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National Motorcycle Safety Fund launches initiative for deaf riders

News Release

The National Motorcycle Safety Fund (NMSF), a 501(c)(3) charitable community organization created in 1980 to augment the work of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, has created a new grant program to help rider training sites cover the costs of hiring sign-language interpreters for deaf and hard of hearing students.

  • MSF-recognized Rider Training Sites regularly receive requests to accommodate students with physical disabilities
  • NMSF to make grants available to help defray cost of sign-language interpreters

MSF expects MSF-recognized Rider Training Sites across the nation to make reasonable accommodations for people with physical disabilities, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state laws. A common accommodation is for a training site to hire, often at its own expense, sign-language interpreters.

There are many deaf and hard of hearing car drivers and motorcyclists on the road today. To compensate, drivers and motorcyclists typically employ risk-reduction strategies such as Search/Evaluate/Execute (SEE), maintain longer following distances, make better use of peripheral vision, and check their mirrors more frequently.


The 15-hour MSF Basic RiderCourse is the premier, research-based novice motorcyclist training curriculum in the U.S. and consists of one 5-hour classroom session and two 5-hour hands-on riding sessions. Due to course length and depth of instruction, two sign-language interpreters are generally needed because a single interpreter is not able to work nonstop for each session. The MSF already pays 100 percent of interpreter costs in the states in which it directly manages the training program. However, the NMSF would like to ease the financial burden on MSF-recognized training sites in the other states by offering a grant for each class in which interpreters were used, to cover the actual cost of the interpreters, up to $750. The NMSF has set aside a pool of $15,000 in funding for the next 12 months for these grants.

Training sites simply need to fax the class completion report, the interpreter agency's invoice, and the name of the deaf or hard of hearing student(s) to MSF at 949/727.4217, and MSF will send a check to the appropriate site representative. Payment will be made whether or not the student passed the course. This offer does not apply to training sites that already receive reimbursements from their state's rider training program office.

The NMSF supports the work of MSF in the areas of research, curriculum development, delivery of rider training courses, and community outreach programs in order to help eliminate crashes, injuries, and fatalities. The NMSF relies on generous contributions from individuals, businesses, and organizations to further its mission. For more information about the National Motorcycle Safety Fund or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please visit nmsfund.org.

 The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests, and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973. The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Polaris Motorcycles, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourse nearest you, visit msf-usa.org or call
 (800) 446-9227.

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