Being DeafBlind, the change, part 2

To continge the recent Being DeafBlind series, today I will explore, compare really, what happens when an appointment is affirmed, yet is then canceled by the place; doctor office, school, dentist, Member of Parliament, parole hearing, court date… this list goes on.

So: let’s put on our imaginary suit, with a silk striped tie, a Rolex watch, fancy shoes shined spotlessly, a waistcoat perhaps, you are clean-shaven. You have a job interview with a large bank, you are trying to up your game to managerial level. The appointment is set for August 4th, at 10 AM.

During the days leading up to showtime, you get ready; portfolio check, review questions check, plan transportation check. Oh no, in the midst of choosing the power tie over the florid tie, your cell vibrates… executive assistant informs you the meeting has been canceled, it appears the CFO is fishing that day. Can you come in on the 3rd, at 1PM? You affirm this is acceptable. Seeing that today is August 3rd, and its just after 9AM, you put yourself into high gear and go for broke! You did forget the Rolex, but that should help.

I bet you caught on that “you” were an able bodied person who could drive, hear, see, tie a Windsor knot, fornicate and eat with aplomb worthy of an award or something.

What I am getting at is that for many able-bodied people, canceling and rescheduling an appointment is as simple as pouring a glass of water.

Now, you are me, DeafBlind, and I have an appointment with my alma mater. You see I have decided to pursue a Masters degree, wishful thinking yes, but still a good topic.

I reach out to the university, explain my intentions, specify my field of study and the professor sponsoring my goal. Admissions arranges a meeting for August 15th at 11AM. I have already informed them my preferences for interpreters. Jupiter and Mars aligned, surprisingly, because both interpreters were available that day and time.

Piece of cake, right? Yet that cake is going to hit the fan soon.

I am prepped and ready to go… until… cell phone vibrates, text message says: Univ admiss unavailable Aug/15. Your appt is now Aug/21 at 10AM.

I text back: thank you yes I can do. Interpreters booked?

Reply: interpreters not available. Searching. Will update.

A week later, a text arrives: Univ admiss postpone until Sept 10 at 9AM. Interpreters have booked.

My dejectedly answer would be: Alright that is available, I am confirmed.

The point is: those who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing who require interpreters, changing an appointment causes hardship due to availability of interpreters. If this was a real Masters attempt, having the intake meeting in September would offset starting until winter semester!

The university situation aside, most Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals need to book their own interpreters for medical appointments.

Doctor appointment for July 28, interpreter booked, transportation booked. Then suddenly; the doctor has developed severe reactions to a bee sting. Appointment is canceled. I say “Thank you, when is next available?” They give me a few dates. I then cancel interpreter, making request for other dates. I also need to cancel my transpo.

Able-bodied people just say “thank you, when is next availability?” and carry on with their day.

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