Actress Marlee Matlin calls out Delta’s lack of in-flight accessibility for deaf, hearing impaired

Actress Marlee Matlin calls out Delta’s lack of in-flight accessibility for deaf, hearing impaired
Academy Award-winning actress and activist Marlee Matlin speaks on stage during WE Day at KeyArena on May 3, 2018, in Seattle. (Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

Academy Award-winning actress and deaf rights activist Marlee Matlin took Delta Air Lines to task Thursday for recent in-flight entertainment issues she experienced, multiple news outlets reported.

The “Switched at Birth” star, who won the Oscar for best actress for her 1986 role in “Children of a Lesser God,” called out the airline on Twitter for its lack of closed captioning options for deaf and hearing-impaired passengers, USA Today reported.

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Her tweet, liked by more than 43,000 Twitter users by Saturday morning, drew wide support from disability advocates, NBC News reported.

“Marlee Matlin is a champion for captioning in all areas including on airlines, and we appreciate her efforts to bring public awareness to the lack of full accessibility on airplanes,” Howard A. Rosenblum, chief executive officer and director of legal services of the National Association of the Deaf, wrote to the network in an emailed statement.

In response, Delta spokesperson Chelsea Gorman told USA Today that although most of the airline’s aircraft with seatback screens “have a wide variety of closed captioned content, unfortunately, Ms. Matlin’s flight has not yet been upgraded to include this feature.”

Gorman’s prepared statement stressed the importance of accessibility to Delta, apologized to Matlin for the upgrade lag she experienced and emphasized the company is “working diligently to upgrade our remaining fleet."

The airline also responded directly to Matlin via Twitter, advising a potential workaround for the issue in the short term.

Matlin found Delta’s response lacking, however.

Read more here and here.