ILI is proud to have teamed up with University of Massachusetts Amherst and our own staff and students to collaboratively create a driving curriculum. Professor Rebecca Lorimer Leonard and her students at University of Massachusetts Amherst and ILI introduce a curriculum that consists of 10 lessons, free and available online. It covers everything from how to navigate necessary documentation, what to do at the RMV, and how to study for the RMV written and road test. Importantly, the curriculum treats “language and literacy skills” not just as vocabulary or terms to be learned but also the social practices and insights that drivers, particularly those who experience heightened discrimination and danger on U.S. roads, need to know.
This curriculum is a testament to the value of true community partnership. In addition to the collaboration between UMASS and ILI, it is in conversation with the incredibly important work that Pioneer Valley Workers Center does and their expressed goals to support and enact justice for multilingual and migrant people in our community. On the PVWC website, they have resources that dive into their work to Support Licences for All, which references “An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility”. Their site states that “This bill would enable all qualified state residents to apply for a standard Massachusetts driver’s license, regardless of immigrant status, while keeping our Commonwealth in full compliance with REAL ID requirements.” Our hope is that once (or perhaps even before) the Work and Family Mobility Act is passed, our team is ready to support anyone who would like to begin the driver’s license application process.