Shanghai Eases Driving License Process for Deaf Drivers
People with hearing impairments in Shanghai are now able to attend driving schools and undergo the required physical examination to get a license, services that were previously unavailable in the city, according to Sixth Tone’s sister publication, The Paper.
In February, Shanghai approved its first designated hospital that performs the required physical exams for the hearing impaired wanting to take a driving test. The city also saw its first driving school catering to those with hearing disabilities open that same month.
Anting Driving School, located in the northern part of Shanghai, told The Paper that it had received 20 students since February. They are now preparing for the written exam as well as a road test.
“We have three instructors who can use sign language to communicate with students,” a member of staff at the training center told Sixth Tone on Tuesday. “Some of them learned the language specifically for the new students.”
China allows those with hearing impairments to drive as long as they meet the prescribed hearing standard with an assistive listening device. However, a lack of driving schools geared toward those with hearing disabilities has limited many from obtaining the permits.
Beijing, Nanjing, and Changsha are among the few cities with special driving schools for the hearing impaired. Many of them from Shanghai previously spent months in these cities to prepare and undergo physical examinations to obtain a license, resulting in added costs, according to The Paper.
Shanghai’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, the only designated hospital for hearing impaired people taking the physical checkup for the driver’s license, now has volunteers and service stations spread across the city, according to The Paper.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: A hearing impaired woman practices driving in Shanghai, March 30, 2023. Zhang Hongwei for Sixth Tone)