NFTA meeting – My agenda

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I will be attending the next NFTA meeting.  So I decided to type up an agenda of things I would like to see changed for the deaf passengers on trains and airplanes.   Here it is:

What The Deaf Needs on the Trains and at Airports

METRO RAIL
Problems
1. There’s no present text scrolling screens announcing the stops. The deaf cannot hear the announcements being made over the microphone and speakers. I couldn’t see out the window when it was snowing and raining out, they were fogged up,therefore I could not tell what stop we were at.     I couldn’t go look out the door at each stop because people were standing and blocking the door entrance. It was very difficult to know when to get off.

2 When the train broke down when I was on it last summer, I didn’t hear the instructions on what we had to do next over the speakers. I didn’t know what to do, or if I was supposed to get off.

3. At the University station, the cops set up a table to check everyones bags, etc. The cops said something to me and I didn’t understand a word being said. Same problem on the train. The person that checks to see if everyone has their ticket, checks mine and I don’t understand what the cop on the train is saying to me. I can’t hear on the train and it was hard to lipread what the cops were saying.

Solutions
1. Provide text scrolling screens at all times displaying the words of all stops. For safety reason, they need to display any announcements being made when the train breaks down too on the text screens for the deaf. Believe me the deaf needs to know what is going on too when there’s an emergency or if something happens!

2. If  for some reason you can’t provide any text scrolling screens for the deaf right now, then display a button on every train for the deaf person to press for help if it breaks down. That way when he or she presses the button it can send someone over that knows sign language to tell this deaf person what happened and what he is supposed to do when the train breaks down. As far as not knowing the stops if there’s no text scrolling screens, this creates a big problem for those who can’t hear the announcements. If no one knows sign language then have someone write down what is going on for the deaf passenger.

3. Is it possible to teach those who work in the train station and on the train a little sign language? They really only need to learn how to say, Can I see your ticket? Or do you have your train ticket? It really isn’t’ that difficult to learn, and it doesn’t take very long. Also thank you is easy to say in sign language. If not, then try to teach the people who work on the train to face the deaf person when talking so that we can lipread him or her. And to carry paper and a pen in case he is hard to lipread.

Airports

1. Provide signs, brochures, flyers, any kind of material to let all deaf people know you have services for the deaf at airports. Send it to them in the mail. Show t.v. commercials once a week about the services you provide to help the deaf passengers. Provide the information in these materials on how we can apply for these services.    Not all people use the internet, so don’t expect all deaf people to find out about your services through a website online. Please try to put the information about your Deaf services in the Buffalo Paper once a month, so that we have the most updated information on how to get these services. You can also consider emailing everyone that needs these services. I never got any email before my last flight in December from Delta Airlines telling me that they had special services. When I was at the airport and checked in, I told the lady I was deaf . She did not refer me to any kind of special services I could of used as a deaf passenger.   Therefore I didn’t know the airport even had anything to help me. I also told the person at the gate I was deaf.  The gate person did not refer me to any such services that would of helped me.

2. If you don’t provide close captioning screens at every single gate, then inform the deaf passenger how to make sure he or she gets the gate that has that screen. When I flew to Detroit last year, they did not provide any closed captioning screen for me at the gate even though I told them I was deaf .

3. Please close caption all safety instructions on every plane that the deaf passenger is on. And teach the flight attendants sign language. You could consider providing a closed captioning screen at the deaf passengers seat when they do the safety demonstrations. Make sure all deaf passengers sit up front where they can lipread the flight attendant if she doesn’t know any sign language.

Thank you for reading! I hope you can find my ideas useful and helpful for the deaf passengers.

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About wanda4848

I was born deaf. The doctors thought I could hear, but my parents couldn't get me to learn to talk. When I was three, my mom took me to an audiologist who concluded I was deaf. That's when I got my first pair of hearing aids and took speech therapy to learn to talk.

Posted on February 16, 2013, in deaf articles. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Was this company Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)? What type of meeting was it? How did it get set up? Who all were there? I have a business idea of creating a consulting firm to inform customer service companies (like NFTA or Delta) about how to accommodate the deaf community. Would you say this is a good idea?

  2. Absolutely! Sounds like a great idea. Yes you are correct about what NFTA stands for. I didn’t really know any of the people that were there. But there was around 15 to 20 people that attended. And it was an NFTA meeting for the disabled. There were some people in wheelchairs there and some were blind. There was a bunch of staff and directors that worked for NFTA there, including the chairperson of NFTA and the director of the Buffalo airport.

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