Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Contractor at the Airport Insisted Me to...

xxxx Watch the vlog narrated by Barb DiGi about the incident in Chicago O'Hare airport that placed her in an awkward position. As a frequent traveler, it was her first encounter with the contractor who insisted her to.....sorry, you will have to find out the rest by watching the story if you want to know. So who knows you will be next?

86 comments:

Barinthus said...

Hearing people... how typical.

Do write that letter and causally mention you vlogged about this experience. Give them the link.

Why not CC it to FAA? After all it could be one of requirements from FAA which United staff were overzealous in complying with.

Anyway this is why sometimes when I get my tickets I find this attached paper saying that I'm deaf - I rip it off and toss it down the nearest trash can.

Aidan Mack said...

Oh my gosh! LOL! Yes, please write to the UNITED.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Shoot! I missed you at Deaflympic. I was there. I would love to meet you in a person. Another time will do... Smile...

Aidan

Anonymous said...

I would imagine They did that because You told them You were deaf, and They were just trying to provide service to your Disability,if it were being told which did go that far. Every time I travel, I dont even let them know I am deaf if I am such a frequent traveler. I would know what to do in an emergency or ask whoever sits beside me if I were missing anything important. So I didnt think the guy who tried to help you knew any better.. It is funny though..

Ricky said...

I had this similar experience in Denver en route to Salt Lake City!

The flight attendant asked me if I needed a wheelchair after learning that I'm Deaf!

R-

A Deaf Pundit said...

Heh, what a trip! I agree with barinthus. You should cc to the FAA. This is ridiculous.

grantlairdjr said...

Wow! I can image how frustrated you are with all this nonsense.

Write letter to them and let us know. Thanks for sharing it with us :)

gwlj

Ricky said...

Anonymous, so it is our fault if we said that we re deaf?!

Inexcusable and totally unacceptable, honey!

R-

drmzz said...

INSANE! Disability laws run amock! Even seeing u is dis-believing in their eyes! My gosh! (Should say, "Up your arse with your job, man! Supervisor now!") They owe you a free plane tix or more for this humilating and undue stress experience.

Barb DiGi said...

Actually, for your information, I don't usually inform that I am deaf in advance. It was just that the stewardess who realized that I was deaf must had made a last minute request for the contractor to appear as we landed.

The whole point is that unfortunately, there are still ignorant hearing people out there and we just need to continue to educate them.

Aidian,

Oh shucks! There will be a day for us to meet!

Anonymous,

We should not shun away being deaf! Once they find out we are deaf, it doesn't mean that they should be treating us that way. We just need to continue on exposing them the myths.

And to everybody, I will DEAFintely follow up with my vlog and a note to United including FCC and let you know the updates. :-) Getting a free plane ticket is enough you think?

Lantana said...

Terrible experience. YOU probably had more formal education than your "guide"!

No doubt they were trying to avoid lawsuits against them (United). Blame the lawyers!

Anonymous said...

Im sorry , I didnt mean to offend anyone, just that I have flown so many times on Southwest and I have made the fact I was deaf but didnt need any assistance or such. I was just saying it would be avoidable if We didnt said We were deaf. I do know alot of people that did complained that they didnt get any service, so I wasnt surprised that United went overboard with this one, as far as They might be in fear of being sued.. And I agree that You and everyone shouldnt be treated like that way at all, I would be pissed myself, but I am not surprised at all. After all They were doing their job, just that they need to be educated that being Deaf doesnt mean We need to be in a Wheelchair, or be guided. Please No Offense taken here!!

mishkazena said...

It is not funny, but yet while you narrated it, I kept laughing. Yes, we do need to send letters objecting this 'forced' assistance on us against our will. Not only is it ridiculous, it is also very demeaning when they ignore our wishes. I like your analogy of the caveman.

Suppose you were truly physically handicapped, why didn't this 'assistant' bring you the wheelchair? With a physical handicap, one may find it too hard to walk long way to the other room to get the wheelchair.

Seriously some people don't have any common sense.

Anonymous said...

you type in the pager when the airline landed...sheesh...you asked for it! i would turn my pager off before i go in the airline and not turn it on till i get out of that damn airline...oh well...life can be a shit sometime..

Anonymous said...

One strategy that helps me deal with the "it's my job" or "my boss says that's the policy", I ask to see their supervisor. Usually, workers ARE doing their jobs, and nobody wants to get fired, so take it to the person who make the policies in the first place. I'm sorry you had to go through this experience, and I hope you will follow up on it and let us know how it was resolved. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:15pm, no way! Hearing people are allowed to chat on their phones until the attendants ask them to turn it off, we have the same rights!

Deaf Philosophy said...

