There’s a funny thing on the internet that lets people in public service jobs know how to deal with those who are disabled – those poor disabled people who have no ability to use Braille or sign language in this case!
“Sighted people tend to be very proud and will not ask directly for assistance. Be gentle, yet firm.”
“Calmly alert the sighted person to his or her surroundings by speaking slowly, in a normal tone of voice. There is no need to raise your voice when addressing a sighted person.”
OK; jokes aside. We are in a service business, and we get a lot of practice dealing with people who can walk strait to the proper line without assistance, but we don’t get a lot of practice dealing with people who need different kinds of assistance.
Does that blind person get a benefit from using Closed Caption equipment? Uhm…probably not. Audio Description equipment? Yes! Probably, yes. Should you ask? Good idea.
There are a couple good reasons to ask. One, it helps with the first basic communication point: everyone gets to know that they are being paid attention to. Two, people jump to the wrong conclusion sometimes. I may think that you are looking at your ticket to find the auditorium number, but you are looking to see if you have the right date.
When someone needs to use the Accessibility Equipment, they may think that
- you are an expert and that
- the equipment has been tested recently and that
- the batteries are fully charged and that
- the projectionist has made the playlist perfectly, including the captions and narration tracks and that
- the accessibility hardware in the projection booth is turned on and tested
And, of course you are an expert…or want to be…but no matter how hard you study the equipment you don’t seem to get enough practice. And you are never around on SlowTuesday when the practice sessions are.
<Work in Progress – tell us your stories until we get this done…>