If you have hearing loss or are travelling with someone who suffers from hearing loss, it may become frustrating at times. Fortunately, many methods of transportation have come a long way to accommodate those who are hard of hearing or with hearing disabilities. Before you venture onto your next destination, create a checklist utilizing the following tips to ensure your travelling experience runs as smoothly as possible!
Tips for Traveling by Car:
- Extra-wide rear-view mirrors can be installed in cars, making it easier to communicate with back seat passengers.
- Use a Bluetooth phone system to provide hands-free access to your calls.
- Teach passengers to insert pauses in conversation when your eyes are on the road. No distractions!
- Use an FM system to deliver conversation right to your ears.
Tips for Traveling by Plane:
- Sign up for text or email flight change alerts. You don’t want to miss your flight amid the hustle and bustle of an airport environment.
- Try to book a seat up front where flight crew can find you and communicate with you if needed.
- Notify the flight staff and flight crew of communication needs and to let you know if there are any travel changes. Keep the people around you aware!
- Leave your hearing technology in place. There’s no need to remove your hearing device when going through an airport check, and the last thing you want to do is accidentally leave your hearing aid behind.
- Be aware that those who are hard of hearing can’t sit in exit rows. This is for everybody’s safety in the event there’s an emergency.
Tips for Traveling by Bus or Train:
- Unfortunately, many busses and trains don’t provide adequate communication with those with hearing disabilities. If there are no visible names for each stop, enlist the help of a nearby seatmate to let you know when a certain stop comes up.
- Tell a fellow traveler or an attendant that you have hearing loss so that you don’t miss any safety announcements!
Tips for Staying in a Hotel or Resort:
- Hotels have a visual signal alert for the doors and alarm clock. Ask for the “ADA kit” at the front desk when you make your reservations. The front desk operator should know what this is; if they don’t, ask to speak to a manager!
- A lot of hotels have adapted with a one click CC (closed captioning) button on television remotes, so you don’t have to fumble through 7 different screens to find it. 😊
- International travel: remember to bring an outlet converter to charge your rechargeable batteries for your implant or hearing aids, or to plug in your electronic devices.