Traveling or otherwise going on tourist excursions can be some of the highlights of a person’s life, and no aspect of that should be altered just because someone in a traveling party has a disability of some sort, for example some type of hearing impairment.
But, because sensory input and communication ability is important, especially when in unfamiliar places, there are certain precautions that should be taken, and tips that should be followed. Consider the five below when dealing with the hearing disabled, including being sure you know ASL basics, choosing the right tour package, staying away from potentially dangerous situations, traveling with an interpreter, and avoiding assumptions about preference.
Be Sure You Know ASL
If you are traveling with someone who is hearing impaired, whether it is a family member, friend, classmate, or whatever, knowing the basics of ASL is going to come in very handy. Even if you aren’t completely fluent, even having a small amount of communication available can mean the difference between having a great time out somewhere, and being incredibly frustrated.
Pick Appropriate Tour Packages
When you search for vacation packages, make sure that the one you choose is hearing-impaired friendly. In other words, choose vacations that create the opportunity for everyone traveling to enjoy them to the same degree. You’d be surprised that this really doesn’t limit your options that far, but it is a specifically important consideration, especially in the planning stages of a journey, so that there’s no need to back out of arrangements later.
Stay Away From Dangerous or Frustrating Situations
There are travel packages that could be dangerous for the hearing impaired. If some vital aspect of a vacation requires being able to hear, particularly in the case of danger or an audible warning, these are probably ones that you’re going to want to avoid. Once again, you should not use this as a limiting factor, but rather make a smart decision about what to do where based on the fact that additional dangers are present.
Travel With an Interpreter
If you can, travel with an interpreter. This will take the pressure off of you as you’re trying to enjoy your part of the traveling process, and give the hearing impaired person in the group a fluent outlet for expression, and communication will be 100% effective that way.
Don’t Assume Preferences
A final note, if you want to travel successfully with the hearing disabled, is to not assume their preferences for destinations. Just because you think a particular place wouldn’t interest them, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be an automatic for them. The smarter thing to do is ask their preference directly and see what they have to say.