Wednesday, December 26, 2012
My Second Letter to the Airport Regarding Services for the Deaf
to BNIAinfo Good Evening: I'm really happy that you were able to take the time to read my blog. Thank you for telling me that. :) And it is good that you have these 10 TSA officers that have learned sign language to help assist the deaf travelers. What does TSA stand for? Also I appreciate you giving me the numbers to call in case I need assistance when travelling. There are two categories of the deaf people. 1. The hard of hearing people that mostly just rely on lipreading and that are able to speak well enough for people to understand them. I belong in that category. Even though I'm 90 percent deaf, I have been brought up in the hearing world. So I am used to just relying on lipreading, and I rarely use sign language unless I am around another deaf person. My speech is pretty good, so usually I just use my voice to communicate with others. But then lipreading does not work for me at the gates, because I'm unable to lipread the person with the microphone announcing the flights. And I'm unable to lipread the people at the security area, mainly because they do not know I'm deaf. And they would need to look straight at me when they talk and to speak louder than usual, and that never happens in the airport. Even when I tell them I'm deaf, they don't seem to know what to do. I think the closed captioning boards would be excellent if they could have them at every gate like how they had them in the Detroit airport but they were lacking the boards in the security area and at the check in counter. I hope they could figure out a way to put them out all around the airport in the future somehow. When I wear my hearing aids, I can hear about 58 percent or so, but I can't understand every word a person says, even when lipreading. The closed captioning boards would be a great benefit to the profound deaf people also. But if they want the interpreters, then that will work for them. It would be helpful if the airports would put some kind of sign up in the front by the check in area, or some posters on a bulletin board that every one can see, telling us what services they have that are available for the deaf. Maybe something in big writing that includes all the numbers you mentioned to me and the services and the numbers to the people that do know sign language that work in the airport and so on. Or maybe put up some ads describing all the information and numbers to call when people are getting their plane tickets. Maybe even put a commercial on t.v. for the world to see, that there are a few services available to assist the deaf people if they need it at the time in the airport. This way we will know there is something out there that can help them for now. Year after year, when I sit on a plane, they do some kind of safety demonstration before the plane takes off. There was no closed captioning boards in the plane telling us what was being said by the person doing the demonstration. As I sat in my seat on the plane last night on Christmas, I understood and heard nothing when the person was trying to tell us what to do in case there is an emergency. I could not hear anything from my seat, I couldn't even see the person or what he or she was doing up front. And they would announce it over the microphone and I couldn't understand anything. I really think all this needs to change, and that they need to start doing something more for the deaf people on the airplane before taking off, like putting up a closed captioned monitor to show all the words being said over the speaker and by the person showing the safety demonstration before take off. I used to work at the Work shops on Deafness.