You are a great story teller. I'm a little surprised that United was a little zealous in assisting you. Did you have TV onboard the plane? When I flew several times last summer, I never got captioning when I requested it. The airlines showed several TV shows. I wonder if United sent out ASL interpreters for physically disabled people. I am pretty sure there will be something in the law soon about having captioning in public places such as on planes and in airports.

Most of the time when I get a hotel room, I am given a room clearly meant for people in wheelchairs. This term "disability" is used too broadly and gives people the impression that one accomodation fits all disabilities. The insanity!

Deaf Philosophy

mishkazena said...

She asked for it because she was typing on her pager?

Nobody deserves this treatment.

Shane said...

Barb,

I don't think that getting a free airline ticket is sufficient. It would benefit us all if you pushed to change their policy which may have instructed the "contractor" to treat you like that.

A hassle-free experience beats a free flight, eh?

Chris Heuer said...

It's ironic... Brendan Stern posted a story about his own problems with airlines over in DeafDC.com (I think the title is Mohammed Atta and I) and it wasn't long before he started getting ripped for not responding to a steward's b*llshit more "appropriately." I made the point that this kind of stuff happens to deaf people ALL the time, and a battle royale ensued over there. Now here you are telling yet another nightmare of a story...

I think we are going to seriously need to hook up soon, all of us, and start revamping a lot of faulty laws, policies, etc. Not just in Deaf Ed but all over, it seems, STARTING WITH THE STUPID AIRLINES! We've let things sit for too long.

Mark Hill said...

I can understand your experience at the airport . Not just deaf and same with other people with disabilites who do not need an assistance, I have gone through several incidents because I have the other disability -a mild spastic cerebral palsy. Anyway, I flew back to California from a meeting in DC. A steward was worried over me when he saw me walking awkwardly to the bathroom on the plane. Arriving at Phoenix airport, the steward came and assisted me to the exit. Then an assistant showed up with a wheelchair. Immediately I saw and said in a hand sign "butt off" I walked away with my balance in control.

We are people like everyone else and have the rights to say "no thanks".

Mark Hil
Vice President
Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization

Anonymous said...

if the contractor grabbed your arm without permission, that is assault and battery. This notion has gone too far and someone needs to do training. Do not force anyone to do things they do not need or want. If they need help and there is a desk to request for such service.

--DeafLinux

Alan said...

I've heard alot about you, Barb. This is the first chance I'v ehad to see you in "action". Very eloquent.

I've experienced similar things with airlines. It's quite annoying.

Barb DiGi said...

Thanks guys for your feedback, support and your share of experiences.

Everyone has the right to communicate on their devices as they are allowed to before taking off and after landing. I abided the rule just like everyone else who was ordered to shut off their devices when they listened from the announcement. I was just the last person to find out as I was told by a flight attendant. Anyway that was not the reason to signal that I needed a wheelchair for heaven's sake!

DeafLinux: In my vlog, I clearly explained that I was offered to hold his arm at two separate times but I declined. He acted like he was infatuated with me making me think that he was just being just too friendly. However, he had not grabbed my arm. In fact he was trying to be helpful. Although I made it clear that it was not necessary, he just continued his so called duty. I think it was a way to keep himself busy. It was not acceptable to me anyway especially when I felt I was harrassed in this sense.

This is a situation I will deal with someone who is in charge of this matter.

For those of you who experienced a similar incident, what did you do? Have you have the chance to file a complaint or write a letter? Will get back to you guys after getting a word from the airlines.

Wacky Taz said...

Amazing. I'm equally perplexed with you upon seeing how the service was rendered to you at O'Hare. I live in Chicago area and uses United and other airlines at O'Hare and Midway and never experienced like you did after I notified them that I'm deaf to facilitate better communication. You could try writing a letter like people suggested and seek some kind of referral for them to go to be re-educated however at the same time, find out what makes them do it since you said the contractor sternly said he is just doing his job. Perhaps it is because of ADA and the FAA is addressing it but perhaps not as well as we would like it to be.

I wonder when this whole thing started around the country's airports since I do fly at will and encountered no such experience like you did. *scratching my head*

Phil Easterling said...

LOL, I been traveling all around the world and one time, a flight attendant gave me a braile book ( I am Deaf not BLIND)but they told me I must read this. Huh! Ha.

Carl Schroeder said...

This is amazing! In 1970, I flew from DC to Minneapolis for Youth Leadership Camp, and I had a stopover in Chicago. They treated me in the same manner as you did. They put me in a waiting room where I ran into another YLCamper. WOW, things do not change a lot in Chicago!

Dianrez said...

Oh, my, Barb! I would be worried about being led anywhere by a stranger! Not only because of the danger, but because of the paternalism reaching such a point where it is difficult to reach a judgment about whether or not it is a safe situation.

You have a very telegenic personality and I hope you continue to blog forever. Kudos! More!
DPG

Dianrez said...

*vlog, not blog. Excuse me, it's late at night!
DPG

Chris Heuer said...

