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NFTA Meeting In March

never-ending-subway-train

I was really very impressed by the progress being made in the NFTA meeting. There was so much new information at the last one in March. I was glad that the staff has been listening to my ideas and using some of them. They do record everything I say, and then it is written into an agenda for everyone to read. So I just received the meeting agenda for March 28th, 2013 and it was well done.

One of the things the agenda states is that deaf travelers  can email TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov regarding questions when traveling at airports. People with disabilities or who need extra assistance in the Buffalo airport can can call TSA at 1-855-787-2227, 72 hours in advance. At the airport, TSA now has Passenger Support Specialists(PSS).

Towards the end of the meeting we discussed problems for the deaf on the train. I was telling them about how I can’t hear the announcements and they are not closed captioned. I was very impressed with Todd describing to the NFTA staff with what the deaf riders goes through not knowing what is going on. He was excellent at explaining to everyone about some of the problems I experienced on the train not being able to hear. It made me feel happy that someone in the meeting understood how I felt when I could not hear or understand the announcements being made. So I’d like to thank Todd, the guy in the wheelchair for helping me at this point. He made it clearer to the people in the meeting what the deaf riders need when traveling on trains. I will be attending the next meeting in April and will keep you updated.

NFTA Meeting In February

hsbc1

hsbc1 (Photo credit: rogerdupuis2)

meeting nfta  Open-mouthed smileThis was my second NFTA meeting, it went well except 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.      Angry smileThen 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 doesn’t always have the funding for these services.    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 wish 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.

talk too much  Disappointed smileFinally 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 important announcements 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.

rkicking computer

So I was happy about that, never knew those things existed.   Right now they are updating the 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.

World Ignored Deaf Lady’s Needs for over 45 Years

There were a number of problems as far as not getting my communication needs met in this world.   For over 40 years, they did not set up close captioning in any of the movies I wanted to see  in the theaters nearby me.    This problem goes on today.   Just recently I had wanted to see a movie over at the Regal Cinemas and asked if they can close caption it.  They said sorry, they don’t have that.  So, now I don’t go to the movies anymore.   They don’t caption it at the theaters nearby me, so why bother going?    They provide headphones for the deaf in movie theaters.   Those things don’t help me to understand the movie at all, so I don’t wear those.

English: University Station, train coming in

English: University Station, train coming in (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a lip reader.  I can’t hear over a headphone, or understand anything.   My parents took me on a lot of trips by plane every single year.  Not once did they close caption any of the Safety Announcements on the plane for me in over 40 years.   Up to this day, I still do not know what to do if there were to be an emergency on the plane.  As I could never hear what was being said over the microphone about the safety announcements.  The last time I was in the airport was on Dec. 22, 2012.  They did not provide any close captioning screen for me at my gate to tell me when my flight was leaving.  Neither did they provide any closed captioning screen for me on the plane to help me understand what was being said over the speakers.     I had to put up with this for over 40 years, and this is enough.

Just recently I took the Buffalo metro-rail train downtown this week.  There were no text scrolling screens on the train for me to read where we were stopping.   Every time the train stopped, an announcement was being made over a speaker. I couldn’t hear or understand anything being said over that microphone.  This has got to be very hard on the deaf people.   It isn’t fair to deaf people like me to not understand what is going on when traveling by train or plane.      What about restaurants?    I had recently taken my daughter out to dinner before her big trip.    When the waitress asked me what I wanted to order, I couldn’t understand her.    Then when I tried to tell her I was deaf, she didn’t understand what to do, or how to speak to me.   Therefore my daughter took over to speak for me.    People have got to get educated in places like this, on how to talk to a deaf person.       Things have got to change for all deaf people for the better.  Please help make this world a better place for the deaf.

NFTA Meeting

Image

Today I was invited to attend an NFTA meeting for the first time. It was my turn to say what I had to say.   Colleen handed me the microphone.  Now I have not used a microphone in over 15 years, I didn’t know how to work it.  It was sort of embarrassing the way it squealed when I tried to talk and the sound was bouncing on and off.  Anyway, I gave my speech over that microphone.   What I mainly discussed was telling them a little bit about my deafness and then I told everyone that I wasn’t happy with the services for the deaf passengers in the airports.   I told them they need to add closed captioning screens on the airplanes when they do the safety demonstrations, otherwise I will never understand what is going on.   And the people at the NFTA meeting did a great job of facing me when they spoke so that I could lipread and they all spoke loud and clear for me.  I was absolutely amazed at how well they did to help me understand what was going on in the meeting.  So I thanked them all for making me feel welcomed there and for understanding my communication needs.   They used the microphone for me and that was very nice of them.   So it went well.

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