Deaf COD CDL Student Earns Perfect Score
By Jennifer Duda
Clint Homon’s hope for “humble results” when he enrolled in the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program at College of DuPage was blown away when he received perfect scores on all his tests.
CDL program students are tested at each level, given points for errors with a maximum of 12. Homon scored no points, a first in the program’s history. Even more impressive is that he accomplished it without being able to hear.
“As a deaf person, I have faced some challenges and barriers in my life,” Homon said. “I told myself that I can conquer these difficult situations and that no one could stop me when my dream of becoming a truck driver was about to come true.”
A self-proclaimed “gearhead,” the Batavia resident said he remembers playing with toy cars and trucks and always having a fascination with driving.
“My grandma sometimes let me sit on her lap and drive her car around the neighborhood,” he said. “Luckily, the cops never caught me.”
When it came to obtaining a commercial driver’s license, however, Homon said he was discouraged when he initially was told it was beyond his reach.
Perseverance and time paid off. Homon read about College of DuPage’s program through the Deaf Truckers United Facebook page and found the story of Priscilla Brackenridge, another deaf graduate of the COD’s CDL program. Additionally, he received a hearing exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
“I never expected to ace the tests,” he said. “I can’t believe how I did it, but I’m proud and happy.”
Offered through COD’s Continuing Education office, the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) program provides students with training, licensing and employment readiness in as little as six weeks. Featuring classroom time, hands-on over-the-road driving time and experienced instructors, the program exceeds all requirements of the Illinois Secretary of State to test for a CDL. Students can choose between a basic 160-hour course or a 240-hour course which provides more time on the road and in the truck yard.
The CDL program, located at the College’s Addison Center, has seen more than 10 percent growth in enrollment since its inception in 2011, exhibits a 99 percent completion rate and maintains a 100 percent employment rate for students who have completed the program.
With his new credentials, Homon said he’s considering and relishing the opportunities now available to him.
“I have a few goals and I’m not sure what to do first,” he said. “Before I wanted to earn a million miles under my belt, but I think I want to drive a tank truck and work locally for now.”
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