You know, I have to apologize. I swore to myself not long ago that from now on I'd make my life about actually DOING something rather than TALKING about doing something.

Thus I put the following question to all of you Deafies out there: who is interested in actually DOING something about this? Because you know as well as I do what's going to happen now: Barb has finished blogging about it, and we'll either agree that it was a terrible thing or else gang up on her and point out all the ways in which it was her fault (gotta love internalized oppression, hey?). After a week people this particular blog will be off the front page of DeafRead and that'll basically be it... until the next deaf person is either pushed into a wheelchair or led around like a cow.

So what's it gonna be? Action or inaction?

Chris Heuer said...

You know, I have to apologize. I swore to myself not long ago that from now on I'd make my life about actually DOING something rather than TALKING about doing something.

Thus I put the following question to all of you Deafies out there: who is interested in actually DOING something about this? Because you know as well as I do what's going to happen now: Barb has finished blogging about it, and we'll either agree that it was a terrible thing or else gang up on her and point out all the ways in which it was her fault (gotta love internalized oppression, hey?). After a week people this particular blog will be off the front page of DeafRead and that'll basically be it... until the next deaf person is either pushed into a wheelchair or led around like a cow.

So what's it gonna be? Action or inaction?

Chris Heuer said...

Sorry that posted twice, by the way. Imagine it was a dramatic echo.

Anonymous said...

Funny story...

Pathetic how the airlines see us associating with wheelchairs!

Sigh... do write them a letter, be sure to give them suggestions how to serve Deaf customers better. Business most likely would hear out.

Thanks for sharing!

Mikey

IamMine said...

Wow...surreal!

It's like that everywhere, Barb.

I posted a story on Mr. Sandman's blog about my experience in requesting where an ATM was at a hospital where my son was staying, only to end up being "dragged" and literally shown HOW to use the frigging ATM - even to the point on WHICH side to slide my card in! *shakes head and slaps forehead*

What if we contacted NAD to send out representations to do presentations?

I remember having a "sensitive training" when I got a job years ago - how to communicate with a deaf co-worker, etc.

Or, have local deaf organizations visit the local airports within their home state to do a presentation.

Or have them send videos or vlogs on how to approach deaf patrons.

That would be more ideal because they'd see what the proper actions is if anything comes up.

It'd be funny with the famous wheelchair incidents as a "joke" - and then place the circle with a slash - "NO!!! If a deaf can walk, don't ask for wheelchair!!

Thanks for doing a vlog explaining your experience, we all can relate to that - even if not at the airport! :)

Nick Vera said...

That's funny you shared with us. I think the contractors and United need to be educated about the differences between disabled and deaf. Why didn't they reach the deaf community to understand what deaf/hard of hearing travelers are very independent like hearing travelers do?
I am frequent traveler like you. Sometimes the flight attendant in AirTran or US Airways knew I am deaf and offered me the policy and procedure explanation. I told them there is a visual brochure to depict the images of safety during the flight and I have seen it many times. No need for them to explain me.
I find that contractor was really shame and ignorant to harm and to pressure you in any way.

Why don't we establish deaf awareness day at airports to educate about our culture and others? Deaf Rochesterians hosted the event during the Deaf Awareness week and it was great outcome. Hearing people responded their personal experience and perspective on deaf culture and language.

Good example of deaf, deaf world like a village where hearing people reverse their roles into deaf person and deaf people acts like hearing so that the hearing people would understand how deaf people feel the way of paternalism and frustration of the equal accessible to the public. How's that?

Michele said...

Oh boy, I hope you got the contractor's name. He may have been impersonating his job, who knows. He sounded awfully creepy from the way you described it and you should have reported it to the airplane police about it because what is a contractor doing in his job? I never heard of a contractor coming out and helping you. Was he dressed like an airline worker or just had a plain shirt with the lettering, "contractor". Because most airline workers will respect your wishes, they may ask you if you want a wheelchair and if you decline, they will respect you, and all that. We need to be wary of who is helping us at the airport. In your situation, I hope you will get a response from the airlines and see what they have to say about it. Can you please share it with us if you get a response from them as I would be curious to know about it.

Anonymous said...

Contstructor must be a con artist.

Anonymous said...

LOL good story, I have heard many like that in Europe. Think the man or United Airlines is stupid.. You have to go long way with him to pick up the wheel chair.. He was not ready with it to pick you up. therefore your story is more funny because of that.LOL

Patty T. said...

You're not the only one. In 1994, I went with 3 students attending Jr. NAD Conference. We arrived at the airport to get on another plane to a certain city where the conference was to be, we encountered a nice lady at the ticket counter when I realized that our plane was not to leave at the time it was scheduled. She realized we all were deaf then and seated us near the counter and told us to wait. At that time I thought she was going to let us know when our flight would leave so we could go and walk around. Instead, she brought out a metal case, I was puzzled as to why she would hand me this suitcase. Out of curiosity I opened it; to my disamy it was a braille device. I looked up at her slowly with a puzzled look on my face and said that we all can see that we do not need braille at all. She was so embarrassed and apologized. I was not offended because she meant well. The case with the contractor, I would be nervous for he could be dangerous. I guess we can't be too careful these days.

