...that NAD is currently working to make airports more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people?
On January 9, 2012, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) took the lead, and was joined by other consumer groups, in submitting comments in response to a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on proposed rules concerning accessibility of air travel web sites and kiosks at U.S. airports to provide greater accommodations for individuals with disabilities in air travel. The DOT is working to update their accessibility rules for air travel.
The NAD explained that the standards for websites and kiosks should be mindful of the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing and all audio content must be visually accessible. For instance, if an airline website or airport kiosk includes a video accompanied with audio, it must include high quality captions. Also, looking to the future, we asked that if any website or kiosk allows customers to communicate directly with an agent, such a system be made accessible. If the communications is via audio, then real time text communications should be provided, and if by video, then a sign language interpreter or video based real time text should be provided. We also asked that airline companies work with national deaf and hard of hearing organizations to make sure that the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing people are being met.