The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is working on ways to assist the hearing impaired with their airline travel. The DOT wants to make sure that the hearing impaired get updated information on flight delays, schedule changes, connections, flight check-in, gate assignments, ticketing, checking and claiming of luggage, aircraft changes, safety briefings presented to passengers on airlines, warnings to passengers to use the restrooms more than half an hour before arrival. They also ruled that service animals are permitted to sit in any seat next to the person in which they are servicing. No animals are allowed in the emergency exit row or allowed to obstruct the aisle.
For more information on what is being done about in-flight communications for the hearing impaired please visit the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) web pagehttp://ncam.wgbh.org/ife/index.html
The airlines are under no obligation to provide DOT with any complaints. DOT needs to see any and all complaints so they can make changes accordingly. Let’s make sure to keep DOT informed. So, the next time you fly and have a concern, anxiety, or complaint, see a way to make flying a better experience for the hearing impaired let DOT know about it. The DOT has a Complaint Concerning Accessibility of Airline Service (Passengers with Disabilities) form. You can print this form from their web page athttp://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/forms/382form.pdf and mail the form to the address at the top of the page.
We need to take responsibility for our comfort and make sure we follow through with letting DOT know about our concerns and discomfort.