Anonymous said...

There are so many people out there who has no clue. I had similiar experience flying to California.

A friend and I flew together and stopped over in Chicago. Earlier, we signed to each other at the counter and never requested assistance. Nothing out of ordinary. Got on the plane from Rochester and landed in Chicago.

As we walked out of the plane to get on the next, a lady pointed to us and ask us to follow another lady. She didn't say a word and took my ticket out of my hand and pulled me. I asked her what she was doing. We were treated like some retard.

She was going to make us ride in the cart. At the time we didn't get a chance to look at the screen to see which gate to get on the next plane but we refused the cart ride. (I actually don't remember if we rode the cart or not... college days)

Guess what?!? We only had to get on the next gate... next door... 30 steps away! I couldn't believe it. Did she feel like a fool? Are the contractors trained to help disabilities the wrong way? And today they don't get it?

We wrote a letter on our way to California and got a repsonse saying they are sorry and would work on that. No free ticket.

Anonymous said...

Funny/good story w/ pix - wish u had video camera for us to watch the whole show and laugh more! Smile

Steward - NO COMMON SENSE!! Should ask you first to make sure - if need any assistance before getting off the plane!!

My close friend's son has severe celebral palsy (can't speak), using small computer device to communicate with others. The steward probably got wrong idea when caught you typing on keyboard device and understood her telling you to turn it off. This may caused you to end up at wheelchair room (hearing people still behind, not recognizing Deaf people using sidekick & blackberry device like cellular)??

The contractor should not be rough and hold ur arm - you ought punch him out for hassle!

As frequent traveler, plane always arrived late and had to run long way to other wing to catch other plane - I wouldn't mind hop on the wheelchair and let that guy do the job fast to save my breath and back ache carrying bags!

Let us know when receiving a response!

Der Sankt said...

HIlarious HILARIOUS!!!!!

Tell O'Hare that whenever Ben Vess lands there I wish for that service. I don't like dragging my bags everywhere. would be nice to sit in a wheelchair too. Ohare ist oo big lol

Seriously, I wouldn't mind that at all.

Anonymous said...

HI Barbara,

Where was ur head.. any one dumb enuff to follow a complete stranger with just a word written on a shirt saying contractor to force you to follow him. I travel too and never encounter any situation like this. Next time brush him off and if he continues to follow get the police or security to help you out. Dont look like a fool following someone around..Writing a letter wld certainly wake up to the seriousness of this situation!!!

Greg Kimberlin said...

What a wonderfully articulated and funny story. Believe it or not,, this happened to me years ago when the world was started to address the issue that we disabled people are not all the same. They brought a wheelchair to where I was checking in. I told them, "No, no, we deaf folks do not require wheelchairs, that is for mobility impaired folks. We deaf are entitled to free first class seats, please". Needless to say, they did not push me into the wheelchair, nor did they give me first class seats!

Liz said...

Hey Barb,

I understand that you felt offended and I would have felt the same way if I was by myself. I would have to make an exception for the one time when I told the airlines I was deaf, without my knowledge they brought a cart to the gate and asked me to get on it. At the time my fiance, who was also deaf was appalled, I looked over to him and said "Do you think I am going to walk all the way over to the other airline which was all the way on the other side of the airport with kids that were 2 and 3 years old?!" He looked at me and shrugged then said "You're right." So we got a ride on the cart and my kids loved it! LOL..this was the only time it was fine with me when they offered services, smiling.

By the way this is your "sis", Liz from Alaska ;-)

JStotts said...

Hundreds, if not thousands of similar flying experiences by deaf persons and little or no change or action. Those of us who worked to get civil rights laws passed, set up deaf centers, file complaints to get interpreters in hospitals, work to educate the hearing community about deaf needs everyday wonder when the fruits of our efforts will pay off in deaf advocating for themselves in a collective, cooperative manner. There are processes, agencies, elected officials, and your own purchasing power that would change this situation. But someone needs to organize and put forth the effort.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to hear what did u say? I think Government are not aware of DEAF people and They suppose to ask DEAF Club for Regualtions before they may approve or reject this bill and I feel it seem silly in their system

Anonymous said...

huh? what is HELL going on. he is damn stupid. You can have right to leave him. my god. I hope you can report on him for sure.

myself a disability and also deaf, of course I always depend on assitance because of time limit.

It's different reason between you and me.

