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Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia

 

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BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 7:26 AM
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Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia Can't Post

I recently got a message from a deaf guy who lives in the Norfolk area of VA who has been wanting to become a skydiver. A couple of us helped guide him to DZs in the state to contact and discuss the training with them.

He has contacted every DZ in Virginia, and every one of them turned him down! WHY? Because he can't use a radio??? Are you people kidding me? Mad

I admit that I don't know anybody at any of the VA area DZs, and have only jumped at Skydive Suffolk in 1999 during their VA state record attempts, which is also where we put together an all-deaf 5 way, along with Carolyn Clay and friends on a fun jump. But come on, basing a decision not to train a student on the inability to use a radio because he's deaf is ignorant. Have there not been THREE deaf skydivers that trained at DZs in Virginia in the past????

This guy is well educated. Has a masters degree, and IS a pilot to some degree. And he's deaf! He has done way more than I could ever hope to do outside of skydiving and look at me. Those of you that know me, know my background, and know that deaf people can skydive.

Could any of you VA area instructors think this over and give this guy a shot? I'd hate to tell him he might have to travel further than he wants and leave him with a sour impression of his home state but that is what might happen. Unsure

Contact me for info on how to train a deaf student if you're not sure. Yes, they can be more hands on in making sure they understand what you are teaching them, and they are better suited to very small ground classes or 1 on 1 training, but they can do it. Open your minds up. Smile


popsjumper  (D 999999999)

Mar 7, 2012, 9:28 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

You already know that there's at least one place that will work with him and it would be great to have you assist again.


DanG  (D 22351)

Mar 7, 2012, 9:57 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

This kind of surprises me. I don't jump anymore, but I'm pretty sure Orange has a deaf regular jumper these days. At least I think she stills jumps there.

Did the DZ's turn him down flat, or did they want him to do a couple tandems first, or something like that? I think it's unlikely they turned him down flat, unless there's something else going on.

I'll ask around if I get a chance.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Re: [DanG] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This kind of surprises me. I don't jump anymore, but I'm pretty sure Orange has a deaf regular jumper these days. At least I think she stills jumps there.

Did the DZ's turn him down flat, or did they want him to do a couple tandems first, or something like that? I think it's unlikely they turned him down flat, unless there's something else going on.

I'll ask around if I get a chance.

You mentioned a she, I believe that's Catherine Kennedy. She's moved to another part of the country and has married, but yeah, Orange had her and another guy whose name escapes me.

What the guy told me was they turned him down due to his not being able to use the radio (DUH!) and he was also told that finding a DZ with a large LZ would be better. Well, that could be beneficial, but look at me. The DZ I trained at in the mid 90's, had a student LZ that was no bigger than a regulation size baseball field. Maybe a bit smaller. My instructor jumped with me each time, continued on after I pulled, and was on the ground holding up brightly painted paddles for me to follow his directional turns. He did that for my first 3 or 4 jumps. I never missed the LZ. Others have had large arrows cut out of cardboard and laid out on the ground, and the ground crew just turned it to whatever direction they wanted the student to be flying.

There are ways to get around the radio issue. It just depends on how far you're willing to go to make the training work.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Re: [popsjumper] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You already know that there's at least one place that will work with him and it would be great to have you assist again.

Yep! That guy did a great job. Aced all 7 levels without having to repeat. And he drove all the way across the state from the southeast Georgia coastal area to make it happen.

I'd love to assist again, though the guy in question is way up in VA and I think he'd like to stay in the general area, maybe even venture into North Carolina if needed.


DanG  (D 22351)

Mar 7, 2012, 10:46 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You mentioned a she, I believe that's Catherine Kennedy.

Yeah, that's her. I thought she might have moved back since I saw her at at Christmas. A guy named Kelly used to jump regularly at Orange, and every now and again John Woo (I think that was his name) would pass through. Orange does not have a problem with disabled jumpers, believe me.

Like I said, I'll ask around, but I suspect there may be more to the equation that is readily apparent.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Re: [DanG] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
You mentioned a she, I believe that's Catherine Kennedy.

Yeah, that's her. I thought she might have moved back since I saw her at at Christmas. A guy named Kelly used to jump regularly at Orange, and every now and again John Woo (I think that was his name) would pass through. Orange does not have a problem with disabled jumpers, believe me.

Like I said, I'll ask around, but I suspect there may be more to the equation that is readily apparent.

Kelly Crisman, yeah. I'm still trying to remember the 3rd guy's name... But yeah, Orange is a favorite destination for John Woo, who lives outside of Baltimore. He has not been jumping much lately due to work and age/health issues.

Thanks Dan


jaitken  (B License)

Mar 7, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

Kelly Crisman, yeah. I'm still trying to remember the 3rd guy's name...

You may be thinking of Colin Wells. I believe he started out at SDVA, at least that's where I know him from. I haven't seen Colin since Cat & Larry's wedding, but he might call West Point home these days, not sure.

I'll send them a link to this thread, maybe they can help point him to an instructor who'd be willing to work with him.


