In response to the article titled “It’s my job to protect her” (March 3 Gazette):
My initial concern with this article is the manner in which the Gazette chose to subtitle it: "... deaf daughter refused entry at Chapters.” As a parent, educator of the deaf and strong supporter of the Deaf community, I understand the difference between a “Deaf” person and an individual with multiple health concerns. It has rarely been our experience for the deaf to be discriminated against in any shops and most certainly never at Chapters. It is unfortunate the same cannot be stated in regard to discriminated treatment and lack of consideration of the deaf in places of employment.
As stated in the article, Chapters has established a policy for their staff to follow. They are going above and beyond expectations by assigning an employee permanently at the entry door to protect everyone from this frightening and serious illness of COVID. This procedure is certainly not evident in all places of business. Fragile individuals are a major concern for all of us and we want to protect them too, as well as ourselves.
In raising a child with disabilities, it is extremely disheartening for a family to endure struggles and barriers in attempting to protect their child and to secure resources to provide them a happy and healthy quality of life. These struggles are all but too familiar to our family in the early years of raising a deaf son. Fortunately, we did not have COVID to cope with and resources were much more available if you knew where and how to access them. Perseverance and determination are the name of the game. Under these circumstances, it is sometimes hard to accept stipulations set forth by others who have also been instructed to comply in a restrictive manner.
In my opinion, for what it is worth, this situation is not one of discrimination toward the deaf or any other population. Perhaps it is one of a good family reaching out in frustration with a sense of helplessness in attaining reasonable, personal and professional help for a loved and deserving child.
As stated in the closing of the article, truly, “masks are the least of this families worries.”
Carolyn Messenger, St. Albert