Chicago requires blind students to take driver's education

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mayra Ramirez, a 16 year old Chicago, USA student is blind. In order to graduate, she and dozens of other visually impaired students in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam. "In other classes, you don't really feel different because you can do the work other people do," Ramirez said. "But in driver's ed, it does give us the feeling we're different. In a way, it brought me down, because it reminds me of something I can't do."

Michael Vaughn, a spokesman for Chicago schools said, "I can't explain why up to this point no one has raised the issue and suggested a better way for visually impaired students to opt out of driver's ed."

Blind students are typically told that they must take the class to graduate; although, by law, any parent can request a change in a disabled student's education plan. This law is rarely, if ever, disclosed to the students, according to the Chicago Tribune.