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Vacation Access

Vacation Access

Looking for an accessible vacation? Turns out that some folks in the vacation industry are courting people with hearing loss by providing access to the services they offer.

January 2002 – Interested in an accessible cruise? It seems that not all cruise ships are the same. Here’s one cruiser’s report on the Grand Princess.

April 2003 – Many tourist attractions offer assistive listening devices or other forms of access for people with hearing loss. Here’s a report by full-time RVer Jan Christensen.

May 2003 – Here are some thoughts from Paula Rosenthal on how to get the most out of a trip to Disney World. Note that many of the ideas apply to other tourist attractions as well.

February 2010 – Expedia Includes Search for Accessible Hotels

October 2010 – Norwegian Cruise Lines Settles ADA Discrimination Suit


Cruising on the Grand Princess

January 2002

Editor: When I asked for reader responses to an article about cruising, I expected to hear some stories of great accommodations and some about “the cruise from hell”. The two responses I got were both very positive. It sounds like the cruise companies are really working hard to provide a wonderful experience to their customers with hearing loss. Here’s how Carolyn Hass describes her experience.


When we cruised on Grand Princess I decided to get all I could out of the cruise. I knew my hearing husband would be out all day on “side trips” when we docked (one was sailing boats that are used for American Cup races!) and I would need emergency helps. We told the Travel Agent that and she told us she’d send a message to the PURSER on the ship about it.

I was told to go see the Purser when we boarded the ship. This was less than a year ago, by the way. I told the Staff at the Purser office what I needed.

Our Stateroom Attendant was so excited and pleased to help get the assistive devices installed in the room! Then, when we two returned to our room he was thrilled to demonstrate the devices to us. Real cute….I showed my joy to him, too. I had not only a light (the room’s table lamp without shade) to blink off and on when anyone even touched the door, but also, I had a vibrator under my pillow that indicated someone was at the door.

The ringing of the phone would also light up that table lamp.

I had caption on our tv a lot of the time. There was no VCR available so I didn’t ask about videos.

It was so nice and helpful to have these various assistive devices in my stateroom. I made sure I wrote about it all in several letters and notes, etc. etc. Hopefully, all the Princess ships will be as excited as our eager stateroom attendant to help install the devices!! I took a picture of myself in the mirror with all the devices showing on that pic! And I sent that pic in to Princess lines offices.


Expedia Includes Search for Accessible Hotels

February 2010

Expedia launched a set of new features that allows customers to search for hotels based on whether or not they have facilities for the deaf, blind, or mobility challenged (thanks to Gadling for the heads up). There are lots of options to choose from, but finding them is a little tricky. Once you’ve entered your destination and dates and clicked “search,” select “show more” under “hotel preferences” at the top of the results page. This will produce a list of options, with “accessibility options” in bold text at the bottom. Click this, choose the options you want, and click “search.” Options include Braille signage, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, roll-in showers, and accessibility equipment for the deaf. Once you choose a hotel, you’ll have to request a room with the options you want. Expedia then contacts the hotel on the traveler’s behalf to make sure those options are available and guaranteed, and finally confirms this with the travelers. If, for whatever reason, the property can’t promise availability, Expedia says it will work with the traveler to find alternative accommodations.  Full Story