Students with hearing disabilities get insight into getting a driver license at Colorado Springs DLO

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Students with the Colorado Springs School for the Deaf and the Blind familiarize themselves with how to take a Driving Knowledge


Recently, several students from the Colorado Springs School for the Deaf and the Blind got a glimpse of what it takes to get a Colorado driver license, including a first-hand look at the Driving Knowledge test.

“The students really learned so much from the presentation made about how to find information on the DMV website, the preparation needed for the driver’s evaluation, where they can go to take the ‘behind the wheel’ test, etc.,” Teacher of the Deaf Sherri A. said. “However, the biggest take-away for them was probably getting to observe a student having a hands-on experience with the computerized written test while using an interpreter.”

Region 2 Regional Manager Shari C. gave a brief presentation to the students, going through a step-by-step process on what is needed to obtain a driver license. 

None of the students had an instruction permit, which would be the first step, regardless of age, she told them. Then after logging a minimum of 50 hours, they can take the written and driving test to upgrade to a driver license, she said.

During the tour, students learned when it comes time to take the Driving Knowledge exam, they can request an interpreter 72 hours in advance to help them along in the process. However, there are a few unique challenges when it comes to taking the driving test. 

"The State is not currently conducting drive tests," Shari C. said. "Third parties, like driving schools, are doing drive tests and will allow an interpreter before the test to go over instructions, but not in the car during the test itself."

An interpreter will relay what hand signals the drive instructor will give during the drive test to communicate when the driver needs to do a lane change or park during the test, she said.

There isn’t a signal to stop because the driver should know when to stop when approaching a stop sign or stoplight.

The students were eager to learn the process and asked many questions throughout the presentation. Among their questions, students asked about who can sign off on their drive time log, if they would receive a new card if they already have a state-issued ID and the number of times they can take either the written or driving test.

“It was so beneficial for the students to see the actual place where they could get a driver’s license and learn from Ms. Shari what is expected,” Sherri A. said. “There have been changes made since the pandemic and the current information she shared with them was very helpful.”

The tour is just one of the many ways the DMV is reaching out to better serve underserved Coloradans. Other efforts include expanding online service options and MV Express Kiosks, as well as expanding service hours and days in some driver license offices in rural Colorado.