Sunday, December 25, 2016

Delta Airlines: Use Some Common Sense For The Deaf Passengers

                               Last summer I had to do a lot of flying to see my father.  He was close to dying.   Everytime I go to the airport I always sign up for Special Services.  So I expect to get the kind of help I need with my hearing loss.   Luckily my dad is ok now.

                               When I was at the gate I asked the attendant to wave to me when it was time to board.   And then after I was on the plane they did the safety demonstations like usual.  But it was not done in sign language and it was not captioned.   It's always done the same old way year after year.

                                I'm a very good lipreader but the demonstrations are usually done over the speakers.  So I can't hear or understand a word being said.  This has been nothing new.  When we landed I walked off with my hearing dog.   There was a young man waiting with a wheelchair with my name on a sign.

                                At first I didn't get why that was for me, I thought maybe it was for my dog. But yet both me and Douglas have no trouble walking though the airport.  I actually found it quite insulting that the airline would send me a wheelchair when I didn't need one.   Did they actually think if you were deaf you needed to use a wheelchair?

                                No really, someone needs to educate the staff on this airline on what the needs of the deaf passengers are. And by the way I felt very sorry for the young boy wasting his time waiting for me with the wheelchair. I had to decline it.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Delta Airlines Failed To Satisfy Deaf Passenger Again

                                   When I printed my boarding pass for a flight on Christmas I checked the box for special services.   It said I was hard of hearing on the screen by my pass.   Also I had a hearing dog going with me, but there was no option in there for service animals.   All I saw on it were pets.  After I got done filling it out, I figured I was all set for my flight with no problems.

                                   After I arrived at the gate in the Buffalo airport , I sat down and waited.   A lady was constantly making announcements over a microphone in the boarding area.   Of course I didn't understand a word she said.  Even though I was sitting right in the front, the microphone covered her mouth.  Then all of a sudden everyone lined up by the door but it was closed.  I didn't know what to do.   

                                    So I got up and told her I was deaf and to tell me what was going on.  All she said was we were going to be boarding in seven minutes.  But after I sat back down, I thought I was supposed to be standing in line with the others.   It looked like she was checking in everyone's baggage or something.   Like a fool I stood in the end and waited about 15 minutes.  When it was finally my turn, she told me I already got my seat number.

                                   Feeling like an idiot I sat back down, knowing I never had to stand in line the first place.   Finally it was time to board and she saw my dog, so I was one of the people that went on the plane first.  As I dragged my suitcase onto the plane the flight attendant told me it was too small to put in the cabinet.   Then again I felt like a fool, little did I know the lady had announced over the microphone for people to leave their bags outside the door of the plane. 

                                   The flight attendant took my suitcase from me and  pushed it off the plane. Seriously I felt stupid.   If the lady at the gate would of told me, I would of left it where it was supposed to be outside the plane.  It's not my fault I can't hear.  But they should of notified me when I was boarding the plane.   After all I requested for Special Services.  Didn't anyone know how to sign?

                                   I got in my seat and buckled up.   Then the plane started to take off.   I was wondering if they even gave a Safety Demonstration because I was sitting way in the back.   If they did, well I couldn't hear it or see it.   The flight attendant came over to my seat several times to check on me.   Of course I let her know I was deaf.   She smiled a lot and was very friendly, but I didn't ever understand a word she said.  She spoke very fast and had an accent.

                                  My experience flying with Delta for the hundredth time was very disappointing.  They made me feel humilated and embarrassed as a deaf passenger.  The worst times were when they had a wheelchair waiting for me the last few times I flew from North Carolina.   I don't know why they think I would need one if I am just deaf.  That makes no sense to me.   Though I felt sorry for the kid that came all the way to the gate with a wheelchair that wasn't needed.

                                 Come on Delta Airlines!  Please start showing more respect for your deaf customers!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hearing Dog Wakes Me Up In The Morning

Before I got Douglas from the International Hearing Dog Institute I would rely on certain alarms for deaf people to wake me up.   I am profound deaf with a 90 percent hearing loss.  So there's no way I am going to hear a regular alarm clock going off.

Usually I would use the flashing light together with the bed shaker vibrator.   Using both did wake me up but there was one problem.   The bed vibrator would stop working after 2 years.   Then I would go and buy another one, and that would break too after a period of time.

I was tired of having to buy one alarm clock after another just to find out they didn't work for long.  And these special alarm clocks were expensive.   Now I have my hearing dog that is trained to wake me up when a regular alarm clock goes off.  He was trained to respond when it either beeps or plays music.

He is the most reliable one I can depend on to get me up each morning.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Communication Needs Not Met At Doctor's Offices

This year I had to go to a well known dermatologist for testing.  After my first appointment I kindly asked the nurse to email or text me the results.  Sorry she said, but they do not provide those kind of services.  So I replied to her how do you notify your deaf patients of their future appointments?

Instead of giving me an answer she asked if I had someone they  could call for me.  After that I suggested that they either email or text me the information.  We do not provide either one of those services she said blankly.  Feeling discouraged I told her to just leave a message on my voicemail.

Since I have a closed captioning phone it can caption my messages in there.  It's got to be difficult for some deaf people dealing with these issues.  It seems like we are still living in the old days.  Nothing much as changed at doctor's offices that I go to when it comes to communication needs.

I would recommend all doctor offices to provide email service and texting for their deaf patients.  It would make the world a much easier place to be.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Security Guard Sleeps Away In Mall

Two weeks ago I decided to go shopping with my hearing dog.   I have him because I am deaf and he assists me to sounds I can't hear.  We went in through Rocky's Big City Games & Sports Bar at the Eastern Hills Mall.   First thing I noticed was there was a Security Guard sleeping in a chair.   There was people there but nobody was doing anything about it.

We went into a few stores with no issues.   Then all of a sudden one of the ladies denied my service dog in one of them.  I decided to find a Security Guard to ask if the lady had any rights doing that.   By law service animals are allowed in public places.  But I thought it would be best to let someone else handle it there.

So I went back into Rocky's to get help.  Except the same Security Guard was fast assleep in the chair.  She has been sleeping over an hour.   So I went to find the Security Guard's office at the end of the Food Court Area.    There was nobody at that desk.   There was a number in there for us to call in case we need to get ahold of one.  But being hearing impaired I'm unable to hear on a regular phone.   And there was no number for texting one.

So after that I went to the center of the mall and I saw a woman in a uniform with a walkie talkie. So I thought that's it, let me ask her a question.  So I tried walking up to her with my dog and she ran the other way in a hurry.   Feeling disappointed from failure from finding someone to help I stopped at the Customer Service Counter.  There I made a complaint about the Security Guard that has slept over an hour at Rocky's.   Then I also told them there was noone in the main office.

So the lady there tried making some calls.  Even she was unable to get in contact of any security guard for me.   I waited for 25 minutes there as she kept trying to call one over.  With no luck, I told her thank you but to just let it go.  She said she would report it to the manager.  It wasn't worth wasting my time on this so I left.

I sure hope I never have to go through something like this again.