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Nightmare For Two Innocent Deaf Ladies

handcuffs

Sue is completely deaf.    She is unable to speak or to use her voice.  She communicates using her hands in sign language or by writing.     One day, she was walking across the street and a cop was telling her to wait for the car to pass by first.    She didn’t hear him, so she kept going.  He used the whistle to try to get her to stop and to turn around.  Nope, she continued on and didn’t hear a thing.    Before she knew it, she was handcuffed and thrown inside  the police car.    She had no idea what happened or what she did wrong.   She was in the back and the cop was talking but did not face her.    She still had no idea why she was arrested and she was unable to speak for herself as she was handcuffed with her hands behind her back.     There was no way the cop was going to be able to get any feedback from her, if she couldn’t use her hands.    She did not know how to speak.    As he was driving her to the jail, Sue cried hopelessly.   Once they got there, she was hoping she could call her parents on the TTY.   She had no chance to do that because the cop was fed up with her not answering any of his questions so he threw her into a locked up room alone.     And she was left there alone with no way out.    inside jail

Mary is a quiet hard of hearing lady, that was being driven to the jail also by another cop.   She had no idea why they arrested her, as she couldn’t understand what the authorities told her as she couldn’t lip read what they said.    She walked inside the jail and saw Sue come out of the room they locked her up in.    Sue was still in handcuffs and crying.   Mary knew this deaf girl, and couldn’t understand why she was there.     Mary was having a hard time herself being there, not knowing why.    She wears two hearing aids and was worried that once her batteries go dead, she won’t be able to hear at all.    She didn’t have extra batteries with her for her hearing aids.    And she didn’t think the jail staff would provide her hearing aid batteries while she was there.    It was unheard of, not many deaf people in jail these days.    So she got upset thinking about this because soon she will go completely deaf if not being provided new hearing aid batteries soon.

jail

Mary wanted to speak to Sue and ask her why she was there.  Unfortunately, Sue was in handcuffs and was unable to use her hands to use sign language.    This made Mary very upset, because she noticed Sue had no way of communicating with anyone for what she needed, and this was an innocent deaf girl.    Sue looked at Mary hopelessly from the jail and cried, she can’t speak, so she was having a hard time.   Now this is sad and very scary.   Mary could not figure out what to do , and the staff in the jail did not know they were deaf.    Sue had no way of telling the staff she was deaf, since she was in handcuffs.    Finally Mary asked to speak to the person in charge and explained to them they needed interpreters.     The people there were shocked, they had no idea Sue could not speak and that she was deaf.   This is one terrible nightmare for these two girls.     Let me stop here, this never happened.   This is something someone had a bad dream about and brought this story up. But things similar to this made up story have happened in real life.   Now , there are groups out there that are going to help the community learn more about how to speak with deaf people.   Are they planning on going to the jails and to teach the people there about deaf people’s communication needs? Are they going to educate the cops better about deaf individuals?  They need it , that’s for sure.

NFTA Meeting In February

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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.

NFTA Meeting for February 2013

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To NFTA:

                         I have typed up an agenda and made copies that I’d like to pass around to people at the meeting.  It’s basically on ideas I hope that can be used to help deaf people.  I just hope I don’t forget to bring the folder with me.    I mostly have stuff I need to discuss regarding problems with deaf riders on the metro rail train, that I ran into when I rode on it.   At the last meeting, I pretty much said what I hoped to improve in airports, but I have a problem with viewing the website.   I have tried looking up the Buffalo Airport and I still can’t find any information what kind of services they provide for the deaf passengers.   And the other problem is I still don’t see where or how I can sign up when I take my next flight for special accommodations for myself.   This is to have them give me a closed captioning monitor at my gate and a closed captioning monitor on the airplane to display the words on the screen when they do the safety demonstration.   As far as a number, I rarely use the phone.   I would rather sign up online, than to call.

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I saw nothing in the buffalo airports website describing the deaf services in the airport and I was disappointed.   At one point I came to one of the websites and it said deaf and it had one number, that was it.  I’d like to know where is the website that describes what services the airport provides for the deaf people. How they can sign up for it?  
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When I looked up the airport, I tried to go under deaf services at buffalo airport and got nothing.   Then I tried to look up deaf help and nothing.  I don’t know where it is.   As far as I do know you told me they were updating the website, so I guess it isn’t there yet.    At the meeting can someone please speak up and direct me on how to sign up for what I need when it comes to getting a closed captioning monitor at the gate and on the plane for my next flight.
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I hope this can all be explained to me at the meeting.   I do understand some of the deaf people got the services as Bev told me that. But all deaf people should be able to get these services just some. I was never given any special accommodations when I was there even though I  told them I was deaf when I checked in my suitcases.Image
 
And I think it is very important for the airport to find a way to print out deaf brochures describing their deaf services and how to get them, even if it costs money. It really shouldn’t cost that much, as there’s not that many deaf passengers it could just be sent to the passengers that can’t hear.
 
One more thing, I needed to ask you.   Would it be possible for NFTA to print out special I.D. cards for the deaf riders?   All I want is an i.d. card given to me from N.F.T.A. saying I am deaf, so I can show it to the cop that asks to see our ticket.    The cop was behind me on the train last week and was trying to ask for my ticket and I didn’t hear her.    I would like to show them proof I’m deaf, so that they don’t think I am ignoring them when they ask for the ticket as I couldn’t hear her from behind me.    So can someone ask the cops that check our tickets to walk in front of us, not from behind so that I can lipread what they are saying?   If I can get an i.d. card from N.F.T.A. to use on the metro rail train, it would be really helpful.    All it needs to say I’m deaf, and I’m willing to pay 1 or 2 dollars for it, if it can’t be done for free,  as that would save me a lot of trouble when the cops approach me and ask for my ticket when I don’t hear them .

 

 

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