Fly the Friendly Skies?

airasia.bmpNo Boarding Pass for You: If you’re a Deaf traveler flying on your own in Thailand anytime soon, Thai AirAsia will not let you aboard. Just this week, the airline announced that anyone who is Deaf, blind, or has a disability cannot fly unaccompanied on any of its planes within the country. Officials explained that because they are a budget company, they cannot afford to provide ground support staff to these travelers. This means if you’re Deaf, the only way you can fly Thai AirAsia is to book an extra seat for your hearing “assistant”…even if you don’t require any “ground support staff”. Here we go again with budget issues and excuses regarding access for Deaf folks! So much for their logo – if you squint your eyes to see the tag line at the right, you’ll notice that it says “Now Everyone Can Fly”. Everyone?? Hmm…

Anti-Discrimination Project for the WFD: The fact is, Deaf people continue to be viewed as disabled and denied equal access by many countries, organizations, and governments all over the world. The Thai AirAsia situation is something that the World Federation for the Deaf (WFD) could get involved with. More reason to make plans to attend next summer’s WFD World Congress to play a role in improving the lives of Deaf people on a global level. We will be definitely be going and look forward to networking with other Deaf mental health professionals there. As requested by some of you, here’s the video for the 2007 WFD World Congress. Click on the arrow and wait a few moments for the video to load. Enjoy!

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