Janice Schacter Lintz is the woman behind the successful effort to get effective accommodation for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in all of New York City’s new Taxi’s of Tomorrow, a feature that had been in London cabs since 1988.
Janice, founder of Hearing Access & Innovations, is a “won’t take no for an answer” kind of activist who offers up her three point plan for changing the world here:
Many places will tell you that you are the first dissatisfied person in order to discourage you. They are just trying to get you to go away, so don’t let them deter you. Be persistent.
Be fearless. No one can fire you as an advocate so you have nothing to lose as long as you are accurate and do not lie or distort the truth. Getting over your embarrassment is critical. Many people know what they need but won’t ask for it because it makes them uncomfortable to assert themselves. What is the worst thing that can happen? All they can say is say, “No.” You already start with a no so it can only turn into a yes.
It is crucial to be able to communicate your critical points in one or two sentences. This is your “hook” to engage the listener. Once they are interested then you can expand your message.
Political campaigns teach this skill really well so visit a campaign office to learn this technique. They routinely send people into neighborhoods to get people to vote for their candidate. They only have a few minutes for people to listen before a door is slammed in their face.
See how a success can be used to gain another success somewhere else. Look within the field, across different industries that operate similarly or even globally.
As an example, London Taxis have induction loops for people with hearing loss in their taxis since 1998. The system was unavailable in the United States. This made no sense so I contacted the then Royal National Institute for Deaf People. They put me in touch with London Transport who sent me the installation drawings. The drawings were brought to the NYC TLC who had a difficult time arguing that the project was not feasible. The loops are now installed in all of NYC’s Taxis of Tomorrow.
New York City’s subway information booths and call boxes now also have induction loops because of photo documentation from London as part of President Obama’s Stimulus Package.
On Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Janice will join me for a live discussion about her successes in advocating for the hearing impaired and the implications for you in your efforts to change the world. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.
Hearing Access & Innovations is the only consulting agency dedicated to showing businesses, cultural institutions, entertainment venues, and government agencies around the world how to grow profits by improving hearing access for an increasing population of customers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
We help clients better serve the full spectrum of people with hearing loss by connecting all the pieces. We assess their environment, evaluate needs, and implement existing tools and best practices to provide excellent customer service for an often forgotten, yet growing market.
We act with integrity to resolve issues, set new standards, change global practices, and achieve results.
We seek to make our three-pronged approach to improving hearing access—with audio, visual and qualified interpretation—universally recognized, accepted and implemented wherever there is sound.
Janice Schacter Lintz is a passionate, accomplished hearing loss consultant and advocate. She is well known and respected for her ability to assess situations, identify areas for improvement, recommend solutions and implement programs that help organizations improve customer service and grow profits. Her ability to break down issues and do what is needed to affect change has earned her unprecedented access to business leaders, government officials, political leaders and respected academians around the world.
Since 2002, Janice has become the global “go-to” person on all matters related to access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Equipped with an undergraduate degree in business, a law degree, and experience as a successful litigator, Janice leverages her broad background to articulate compelling business cases for organizations in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds to improve hearing access for customers with hearing loss.