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Archive for Saturday, March 11, 2006

Even blind students must pass driver’s ed

March 11, 2006

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— Most high school students eagerly await the day they pass driver's education class. But 16-year-old Mayra Ramirez is indifferent about it.

Ramirez is blind, yet she and dozens of other visually impaired sophomores in Chicago schools are required to pass a written rules-of-the-road exam in order to graduate - a rule they say takes time away from subjects they might actually use.

Hundreds of school districts in Illinois require students to pass driver's ed, although the state only requires that districts offer the courses. A state education official says districts that require it should exempt disabled students.

About 30 students at two Chicago high schools with programs for the visually impaired recently formed an advocacy group in part to change the policy.

A Chicago Public Schools official said the district would be open to waiving the requirement.

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