"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

Need to change text size? Click one of these:
Small Medium Large Larger Largest

Want to read this post later? Send it to your Kindle reader:

Send to Kindle

Monday, May 5, 2014

Joni's event hard to hear for some - LancasterOnline: Letters to the Editor

Nancy Kingsley, Director of Hearing Loss Association of America, Pennsylvania State chapter submitted this excellent letter to LancasterOnline Editor which was published Thursday, May 1st. Nancy helped me with getting captions provided at the Beth Moore Conference this past weekend.

Joni’s event hard to hear for some - LancasterOnline: Letters To The Editor
Posted: Thursday, May 1, 2014 9:25 am | Updated: 9:29 am, Thu May 1, 2014.
The Sunday News article (April 27) about Lancaster’s National Day of Prayer, set for today, notes that the featured speaker, Joni Eareckson Tada, is a quadriplegic. Joni also leads a ministry, Joni and Friends, for people with disabilities.

Therefore, I was sad that her presentation would be inaccessible to many people with hearing loss because a request for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) realtime captioning was not granted.

I recently assisted a hard-of-hearing friend who wanted to attend Bible teacher Beth Moore’s presentation at the Giant Center in Hershey on May 2-3.

Although the Giant Center’s Website states that it has an assistive-listening system and will provide sign language interpreting on request, what my friend needed was CART.
However, both LifeWay, the event’s sponsor, and the Giant Center refused a request to provide it. (Ironically, there is greater awareness of the need for sign language interpreting than for CART, despite the fact that far more people need the latter.)
The Beth Moore event charges $69 to attend and consists of 5 1/2 hours of presentations. The requested access would only cost a few hundred dollars and could have opened the door to participation for many who were otherwise excluded (providing access for the 2 1/2 main event hours of the Day of Prayer would cost even less).
The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania then spoke to the Giant Center’s ADA coordinator (the ADA — the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990 — requires the provision of effective communication), and the Giant Center finally agreed to provide CART.
Of course, since there was no publicity, many others who could have benefited would have no way of knowing that this access was available.
So, here we have two religious events, one of which provided communication access only when a possible legal challenge loomed and the other of which, despite featuring a speaker with a disability, ignored a request to include and publicize similar access.
The cost in each case was minimal and the gain to those whose attendance would have been enabled was priceless.
Nancy Kingsley
East Lampeter Township

No comments:

Post a Comment