I understand clear. It's so idoit I ever hear.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous...
It's not about these little things. Very often, I hear stories like this and yes I admit some are funny. Read the other stories, deaf airport experiences and how they were patronized or mistreated. Many deaf frequent flyers don't ask for service when they travel. It is not about Barb. She tried to resist assistance in a nice way and obviously would not waste any more time. She thought it was funny enough to share this!

JStotts – I agree. Why don’t the workers alert their boss to make changes? I can see how they are keeping their job and not getting trained. This has not changed in 20 years!

dan / b said...

barb:

as a former advisory board member of northwest airlines and delta air lines, the contractor that you talked about would be employed by the airport, not the airlines.

there were several complaints like this one by various members of the "disabled" community on both advisory boards, especially with the wheelchair users, and we learned that the airlines do not have anything to do with such contractors. the airlines would just notify the airport that they have this or that "disabled" passenger. and it's up to the airport personnel to decide as of how to handle this "disabled" passenger (as with getting him/her from point "A" to point "B" within the airport). both northwest airlines and delta air lines had acknowledged that this has been an ongoing issue between the airlines and airport personnel in how to best accompany various passengers with "disabilities."

so your best bet would be to write a complaint letter to the o'hare airport administration, with a cc to united airlines.

dan / b

Ronald Margaret said...

Hey Barb,
you may feel pride at your prime age. I did the same in my past. now, I am elder in 70's and airports are getting bigger and transfering to other airport are getting so difficult I continue asking for assist when upon arrival I get no service I was confusing with five terminals and do not know where to go . Thus caused my missed my interconnect flight and I had to sleep over night at the airport. You, madam, need not to complain. just go for the ride and held your pride. I need that kind of service when I am able to travel.

Anonymous said...

Your clip was funny but it also set off an alarm in my head.
Seattle police here where I live have told women to NEVER follow or go to another location with a man, to do something to prevent this even if you have to scream to get peoples attention (maybe kick him someplace…). Many assaults have happened when an individual was asked to follow the person to another location. The room with all the wheelchairs was too private and an assault could have happened there.

As far as training the contractor that wheelchairs do not help deafness, it would be easier to train dogs about deafness than this guy (I think my dog is smarter than the contractor).

Anonymous said...

Oh BOY, hearing ppl need to be EDUCATED. actually they are idiots....

Anonymous said...

Barb, they probably have you down as "handicapped" rather than "deaf".
I often think deafness should be in a catergory of its own; separate from handicapped. For instance , try to park in the handicapped zone, they won't let you, duh.
I also think deafness should be taken out of Special Education because all special ed kids are hearing kids except the deaf. It is a whole different thing.
This will prevent many of our problems..or to say THEIR problems.

Anonymous said...

WHAT A STORY!!!
GLAD HE DIDNT DO ANYTHING TO YOU OR STOLE YOUR PURSE!!
CHECK WITH AIRLINES TO SEE WHAT CONTRACTOR SUPPOSE TO WEAR? SO WE KNOW IF ITS CON-ARTIST?
HOPE THEY HAVE VIDEO THAT RECORDING BY THE HALLS?
THEY SHOULD HAVE THE CAMERA UP CEILING TO CAUGHT IF ITS NOT REAL CONTRACTOR?
NEXT TIME WE SHOULD SAID WE DONT NEED "EARCHAIR"!! LOL..

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience about 25 years ago. I had my first experience riding on the plane and I showed my ticket to the assitance (just asked question) but he ended up bringing me to the special room where the kids were and I was very disgusted that they treated me or others like this..Yes, they need to understand the differences and change their job duties.

JEFF said...

Yikes!!! Same thing happened to me in 1969 at the same airport, O'Hare. A guy came to me with a wheelchair but he was more cooperative by leaving me alone after I told him that it was not necessary. Let's say that you had a more interesting encounter than I did. So laugh while you can.

Anonymous said...

Wow to me sound they know but want to put this show embrassed. I think we need to educated to some of disablity that classfied could be any different from being a DEAF is a simple. I think its really silly !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Barb and everybody, It happened to me only once I think. When the man who brought me a wheelchair, I told him thanks but no thanks and I offered him to sit on a wheelchair; guess what? He left and pushed wheelchair away leaving me peacefully walk to another flight. Try it and ya will have a good laugh>

Anonymous said...

I THINK THAT IT IS SILLY THINGS WHAT THEY DO THEIR JOBS TO HELP YOU. I BELIEVE THAT YOU FEEL FOOL AND DUMB AT AIRPORT AS YOU DON'T NEED ANY ASSISTANCE. IT IS ISSUE AT AIRPORT PEOPLE THINK ANYONE IS DUMB MUTE BUT IT IS NOT TRUE. ANYONE CAN DO YOURSELF AND CAN READ MONITOR FOR GATES OR GO BAGGAGE CLAIMS AREA. AS LONG THEY ARE FREQUENT FLYERS. I THINK ANY AIRPORT PEOPLES SHOULD LEAVE THEM ALONE. ANYONE KNOW WHAT THEY DO TO GO ANY GATES OR GO BAGGAGE CLAIM BY SIGN BOARDS OR MONITOR. IF THEY DO REPEAT TO PEOPLE AS NOT NECESSARY AND ANY ASSISTANCE. I SUGGEST ANYONE NEED TO WRITE THE LETTER TO FAA ABOUT IT.

