I went to present at a conference in Massachusetts last month and took train there via Amtrak. While I like traveling, I often experience communication and information access issues on trains like I do during air travels. Many deaf and hard of hearing travelers share same frustrations.
Helen Keller, a well known deaf-blind American said: “Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus — the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keep us in the intellectual company of man.”
It is a response we deaf and hard of hearing people often get when we ask hearing people what they are talking about. When we follow up, they say something like: “Oh I forgot, but it was not important.” There are also other comments like “Never mind”, “Hold on a minute”, “You don’t need to know.”, “We just talk about [just one word and no more details]”, “Please be patient”, “I’m sorry I don’t know sign language [to make an excuse not to communicate via writing]”, etc.
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