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8 Things You Didn't Know Deaf People Fly Too

Deaf News: Huffpost - 8 things you didn't know that Deaf people fly too.

1. Deaf People Travel Too. There are an estimated 48 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in America. The number of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals and people with other disabilities worldwide is equal to the population of China. This does not include the number of friends and family including children who travel with us.

2. We Would Like to Access Onboard Entertainment Too. Please make your onboard entertainment accessible by providing captioned material. We know those safety videos have to be captioned but c’mon, we know you can caption the latest blockbuster that you so happily offer to all your passengers. The technology barriers that once existed are practically nonexistent as captioning is already being provided on some airlines. For those airlines providing captioning access, please keep up the great work.

3. We Would Appreciate Being Informed When It is Our Time to Board. As there are multiple lines and sections or classes called at different times, it is difficult if not impossible to know when it is our turn as in Priority or Group 1 versus Rows 30-54 or Group 3. Please make use of the the electronic information boards that are widely available to share information as to specific boarding times. Many other people would also benefit from this type of electronic communications.

4. We do Prefer If You Communicate with Us Directly. Please not use our children or family members who are hearing to communicate with us. There is nothing worse than using a child to communicate the often complicated travel schedules that occur with airline snafus and delays. We know this may take extra time and the ticket lines can get long but hey, we are passengers too. Lets talk about ways to make this easier!

5. Please Tell Us We Actually Have Time to Grab That Extra Coffee. Please post all changes including gate changes and flight delays on your electronic boards and use clearly identifiable signage to indicate changes have been made. There is nothing worse to be sitting at an airport only to find out that the gate has been changed to a different terminal and missing your flight or that you actually had time to grab that cup of coffee. We love those airlines that already do this!

6. We Are Not Trying to Ignore the Flight Attendants. We do want that drink too and to put away our devices as required. There is no need to receive a hard stare because we did not respond quickly enough. For those who have identified themselves as Deaf and Hard of Hearing, please have your staff double check the flight list to let us know how we can best communicate with you during the flight.

7. Please Tell Us If We Are Experiencing Flight Issues. Yes, it would be great to get a heads up as to the exciting places we are flying over like the Grand Canyon. Jokes shared over the plane’s PA system are also great. We realize that this is not always possible but please share essentials such as delays on the embankment or the fact that we may have to have an emergency landing in a different city. Online entertainment screens are often paused for announcements that take place, so please include us!

8. If You Aren’t Able To Offer Us Equal Services, please let us know. So, we can choose a different airline.

Alexis Ander Kashar, accessible technology strategist from the Huffington Post.
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