Glasswan said...

Regarding the assistance service provided at airport, I, even with my deafness, would take that free-of-charge service to sit and to ride on wheelchair like Christmas sleigh with full of joy. It is because I suffer of feet pains caused by life change and aging process. When YOU get old, you would want to ride that wheel chair to relieve your painful feet. I am not kiddiing you. Why can't you have some good sportmanship enough to have some fun and to enjoy what it is like to be in others' shoes--the world of wheelchaired or aged folks, duh?? Through your attitude and reaction to the concept of riding wheelchair in airport where you resent the force of someone upon you just like those hearing people who resent of learning sign language by requirement by school or authority, saying "ASL belongs to deaf people--not us the hearing folks. Therefore, we, with hearing residual usages, see no need for ourselves to learn ASL"

Anonymous said...

wow I thought it was joke at first. I have been in chicago airport never had this trouble before but wondering where did the guy get your name from? Also it can be scary if its someone can be danger who knows. It can shows bad sample when there s so many people see it and not awared of it.
Thank goodness that Barbara is ok. It should be recommended to airport head office and ask whats going on. Bewared to other hearing impaired people also myself to see this happened. Glad to see the video.
Take care

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised hearing people would do such thing like that. It is really interested seeing people do the crazy thing. We have no problem at airport but once my wife and I entered Applebee restuarant, a waiter handed us the menu with braille on. What an idiot?? We are deaf, not blind. We demanded the menu to be switched as we cannot read the braille. Then waiter did as we requested.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I flew on United Airlines one year ago. My husband has health problem (peripheral neuropathy)for many years. We got out of the plane and search for another gate, we found out that our gate was on different terminial. That means we have to walk LONG way. I asked United Airline front desk counter and see if they send somebody to assist my husband to ride on the cart to the different gate. They didn't do it as they have no time to assist with me. Of course, we were upset. My husband and I walked all way to another terminial, his feet screamed at him. He sat down for few minutes from time to time. We decided not to fly on United Airline anymore. Why can't they just put some "comment" into their computer system, and alert somebody else to prepare for passengers needs....

Hex said...

Ridiculous. To relate to Barinthus' comment about tossing the piece of paper that says 'deaf'... I did the same, but over my shoulder as I walked away from the check-in counter. I do not litter but that one time I was flabbergasted.

Now, as a mom of 2... I would grab the opportunity to use that wheelchair for bags or kids. LOL. Take advantage of their misconception of Deaf people.

Barb DiGi said...

Thank you once again for posting your comments.

First of all, I am not old and perfectly well when it comes to walking. It is a right for me to make a choice whether or not I want to use the wheelchair. For you who wish to have this service, I hope you will get it. It is not for me, ok. And Glaswan, I don't think your analogy is even close about learning ASL. You are a bit way off ok.

To answer the question about how the name is received, perhaps they have a chart with names on it ready. The flight attendant had a contact with the contractor as they both communicated when I walked in the aisle.

If I were to take an advantage of the wheelchair, what kind of message would I be sending to them about you deaf people?

Brian P. said...

It sounds as if that contractor received "some" training on how to assist various populations, hence him trying to offer different types of assistance to you.

Obviously he never realized that there are DIFFERENT groups with DIFFERENT needs.

CODA said...

That's quite a story...I'll thank my mother for passing it on to me... It never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so oblivious. As a CODA, I've answered questions like, Do they work? Can they drive? Do they understand Braille? Braille!?

In this case, the contractor was probably trying his best to fulfill his job description. A supervisor would be a better choice.

I do have to say something about using your Blackberry....which by the way, I realize is not the actual point of your story. In your story you said that you explained to the contractor that you have travelled many times. Then why don't you know when you should be turning off your device? You can clearly feel and see that the plane is making its descent.

Please don't get me wrong or misunderstand....I get just as upset at hearing people who continue to use their devices, don't raise their tray tables or raise their seats--and yes! they can hear the announcement telling them to do so.

It's not a question of Deaf v. Hearing. It's about being safe, pre- and post- 9/11.

Pots and kettles, people...pots and kettles.

julie said...

oh my gosh! this is really completely ignorance on the airline's part! I was flying to Colorado last summer. On the plane, the stewardress asked me what I wanted to drink, I pointed in the magazine of what I wanted. then she proceed to write if I need a braille menu. I looked at her. It took her about 15 seconds to realize that it wasnt necessary! :)

Anonymous said...

in future , she shud hire by greico commerical and use asl cavewoman ,lmao!

