I have been regularly zipping across Canada on airlines for about 15 years now. In all these years, I have never been able to fully enjoy the in-flight entertainment as it is not captioned. We have had captioning on television since the mid 1990’s, yet here we are in the year 2012 and in-flight entertainment is not captioned,
This is unacceptable and a human rights issue as far as I am concerned. People with hearing loss pay full fare for my tickets, and would like to have equal access. We are not a small number…approximately 10% of the population has a hearing loss. The noise levels of a plane would make listening to the in-flight entertainment challenging for pretty much all degrees of hearing loss.
I did some preliminary research on the internet to explore this issue and have learned that at least one airline, Continental, will provide captioned entertainment. See this link for more information. If one airline can do it, then they all can.
I plan on taking the following steps:
1. Start with a letter to both Air Canada and West Jet requesting captioning on in-flight entertainment. I do not expect this will have much effect, but I am a firm believer in giving everyone a fair chance before going for more drastic measures.
2. If I do not receive a satisfactory reply from either of these two airlines within 30 days, I will next make a complaint to Ontario Human Rights Commission. Specifically, there is the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre that can assist in making a formal complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
3. In addition, I plan to make a complaint to the Canadian Transportation Agency. They have been mandated to make make transportation accessible to all persons with disabilities. Lets see what they can do.
4. I am not sure if the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has any jurisdiction here. But I will also use their website complaint mechanism to see if they can help.
I will keep you all updated on my progress in this endeavor. Wish me luck!