30 Turkish Airlines flight attendants complete course on int’l sign language
ISTANBULSome 30 Turkish Airlines (THY) flight attendants completed a six-day program on “international hearing impairment language training” offered by the company in a bid to offer a better service for passengers with hearing impairment on June 15, Doğan News Agency has reported.
The training certificates of the THY personnel were distributed at the company’s Yeşilköy training department on June 15, bringing the total number of THY personnel who completed the program to 130. During the graduation ceremony, the 30 personnel reportedly performed the Turkish national anthem in sign language.
THY cabin services head, Nevin Çolak, held a speech during the ceremony, saying that the company’s cabin crew “stopped at nothing” when it came to having good communication with passengers.
“Communication is in fact the moment the person feels best about themselves. People feel very good about themselves as long as they can communicate. Because of this, you will be able to see the international sign language on THY planes. Flight attendants who know sign language already worked in previous flights,” she said.
Saying that up until now some 6,000 passengers with hearing impairment traveled with THY, she added: “I believe that this number will increase in the future. Our trainings will continue. Up until now, 130 of our cabin attendants participated in this six-day training. They will communicate with our passengers in this language. In fact, the message we’d like to give is the direct and unhindered transport. We believe that we accomplished this,” she noted.
Çolak also spoke about the 23rd World Summer Games for the Deaf (Deaflympics), which will be organized this year in the Black Sea province of Samsun, referring to its “importance” for THY. “On average, 8,000 hearing impaired sportspeople will come together with their accompanying participants. They will come to Turkey with our planes via Samsun, Merzifon and Amasya. The service for these passengers will be provided by our colleagues who received their training, so that there is no obstacle in their needs and communication,” Çolak said.
One flight attendant who completed the training, Sefer Uysal, told journalists about an experience he had with a child with hearing impairment. “After the plane took off, I was serving. At that point, I could not communicate with a little girl. She was gesturing something. When I could not understand her, I asked her relatives. That made me feel bad. Then I volunteered in this program. Now, we are receiving training,” Uysal said.
Merve Balcı, another flight attendant, also told journalists she volunteered in the training to “touch the hearts of disabled passengers.”