Is a Deaf Driver Communication Visor Card the way to go?
One of our very own Interpreters, Rhonda Tingler, is currently researching, for one of her own classes, a policy proposal for alternative or additional identification for deaf or hard of hearing individuals to aid them in communication with, as well as insure the hearing impaired individual’s rights, when pulled over by law enforcement.One of the proposals for which Rhonda is researching is the voluntary issuing of Visor cards. The purpose of the Visor Card is to assist in the comunication between police officers and a hearing impaired individual during interactions at traffic stops or violations. The card also assists the deaf or hard of hearing driver in understanding the desired actions of the police officer during the traffic stop to reduce misunderstanding and confusion.
As has been adopted in other states (Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the Rochester area in New Yor state, for example), the front side of the Deaf Driver Communication Vosor Card alerts the police officerf to the fact that the driver is either deaf or hard of hearing. to one side of the card are usually listed the methods for which the hearing impaired individual can communicate, and to the other side of the card are methods for which the police officer may help in communication with the deaf driver. Here, the driver can then indicate which of each of the methods would best aid them in this interaction with law enforcement.
Also on the card are small picture icons with which the officer can use to indicate to the driver the possible reason for the stop, the actions for which the officer would like the driver to perform, or assist the officer in requesting the needed information of drivers license, registration, and proof of insurance.
On the back of the card are suggestions for what the driver should do when pulled over, such as roll down the window and place their hands on the steering wheel and wait for the officer. There is also a section for tips for using the visor card which should further facilitate the successful completion of the traffic stop.
Each state, working in conjunction with their Department for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing, has the right to construct the card as best suits the needs and laws of that state.
Rhonda is asking students if they would like to see the adoption of a similar Visor Card for our local area or for the state of Florida. Examples of the visor card can be seen at www.cityofrochester.gov for the Visor Card being used in the Rochester area, and at www.dmv.de.gov for the card being used in Delaware.
Feel free to leave your thoughts, opinions, questions, and suggestions in the comments section of this post.