Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Speaking Up...But Is Anyone Listening?

I took this photo in Chicago last week. Sometimes I feel like these figures. I'm trying to stand up for what I feel is right but no one's paying attention.

Last month I wrote a letter to a theatre that shows one or two captioned films a month asking for more showings. I got no response. I heard recently from another member of my hearing loss support group that she and the group president contacted the theatre manager in person and got a response along these lines: No, I can't explain why more movies can't be captioned. That's up to the movie companies. As for changing the days, I must keep the movies that are on contract on those days at the times that are set. Sigh.

Yesterday I filled out an online evaluation form for my conference experience last week. I reported on the interference difficulty I had with my hearing aids in the room where my track's sessions were held. Of course, I am probably the only one who had any difficulty so I don't know how much impact my response will make.

I also sent emails to my senators regarding Senate Bill 68 on hearing aid insurance. So far, I have only received form letter emails acknowledging receipt of my email.

Mog wrote an interesting post about expectations. In my comment I wrote the following: "I guess we can't expect others to read our minds and know what our needs are. I guess we can expect to have to speak out on our own behalf knowing that we won't always receive what we need. Expressing gratitude to those who "get it" seems reasonable to me. Understanding that most people we encounter won't "get it" seems wise. Working for change and accomodations for all who need them seems like a path to hope."

I want to ask you: Am I viewing the world through rose colored glasses? Am I hoping for too much?


Frances said...

No your expectations are not set to high. These things should be provided without hesitation. Recently inspired by your own action I wrote a local TV station complaining about there horrible captions during their broadcast. I haven't heard from them. But it's been my experience if you nag them enough they will respect your demands.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thank you, Frances. I'm so glad to hear you contacted your local TV station about their captions.

Der Sankt said...

Che Guerva's Granddaughter said (paraphrasing) in Michael Moore's "Sicko:"

"What good is Freedom of Speech? Now you can say anything you want and nobody listens! At least, in here, I'll be heard."

(in response to Cuba's lack of freedom in speech and press)

This shows you gotta hit them where it hurts the most--the press. Write to your local newspaper (an op-ed would be best), name names, contact bigger organizations like ACLU...

While doing all that, keep writing to these places and all, informing them of what you will do next.

When it hurts, they'll listen.

This is where I depart from Che Guevara's granddaugher's philosophy...Freedom of speech comes in to protect you from being censored. :)

With all of Cuba listening to her, she isn't afforded any security from repercussions.

We are.


SpeakUp Librarian said...

Excellent advice, Der Sankt. I did name names when it came to the Naperville Public Library and that is still one of my most read posts.
I will continue to stay accountable to my readers on my progress to raise awareness and improve access.

Mog said...

All we can do is keep on plugging away at it.

Chip, chip,chip and sooner or later we will get there.

John said...

Just today, I was re-trained in First Aid and CPR.

Very proffesion video made by the American Heart Association.

No captions. You world think they would be up to speed.

kangaroo said...

I also wear hearing aids (though I've had them all my life) and work in a (UK) library.

Last week I went to a trade union meeting. Took along my radio aid and asked the chairpeople to make sure that whoever addressed the meeting spoke into the transmitter. They were absolutely fantastic at doing this, even to the point of asking those people with questions from the audience to come to the front - nobody has ever done this before in all my years of school and university. Undying gratitude from me.

However. A small minority (mainly those sitting at the back) refused to do this: "what's the point? If you can't hear you can't hear!" I'm still dumbstruck by this (in somebody working at a university, no less) a week later. I'd better try thinking up some ways to improve deaf awareness round here.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks for sharing your story, kangaroo. There's always one (or more) in every crowd isn't there. Good for you for making your needs known to those who were in charge of the meeting. If it's any consolation, those people who were so insensitive probably weren't worth listening to anyways. I'm pleased to meet another hard of hearing librarian.
All the best,

Karen Putz said...

Good news-- the Senators are indeed listening and commenting at how many letters they've been receiving lately. Don't give up-- continue to bombard your Senators until they pass this bill. :)

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks for that update, Karen.