Saturday, 2 March 2013

Travel and the Hard of Hearing

Newsletter - Feb. 2013
Vol. 2,  Issue #2

        Travel & Cruise News and Items of interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity:
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:
                  Travel and the Hard of Hearing                   


Travel is a very important aspect of our lives, whether for business, pleasure or education. There are 20 million people in the US with hearing impairments. All or most are faced with numerous obstacles while traveling. In Canada the “The Canadian Association of the Deaf uses the traditional “one in ten” formula for estimating statistics, with strong disclaimers. This formula concludes that there are 350,000 culturally Deaf Canadians and 3.15 million hard of hearing Canadians”.

At least half the problems people run into while traveling are a result of some sort of miscommunication and this applies to everyone not just those with a hearing impairment. 

Hearing impairment is an invisible disability, meaning the people around you are unaware that your are disabled. It is important, at every step of your travels, to let key personnel know about your hearing impairment so that proper arrangements can be made if anything should happen on the ship.  If the steward know's he will personally alert you to any danger that might arise. At least let others to whom you want to relate to know as well.
If it brothers you to admit that you are hard of hearing just think you will probably never see these people again, so why worry about them. 

Travel and the Hard of Hearing

Most people when they hear you are hard of hearing immediately think you are deaf but there is a big difference in being deaf and being hard of hearing or having a hearing impairment. 
Being deaf usually means that you cannot hear at all and need a hearing aid, and in some cases a deaf person is not helped by wearing a hearing aid.

A hard of hearing person is defined in most cases as someone that has some hearing.
Some can even hear without a hearing device but not well enough to understand everything that is said.

 A person that has a hearing Impairment has a decrease in hearing due in part through an injury or illness or age related. Some hearing losses can also be heredity. A hearing device usually helps  the hearing impaired.  

 Cruising for the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing (H of H)

More and more cruise ships are equipped with TTY kits that supply text telephones,Visual-tactile alert system, vibrating alarm clocks, flashing-light door buzzers and flashing-light or vibrating alarm clocks for the hard of hearing.
 (Strobe-light door knocker, Strobe-light telephone ringer, Amplifier for telephone, Alarm clock with under-mattress or under-pillow vibrator)
They should be requested at time of booking. You should also mention that you are deaf or/and hard of hearing and if the person traveling with you is deaf and/or hard of hearing as well. Some travel companies ask that you have a hearing person booked into the same room as you.
All the cruise lines I have mentioned below have the Visual-tactile alert system and some maybe have more to offer. These were the cruise lines I researched as they seem to be the most popular but there are a lot more cruise lines that offer this service. Always ask before booking as some ships in the fleet have more to offer than others.  

 Some ships also have assistive listening devices available on request for onboard shows and lectures and available in theartres. These items are in limited supply and must be confirmed at the time of booking. On some cruise lines, deaf passengers can also request the service of sign language interpreters for shows and lectures, with a minimum of 60 days advance notice. 
 In order to provide you with the best accessible cruise experience possible, please submit the guest Special Needs Form at time of booking but no later than 30 days prior to sailing except for sign language interpreting request which must be submitted 60 days prior to sailing.  This will allow us to make the necessary arrangements for you requested accommodations. 
- If you can lip read then include a comment that in the dining room the waiters face you to ask for your order as many will stand to the side. 
- You can also go to the Atrium and talk to the staff at the service desk if you have any problems that need rectifying . Several of the cruise lines have Access Departments if you need assistance. 

Lots of information on the following web site.

New to Cruising?
If you have never cruised before and would like to try it but do not want to be too far from home then why not try a one day cruise from Vancouver or Seattle. These are usually offered in May and Sept.  They are reasonably priced and will give you the feel of cruising. The only drawback is the fact that everyone wants to take advantage of all the activities on the ship and it tends to get a little crowded whereas on a longer voyage the activity tends to be spread out, but you can always find a quite spot.

A cruise is what you make it, you can sit in your cabin or on your balcony (if you have a balcony cabin) all day and read a book, enjoy the view and the sun or you can explore the ship and take in the activities that are of interest to you. 

Cruising with a Group  
Group Cruise Travel for the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing
A Cruise or Tour group is a group of usually 16 (16 lower berths booked ) or more people traveling to-gather, you do not need to know each other but you usually have the same interest or something in common. 

There are several travel companies that arrange group cruises for the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing and you will be hearing about more to come as it is becoming a very popular niche market. I believe Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Travel group cruises are in the top 5 niche travel groups. 

Passages Deaf Travel
One travel company Passages Deaf Travel from Virginia, US, started out in 2005 with a group cruise of 350 deaf or hard of hearing passengers, then in 2007 they organized the first “Deaf Freedom” cruise with 3,860 deaf and hard of hearing passengers.  124 interpreters including interpreters for individual deaf/blind passengers.  Deaf-oriented entertainment was also provided, and entertainment by performers who are themselves deaf.
Their next “Deaf Freedom Cruise” in 2014 is to the Southern Caribbean and would you believe some of the room categories on some decks are already sold out. I believe they have booked the whole ship.
They have a Alaska Deaf Group cruise and land tour available this August, and you can take both the land portion and cruise or just the cruise.  
That is just an example of what is available.