PiLFy  (A License)

Mar 7, 2012, 2:20 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry to read this. Not Cool. This comes to mind: http://www.ada.gov/

If decency won't prompt them to do the right thing. Fear of financial penalties might.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 5:05 PM
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Re: [jaitken] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

Kelly Crisman, yeah. I'm still trying to remember the 3rd guy's name...

You may be thinking of Colin Wells. I believe he started out at SDVA, at least that's where I know him from. I haven't seen Colin since Cat & Larry's wedding, but he might call West Point home these days, not sure.

I'll send them a link to this thread, maybe they can help point him to an instructor who'd be willing to work with him.

Bingo. Thanks for refreshing my memory. Since the old deafskydivers.org website went down (for whatever reason, I'm not the owner of it) I can't use it for reference... Unsure

I've got a couple leads already but ask them anyway, you never know.

Thanks!


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 7, 2012, 5:08 PM
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Re: [PiLFy] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm sorry to read this. Not Cool. This comes to mind: http://www.ada.gov/

If decency won't prompt them to do the right thing. Fear of financial penalties might.

Unfortunately, there was a case like this in Michigan or was it Ohio several years ago where a group of deaf people wanted to do tandems but the DZ refused to pay for an interpreter. One of the customers sued, and lost. Seems that small businesses are exempt due to financial hardship that paying for interpreters would cause. I think it's horseshit anyhow. Unimpressed


jumpsalot-2  (D 33093)

Mar 7, 2012, 6:21 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

My best friend growing up was deaf, as were many of his friends from school. I found them very aware of their surrounding thru neccesity. Let this guy know and understand the rules and method of a landing pattern, using a qualified sign language interpreter to explain the pattern, and he will be fine. I didn't use a radio in my training in 1999. I just did what I was told, and hit the center of the field at the barn in Davis......He's not a moran.....he's deaf.


gweeks  (D 27352)

Mar 8, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

We've had a deaf jumper go through AFF at Delmarva before. Her boyfriend at the time is a regular jumper who knows sign language and helped with the instruction. If I recall correctly we used flags in lieu of a radio and everything worked out ok.

Let me know if your friend would be willing to make the drive (probably about three hours). If so I can talk to the DZM and the fun jumper who knows sign language to see if we could make it happen.


DanG  (D 22351)

Mar 8, 2012, 1:38 PM
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Re: [PiLFy] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I'm sorry to read this. Not Cool. This comes to mind: http://www.ada.gov/

If decency won't prompt them to do the right thing. Fear of financial penalties might.

You've got to be kidding. Skydiving isn't for everyone. There's nothing wrong with a deaf person skydiving, but requiring DZs to take any customer, regardless of their physical or mental situation, is simply not what the ADA is for.


PiLFy  (A License)

Mar 8, 2012, 2:55 PM
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Re: [DanG] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

Au contraire, the ADA is, in part, exactly for this type of situation. The guy is a pilot, athletic, & only wants to jump. What overly expensive accommodation is he going to need? An AFFI may have to spend a few minutes w/pen & paper every jump. Flags in lieu of the radio. Big Deal. He has already proven he's safe in the air. They excluded him for a handicap he can, & has, overcome before. Do you wear glasses, Dan? Would you want to be excluded from this & other activities because someone felt the risk of your glasses getting knocked off was too great?


DonTheGeek  (C 32675)

Mar 8, 2012, 7:35 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

Point him in the direction of Tony Thacker in Raeford? We're not too far from VA ...


DanG  (D 22351)

Mar 8, 2012, 8:09 PM
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Re: [PiLFy] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
He has already proven he's safe in the air.

No, he hasn't. The OP refered to him as a "sort of" pilot. You're assuming a lot.

In reply to:
They excluded him for a handicap he can, & has, overcome before.

Again, assuming. We don't know if they excluded him because of his hearing or not. I'd be surprised, knowing most of the people involved, if that were the case.

In reply to:
Do you wear glasses, Dan? Would you want to be excluded from this & other activities because someone felt the risk of your glasses getting knocked off was too great?

Gosh, you're right! The glasses analogy really made it click for me. The almost 500 jumps I made with a prosthetic limb didn't help me understand disabilities at all.

Like I said, skydiving is not for everyone. If a severely retarded man showed up at the DZ and wanted to do a static line, would you protest if the DZ turned him away? How about someone with uncontrolled epilepsy? Maybe there's something else going on with the guy mentioned in the OP, all we have to go on is the fact that at least 3 DZs turned him away. Do you think maybe they know something we don't?


killler  (D License)

Mar 9, 2012, 6:57 AM
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Re: [DanG] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

    For what it worth... I had the chance to train a deaf girl to skydive when I ran my dz.... It was not that hard... We had her sit through a first jump course .. Then I did a One on One at the kitchen table with her mom to sign if needed.... It was a static line first jump and I went out after her so she had a little help as a visual aid.....

She did great.... Stand-up in the pea pit.... But the smile on her face was worth the little extra work....

