Tips for travellers with hearing loss

Travelling is confusing even for those without hearing loss. Travelling with hearing loss is even more stressful. Here are some tips to help make your next trip as relaxing as possible.

At the airport

Travelling alone by plane can be daunting for people with hearing loss, especially where public announcements are missed and a lack of closed captioning on plane televisions and so …

  • Explain your hearing loss to the ticket agent and ask for pre-boarding privileges to ensure you get on the right plane at the right time.
  • Do not expect the gate agent to remind you when to board or if there is a change. Be assertive and ask, ask, ask.

At the hotel

  • Hotels often have amplified or text phones, television with captioning and accessible emergency alerts available upon request. Hotel occupants, deaf to the world without hearing aids are at risk of being left behind in an emergency.
  • Ensure that assistive devices are available by calling or emailing your hotel before your trip. Bring your own portable technology if your destination hotel doesn’t have any assistive equipment.

Out and about

  • Certain cities have made excellent accommodations for those with hearing loss. For example, many New York cabs have induction loops that transmit sounds wirelessly to the t-coils of many hearing aids.
  • Disney parks also provide captions and inductions loops on many rides and attractions. Guided tours are available for those with hearing loss and hand-held listening and captioning devices can be rented.
  • Cruise ships tend to be more challenging. The public announcement system can be difficult to understand. Let your cabin steward and your cruise director know you are hearing-impaired.   Try to stand as close as possible to a PA speaker box in the event of an emergency.

Suggested packing list

  • A “Shake Awake” Alarm Clock
  • An Assistive Listening Device
  • Extra Batteries
  • Extra Hearing Aid Batteries
  • A Flashlight for Emergencies
  • A Smartphone to receive Emergency Text Alerts
  • Adaptors to connect to Power Sources, if travelling abroad.

Expect the unexpected and prepare as much as possible prior to your trip.
Bon voyage!

Reproduced with permission from Listen, #7, 2013, pp. 44-47

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