Deaf Texas couple: American Airlines apology not enough over ‘deaf and dumb’ remark
James Moehle and Angela Huckaby, who are hearing-impaired, want disciplinary action against person who penned the note that said, ‘Please text, deaf and dumb.’ It was written on the American Airlines paperwork sent to their Houston home.
BY DEBORAH HASTINGS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
March 27, 2014
First, American Airlines lost their luggage. Then the deaf couple received a note they consider deeply insulting.
“Please text, deaf and dumb,” read the handwritten words on an airline form that accompanied the delivery of their lost suitcases.
It was enough to incense hearing-impaired James Moehle and Angela Huckaby, who were returning from a vacation in Hawaii when American Airlines misplaced their bags and later had them delivered to the couple’s home.
“I assure you that neither of us are ‘Dumb!'” Moehle fired off in a letter to the air carrier. “Rather, we are both hard-working individuals and responsible parents. We certainly deserve to be treated with dignity and respect,” ABC News reported.
American Airlines apologized to the hearing-impaired Texas couple for a note describing them as ‘deaf and dumb,’ which accompanied the delivery of their lost luggage.
American Airlines said it was sorry.
“We apologize to Mr. Moehle and Ms. Huckaby. It was clearly a very poor choice of words. We’re confident there was no ill will, but we’ll be looking into this further and will be following up,” the transportation firm said in a statement.
“Dumb” is a grossly outdated term that refers to being unable to speak. Deaf people consider it degrading.
Moehle and his mother were not mollified by the apology. They want the offending note writer disciplined.
“I found it to be like a slap in the face to my son,” Kaye Moehle said.
“It was extremely unacceptable, hurtful and cruel,” Mrs. Moehle said. “People don’t understand. If they don’t have a deaf member in their family, they don’t understand what they have to go through.,” she told ABC.
Angela Huckaby and James Moehle, seen here in Hilo, Hawaii, said their lovey vacation was ruined by ‘deaf and dumb’ note delivered with their lost luggage to their Houston home.Angela Huckaby and James Moehle, seen here in Hilo, Hawaii, said their lovey vacation was ruined by ‘deaf and dumb’ note delivered with their lost luggage to their Houston home.
Angela Huckaby and James Moehle, seen here in Hilo, Hawaii, said their lovey vacation was ruined by ‘deaf and dumb’ note delivered with their lost luggage to their Houston home. The deaf couple wants more the apology American Airlines issued over the ‘deaf and dumb’ note. They want disciplinary action against the note writer.
“They have to go to work just like you and I, and we are so fortunate that we have our hearing. Hearing people aren’t ever called ‘hearing and dumb,'” she added.
Moehle, an air conditioning and heating technician, lost most of his hearing at age 17 months when he contracted spinal meningitis. Girlfriend Huckaby is deaf.
“I cannot describe how I felt,” he told ABC via text message. “I felt lost, angry, confused and mistreated.”