Most of you are UNAWARE that yours truly, Sherlock Steve, was involved in an auto accident yesterday afternoon. My friend was driving and I was riding in his car (passenger seat) and we were at a local mall in the area. We had the right of way on the mall road. Suddenly, roar right out of a parking lot to our ride was this HUGE custom made pick up truck with a HUGE custom made bumper.
I tried to yell a warning in time, but I wasn't able to. My friend tried to pull the car out of the way. no SUCH LUCK! *WHAM!* The entire right front of the car was CRUSHED. My door was trapped. My friend was helped out of the car. I wasn't so lucky. I was dizzy from shock and confusion.
Add in that I can't hear any more either!
The first responders had no clue how to help my handicapped friend or myself. And first responders had no idea what importantly means to educate the public of the sense of using pen/paper to communicate with the deaf.
More importantly, when the fire and ambulance arrived, they also failed in communication as well. Pen and paper should be the key when they deal with a deaf person.
At a Sunbury Community Hospital, I did try to ask for a Sign Language interpreter. I was "sweetly" told that they didn't have an interpreter on call there. Again, I had to force them to go pen and paper route. I felt very insulted and very much offended.
Especially when we, the deaf community, live in the world of the ADA law. So, does it really matter to have a sign language interpreter at the hospital? Do fire departments and ambulances need to understand communication with the deaf? YES. Not all of us understand speech reading. Not all of us are perfect in speech reading. Especially when we see some one new that we haven't meet before.
Time is important, even if it's not an emergency situation, but even non-emergencies can become emergencies right there an then.
Communication in sign language is faster than writing on pen/paper.
So basically, I'm going to be following up with local deaf organizations and get the deaf community involved. We need to show first responders of what to do with the deaf people. Not just pretend we're hard of hearing and still hear. we have to show why it's important of communication. Even finger spelling helps too.
Sign language can save a life...a deaf person's life.
Let's get the word out of how important the ADA law is to all: First responders and Hospitals.