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Model and advocate Nyle DiMarco says airline presented him with a wheelchair because he's deaf

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Nyle DiMarco attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 20, 2018, in New York City. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Model Nyle DiMarco, who happens to be deaf, documented an airline inexplicably presenting him with a wheelchair at an airport on Tuesday. 

The winner of reality competitions Dancing With the Stars and America’s Next Top Model indicated that he hadn’t requested the chair.

In a statement, Delta told Yahoo Entertainment, “Delta apologizes for a miscommunication that resulted in this customer being offered a wheelchair upon deplaning.” The company said it’s working with the wheelchair vendor to investigate what happened.

Someone from the company also reached out to DiMarco with an apology on Twitter.

DiMarco is a noted advocate for the deaf community. He’s the founder of the Nyle DiMarco Foundation, a nonprofit organization that serves as a resource for people and groups working to improve the lives of “every Deaf person in the world.”

His followers were equally frustrated with his wheelchair story.

“It’s sort of like how people think having a physical disability means one is also mentally challenged. It’s ridiculous,” one person wrote.

Another added, “The same thing happened to my professor. People are so unknowledgeable and it just makes my anger grow stronger about these situations.”

“Wow this is so upsetting,” another commenter said. “I wish people were more educated regarding Deaf culture.”

Back in April, DiMarco explained in an interview that part of the reason he had taken on yet another project, producing Children of a Lesser God on Broadway, was to educate.

“Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go to educating and changing the society’s ideology of Deaf people, as well as people with disabilities,” he told Deadline

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