Anonymous said...

Yaknow-First of all- just cuz he's wearing a white suit, I would have questioned exactly what he was doing than just follow him- ur lucky he could have been "anyone" - thankfully the guy was just doing his job - but I would have just up and left-its a FREE country - no one was forcing you to stick with that guy - or I would have went right up to security guard or the airline and pointed it out what was happening rather than be humliated !!

Anonymous said...

Frist of all , It is actually Hostile enviroment , to make you look fool , Secondly , NAD has alot of money ,donate money from various company and they ( NAD ) should the one who responsible to educate to any public company ( transportation and employer and public relation .

Barb DiGi said...

No it was not matter of luck! I knew he was an employee since he had a badge on his shirt like I said. You can't simply say this and that because you are not there.

Anyway, look for part three for the letter from the city of chicago. It is the AIRLINES, not the airport's conduct. Surprised? Read on..

To respond to CODA, guess what? I used my sidekick so many times in the plane without a command to turn it off from the flight attendance. You can see my previous blog that I wrote back in January, "It is a small deaf blogosphere after all", that I was using my sidekick on the plane all the way until I was out of range. No one told me to turn if off although the flight attendant knew I was using it. It happened two times while flying in NorthWest planes. Some airlines required turning off and some don't. So why should I assume to turn it off this time? For an attendant to tell me is like for hearing people to be notified. Assume? That is out of the question.

Anonymous said...

Simple to ask him...how does he feel if he was in ur shoes ?? Curious what are his response ?? probably feeling so cheap !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God,,get a lawyer and sue them !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Regardless of post 9-11 era, I would still refuse the offering and go my way. I believe it's the only way to educate them and the media will be all over the topic, if it ever gets exposed. The contractor(s) and/or United Airline will be very embarrassed with their treatment to deaf and/or HH customers. I know that FAA wouldn't tolerate such treatment (I am employed at FAA).

As for trying to sue, Sue on what? What had been violated? Any harm? That's something the lawyer(s) would ask and United/contractor could deny it and try to justify their action. They would also say they are trying to accommodating your needs as required by ADA law by providing this service to you. But by refusing the treatment, there would be more evidence and more proof of such damages done.

For those who are covering their Deafness on ticket is also at fault because there is no way to educate these people, if you are hiding yourself. Hey get out of closet and face reality and stand up for what's right. If you are treating yourself as second-class citizen, so will the world.

Barb DiGi said...

To Anonymous above,

That's easy for you to say because you were not there. I had refused service but I was denied. Read more carefully in my related blogs.

Like I said in my several related blogs, I have already shared the incident to Chicago airport and United. In Part III, you can read the letter from city of Chicago. I am still waiting to hear from United.

Sue? Who said that I will sue? That was one of the comments so don't mix up theirs with mine.

I never felt the need to inform in advance that I am deaf because I traveled so often. I don't have a problem boarding or unboarding the plane also transferring to other plane until this idiot kept on badgering me. I did not asked to be harassed, ok.

Heck, what do you think I am doing with my vlog and sharing my incident to people and those who are in charge of handling "disabled" people by writing a letter? Educating! Did you even do it?

I have been standing up alright and don't tell me how I treat myself. I have fought so hard to get to where I am today and to correct the wrongs. You cannot judge me based on this vlog alone.

Anonymous said...

(Sigh) Hey Barb, I am not making my comment directly to attack you. I am basically making comment based on overall blogs that I have read and not necessary directly related to your incident. So don't take any of this personally, I am simple stating my opinion(s) which I am entitled to, just like everybody in this blogs.

I see it as a problem when DEAFIES are purposely HIDING from reality by remaining behind the scenes. I agree that it is NOT necessary to notify AGENTS that we are Deaf but when DEAFIES have an attitude to hide, that’s big difference in my opinion. Fact remains, not necessary related to your incident, IF DEAFIES don't want to be recognized, THE WORLD wouldn't recognize us either. I am sure you would agree with me on this one….

As far as suing, I know you DID NOT say that you are going to sue. However some Deafies suggest this route and I am simple replying to their messages. And if you want more exposure, you could contact local news media and explain your situation to them, they may be interested. Most businesses don’t like to be humiliated via the news media. Just food for thoughts….

Lastly, but not least, there are MANY ways to deal with the situation and I honestly believe that the outcome of every situation is directly related to our personalities, experiences, education level, moods, etc. I am not saying that what you did was wrong but if that’s the best you could do at that time then so be it. I probably would take much more aggressive, but smart, route myself because that’s who I am.

Here is an example, years ago when I learned that there was no TTY in the terminal, I made it known that I would take actions if I do not see TTY the next time I come thru. So about a month or so later, I traveled thru that terminal again and they did indeed install TTYs. (That was Atlanta Airport, not Chicago). Did I make a difference? Who knows… perhaps, perhaps not.

