On February 17, 2012, I was denied the opportunity to donate blood for my local blood bank, Houchin Community Blood Bank, simply because I do not speak. I had never donated blood before and did not expect to be denied from donating for a reason that had nothing to do with a medical issue.
I had barely begun registering to donate blood before I was informed by one of the staff that I could not donate blood because I was not able to speak. I was told that it did not matter that I could comprehend English or that I could communicate by writing if I did not have an "interpreter" present for my registration. I had already shown them that I did not need an interpreter for I had already answered a few yes/no questions for them. It didn't matter, however. To them, all that mattered was that I was unable to speak.
I believe HCBB needs to end this discriminatory policy now. As listed on their website at www.hcbb.com, "One out of ten people who enter the hospital will need a blood transfusion. Because blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, supplies must be replenished regularly. This is why people need to donate every 56 days." Despite their ongoing need for willing and eligible donors, the HCBB hypocritically turned an eligible and willing donor away. They discriminated against and disrespected me and all other potential donors who are deaf, mute, or simply unable to speak for whatever reason.
Please help end this discrimination by telling the Houchin Community Blood Bank to change their policy by allowing mute and/or deaf donors to register for blood donation through a written form of communication. It is rare to find an eligible blood donor willingly take time out of his or her life to do a service for their fellow citizens and community by giving blood. Such a person should not and does not deserve to be punished.