Clyde Dallas has wanted to be a truck driver since childhood. But at 14, a wrestling accident put him in a wheelchair.
Now an adult, Dallas has decided to pursue his dream, against the odds. In order to become a trucker you must earn a CDL (Commercial Driver's License), which requires schooling. Every school Dallas contacted turned him down upon learning of his condition, except for the Roadmaster Drivers School, which agreed to have one of their trucks modified with special equipment. (That took an entire year!)
Here is how Dallas gets into the truck:
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I am happy that the system is workable, but I would like it if some designers could work with Dallas to come up with a better system. Consider that he must disassemble the wheelchair every time he wants to get in, and reassemble it every time he wants to get out.
When Dallas first showed up at the school, the owner pulled him aside and was frank with him: "Some of the instructors here are betting against you," he was warned. But Dallas persisted and successfully earned his CDL, near the top of his class, no less.
The next hurdle was--and remains--finding someone to hire him. Company after company turned him down, as it would be their responsibility to pay for the equipment modifications required. Enough time went by that Dallas' license lapsed, and he recently had to get re-certified.
I am hoping that someone will see this and hire Dallas. I am also hoping a designer or engineer could work together with Dallas (he has already designed his own special tools to allow him to disconnect/hook-up the truck's air lines) to develop a better system of ingress and egress.
Lastly, Spencer Nugent recently mentioned that we should all be calling out racism where we find it. The original, longer version of this video is posted here, where it currently has 19,000 likes--and 2,200 thumbs-downs, with the video's poster (Dallas' instructor at Roadmaster) having to delete negative comments calling Dallas an N-word. The stereotype that black people are lazy, don't want to work and make excuses was also brought up in the comments. To see this video, then be compelled to type that kind of racist garbage is really, really sick.
I don't want to end this on a negative note, so I'll show you a couple of conversations between Dallas and his aforementioned instructor. The first is in the truck, the second is when the instructor pays Dallas a visit some months later. The second interview provides some details on the challenges Dallas faces.