If you’ve experienced a hearing loss, it can be intimidating to take a family vacation. Your hearing limitations can impact your ability to enjoy yourself and the fun family days you’ve planned.
We want to make this process smoother and easier for you and today many popular destinations have become more alert and accommodating to individuals with varying degrees of abilities. For us, that could mean listening devices, and printed text provisions on narrated tours and all you need to do is ask and while you’re planning and making reservations, be sure to stipulate that you are hearing impaired. The most important message is to have fun!
Walt Disney World
It’s almost impossible to live in the United States and not have some degree of familiarity with this resort and theme park. Mr. Disney certainly left an unforgettable legacy for kids of all ages. And as you might expect, they are one of the industry leaders to offer assistive listening devices. These include:
- Service animals
- Sign language interpretation
- Captioned telephones
- Handheld captioning devices
- Video and reflective captioning
As we mentioned earlier, when you make your hotel reservations, just let them know that you request these options in your room.
Walt Disney World, Epcot
Here you can enjoy a total sensory experience including sounds, touch, smell, and sight, so having a weaker sense can still permit an enjoyable vacation. It really is a world of magic!
Visit the Customer Service Center upon arrival and let them know of any condition you may have and they will be able to offer assistance.
- There is an audio tour that tells you everything from attraction descriptions to how far you have to go to get to each location.
- Listening devices amplify sound tracks
- Some attractions have video and reflective captioning or written scripts
- With a two-week notice, you can request sign language interpreters, and some of the shows offer interpretations at certain times of the day. Visit Guest Relations to learn more about show times
- Cast members throughout the park will also be helpful resources for you
Another popular destination in the Orland, Florida area is Universal Studios where you can live out dreams of super heroes, movies, rides, and buddy up with your favorite television characters. Universal offers:
- Interpreted performances at several attractions as well as at the live action shows
- Rides that include closed captioning, captioned telephones, amplifying equipment and listening devices
Our nation’s capital is a great destination, rich in history and there is no lack of help for any guests with a hearing challenge. The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the White House offer hearing loops, visual captioning and receiver devices to help you be an active participant in tours.
Take a cruise to a paradise island is a dream that many of us have and a hearing impairment shouldn’t deter us from making a dream come true.
- Holland America Lines can deliver you to many worldwide locations, and they have rooms that include captioned telephones, amplified telephones, closed caption decoders, visual alert systems and assistive listening devices
- Disney Cruise lines is another viable option offering many of the same amenities
We have a few ideas that we hope will make your travel experience more pleasurable.
- Be sure your hotel is aware of any condition and please be specific about your needs
- Get text or email alerts for flight delays
- Research destinations before finalizing plans
- Be sure to pack extra batteries for your hearing aid, and if you have one, a backup aid is a good idea as well
- Always have pen and paper handy in case you need to communicate that way
- A dehumidifier will help keep your aid clean and dry if you’re traveling to a humid area
- Be sure all your hearing supplies are in your carry-on bag if you’re flying
There are also several specialized travel agents who are especially in tune with hearing impairments. Here’s a brief listing for you to consider: