Thursday, February 28, 2013
NFTA Meeting In February
This was my second NFTA meeting, it went well except I think I talked too much this time. There was a girl that was deaf in one ear sitting right next to me and I never even knew she was partially deaf. I had passed out my agenda for the directors and everyone else to read on what the deaf passengers need at airports and on trains. For weeks, I spent time preparing myself to make a little speech on stuff that nobody have heard about. Here I am going on and on about how I didn’t get any closed captioning screen at my gate and on the plane at the airport. And that bothers me, because this isn’t fair.
Then when I asked if the airport could provide me these services on my next flight, I didn’t get the response I wanted to hear. They told me that the airport does not always have the funding for the closed captioned monitors to display the safety demonstration on the planes and same with the captioned monitors displaying the flights at the gates. That’s when I blurted out that I had filed a complaint against Delta Airlines, I wanted them to know I thought Delta Airlines sucks. Then a few people understood where I was coming from and made some good suggestions which I really appreciated. For some reason, I kept on talking about what deaf people need on the trains and at the airports. I went on and on about it. Really, I wished I would just shut up for awhile, and let someone else talk. It seemed like all I was doing was complain endlessly, and I felt close to making a fool out of myself there.
Finally the blind lady with the cute quiet dog that came said she was amazed that I really stood up for the deaf people, and this is rare. That made me feel better and pretty good about myself being there. And I wanted to shake hands with the man in the wheelchair that supported my speech. Really, I felt like I was taking over the meeting, I have never talked so much in my life. Boy I was worried I was going to bore everyone with my endless speech. Surprisingly they all listened to what I had to say. I made two requests and asked one of the directors of NFTA to find out if they could close caption the announcements when the train breaks down and things like that on the Buffalo metro rail trains. He said he will look into that. I had also asked him if he could find out of they could educate the police on the trains better on how to talk to the deaf riders when checking out their tickets. I had made a complaint about that because the cop was talking to me from behind and I didn’t hear or understand a word being said. And he was very nice and said he will check that out also. So I thanked him and finally I stopped going off with my mouth about the lack of deaf services. The last thing was I asked for some kind of ID for me to show to people that I am deaf. And luckily there was a director there that told me I can get a visor card from his office. So I was pretty happy about that, I didn’t even know those things existed.
Right now they are updating the Buffalo Airport's website, so it will be some time before it is done. After I said something about how the Delta Airlines website sucked for the deaf people, they have been changing it. And I really appreciate that a lot. At least they are doing something. And I will continue on with my fight for the rights for the deaf passengers.