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.
Stop denying those who are unable to speak from donating blood
I am shocked to learn that Houchin Community Blood Bank requires all potential donors to be able to communicate orally in order to register for blood donation. An interpreter should not have to be present for a deaf donor if he or she is capable of written communication.
I believe this is discriminatory towards those who are deaf and/or mute. After hearing that this policy is in place in blood banks throughout the U.S., I believe that the HCBB should take the initiative to end this discrimination.
Change your policy by allowing donors to register for blood donation through a written form of communication. Eligible and willing donors should be able to donate blood regardless of whether they speak or not.