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Delta Air Lines customer-facing staffers who know American Sign Language, or one or more of 300 other signed languages worldwide, will now sport a badge on their uniform saying so. The badge will sit under name tags on uniforms for flight attendants, gate agents and other Delta staff.
The change was announced in a video posted by Delta CEO Ed Bastian on LinkedIn. The video is almost entirely silent, presented in ASL with closed captioning underneath.
In the announcement, Bastian said the change is meant to help passengers quickly identify staff with whom they share a signed language. “It’s a small step on our journey, but a powerful change as we seek to make the world a smaller, more inclusive place,” said Bastian.
The initiative comes after feedback from customers and conversations with the ABLE Disability Business Resource Group. Delta says it is the first US airline to offer language bars for employees qualified in sign languages, and that the new bars will be rolled out in the fall this year.
When asked if it was taking similar measures, American Airlines said that — in addition to providing closed caption entertainment options for in flight entertainment — the carrier is currently working with advocacy groups and members of the deaf and hard of hearing community to improve its travel experience for all passengers.
United Airlines did not respond in time for publication to a question on whether it had plans to improve accessibility for sign language-speaking passengers.
Featured photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines.
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