Trucker becomes first deaf woman to receive commercial driving license in Wisconsin

"Don't let people ruin your dreams"


APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – A trucker in Wisconsin became the first deaf woman to get her commercial driving license.

Suzie Helgerson is just the 5th deaf woman to receive the license in the country.

She succeeded at the Fox Valley Technical College. The school says the government started allowing medical waivers for the deaf to attend programs that lead to careers in truck driving.

“It’s the skills. It’s not my hearing, I don’t depend on the hearing. That’s how I prove I can do this job,” said Helgerson.

Those skills were learned in Fox Valley Tech’s 10-week driving program. Instructors believe in Helgerson’s ability on the road.

“Her awareness and senses are heightened because of her being deaf,” said Fox Valley Tech’s Jake Steinbrink.

She’s already employed and will be team-driving with her husband.

Suzie will be working 70 hours a week, driving 10 hours a day, seeing a lot of countryside.

“I’m excited to go and travel through other states,” said Helgerson.

She says being the first deaf woman to receive a commercial driver’s license in Wisconsin and just the 5th in the country carries a strong message.

“Don’t let people ruin your dreams. If you want to do it, you can do it,” said Helgerson.