Killler


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 9, 2012, 7:31 AM
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Re: [killler] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

That's all it takes. A little extra effort to make sure the student takes all the info in and is able to process it. A one on one situation is best since they can learn at their pace.

As busy as The Farm can be sometimes and they have had sizable groups of first jump students in the ground class, they did one with just the one deaf student in it, with me assisting the teacher communication wise. He ended up acing the AFF program without repeating any levels.

The thing about working with deaf people, there are all kinds. What works with one, might not with another. The main thing is assessing their communication level in the beginning. Some are book smart and can communicate on a level of English like most of us can. There are also others at the far end of the spectrum where you have to adjust the language to a point where they can understand, especially with the way American Sign Language is structured in its basic form. In that case, body language and identifying pictures and what is going on in videos takes priority over language in a form they don't or can't read/understand.

The latest on the student I'm trying to help here is that he seems to have made his decision on who to talk to first. Thanks to all who posted here and PM'ed me. Smile


justme12001  (D 29862)

Mar 9, 2012, 9:39 AM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

if he is willing to come to skydive walterboro in sc they will be more than happy to train him. They use S/L instead of AFF, but I know they have taught deaf students before and currently have a deaf jumper (Andrew Christian) who I'm sure would be happy to help translate


PiLFy  (A License)

Mar 9, 2012, 1:56 PM
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Re: [DanG] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

"No, he hasn't. The OP refered to him as a "sort of" pilot. You're assuming a lot."

I'm not assuming anything. Here's what Billy said:
"This guy is well educated. Has a masters degree, and IS a pilot to some degree. And he's deaf! He has done way more than I could ever hope to do outside of skydiving and look at me."
A 'Pilot to some degree' tells me he flies, but doesn't have a license yet. I'm sorry you need a prosthesis. As a student, that would make you far more of a risk in the air than this guy.

"Again, assuming. We don't know if they excluded him because of his hearing or not. I'd be surprised, knowing most of the people involved, if that were the case."

Again, no assumptions made. I simply read what Billy wrote:
"He has contacted every DZ in Virginia, and every one of them turned him down! WHY? Because he can't use a radio??? Are you people kidding me?"

"Like I said, skydiving is not for everyone. If a severely retarded man showed up at the DZ and wanted to do a static line, would you protest if the DZ turned him away? How about someone with uncontrolled epilepsy? Maybe there's something else going on with the guy mentioned in the OP, all we have to go on is the fact that at least 3 DZs turned him away. Do you think maybe they know something we don't?"

You want to compare deafness to uncontrolled epilepsy & mental retardation? That's just brilliant, but wholly irrelevant. As we all know. No, skydiving is not for everyone. Deafness is not one of the disqualifiers, Dan. I'm sorry (& rather surprised) you feel it should be. I don't know the guy. I'm going off info from someone who does. You seem to have a hair trigger in trying to protect your AFF friends in VA.

"Gosh, you're right! The glasses analogy really made it click for me."

I didn't know you need a prosthesis. I'm sorry you do, but... You'd be a lot more effective in making your points if you lost the 'tude. Reasoning gets lost in the facetiousness.


sundevil777  (D License)

Mar 9, 2012, 2:51 PM
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Re: [BillyVance] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you think that a sign language interpreter should be provided by the DZ?

I don't think it is reasonable. I would expect the student to be responsible for bringing along someone that can do it.


PiLFy  (A License)

Mar 9, 2012, 3:58 PM
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Re: [sundevil777] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do you think that a sign language interpreter should be provided by the DZ?

I don't think it is reasonable. I would expect the student to be responsible for bringing along someone that can do it.

FWIW, I don't think that's reasonable, either. He could bring one if he wants to. The FJC material is all printed out nicely. He can read it on his own, & review w/pen & paper. It would take some extra time for an instructor. I would think they would want to do that. I would also think he would tip them for their extra trouble. W/O an ASL interpreter, what would it take? Maybe an extra hour for the FJC material, & a few minutes each per AFF jump. I don't think that's too much to ask.


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 9, 2012, 4:05 PM
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Re: [justme12001] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
if he is willing to come to skydive walterboro in sc they will be more than happy to train him. They use S/L instead of AFF, but I know they have taught deaf students before and currently have a deaf jumper (Andrew Christian) who I'm sure would be happy to help translate

Yep, I know Andrew and have jumped at Walterboro. It's a bit further than the student is willing to go, however, he's working on a place less than 3 hours away. Smile


BillyVance  (D 18895)

Mar 9, 2012, 4:11 PM
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Re: [sundevil777] Heads up to AFF-I's in Virginia [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Do you think that a sign language interpreter should be provided by the DZ?

I don't think it is reasonable. I would expect the student to be responsible for bringing along someone that can do it.

Professional sign language interpreter services, the way the ADA law is set up, most DZs are exempt from having to provide one on their dime due to the vast majority being classified as "small businesses". On the other hand, the student should never be forced to bring his own. Other reasonable accommodations should then be made, like others have mentioned - written materials, captioned videos, etc.

As it is now, the guy now has contact info to a DZ that has staff members who are fluent in sign language, so that is a positive bonus. Smile


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