Let Us Work

Deaf people are barred from being Airline Pilots TSA Officers Truck drivers* Passenger Bus Drivers* in the Military Lifeguards* Firefighters* Railroad Engineers FBI Special Agents IRS Investigators Astronauts in the Coast Guard Law Enforcement* NPS Rangers NASA Aviators (flight) Correctional Employees Doctors* Fish and Wildlife Agents

Wanted: Deaf enlisted military. Help make this a reality!

Keith Nolan shares his experience with trying to get the American military to change its regulations so that deaf people can enlist.

What is “Let Us Work” all about?

Deaf people are capable of holding many jobs that we are currently barred from. These fields — that we’ve found so far! — require that applicants pass a hearing test.

Do these jobs really require hearing? Are there other ways to achieve the same results? How much do the restrictions stem from stigma or misconceptions?

We will examine these questions in our “Let Us Work” video series, highlighting workplace inequalities. We will look at what jobs carry hearing restrictions, why, and what can be done about that.

The ADA was passed almost three decades ago. Yet Deaf people still don’t have a level playing field when it comes to employment. Get rid of the hearing test requirements and LET US WORK.

*Some jurisdictions.

We are acting to remove unnecessary,
discriminatory hearing restrictions from current policies.

Choose a career to learn how you can help.


Deaf people can’t enlist in the military because they aren’t able to pass the physical requirement of being able to hear beyond a certain threshold.

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Transportation Security Officer

Deaf people are prohibited from being Transportation Security Officers, though the career would otherwise seem uniquely suited for them. Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires Transportation Security Officer applicants to pass a hearing test; those who do not are placed on hold, effectively tabling their application and denying them the honor of becoming Transportation Security Officers.

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Aircraft Pilot

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates pilot certifications. Our community has a rich history of Deaf aviators, including Rhulin Thomas, who flew coast to coast in 1947. This led to him receiving a medal at the White House. Unfortunately, Rhulin lost his pilot’s license in 1947. The rise of radio communications meant that Rhulin and generations of Deaf pilots that followed him were excluded from flying many types of planes starting in 1947, simply because they could not use radio equipment on those planes.

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CDL: Truck and Bus Drivers

Did you know that there were no Deaf commercial truck drivers before 2012? Anyone wanting to drive a commercial truck or passenger bus must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates CDLs. And until 2012, the DOT required that anyone who wanted to become a truck driver to pass a hearing test to receive a CDL.

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