a travel guide for all of us
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre I love you and I want the world to know it! Didn't know about their first open captioned performance but I'm so excited to see this is now an option. Oh how I've missed the theatre! #cantwait
Going into this conference I was a bit pessimistic (see earlier posting on this subject) and I was not pleasantly surprised...sigh. This conference on disability and work provided ASL interpreter and a small closed caption screen, but essentially I didn't hear any of the speakers.
I don't read sign language and so depend on either closed captioning or being able to lipread. It was a large room and the closed caption screen was a TV near the stage. Only the very front tables could see it and nothing was done to reserve those seats for people who needed them.
Although there was someone videoing the entire conference and two large screen on either side of the stage, they never showed the live feed. It really helps to be able to lipread but instead they left the sponsor boards up the entire time.
So was it a useful conference? I don't actually know. We broke into table discussions frequently and I can't hear well enough to participate in them.
Finally there was a sticker system to recognize why people were there. Different colours if you were an employer, union rep, a person with a disability, etc. The disability sticker was white on a white name tag (I drew a circle around mine). That one actually made me giggle - it seemed to go with the rest of the blunders and lack of sensitivity shown by the event planners.
It's not the first time I've checked the "hearing impaired" box when purchasing a plane ticket online, but this is the first time I've seen it indicated on my ticket. I felt confident (maybe more like curious) that this would flag my need for accommodation and expected to see a difference - particularly how boarding would be announced. How naive I was....
Zero, nothing, no difference.
Ok, not entirely true - my ticket didn't specify which zone I was seated in. I'm not sure if that was a glitch or if it was because I was supposed to have the option to board early along with people with other disabilities or small children? If so, since boarding was only announced over the sound system I had no idea when "special" boarding took place.
Look! There's a screen right here by my gate! In fact there are screens everywhere in the airport. Is it too much to ask that the zone-now-boarding be put up on the gate screen? What about general announcements shown on some of the other screens in the airport? Heck, use an automatic closed captioning program! It'll help people with impaired hearing and provide entertainment for everyone reading the bizarre typos that get translated.
One more note: if I try to board in the wrong zone please don't scold me like I'm a disruptive influence in class. ESPECIALLY WHEN MY TICKET INDICATES I'M "DEAF"!
Okay, I'm tired of hearing myself complain - got some good stories to share? Please share your positive stories in the comments below. Would love to hear about airports/airlines who are doing an excellent job accommodating;
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