes and insure it against theft or damage. Because you will be spending so much money on your new motor vehicle you will want to be certain that you understand how to look after it. When I purchased my first car, I didn't know what I was doing. Thankfully, my older brother, who is an auto mechanic, gave me lots of great advice which I would like to share with you here.

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