I am tipping my hat off to you for taking some actions because it's necessary. I like to see Deafies to follow up on this type of situation because it’s a must in order to educate these ignorant.


Shawn L.

grizzlyjan99 said...

I noticed that the BLACKS got a lot of attention when screaming against discriminations. Deafies are not doing it enough. We are suffering more and longer than the Blacks. Hey, we do need to educate these ignoramous. I have been fired by these types. Also, I wasn't allowed to be promoted to be supervisor even though I was doing the supervisory job. Hey.. just because I am deaf means that I shouldn't be paid as one. My boss nearly got fired for trying to get me what I deserved. So, time hasn't changed. Please, do educate these people that we are not stupid or uneducated. It is time that we stand up!!!!
Jan Simon: Pequot Lakes, MN

Anonymous said...

BARB YOUR WONDERFUL I LOVED YOUR VIDEO, THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH WHAT YOU DID, BUT YOU KNOW SOME PEOPLE DONT GET IT!!!IM A HEARING DAUGHTER OF A DEAF MOTHER AND WHEN MY MOTHER FLEW IN TO SEE ME THERE WAS A WHEELCHAIR WAITING AND READY FOR HER AS SHE GOT OFF THE PLANE, AND THANK GOD THERE WAS BECAUSE SHE WAS HANDICAPPED AT THE TIME, DUE TO A SURGERY SO THIS CONTRACTOR DID HIS JOB!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb Digi.... I would like to know about this your story! My opinion is right because Most of deaf need help or some not! Who is deaf live in USA. Would be experience with airplane of America but What about out of World! Would They will lost of the airplane or arrive at some where at world! Would be lost it way...if not be good lucky! I rather to be must with some one help me if arrive there or any where airport! I have to contractor to what is next go airport or arrive at station of airport! No matter what is points! No need it or has to for contractor who would man or woman like to help for deaf people as like disable of who is wheelchair or blind or whatever! I have been experiences with my family for travel any where so far but right now i am big lady and also I need it someone who will be there when I arrive there or will help me where I will go to airplane! WHY Because You or all people can not hearing what is there voice as alike information for happened on weather or bomb or something alike that! How you will heard or you nothing know about as you going on the way airplane but will happened to you! that is importion to help it for save our deaf people than without not need contractor it! that is their problem!

Also last Jan 14th My boyfriend was lost in the airport when He was at London! He didn't hear what there say but too late so He has to wait for other airport to my home Chicago for late!! What is there points! Next time He has to need assistance to him by contractor for going to airport or whatever where go!!! It is their require for contractor for deaf people and periods!!!

Thanks for read...

Karen said...

My comment is directed to Barinthus's comment:

"HEARING PEOPLE---HOW TYPICAL."

Please do not discriminate against ALL hearing people just as you don't want hearing people to discriminate against the deaf. As a hearing adult with deaf parents, I totally agree that this situation was ridiculous and not handled properly. But that does not mean that ALL HEARING PEOPLE act that way. Respect is a 2 way street...to gain respect, you must give it. Not ALL hearing people are insensitive to the deaf. We are all just people.

Anonymous said...

There's a reason why airlines do this. It's because of the constant changing of gates, times of departure and they make announcements on the public address system. So, it's a liability for them, and they are just making sure you're at the right gate, or whatever. There has been announcements of gate changes that I wasn't aware of, but luckily the person working at the boarding pass counter would come over to me and inform me. Without people like them, we'd be likely be stranded or something. Irregardless of how embarrassing it is, be thankful for the help and courtesy from the contractors that work for the airlines.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I would love to get service like that so I would get there quickly but I wouldn't use it thou because there are a few of my deaf freinds who couldn't walk well or some couldn't see well because of their ages. They would definately use their service. And don't get mad at workers...they're trained to do it..bear with them with kindness and then get mad at their boss or superiendents..okay?? Not the workers. Also be careful of con artists...never know...just prepare to study of employers' outfits before you take the plane so you would prepare if you should follow a person to isolated room or not.
Hard of hearing mom of six kids

Barb DiGi said...

You need to read everything what I said because what you said didn't apply to me..I was not mad..this contractor is not a con artist..I wish for those who need service get it but don't make a mockery out of deaf people who are walking just fine..peace..Barb DiGi

DS said...

Sigh ... How typical of Hearing people out there. Your story is soo funny.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god !!!!...

they should able to see us as a normal except deaf.

I think, the contractor need an double spec glasses to wear !!!

Tooty

Nick Smith said...

If anyone doesn't mind, I am having trouble understanding Barb Digi after she says I want to show you where to go next. You don't have to show me, I know where to go. We both went to the screen, departures. She says something after that. Could you interpret for me what she says after that? I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Nick