The following website has pictures of the "Deaf Freedom" group cruise

A picture of the Passages Deaf Travel "Deaf Freedom Cruise, 2007"  there is only a third of the group in this picture. 
 Passages Deaf Travel   / /   Office: (757) 258-9181 TDD/Voice

The following is just a  few of the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Travel Cruises and/or Tours available

Kerstin’s Deaf Travel
See the You Tube inserts

Deaf Group Travel Vacations 

Deaf Travels International

Deaf Globetrotters Travel

Tenon Tours  
Deaf Trip to Ireland, Scotland & England: June 2013

    There will be more in my next Newsletter on
    Travel and the Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing

I enjoy reading John Heald blogs and wanted to share this one with you.

July 16, 2010 - John Heald
Growing up, my Dad was never one to spend long evenings in front of the TV. It was the Seventies and he was a Dad. So he was always busy doing Seventies Dad stuff. Woodworking in the shed and painting things around the house and of course tending to his beloved garden.
He never missed one show though. It starred an Irish comedian called Dave Allen. I am not sure if he ever made it big across your side of the pond though but to my Dad and millions of other British dads…..he was the king of comedy. Religion was his thing….. or making fun of it. Drunken priests, nymphomaniac Nuns and comical bishops all played a big part in his show……a throw back to his strict Irish Catholic upbringing. Here he is.
He would often finish his show with a top Ten Commandments list, very pre-David Letterman and very, very funny. He would choose subjects like drinking, smoking and general life subjects to base his commandments on. Dave Allen passed away some years ago and as a tribute to him…….here are my ten commandments……….on cruising.
1. Thou shalt not kill………….. unless a passenger enters an elevator before you exit. Then you shalt be allowed to beat them over the head with a Fun Ship Special glass until they breathe no more.
2. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s cabin. Look, if there’s somebody on your deck staying in the penthouse and wearing loads of jewelry and bling they’re obviously involved in some sort of unspeakable internet-based “business.” Therefore thou shalt report them to United States Customs and Border Patrol.
3. Thou shalt not call Carnival “the Wal-Mart of the Seas.” Neither can you stereotype anyone for the cruise line they choose to spend their vacations on. Unless they are on the Norwegian Epic in which case they are obviously blind.
4. Thou shalt not bring a power strip on the ship. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then it is for a power strip to be smuggled past Carnival’s Chief of Security Ramesh Wouldyoulikemylatexgloveupyourbottom.
5. Thou shalt not slap a big ugly “X” on your smoke stack or paint graffiti on the bow. Not if you’re a grown-up. Oh and note to basketball stars……….thou shalt not put spinners on your Aston Martins.
6. Thou shalt not have rumpy pumpy on the balcony lest you fall overboard. Thou thinkist that no bugger can see you but thou givest a great show to Rocco and his mates on the bridge.
7. Thou shalt not attempt to justify building a 6,000-passenger ship just because thou is jealous that Micus Arisonus got Princess Cruises and thou did not.
8. Thou shalt say please and thank you when asking Bigus Johnus for a table for two, otherwise thou shalt be known on the blog as Rudos Bastardus.
9. Thou shalt not refer to the cabin steward as a cabin “stewart.” It is steward and not “stewart” and if thou uses the word “stewart” again thou shalt find a towel animal on thy bed in the shape of a thingy.
10. Thou will never ever ask the captain “If you are here, who is driving the ship?” Thou is not the first person to ask this question and the next one who does will enjoy a tour of the propellers.


Artist of the Month

 Summer Barn 12 x 16

 Ron Bridge


Self-taught, Ron has been painting in oils for over 45 years. Born in Vancouver, BC, he attended the University of British Columbia there and graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree. In 1975, Ron moved with his wife and his three young children to the Comox Valley where he has enjoyed the natural beauty of the area as a source of inspiration.
Lately, he has also been inspired to paint scenes from his travels abroad. His work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Board of Trade, the Molson Indy Charity, Crown Isle, the Royal Bank (Courtenay), Wilsden Gallery, Timms Gallery, Originals Only art shows and can currently be seen in venues around Courtenay, Campbell River and his Cloudburst Studio. His paintings are held in private collections and various businesses around the world. 
Web Site:

I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish to see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda
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Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2

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1 comment:

  1. When taking a trip not designed for the deaf or hard of hearing loop technology can be very helpful. This is being implemented in hotels and public places across America. Loop stands for ampetronic loops, aka audio-frequency introduction loops. These emit electromagnetic signals, conveying sounds of interest to nearby hearing aids.

    For more information on loop technologies and other travel tips for the hard of hearing you can visit the following article: