Sunday, March 21, 2010

Invisible?

So I am on a bit of tirade these days. Getting pissed off at the lack of compassion and understanding for us Deaf/deaf/hearing impaired/late deafened ...whatever pigeon hole we decide to deposit us in.

I get little response on email when I launch into my canned approach of "why do you not have the ability for us hearing challenged to express our complaint ...etc" The world is built for hearing and we sadly have an invisible handicap. As much as I dread that word, I have to face up to the fact that I am challenged and I use "coping" strategies to get through the day. I am different than when I was on top of my game. I was in hearing world, master of David's universe and carried on like there was no end to the sound of life's concerto.

Well as you know, it ended like like a piano getting dropped out of the proverbial window and landed on my auditory nerves.

Now I live in new place that requires new living strategies to get the message.
I changed, but the world did not.
If you want to complain, one has to pretty much dial a 800 number in business hours of course and state your beef. Phones are a challenge for me, and if they recipient's phone is a VOIP phone (usually in some South Asian locale) I struggle.
So I ask if they can provide an email for me to send my issue.
Nine times out of ten, there are no way of sending an email to get issue resolved.

I was on a long flight recently with Air Canada from Toronto to Las Vegas. The 4 1/2 hours is killer, but it is especially long if one cannot use the many features of the in seat entertainment device to watch shows/movies/documentaries etc.
NO CLOSED CAPTION!
Why?
Do deaf/Deaf not fly?

So try and express ones disbelief at the lack of sincerity in offering closed caption for the 35 million hearing challenged in North America
We are not a small number, yet we get treated like "who cares about this group"
If I was in a wheel chair, I might get attention if the airline did nothing to help me get into my seat, or off the plane.
But because I "seem" normal, and I do hear sound through my cochlear implant, there is a prevailing attitude of "but he hears, so why is he bitching"

I hear sound, and up front and personal I can read lips and get the idea of the conversation.
Television, loud speakers, public address, radios etc etc etc, are a different story.

Closed caption is easy to do, even on a tiny airplane screen.

It seems that whatever is easy to do, is easy not to do.

Sad is it not?

David

11 comments:

Liberality said...

I am sorry that your issues are being ignored by society. You have every right to know what is going on, and to be entertained if you so chose, as the next person.

Angela said...

Life Sucks at times and other times it feels as the world is such a grand place.
We just have to keep on working on making it better for everyone.
Jumping through hoops makes a person tired, but someone's gotta do it.
I am jumping here too, but for the blind.
Descriptive Video is like that for the blind.

I enjoy your posts.

Kay Dennison said...

It doesn't matter what your disability is -- somebody somewhere is ignoring it. I've gotten used to mine and more often than not can adapt a tad but I can see how much more difficult it is for you.

I wish I had answers for you.

Dianrez said...

The airlines have a long way to go in many respects. On the last flight I took, the deplaning took place separate from the airport ramp.

Instead there were long, steep, narrow steps down to the tarmac and then one had to walk to reach the airport. I had difficulty because of pulling a bag on wheels and had to lift it while going down stairs. That was painful enough but--

There was a wheelchair-bound man who had to be carried by two porters (he was heavy) without his chair to another below. One porter had hands under the man's shoulders and the other had his legs around his waist.

I never knew the reason why a ramp was not extended, but this airline normally deplanes this way at this location.

Laura's medical journey said...

yes its a sad sad thing

Government Funded Blogger said...

I totally agree with your "bit of tirade".Hell with the sophisticated hi-tech and electronics in our society what is the problem with providing closed captioning on all media?? Even tho I am not hearing impaired I find at times frustrating that I can't send a email to a company that I have an issue with and instead an forced to deal with someone who has English as its 25th language.

kcinnova said...

I can't understand half of what is being said over loudspeakers and I have difficulty filtering out sounds in the background and foreground, so I have a small taste of what you experience, and I agree that there should be more options available.
Go ahead and rant as needed! Sometimes that is what must happen for change to take place.

As far as preferring an e-mail solution, I'm 100% with you there. I grow weary of waiting on hold and repeating myself on the telephone; I would much prefer written communication.

Green said...

I'm still out of work. If you want to email me all the info about your complaint and the 800 number, I would be happy to call on your behalf since phone calls are hard for you (and you work).

Hetha said...

I can only imagine your frustration Dave. Did your Ci come with any cables that you can plug into your processor on one end and electronic devices the other? We plugged Ethan's ears directly into a portable dvd player the last time we flew. It meant that the dvd was ALL he could hear...which was fine by us. Just a thought.

dellgirl said...

I am so sorry things are so complicated and hope you get a resolution to it. Keep up the fight and hopefully someone will take notice and make the necessary changes.

Thanks for highlighting this issue for those of us who are ignorant to the facts.

Colin said...

Hi Dave, Its a very long time since I wrote to you! Looks like we still have the same problems. I'm kind of back in the bubble again though as I have now had my 3 implants fail from NAS. Just 6 electrodes left now which I do much better without but its nice to 'hear' something sometimes isn't it even if we have to kid ourselves. I (and our family)start NZSL (New Zealand Sign Language) in just a few weeks so looks like we are pretty much still on a similar course. I going to have some speech reading lessons as well as that’s about the only way I communicate now but amazing what we learn in just a couple of years. I'm currently trying acupuncture for the daily migraines and roaring in my head and it seems to be helping so I've committed to 10 secessions. Wonder if you have tried that.
Kindest regards
Colin