Candidate Forum Topic: Deaf Truck Drivers

Uploaded by cdrnys on 25.03.2011

I'm a deaf person with a commercial drivers license and many trucking companies are afraid to hire me as a driver
so how will each of you as mayor help me to find a job as a truck driver?
Miss Lewis I'm going to start with you because its your turn to lead off this time
Ann Lewis: Thank you Ma'am for the question, I'm not an expert, you need to tell me how I can help you, you need to tell me
what resources the city needs to give you to support you to get this job
your part of the solution, by you giving me the answer then we can help you maybe with grant money, maybe with adaptive equipment
I'm not sure what it will take so you can get that job.
Mr. Richards Next
Tom Richards: the licensing process as you well know for automobile or trucking licenses is governed by the state of New York
not by the city and so the issue that it seems to me that we can focus on is, you have a commercial driving license so I'm presuming you have
surmounted whatever obstacles the state has put in your way
and you're looking for an opportunity to demonstrate that you can do that job, do that job with that license
one of the ways in which the city can be helpful and we have done this in other areas, is to set an example
in other words, if your being discriminated against by commercial truckers there is not much we can do about that
to make them do it although there are laws that govern them but what we can do is set an example as a city and make
sure that at least those opportunities are provided in the city
would be open to someone like you who has the right qualifications
Next Mr. White Alex White: this doesn't happen very often but I agree with Tom
(laughter) The, I think the best thing that can be done is to as the city, make sure that we're not responsible for the same
crimes that are happening to you from the public, from the private industry. There are wrongs, we can prosecute, we can make sure that they're enforced
we can push for stricter enforcement at the state level of them but what we can do best is locally, make sure that we hire you
Mr. Johnson. Bill Johnson: Well, lets not pander here, there is no authorit of any local government to
enforce a discrimination law, this is a state function so if there was an allegation of discrimination it would be taken to the state
it would then be taken to the federal government but lets.. lets go beyond that, we have the National Technical Institute of the Deaf out here
I'm surprised Mr. Richards who is a trustee of their IT department I believe NTID that is in the city, we have Rochester school for the deaf which is
in this city and I believe that they work very hard to identify programs
that can overcome the kinds of obstacles that you're talking about.
take my example of the National Industries for the Blind. The congress of the United States passed legislation
to give and require advantages to people with blindness for federal contracting jobs
so I think there is an example and I've always wondered why other disabilities are not covered as well as blindness
but I would think that you a genuine question because let me say to you Ma'am, there were, it wasn't that long ago
that if you were a hearing person and female you couldn't drive a truck
there were no female truck drivers and we have broken down the gender discrimination for that job, we ought to be able to break down
the disability discrimination as well